Doing SEO for websites is nothing unusual and I bet most of us hear this term a lot especially in the internet marketing industry. Without any doubt, we know the importance of SEO don’t we?
Although we write for our audience who are “real people” and not bots, we still tweak and twist our blog posts in someway so that even the search engines love it and rank it well. Whether you talk about ranking a blog, a video, a simple website or even niche sites, you need to know at least the basic SEO.
Most of us fail to realize that SEO which stands for Search Engine Optimization is not as hard as it sounds like; most of my clients stare at my face when I tell them, “You need to do a little bit SEO to get your site on top”, …….. and then I tell myself, “Gosh, who am I talking to about SEO ”. I love my clients so I decided to write up 7 simple steps to help you better understand wordpress seo.
I found a re-brand able infographic which had 8 steps listed. I believe these points are legit and can still be applied today to do simple yet effective search engine optimization on your blog. I was not satisfied with the order in which they were listed so I decided to do some photoshopping and wala, its right in front of you.
So without further ado, I present to you the
7 simple steps to wordpress seo
1. Keyword Rich Domain
If you think that only niche sites should have keyword rich domains then sorry my friend, I have no idea who told you that. Look at problogger.net which has the term “blogger” in it. It is not only awesome for SEO but tells us what the domain or website is about. How about this blog? It also has the term “blogger” in it and I do rank for certain keywords just because I have the term “blogger” in the domain name; just like Pat Flynn’s smartpassiveincome.com that ranks for “passive income”.
However, don’t mistake me. It is NOT necessary to have your keyword in your domain name. Although you should try going with an EMD (exact match domain) for your niche sites, it’s not required that you do the same for your personal or even business blogs.
I chose “mastermind blogger” because I thought it was a cool name for a brand. My choice is solely for branding because I wanted to stand out. Blogs like johnchow.com, viperchill.com, davidrisley.com might not have any generic keyword in the domain name but they have established themselves as a Brand and rank very high in the search engines.
An awesome name like socialtriggers.com or zenhabits.net is already rich in keyword . Have a cool name? Go for it!
You got your domain, your hosting and installed wordpress, now what? First thing I always do after installing a fresh copy of wordpress is setup permalinks. Those who are new to the term, according to Wikipedia: A permalink is a URL that points to a specific blog or forum entry after it has passed from the front page to the archives. Because a permalink remains unchanged indefinitely, it is less susceptible to link rot.
Most bloggers who complain that their website links are messed up or not working is usually having problems with their permalink setup. The name might be fancy but there is nothing fancy about it Although, it’s a must do after wordpress installation.
Go to your wordpress, dashboard, settings, permalinks and then change the link structure to “/%postname%/” without the quotes. I think this is the best setup and is awesome for SEO. Some people even include months and years in their link; however, I don’t prefer that.
3. SEO plugins
This is probably the best thing about wordpress; lots of awesome plugins and widgets to help you make SEO easier. There are ton of wordpress seo plugins out there. I often receive emails from my readers requesting me to post my recommended plugins. I use a few free ones and some premium ones.
Do not just use any random plugins without having much knowledge on it. You might end up with something messy or at most, download a malware that will hijack your blog.
I have listed several wordpress seo plugins in the past and I would still recommend them.
I do not want to post any other new ones that I am using on my blogs at the moment because I don’t want to confuse you. But the GOOD NEWS, I will write a detailed post on the top seo plugins that I personally use and recommend very soon.
4. Keyword Research
If you don’t do research before you purchase an item, you end up being scammed or getting the wrong stuff. In the similar way, if you don’t research your keywords well, you might end up writing on an unpopular topic or even do seo on a keyword that no one searches for. I am sure you get the point. Keyword research is very important.
Whether you write for a niche site or for your readers, you must find out what people are actually looking for and to do that, you need to do some keyword research. I would highly recommend the free google keyword tool which is just awesome. You can also use wordtracker or Market Samurai if you want to take it to the next level. However, stick to the basic for now.
Once you find the keyword you want to rank for, come up with a catchy headline for a blog post and then do SEO based on that specific keyword. I am not going to explain On-Site and On-Page SEO on this post but I will definitely write a guide on that too. Btw, if you are using Thesis theme, you shouldn’t find on-site seo that difficult.
