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Meetup: Climbing to the top of Google in 2014 – WordPress plugins and best practices



There is an old joke in the Property / Real Estate business:

Question: “In establishing the value of a house, what are the three most important factors?” Answer: “Location, location, location.”

In developing traffic on your website, the mantra is “blog, blog, blog.”  The content you add will be indexed by search engines and if optimized correctly, will drive traffic to your business.

Below are some tips and recommendations for WordPress plugins and best practices for improving seo ranking as discussed at our latest Meet-Up .

  1. Blog, blog, blog. Websites don’t rank, PAGES on your website rank.
  2. Try to create posts that are roughly 350 – 500 words.  A post that is longer than 500 words is likely to lose readership.  A post shorter than 350 words does not provide the search engines enough information to index.
  3. Site speed matters.  If you’re site is “code heavy” it will load more slowly.   Pick a theme and add plug ins to keep the website “light” so that it loads quickly.  Tip: is a speed test site.  (1/2 mg is a good target).  Minimum plugins and optimized images will help.
  4. Use keywords.  Use the language of your customer to define keywords for your site.  Borrowing an example from Jenny Munn, a high-end Child Development Center would be better served using the keyword “daycare” rather than “child development center.”
  5. Make sure Google knows what you have and can understand and appreciate it:  Write clean code (use proper title tags, internal links, etc.) so that Google can understand what your website is about.
  6. Back links and social discussion on the site will drive your page rank.
  7. Track your performance with Google Analytics so that you will know what is working and what isn’t.
  8. Make sure images are optimized for the web so they will load quickly.  Don’t have Photoshop?  Use wpsmushit plugin instead.  Note:  (this plugin strips meta data – so don’t use it with stock art)
  9. Rename your images to match your target keyword in each blog post.  Use your keyword in your Alt text – this is how Google indexes your photo
  10. Exact Match Domains and URL Structure: while you should NOT change this for existing sites as they are already indexed, if you are setting up a new blog, set your permalink settings to post name.

Social implications:

Social postings do not in and of themselves boost your page rank.  However, strong social media will drive traffic and brand awareness.  G+ is an exception!

  • Authorship: doesn’t help you rank better but it does start helping you share your content.   (Make sure you set up your G+ page and your website for authorship: website = author AND author = website)
  • Use the rich snippits testing tool to test authorship
  • Tip:  increase the Google love by setting up the Yoast plug in to reflect authorship on posts but not pages.

Bonus:  Jenny Munn has generously shared her SEO templates with us.  You can see them here:

Other tips:

  • – test site to see how your site looks on mobile
  • If you’re interested in learning more about SEO, and live in the Atlanta area, join us for:

SEO Bootcamp for Small Business Owners
Atlanta SEO Training: April 24, 2014 | 9am-4pm

Join our Meet Up for April:  Basics of CSS in WordPress

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Mickey Mellen

Co-Founder and Technical Director

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  1. It’s also important to maintain a good relationship with your readers. Just like how Facebook and Twitter allows you to interact with your followers, a WordPress blog gives valuable content readers, but also lets readers comment and give their thoughts on each post too.

    A great way to give undivided attention to readers is through email marketing. With a top notch software, you can segment all your contacts into different groups depending on their readership status (new subscribers, longtime followers, more interested in news articles, more interested in personal stories, etc). Then you can create campaigns and blasts that are better targeted for each one.

    And just like how a great quality post gets shared around the web, if readers like what they see, why wouldn’t they want to share your blog to their family and friends? Especially if both you the blogger and the readers have had great interactions so far.

    Benchmark Email has a new easy to use plugin called Benchmark Email Lite that combines your WordPress site with the traffic-generating benefits of email marketing. You can install an email sign-up form onto any page (it actually scans the colors of your page and adjusts itself so that it blends seamlessly into your theme), track down analytics, and even send email-friendly version of your blogs posts straight into your readers’ inboxes. And all straight off your WordPress dashboard.

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