Principles of WordPress SEO
Whether you are looking for information on WordPress SEO or getting your Blogspot blog to rank higher, the same basic principles apply. The fundamentals of effective search engine optimization are the same, no matter which blogging platform you use. Whether you opt for Tumblr as your blogging platform of choice or decide to check out the new social network aspect of Posterous Spaces (https://posterous.com), the essentials of effectively optimizing your blog or website remain the same.
In pre-Panda days, keywords were often overused in an effort to garner extra search engine traffic. If Google’s Panda has taught internet content providers and marketers anything, it is that stuffing is only welcomed on Thanksgiving. Stuffing your blog and your social media feeds full of keywords can now do you more harm than good. The key is to provide useful, informative and sharable content in a natural way. Your blog or website needs to provide content to your audience that they will find useful and will want to share with their network. If the content that you provide to your viewers is so overly stuffed that it becomes annoying, the odds increase that social media shares of your content will be almost non-existent. With the ever-increasing implementation of social media indicators as well as site authority impacting upon search engine results, the carefully considered use of keywords is one area of search engine optimization that cannot be overlooked. From WordPress SEO to Facebook wall posts, judiciously using your keywords for maximum impact is well worthy of paying attention to in order to achieve the best results.
Another factor in search engine optimization is reader engagement with content. A recent study by EdgeRanker (http://edgerankchecker.com/blog/2011/09/does-using-a-third-party-api-decrease-your-engagement-per-post) states that reader engagement with links provided on Facebook can decrease by up to 80% when a third party API is used. If this is true and social media shares are now directly influencing placement in search engine results, then how you provide links to your readers is a detail that is too important to ignore. While auto-posts via third party applications may make your life much simpler, if reader engagement is being severely impacted by doing so, you might want to revisit your social media marketing plan. If you can increase your reader engagement by posting directly to your Facebook wall and personalizing the links you provide with a little tidbit of useful information, your efforts will likely be well rewarded with more interaction with your links. The more interaction and shares your content receives, the greater the impact on your search engine results. Although it might be more time consuming to do so, personalizing your posts by lessening your dependence upon third party API’s could have a definite impact upon your SEO.
WordPress SEO Plug-Ins
Plug-ins and extensions are also tools that you can use to your advantage to increase your return on investment. Whether you use a WordPress plug-in like the All in One SEO Pack (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack/) or an extension like Mozilla’s Firefox SEOQuake toolbar (http://www.seoquake.com), the knowledge that you derive from these tools can be invaluable. From determining individual page rank for your website or blog posts to getting a clearer picture of where your optimization efforts are lacking, the information that you glean from plug-ins and extensions can significantly increase your ROI. Not all of these tools are created equally so it helps to do your homework to find out which ones have the most positive feedback. Check WordPress SEO forums or Google’s Webmaster Help forums to pick up positive and negative feedback on extensions and plug-ins you are considering. Armed with the knowledge as to which tools have the best track record, you are in a much better place to make well-informed decisions for your own site.
Importance of Images
Images are another crucial element of effective SEO that cannot be overlooked. With more and more internet searchers using image searches as their search engine option of choice, using this knowledge to your advantage is crucial. Images are not simply just a pretty picture or infographic used to illustrate your point. They can play a vital role in drawing readers to your blog or website. Optimizing them effectively with long-tail keywords and phrases will have a positive influence on bringing eyes to your content. If your images are proprietary, using a subtle watermark bearing your website address is an effective way to not only protect your copyright but to also advertise your url wherever your images appear. If you use a product like Tynt (http://www.tynt.com) to track copy and paste actions on your site, you can easily see which sites are borrowing your images and use that information to your advantage. From commenting on their usage of your images to engaging on their forums and including your url in your signature, not only are you providing a link to the image’s copyrighted source but you are also advising the scraping site of your knowledge of their actions. The data that can be garnered from a product like Tynt can give you a much clearer understanding of which social media channel are providing the most reader engagement as well as to help you leverage the copy and paste activity on your site. Images are all too often overlooked when it comes to SEO. Photos need not be the only images you provide on your site. You can include custom graphs designed using a site like Many Eyes (http://www-958.ibm.com/software/data/cognos/manyeyes/) or a custom infographic of your site’s most powerful keywords using a site like Wordle (http://www.wordle.net/). As many readers engage on a site with visually interesting images for longer periods of time, this impacts upon your bounce rate and click through rate which also assist you in your SEO efforts.
Whether you are a content provider or an internet marketer, optimizing your website is all about using the tools at your disposal in an effective and natural manner. Sure you can try and game the system by buying backlinks or engaging in a little SEO trickery, but eventually the search engine crawlers will wise up to your efforts. One simple algorithm tweak can be all that it takes to negate a great deal of your previous work in an instant. For the most long-lasting and organic SEO, you want to focus on the needs and wants of your audience. Deliver to them what they are looking for in a manner that provides true value and you cannot go wrong. Not only are you fulfilling a need but you are also increasing the odds that your information will be shared. A reader that finds your information useful is much more likely to share your site and increase your audience but is also more likely to return to you. Whether they bookmark you by adding your site to their favorites or simply make you one of their go-to sites for informative content, this increased returning viewer data is a very positive sign to search engine analytics tracking. Think about the websites that you return to time and time again and ponder why it is that you value their data. Chances are it is because they have provided valuable information to you that has not only increased your knowledge but have done so in an interesting and engaging way. Put those same philosophies to work on your own blog or website and you will have created a product that no Panda can squash.