5. Quality Content
Writing hundreds of rehashed articles to impress Google will take you no where my friend. Google has become smart and you cannot fool it by spinning articles or copying them from elsewhere. If you want to survive in the search engines and rank high, you need QUALITY CONTENT, period!
It’s pretty easy to get your blog sandboxed these days. In simple term, if your articles suck, google will penalize your blog and may even remove it from their search result.
So how do we write quality content? What makes an article worth reading or interesting? I bet these are some of the questions hitting your mind at the moment.
Now let me tell you, I don’t think I am a “great” writer but not bad either what do you think? I am so jealous of Glen Alsopp and his awesome style of writing long detailed posts. I also don’t know how Seth Godin writes less than 500 words which get tweeted out x 1000 times. Or, was there anytime when I have not clicked on the email link sent by copyblogger.com; these guys know how to write killer headlines and content.
I cannot teach you how to write. It is either inherent or something that you master in the long run. The more you write, the better you get. Don’t write just for the sake of writing; write when you really want to do it.
Have an idea? Don’t wait! Take out a paper, list down the points or draw an outline. Once you have those ready, do a research and try to find relevant but popular blog posts that talk about your topic or idea.
List down the blogs and take notes from their posts. I said take notes; don’t copy their work. If you decide to use a large chunk from one of the blog posts then at least mention them on your post or give credit.
Now I bet you have enough content that you can put into a blog post. Think, research, write! Be passionate, practice often, read some of the popular blogs that I have mentioned and you will definitely produce some quality content for your blog. I have faith in you.
6. Social Media
Ok, I ran out of words now. Hey, do you have a facebook? Nah joking I don’t think I even have to explain the importance of social media when you know that most of us are active on social media sites everyday.
First of all, you must install a social plugin on your wordpress blog. As I said earlier, wordpress plugins make things easier so why not make use of it. You can either use digg digg or simple social bar plugin which will display social icons on your blog posts. And whenever you write a post, make sure you share it with your network.
If you are blogger then you probably use facebook, twitter, google +1 in general. I highly suggest that you be active on these network and share your content with your fans and followers.
Why share on social network? What a stupid question! Are you willing to lose tonne of targeted FREE social traffic? Alright, how about this… Social sites also help with SEO and it has been proven many times before. As a matter of fact, I still remember when some of my tweets were re-tweeted by the mass, it went viral and not only it brought in some extra traffic but also got my link ranked in the first page of google. Now beat that!
Backlinks are like the backbones of SEO. If done wrong, might penalize your blog. If done right, it will increase your page rank.
Most newbie bloggers make several common mistakes when creating backlinks to their blog. Don’t fall into the trap of push button softwares that promise to create legit links. I am not saying that all softwares are bad and even I use some . But, sadly, most people who purchase such software have less to no knowledge about it and they end up abusing it; hence, causing backlinking disaster.
Creating hundreds of backlinks in a short time is considered SPAM and trust me, you don’t want to make daddy google mad.
So how do you get backlinks? When and from where? Alright, I won’t tell you to comment on hundreds of blogs relevant or irrelevant because both just don’t seem right. This is very common and we all know that most people who comment on the popular blogs are trying to get a backlink to their site. Maybe not all but most.
Don’t let this discourage you to comment. I love your comments so keep them coming . Again, I am not saying it is something bad to do and my opinion is that I comment on blogs only if I have something to say. Most of the time you see people leaving irrelevant or short comments like “hey, nice article” or “ok thanks” or “some long weird story with porn links…” I mean w.t.heck…
It’s all good when you genuinely follow a blog and provide feedback; in return get some backlink juice . Some other basic backlinking strategy includes articles directory submission, paid links, contextual links etc which I will get into details in the upcoming posts.
And if you want to build some awesome backlinks Pat Flynn’s way, then check out THE Backlinking Strategy That Works. Pretty awesome guide but once I write my version, his will look peanuts…ouch (PS: I love Pat)
When I write a guide, I make sure I include each and everything so if you see me MIA for a while, don’t panic. Know that I am working on something awesome for you guys.
Now go get that awesome blog with seo, quality content and backlinks… you know you can do it. If this blog post was too basic for you then go get some pop corn and get ready for the advance seo and wordpress guides coming soon. I would love to see your comments. Let me know what do you think and would like to see more on this blog.