One of the rules of SEO is that it requires hard work. Sometimes companies propose a black hat service that can create piles of backlinks and send your site sky-rocketing in Google’s results, but such services are not a sound long-term strategy. If you invest in SEO for your website, you will reap the benefits for years to come.
While long-lasting SEO is hard work, that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to make it easier. That’s where a CMS like WordPress can team up with a variety of tools and plugins that will both save you time and produce better results for SEO on your website and blog.
Use a SEO-Friendly Theme for WordPress
You can create great, relevant content on your company’s blog, but if a search engine can’t sort out the code on your website and find your blog, there’s no point in writing it. Opinions vary about the benefit of paying for an SEO-optimized WordPress theme, but the key is picking out a theme that has clean, search engine-friendly code. Paying $50-$100 for a solid, SEO-optimized theme won’t hurt, but picking out a sharp theme with cluttered code will.
There are a number of WordPress themes that boast the ability to boost your search engine ranking. Some free themes such as Vigilance provide a clean, SEO-friendly design that website developers can modify and optimize. However, if you want to increase your search engine ranking right from the start, consider a premium WordPress theme.
After switching to the Standard Theme, publishing and leadership blogger Michael Hyatt reported:
According to my Google Analytics account, my visitors have increased by 38.4% and my page views by 43.8% in the week following the installation compared to the week before… I really think Standard Theme’s native search engine optimization (SEO) accounts for most of the uptick.
The jury is still out regarding which theme is the best. For example, a recent review of Thesis and Genesis showed that they both offer many of the same features, and that the best theme may come down to personal preference and familiarity. You’ll find advocates of many premium themes, but for the purposes of SEO, each puts you on the right course.
Optimize WordPress with Plugins
There are many WordPress plugins that you can install in order to improve your website’s SEO, but there are only two main plugins that you need in order to immediately take your website’s SEO to the next level. For starters, you could carefully sort through your website and build a site map in order to make it friendly for search engines, or you could install and Google XML Sitemap plugin and get back to creating top notch content. It’s really that simple to create a sitemap with WordPress.
Another top plugin for WordPress is the All in One SEO plugin. This plugin enhances both your site’s overall SEO and the SEO of each individual blog post, helping to optimize your titles and meta-tags, while also providing customization options for more advanced users. The All in One SEO dashboards for the post editing screen and for the general site are easy to use and provide SEO benefits “right out of the box.”
Invite Search Engines with Scribe SEO
While Scribe SEO is still technically a WordPress plugin, it is a premium service that requires a monthly fee. Though Scribe SEO may not be ideal for the casual blogger, its SEO services are perfect for bloggers who want a sure-fire way to quickly optimize their blog posts for SEO.
After creating your blog post, Scribe SEO “shows you keyword phrases you might have missed… tells you how to gently tweak it to spoon feed search engines based on 15 SEO best practices… [and] tools help[s] you build back links from other sites, crosslink the content within your own site, and identify influential social media users who want to share your stuff.”
This SEO tool takes all of the guesswork out of the process and lets you know how effective your efforts are. When you consider what it may cost to pay for an SEO writing course and the uncertain benefits that may come from it, Scribe SEO is a tool that will be well worth the investment if used properly.
SEO requires effort, but it doesn’t have to be such a time-consuming investment. By using the right tools, you can make the most of your SEO efforts and see dramatic increases in traffic to your website.