WordPress Can Help Me With SEO?

wordpress-logo-stacked-rgb1One word changed my life forever one day back in late 2007. I was a blogger then, frustrated with a blogging platform that couldn’t satisfy my needs. Why didn’t I have simple root access to my blog, enabling me to change whatever I felt like? It was my blog, with my name emblazoned on the front page, yet I couldn’t command it to perform tasks not already pre-formed in its little e-head.

Ok, enough with the sappy story. For real now. Two years ago I took friend’s advice and moved my first blog from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress. I have never looked back. Today I would like to make the case to you that a WordPress blog is what you need to give your web presence the lift it needs. Let’s not talk about the hosting and the domain name purchase, and the code, and all that stuff. That is for another day. Let’s talk about a few features WordPress provides that will make it easy for you maintain an SEO-friendly blog.

First, WordPress makes changing your URL structure effortless. Why should you care about your URL structure? Well, would you rather be telling Google that your site is at “http://www.mysite.com/?p=123″ or at “http://www.mysite.com/my-first-post/”? That is correct. You want to put your site’s best face on for Google, and WordPress makes it as easy as typing a few letters into a blank field. Brilliant.

Next, WordPress uses “plugins” to make a whole host of SEO tasks as simple as can be. One of these plugins automatically creates an XML sitemap for your blog, effectively giving Google a map to your site. This makes for a much faster indexing in the search engines, since it is never a bad idea to throw a bone (or a fly) to search engine spiders. Another plugin puts a little bit of text at the bottom of blog posts that contains a list of related posts. I like that one because it links to other similar posts I wrote in the past but maybe just forgot about.

By far my favorite plugin for SEO is All in One SEO Pack. This plugin takes some of the most important site optimization tasks that lots of folks just might not know how to do, and makes them ridiculously easy. These people might have heard that they need a good keyword rich title tag, good H tags, meta description, meta keywords, and so on. But they just don’t know how to change them. All in One SEO has a field for all those things, plus a bunch of other title formats and header options. Don’t even think about messing with code when there are plugins for things like this.

Finally, WordPress makes updating your main site content almost enjoyable. You already know that you need fresh content every so often to keep the search engines happy with your site. But writing a post in WordPress doesn’t require any knowledge of tagging, categorizing, pinging to notify others of your new content, or anything of the sort. You don’t even have to know how to write the code for a link. Perhaps that’s commonplace these days, but the process is simply seamless in WordPress.

If you are looking for a way to be able to accomplish some SEO on your own time, and you want a solution that will do pretty much anything you want it to, give WordPress a try. There are so many people out there designing plugins and attractive themes for WordPress that it’s impossible to keep track of them all. All I know is that you will find a solution that is a pleasure to work with, and it will do a lot of good for your site with the search engines.

For more blogging tips, check out Scott’s recent post on 25 Freshest Summer Blogging Tips.

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6 Comments

  1. Jake says

    I completely agree with everything in this post. I am a huge fan of open source and GPL anyway. WordPress, and the numberless plug-ins, cut all of the initial heavy lifting out of the way, for a super customized and well organized blog. It blows my mind that people pay money for products like coffeecup, which in my opinion are inferior and less powerful than wordpress.

  2. euan says

    I use Word Press for a blog (one that I only update occasionally, just enough to give it some topical history should I ever wish to develop it full time) and I love its ease of use and variety of plug-ins available.

    I’ve only ever had one problem and that was randomly this week when I updated versions and an incompatibility problem with a plugin (strangely it was the All in One SEO pack) caused it to fail.

    I had FTP my way in and delete all the wp-includes to rectify the matter. Fair play to the producers of All in One SEO pack, a patch was released the very next day and I still recommend using it but I’d be wary from automatically updating the Word Press software as soon as the newest version is released. Wait a few days then do it.

    I’m lucky that I don’t use the site for direct or indirect revenue generation but I’d be annoyed if I did!

  3. gabriella says

    Great post but may I suggest you add the bookmark buttons at the bottom of your posts so people like me can share your great post with others… After all it’s a great way to get pings and natural links. Again thanks for your thoughts.

  4. Luke says

    I’m another to completely agree. WordPress is a very Search Engine friendly online content publishing system. Don’t forget to link to relevant content from anchor text.

  5. Tom says

    I have been sucking up as much as my poor brain can handle about SEO and social media. And though I have a few good bookmarked sites, you guys are the best source of information so far. And who would have though to check seo.com first? :)

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