WordPress SEO Guide For Beginners

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WordPress SEO is getting more difficult. You need new tactics and tricks to win rankings at the top of Google, Yahoo!, and Bing search engines.

Here’s everything I know about optimizing and ranking WordPress sites.

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On Page vs Off Page SEO

If you’re getting started in SEO, then you’re probably scratching your head and wondering:

To better understand this, let’s use an analogy to see how both methods work.

Websites Are Like Any Offline Business

Your website is like a brick and mortar store. You know, like the baseball card shop you visited as a kid. Or maybe your favorite ice cream shop or bookstore.

On Page SEO is like an attractive looking store with lots of cool stuff inside that attracts your target customer into your store. It’s everything inside your store that makes people want to visit and buy from you.

Off Page SEO is like all the flyers you pass out, TV commercials, radio advertisements, word of mouth referrals, and things done outside of the store to make people find you and realize your store offers the solutions to their needs.

If you take your website as your house, then search engine optimization (SEO) is just like the foundation of your website. A lot of issues in SEO cause your website to avoid ranking and all of your struggle get no appreciation.

To rank your website among the billions of the website related to your niche, you have to try to be perfect as well as professional. Google has updated its system too much to avoid inoperable and impractical results. SEO helps you to avoid letting Google consider that your website is one of these inoperable websites.

I have experienced many websites with a great stuff on them but due to lack of SEO, they are not even in Google searches. The reason is because Google do not want them to be ranked due to poor SEO. Luckily I know some common mistakes that everybody should take care while doing on-page SEO.

On Page SEO common mistakes

Header Tags: The use of header tag in your article is of very great importance. I always look for this mistake and in my experience; it is the worst mistake that anyone can make. Take it in mind that while making (or applying) the theme for your website, each post should have an H1 tag by default (i.e. title of the post). Another thing to remember is that don’t use H1 tag more than once as it will be the cause of lowering your keyword value.

Duplicate Content: Believe me that duplicate content on your website can destroy even the super ranked website. Copying someone content and posting it on your blog or website, Google will not appreciate it ever. Not just Google, nobody will appreciate copied content.

Duplicate Meta Tags: After the panda upgrade, Google does not like duplicate Meta tags. I have seen many websites that have duplicated Meta tags all over the website. Don’t do it as Google do not like it to have same Meta at the search again and again.

Alt Tag: It doesn’t matter for Google robots if your photograph is very pretty. What matters is that your image should have an ALT tag so that Google robots can scan that image and can give that image some importance in search results. So, don’t forget to insert ALT tag in your image.

Keyword Density: Maybe Google doesn’t care very much for keyword density now, but it doesn’t mean that there is no rule for it. Do not go up to 1-4% of keyword density in your article or you will be punished.

Broken links: For the best user experience, you have to avoid broken links. Google take it as a lack of interest if your website contains many broken links and hence you will not be ranked.

Page Speed: Yes, page speed matters for the Google and for the user too. Everybody hates any web page which is taking an extra amount of time to load and, on the other hand, they like a page loading fast. Put some cache programming code for your website or use a cache plugin for the blog that can help you to increase page speed.

A lot of Indexed pages: Many people think that the more indexing of their pages will help them to increase their rank. Keep it in mind that if the indexing is of quality content, then it is OK, but unnecessary indexing can cause your website damage.

302 redirect: Too many temporary and unnecessary redirects are not good for your website. Use 302 redirects when it is necessary, otherwise try to avoid it.

Trust signals: Trust signals are those pages which make your website trustworthy. For example contact us, privacy policies, disclaimer, terms of services etc. Make it happen that you have created some trust signals.

Which is more important?

Simple. Who makes more money: McDonalds or your local burger joint?

Of course, McDonalds does. And it’s not because McDonalds sells the best hamburgers or makes the best food.

Some people agree that McDonalds taste disgusting while other people eat their everyday and love it.

But McDonalds has so many advertisements, billboards, referrals, word of mouth, and other positive comments going on outside the golden arches that people flock to their restaurant and make them rich.

Your focus should be on Off Page SEO.

On Page SEO is so easy because you only need to do a few basic things:

Get your main keyword in the page title, h1 tag, in the content body, and in your URL.

That’s it.

Only takes 5 minutes to research keywords in Google Keyword Planner and another 2 minutes to make the correct changes.

