Everything You Need to Know About WordPress SEO

If you own a website, there’s a pretty good chance you’re obsessed with search engine optimization (SEO). Who doesn’t want their website to rank on the first page of Google — without having to pay for advertising? That’s pretty much the holy grail for any serious business owner. Fortunately, the basics of WordPress SEO are not that hard.

Some “experts” would have you believe that SEO is an obscure and mystical art form, requiring years of training, dedication, and hard work.

No matter what the “experts” might tell you, you don’t have to spend years training at some super-secret SEO monastery to get good results. And you certainly don’t have to spend a small fortune hiring an SEO consultant.

The truth is, WordPress is pretty good about SEO right out of the box.

As long as you’re creating high-quality content and posting it to your website on a regular basis, there’s a pretty good chance that, over time, you’ll rank well for your target search phrases.

While WordPress is very good, it isn’t perfect. There are a couple of simple tweaks that will make WordPress even better at SEO than it already is. In this screencast, I show you how to make those changes, and give you some additional advice on SEO.

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8 thoughts on “Everything You Need to Know About WordPress SEO”

  1. Sensible advice Kirk.

    I think the best links come from high authority sites within your niche.

    If you can write relevant, useful and unique content based on your readers challenges, frustrations needs & goals, you’ll get quality links.

    Do your keyword research and focus your content so it answers the questions searchers are looking for using keywords.

  2. Thanks for the practical advice, Kirk, especially regarding using the right SEO plugin.

    I would suggest one possible addition: doing thorough keyword research on your primary categories and topics, and creating a high-to-low list of the most popular searches for those categories and topics. Then, use those keywords in your titles and throughout the posts and pages (as appropriate, and without over-doing it). Knowing and using the more popular keywords naturally drives more traffic. The Google Webmaster Tools make this easy to accomplish.

    Although that advice may be obvious to some, I’d bet there are newbies who will benefit from learning and applying that additional step.

  3. Thanks Alan and Brad,

    Besides the Yoast plugin, every site owner should be using both Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools. I’ll be expanding on both those topics (and a few more) in the coming year.

    kb

  4. Hello Kirk;

    I signed up with Site Build It (SBI) last year and am up for renewal, though I have not done anything with my site there.
    I stumbled upon your course(s) and am now inclined to move in the WP direction.
    I started a privare blog on WP to get the feel of it.
    One thing that SBI offers that seems important and perhaps unique: they have a keyword search tool that indicates what teh call “supply” and “demand” of keywords. Ostensibly this tells a site owner what niches are “crowded” and which have demand with few competotors.
    Is this available generically by cobbling together various Google and other resources?

    Incidentally, I find WP, particulalry with your tutorial more appealing than SBI.
    Nonetheless, I need to make a decsion within the next 14 days, so advice is appreciated.

    thanks,

    BF

  5. William,

    I have to admit I’m not familiar with SBI. From a quick glance at their website it seems to be an all-in-one site building solution. While there are some advantages to that, the risk is that you’re locked into a proprietary platform. With WordPress you can take your site anywhere and do just about anything you want with it.

    I don’t know where SBI gets its keyword data from, but there are plenty of sources of similar data if you’re willing to do the research. Google provides a surprising amount of data on keywords if you know where to look. Take a look at the Google Adwords Keyword research tools. Google’s keyword generator. Type a word or phrase and Google will make suggestions. You’ll also see approximate values for each keyword based on what Google advertisers are paying. That’s a good indication of which keywords might be profitable and which keywords are highly competitive.

    You might also take a look at Market Samurai a tool for identifying keywords, evaluating competition, and tracking your search rankings.

  6. Kirk,
    Thank you for putting together such a no nonsense,informative piece.
    As the .com has no plugin facility is there any real chance it will get traffic.

    Were one to create really good content ,would one get reasonable traffic without the plugin?.

    Let me rephrase this 🙂 .Are there any really successful WordPress sites that are ,com and not.org ?.

    All the best from Ireland.

    Mark

  7. Hi Mark,
    Yes, I do think it’s possible for a WordPress.com to get good traffic. Besides organic search engine traffic, WordPress.com has some community features that can also drive traffic to your site.
    That said, in most cases I think you’re better off hosting your own WordPress site due to the other limitations (no plugins, limited themes, limitations on your ability to monetize your site).
    Kirk

  8. Market Samurai looks interesting. Thanks for the link, Kirk. Will give it a try once we get to that stage – lots of WP Apprentice lessons to go through first!

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