Getting Started with WordPress SEO


Getting Your Site Ready For High Rankings

Type in SEO into Google and you will get thousands and thousands of companies, individuals and services offering to push you site higher in the search engine rankings. These services range in price from low dollar one time deals to ongoing campaigns. Some are automated some offer a professional consultant. However it is important to understand what SEO really is, the difference between ‘Optimized’ and ‘Ready’ and how hard or easy it really is to get a listing in the top of any search engine for any particular term.

Sure many WordPress themes are marketed as being SEO ‘Optimized’ or ‘Ready’, but what does that really mean? Are you going to rank higher because you buy this theme? What does it take to push your WordPress website up in the rankings? In this video tutorial I cover all these questions as well as a recommendation on how to get your site ready for SEO.

Here is a Great SEO Plugin, but…

Let’s be frank here… SEO is more than a plugin or an ‘optimized’ theme. It’s a lot of really hard and time consuming work! In this video tutorial I go over how to install my favorite SEO Plugin and give some insight into what it will take to get your site ranking for your target key words and phrases. However please note that this is just a start, a method to ensure your site is ready to be competitive but there is still a lot work to be done.

What is Covered in this Video

  • What it means when a theme is SEO Optimized or SEO Ready
  • How to install a great SEO Plugin that will give you a good head start
  • How to setup this plugin and start optimizing individual pages
  • Recommendations on how start and maintain your SEO campaign


Video Transcript

Hi there. We’re going to talk a little bit about SEO, or search engine optimization.

Basically, SEO is the practice of making sure that your website ranks competitively on all the major search engines. People mostly focus on Google, but obviously there’s Bing, Yahoo, and many other smaller and niche search engines out there. So from a basic example, if we want to take a look here we have all about purple widgets. This page, in theory, is all about purple widgets. If someone does a search on Google for purple widgets I want to rank as high as possible there.

However, there’s a lot of confusion about what it means to be SEO optimized and SEO ready. In fact, if you take a look at a couple of examples that I found here, these are commercial themes that are available. You can download this theme and install it on your WordPress website. This one advertises that its SEO optimized. This one also advertises SEO optimized. This one uses the term SEO ready. But what does this really mean?

It doesn’t mean that I’m going to rank incredibly high for the term purple widgets by simply installing that theme. What that basically means is that the developer of that theme has built it to best practices so that Google, Bing, and other search engines can read it. When they read it they can kind of travel through the website collecting the content that’s inside of it so as to add it to their index. That’s all that means. That doesn’t mean that I’m going to rank very high for purple widgets. In fact, that’s work that I’m going to have to do.

So, how do you get started with that? Well, there’s a lot of research that goes into it. You’re going to want to try and figure out what people are actually searching for. If I have a site that sells purple widgets, for example, is it best that I optimize my site for the term purple widgets?
What if my market is focused in Wisconsin, for example. Maybe I should use the term purple widgets in Wisconsin. The reason I would do that is because, from a global standpoint, the term purple widgets I simply can’t rank against. So, I want to focus on my personal market which in this case would be Wisconsin. This is just a silly example, but you get the idea. It’s not simple, and it does take a lot of work.

However, what we can do to help us is we can install a plug-in called WordPress SEO by Yoast. This particular plug-in is a favorite of mine. I’ve installed it on many sites. It tends to work very well with other themes and in WordPress in general. I’ve never had any major problems with it. However, there are a lot of other high ranking WordPress SEO plug-ins out there, so take a look around. In this tutorial I’m going to focus on this particular plug-in.

You’re going to install this plug-in like you would any other. Once it’s installed you’re going to see a new menu item over here on the left side, SEO. I’m not going to go through every one of these things here, but basically you can kind of walk through each one of these pages and it’s going to help you set up your site so that it is optimized for the terms that you want to rank for.

It’s also going to ensure that things like your titles, your page titles, are formatted in a way that Google can read and read well. I say Google, but by that I mean search engines in general. It’s going to provide other things here that are all going to help your position within the search engines.

More importantly, what it’s going to do is it’s going to add a new section to my pages edit screen. So, I have a page here that’s called all about purple widgets. My keyword focus here is purple widgets. It’s going to suggest some words and key phrases here. You see here it immediately started to rank my page. I have it in my heading, it’s in my title, it’s not in my URL. These things are all important when it comes to ranking your site within the search engines.

SEO title. So just because I have all about purple widgets as my page title, that doesn’t mean that I can’t change the title that appears in Google, Bing, or any of the other search engines by filling out this area right here. Maybe this is where I make it “Purple Widgets in Wisconsin”.
Again, silly example, but you get the idea.

Then we have our meta description, and this is the snippet of text that will appear below the link and title in all the major engines. One of the nice things it does is it shows you what your page will look like when it’s pulled up in Google and the other search engines. As you change the information in these two boxes it will also change up here.

Once you’ve made some changes you want to go ahead and save it. It can be saved as a draft. It doesn’t have to be live in order for you to do this. You’re going to notice that here it’s given us a rating, and I think when it’s green you’ve pretty much passed everything. If we go back down to this new box here, and we go to page analysis, it’s going to give us some recommendations that we can perform on the site in order to make it rank better.

Now, this plug-in is well maintained. It’s up to date with some of the latest information. However, this is a general guide. Following these rules does not guarantee you top position in any of the engines; however, it will greatly help. If you go through all your major pages of your website, and you provide the keyword, and you do some page analysis and so on you can ensure that your site is positioned well for ranking within Google or the other engines.

Now, if you want to get very competitive about this, if you say, for example, I need to rank in the top ten spots for purple widgets in Wisconsin, then you’re going to want to do quite a bit of research. And, if you have the budget for it, there are folks out there who make entire careers out of SEO optimization. They’re very good at what they do. It’s obviously an expense; however it helps because SEO is an ongoing campaign. It’s not a one time event. Even if you do successfully rank very high for one of your keywords, it’s not going to guarantee you that you’ll be there tomorrow, next week, or even a month out. So, it’s an ongoing thing.

And that’s basically a high level overview of how you can use the WordPress SEO plug-in to start the optimization process of your website.