But Off Page SEO requires you to reach out to other people and get them to say nice things about you and your website. Once people know who you are, then they start linking to your website, sending traffic your way and Google will begin to notice your website as an authority.

Content is King, not On Page SEO

Spend a little bit of time on On Page SEO while giving the bulk of your efforts on content creation and Off Page SEO factors.

On Page SEO is not the same as great content. In fact, the Atlantic gets millions of visitors per without focusing on SEO. It’s not necessary to make a lot of money online.

Great Content + Great Backlinks = Great Traffic

After doing business online for almost 8 years, I realized that it’s as simple as great content and great backlinks. SEO is easy to understand if you master the basics.

Write great content or hire other people to write for you. Then reach out to other people with great websites and get them to link to you. That’s it.

Your favorite websites do this naturally. That’s all it really takes to be successful!

Off Page SEO Link Building Strategies

Off-page optimization involves optimizing your website by earning good credentials from relevant websites in your niche. Off-page optimization is part of SEO strategy for your website.

Off-page optimization is an important technique applied after on-page optimization is done. Unlike in on-page optimization, off-page optimization has nothing to do with the content on your site.

Off-page optimization is not an easy task to execute. For this, you need to build relationship with other sites to publish your content or give a link to your site.

This process is called link building. Building links with other sites is important to improve your site’s indexing, to drive targeted traffic to your website, and to improve ranking of your site. In this article, we will discuss different techniques of off-page optimization.

Article submission: Create content with relevant keywords (those related to your products and services). Then, post this content in the popular article submission sites such as EzineArticles, GoArticles, Buzzle, etc. These sites provide back links to your website. So, the better the credentials of the directory is, the higher will be the weight of the link.

Blog submission: Create a blog with updated information on your site and it should be relevant and unique in conveying the information. Then, submit them in blog directories and blog search engines. If you don’t have time to write articles for your blog or find it difficult, you can hire professional SEO writers to do the job. They will create a blog with optimized keywords related to your company. This is one of the popular means of generating traffic to your site.

Social bookmarking: Submit your website links to popular social bookmarking sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, Propeller, Delicious, Diigo, etc.

Social networking: Create your profile in social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace, etc. By this, you can promote your website and your latest updates of your products, services and achievements. It is an easy way to extend your network and drive traffic to your site.

Press releases: Submit the latest news on your business in press release sites like newsreleaser.com, prsyn.com, open PR, PR Leap, etc.

PPC campaigns: Post your ad in the desired sites where you are likely to get relevant customers to your business. But here you need to pay for each click to the publisher.

Directory submission: Submit your website in popular directories like Yahoo, Zoominfo, Pegasus, DMOZ, etc., under an appropriate category. It is another easy way to get backlinks.

Forum posting: Create online discussion board and start discussion. This helps you build a relationship with your customers. It is a strategy to attract the targeted customers and to generate traffic to your site.

Photo sharing: You can post your products’ images in photo sharing sites like Picasa, Photobucket, Flickr, etc.

Video sharing: You can submit your company’s videos in the video sharing sites such as YouTube.

Small business owners need to understand the importance of off-page optimization for their websites for building good back links that lead to better search ranking.

How Many Keywords Should You Target Per Page?

Keyword selection is an important part of ranking websites. In my long tail keyword guide, I talked about different ways to find keywords to target.

Once you build a list, you have to decide how many keywords you will use per page. Here’s a few tips to help you find a good balance between SEO and quality content.

  • Build your webpages for users: Naturally include your keywords within content to guide users to your call to actions. Never force keywords where they don’t appear naturally
  • Focus Your Title on Your Main Keyword: Place your Main Keyword in Your Title to Improve Relevancy and Attract Clicks from the SERPs and social media
  • Aim for 3 to 4 core keywords: Dave Cain recommends you aim for 3 to 4 main keywords in your content. If you can find more relevant keywords, then consider upping this number around 8 to 12 keywords.
  • Use Modifiers: Add specific modifiers like “Review”, “Month, Year”, “Coupon”, and Brand Names to rank for long tail keyword variations.
  • Sprinkle a few LSI Keywords: Brian Dean recommends you add a few LSI keywords to your content. Find these keywords under the Google “Related Searches” tab at the bottom of the page.

The Bottom Line?

So exactly how many keyword should you use per page? Focus your page around 1 main keyword then sprinkle in 3 to 4 related core keywords to boost relevancy. You should have at least 5 keywords per page to get great SEO results.

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