content SEO TECHNIQUES for wordpress that will help your pages RANK HIGHER IN SEARCH.
One of the many reasons we love using WordPress is because it was built for content. The core functions; posts, pages, categories, tags, menus and meta are ready for you to populate and for Google to crawl. This framework means that Google has an easier time understanding what type of content you are offering; without you having to specifically tell it.
So why is content SEO challenging and time-consuming?
Researching high traffic topics, curating that content, and posting in the right place for your audience to find, is not easy.
Web design plays a huge part in making sure content is presented well and accessed in the right place, but fundamentally, we all need to channel our inner copywriter; and dare I say it – start blogging.
I mention this all the time, but this really is the crux of the matter – know your audience.
Know what they like, dislike, love and loathe. Use Google Analytics to understand their behaviour, Search Console to discover what keywords they use to search, and Social Media to find out what they talk about. When you find out these wants and needs, you have the foundation for traffic boosting content;
- Keyword Placement
- Cornerstone Content
- Permalink Settings
When creating your pages and posts in wordpress, do so with keywords in mind. On any given subject, focus on a primary keyword or words and use in your title, headline, permalink, first paragraph, body, images, meta & tags. When Google systematically crawls these areas, it will have a good indication about what you want to rank for. Don’t over do it though as you could get penalised, see cornerstone and copywriting below to get the structure right.
Keywords used for this post: Content SEO
This content defines the purpose of your website. It’s those articles you want your visitors to find first because it contains the most relevant information about your business. In terms of site structure, cornerstone articles should link under the homepage and before long-tailed articles. It’s also worth linking them in the main navigation ( you can see ours under ‘services’ )
Typically 4 – 6 pages of cornerstone content is enough for most websites, unless it is particularly big. When you’ve decided what to primarily rank for, write a dedicated page placing relevant keywords in the right places. As a general rule, link to your cornerstones from your homepage first before linking to and from relevant blog posts.
Cornerstone page for this post: Search Optimisation
A permalink is the complete url of your pages and posts. It is made up of your site url plus the slug of your page or post. For example, the slug of this page is ‘content-seo’ which is, incidentally, my keywords for this page. By default, WordPress uses the post id as the slug which is a series of symbols and numbers. The post id is meaningless not only to people, but to bots as well. To make a permalink SEO friendly, navigate to settings > permalinks and select Post name instead.
It’s worth noting that permalinks can not be changed easily without potentially breaking your website; so make it one of the first things you do after installing WordPress.
Permalink for this post: https://opturlo.com/content-seo
Whilst it’s tempting to pack keywords into a title space or small paragraph; if the copy is not readable by humans, google will discount your SEO efforts as black hat. If you inject passion, originality and thought into your piece you wont go far wrong. Aim for:
- A keyword density between 0.5 – 1.5%.
- A Flesch reading ease score between 60-70.
- Keep content informative and sentences a comfortable length.
Never ever use your competitors brand name or strap line as a keyword in your copy, Google will most definitely discount you for it.
A plugin called Yoast is a great way to understand and improve your copy score. I use it on this site as well as client sites with great results.
Copy for this post: 0.6% keyword density, scores 67.2 in Flesch Reading Ease, passive voice less than 10% and most sentences are less then 20 words.
Google Bot uses links to find and crawl through websites. It’s important to consider relevant internal and external links so that google can crawl, value and correlate articles. Not only that, it’s natural for your site visitors to read around a certain subject and will appreciate being able to find it by clicking on anchor text.
Internal Linking: For this article, you may have noticed that the majority of links point to my search optimisation page (cornerstone article) and other SEO related blog posts. I also link to my most recent posts on my homepage in a ‘DIY’ section under my cornerstone links section. Google places the most link value on the homepage and then divides value up between the remaining pages. I want Google to find my cornerstones first and place a larger value on those before valuing my new posts. Category and tag links are also present in the side bar of this article so it is clear what other pieces of content are relevant.
External Linking: Inbound links ( otherwise known as link building or backlinks )and outbound links. Inbound links are essential for new websites and growth; get your homepage, cornerstone and blog post links placed within relevant posts on other credible websites to boost rankings. One of the simplest ways to start this inbound process is to:
- Link your articles to your social media posts, and ask your audience what they think.
- Adding your details to Google MyBusiness and asking clients to kindly review their experience.
- Following blogs you admire, and making constructive comments on their posts whilst including one of your links in the narrative.
The holy grail is having an influencer blog about you in a positive light with links from their post to your website, so its worth networking with those that share a similar passion and audience.
Outbound links are links from your posts to another awesome website post. Check out my backlinks one above to see what I mean. Even though this doesn’t directly help your SEO (in fact you are helping theirs) it does show you are willing to participate in the wider subject to help customers, and therefore others are more likely to link to you.
In my experience an average of 1 link per paragraph across the whole article is effective however only place a link if it is relevant and sensible to do so.
Links in this post: click around and take a look!
Content SEO requires a holistic approach if an article is to become the best it can be. Whilst this list is not definitive; experience has taught me that without these five content lynch pins, getting my pages to rank is very tough. I hope this helps you boost your content SEO efforts.