At a recent Detroit WordPress Meetup session, Tim Yow of YowSEO.com gave an excellent talk about on-page WordPress Search Engine Optimization tips. Tim’s presentation was entitled “Getting more Google Love for Your WordPress site”. I always glean another SEO nugget whenever I meet with consultants who enjoy trying to reverse engineer Google’s search algorithm all in the name of higher rankings. As a fellow SEO enthusiast, discussing Google’s latest algorithm changes with active SEO practitioners is time well spent.
Below are a few of the relevant “nuggets” from the presentation:
On-Page Search Engine Optimization Tips
In order of importance, Tim suggests focusing on optimizing the keywords in these on-page factors
1. Title Tag
Ideally a single keyword phrase is used to describe one page on the site. However, Tim has tested multiple keywords for the same given page when the website owner prefers to constrain the number of pages. Limit the title length to 65 characters and for local businesses, remember to include the actual location in the title tag.
2. Permalink URL Structure
Tim recommends using categories in the permalink structure (i.e. /%category%/%postname%/) and continuing to include keywords in the URLs
3. META Description
Limit the number of characters in the description field to 140 and ensure keywords are in the meta description
4. Main Heading
When creating the main post name, remember to set the page name in the URL structure to include the SEO keyword and then change the actual page or post title to be more user friendly and descriptive. The actual URL of the post or page can be short yet the Main heading can be descriptive.
Keep including keywords in the H2 and H3 headers
6. Internal links
Every post should have relevant links to other content on the blog structure. This helps make your blog more “sticky” and your reader will drill down deeper into the site which increases the time visited on a site.
7. Anchor Text for internal links
Use anchor text that is logical and properly incorporates the keyword such as “Read more about <insert keyword phrase>”. Including the title attribute in the anchor text is also recommended.
8. Bold text
Avoid over using bold text in the article text.
9. Image Alt Text
If there are image links, remember to use the ALT tag with the title attribute with the proper keyword phrase.
10. Main content
The main content is the core content of the post and page. For your reader, it is the most important piece of the site, yet in the order of Tim’s SEO priority it is at the bottom.
What about backlink diversity and the latest Google update?
Backlink diversity in off-page links was an open question since Google’s latest algorithm changes had impacted a number of user’s sites. The overall recommendation is to include a mix of anchor text keywords in your link network. Including more natural combinations in external backlinks is highly recommended.
The guys over at Market Samuari put together an excellent video on backlink diversity. The video provides a ton of great content that helps the viewer understand the right mix of keyword anchor text, brand urls and human looking backlinks. If you use Market Samurai, you can export the results of your link network and they will analyze it for free at:
Recommended Search Engine Optimization Tools
If you’re looking for several useful on-page and off-page search engine optimization tools, I recommend the following:
- PushButton SEO – A professional WordPress plugin that does on-page SEO optimization analysis for every page and post. It also makes embedding YouTube, Creative Commons and other Internet snippets very easy.
- SEO Profiler – A monthly Software As a Service tool that provides keyword research, rank tracking and page optimization reports by comparing the competition against your target page. A very powerful set of software at an affordable price
- Market Samurai – Market Samurai is where I started and I still use the tool to evaluate competition against target pages and analyze the backlink network
Thanks again to Tim Yow of Yow SEO on a great presentation and an informative session on WordPress Search Engine Optimization Tips!