Simple WordPress SEO

The best reason to use WordPress when you’re just getting started, aside from its ease-of-use, is that it’s very SEO-friendly.

But that doesn’t mean that you should let WordPress do all of your SEO work for you since that’s not the way it works. There’s a big difference between SEO-friendly and SEO-dialed-in.

What Is SEO?

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the set of factors that determine where the search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc) rank your website for each of its relevant keywords. SEO is a key piece of the affiliate marketing puzzle since it will be responsible for bringing you a ton of free targeted search engine traffic to your site. 

While WordPress will do the initial heavy lifting for you there are still some things you can do to turbocharge your SEO efforts. The first place to start is to add some WordPress plugins to your site. 

What Are SEO Plugins? WordPress plugins are bits of software that can be uploaded to improve the functionality and performance of your website. It’s important to note that WordPress plugins only work on self-hosted websites which is why you need a hosting account to begin with. In fact,

I have a highly detailed step-by-step tutorial on how to get your own hosting account and set up your first affiliate website. 

1. OK, let’s start optimizing your site. The first step is to install the…

3 Best Free WordPress Plugins For SEO:

  1. WordPress SEO by Yoast:  This plugin is written from the ground up by Joost de Valk and his team at Yoast to improve your site’s SEO on all needed aspects. While this WordPress SEO plugin goes the extra mile to take care of all the technical optimization, it first and foremost helps you write better content. WordPress SEO forces you to choose a focus keyword when you’re writing your articles, and then makes sure you use that focus keyword everywhere. This plugin alone will give your SEO efforts a HUGE boost.
  2. W3 Total Cache: WordPress caching is the fastest way to improve performance. W3 Total Cache is the highest rated and most complete WordPress performance plugin for this purpose. Search engines prefer faster loading sites than slower ones and this will dramatically improve the speed and user experience of your site. 
  3. RB Internal Links: This WordPress plugin makes it easy for you to link to posts and pages within your blog. RB Internal Links is awesome since it uses the post ID to link internally rather than the URL itself. This means that if you want to change the URL of a page or post, then the URL will be updated for you automatically.

2. Next, let’s make your site work better…  How To Upgrade The Performance Of Your WordPress Site To Improve Your SEO: Reset your permalinks setting:  Permalinks are the permanent URLs to your individual weblog posts, as well as categories and other lists of weblog postings. The default setting for Permalinks in WordPress isn’t an efficient URL structure for SEO. Change the setting to Post Name (/%postname%/) to fix this problem. Some like to use /%category%/%postname%/ as their setting but can cause a few issues when content for categories aren’t optimized. Here is how to change your permalink settings in WordPress –

  • Go to your WordPress dashboard
  • Hover your mouse over the Settings tab
  • Click on the Permalinks button
  • Change the setting to the post name (/%postname%/)

Update your ping settings: To further improve SEO you’ll want to allow pings. Pings notify search engines and blog ranking services that you’ve updated your website and will prompt them to go look at it and index what you’ve added. This is usually done automatically but you can speed this up in WordPress by updating the services within the Settings page. Here’s how:

    • Go to your WordPress dashboard
    • Hover your mouse over the Settings tab
    • Click on the Writing button
    • Scroll to the bottom and look for the box entitled – Update Services
    • Add these four urls to the list: 

http://blogsearch.google.com/ping/RPC2  http://rpc.pingomatic.com/ http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping  http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/pingSubmit?bloglink=http%3A%2F%2www.domain.com/

  • Click on Save Changes

3. Finally, let’s get down to brass tacks… Go through this entire Yoast tutorial on SEO:  Here  It’s painstakingly detailed but you can get through it in one sitting if you apply yourself.  Do yourself a favor and set aside a Saturday to really dig into this. You’ll learn more about SEO on this single tutorial than you will anywhere else. If you follow through on this one task you’ll be miles ahead of most affiliate marketers when it comes to SEO. Additional WordPress SEO Tips: Write high quality content. What is considered high-quality content?

  • It’s helpful or educational. Readers love tutorials, how to’s, informative lists, inside tips, and hands-on information they can apply. The more you help your audience understand the information they came to you for the more they’ll keep coming back to you and sharing your content (which boosts your SEO rapidly). Google also ranks higher quality content in their search engine.
  • It’s easily shareable. The search engines love high-quality content but they also consider how readers respond to that content. Are they sharing it on social media platforms? Are they linking to it? Make content that people will want to share and actually ask them to do just that at the end of every post. Making good sharable content is kind of an art form and one of  the best ways to learn how to create it is to look at what content is being shared with you and many other people. If you find a nice article or tutorial that has gone viral you’re on the right track.
  • It’s unique. Do not steal someone else’s content! Duplicate content is a big no-no in the world of SEO. Google hates content thieves and they’ll crush you for doing it. And don’t think you’re smart enough to get away with it because their algorithm will sniff it out quickly and put the kibosh on your SEO world. If you want to quote a source and include a snippet of content to augment your own content that’s fine, but stealing someone’s entire post and pass it along as your own is never okay. It’s fine to get topic ideas from others but write with your own unique perspective and opinion and make it your own.
Keep your content up to date. Both your visitors and the search engine don’t like outdated content. Updating your content frequently will get search engines spiders to index the web pages more frequently than dormant sites.

Use effective and relevant headlines for your posts. Keep your headline as concise as possible without exceeding 55 characters. Google doesn’t like anything longer since they’ll be too long to display properly.

Always use a good meta description. The meta description is the little snippet of descriptive text that appears right below your URL in the search engines and is usually copied onto social media platforms when shared. It should be a very accurate description of the content on that page. Always remember to fill this section in. Depending on your theme, it will normally be found just below the main text entry box in ‘Add new/edit post’.

 

Photo Credit: Plymouth Devon Flickr via Compfight cc

4 Comments

  1. Nick Ceryance

    Thank you for the help on SEO. I added those links you said on here. Hope is helps drive traffic.

  2. Barry R.

    When we update out ping settings, are we to copy-and-paste the 4 URLS exactly as you’ve given them above or should we replace the end of this URL with our own blog URL? –>

    ….?bloglink=http%3A%2F%2www.domain.com/

  3. Michael

    Very Informative, First time hearing of RB Internal links, will give it a try.

    • bill

      Thanks Michael. Bill