WordPress, originally developed as an open source blogging platform is now used by approximately 18% of all websites on the World Wide Web and this number is growing every day. I use WordPress for all my sites and highly recommend it, the platform has many benefits the main thing I like about it is the ease of set-up, many web hosts have the script already installed on their servers this means you can set-up a site in seconds.
If your host doesn’t have the script installed wordpress installation can take 5-10 minutes and is a little bit technically, fortunately in this day and age it is quite hard to find a web host that does’nt have these scripts pre-installed.
It’s not just the installation that’s easy with wordpress though, there are many free plug-ins available, plug-ins add funtionality to the site with a little research you can make a wordpress site do virtually anything you want and best of all is the fact that most of this functionallity can be installed with one click, more on my favourite plug-ins in a bit. Let’s talk about adding content first.
Benefits of Easily Adding content
As mentioned wordpress was originally intended to be used as a blogging platform, the idea of blogging started in the 90’s, blog is an abbreviation of weblog. The trend started life as a personal online journal or diary, a record of a person’s life and experiences that combined text, pictures, and maybe some video. Early blogs needed their authors to be technically savvie, with the development of platforms like wordpress, blogger, etc. they became easier to update and therefore more mainstream. In this day and age you can find all kinds of sites on all kinds of subjects most of these sites use some kind of blogging platform or CMS.
Regularly adding unique content has many benefits one of them being SEO and improving your sites ranking in the SERPs, (Search Engine Results Pages). Search engines love sites which regularly add new content, the more relevant content you have on your site the more chance you have of showing in the search results. Adding fresh content to your site can help you become an authority in your field and attract links to your site.
These links could help your site directly by sending traffic from the referring the sites and indirectly by improving your sites search engine rankings, search engines count incoming links as a vote for your site so the more high quality and relevant links you have the higher you will rank and the more traffic you will get from the search engines.
Using wordpress for your site means you and your staff members can easily add this new content, there is no need for you to employ a full-time web master, anyone that can use word processing software like Microsoft word should be able to use wordpress. If your business address, phone number, etc. change they can easily updated with no knowledge of HTML.
Optimising Your WordPress Site
As mentioned above attracting links and frequently adding new content can help you get free targeted traffic from the search engines like Bing, Google and Yahoo. WordPress is quite search engine friendly in it’s standard form but a few changes to your site can help you get even more free and highly targeted search engine traffic.
The first thing I do to any site as soon as I set it up is change the permalink structure, as standard wordpress post urls look like this example.com/?p=123, this type of structure doesn’t given the search engine spiders any help in understanding what your page is about. I like to change this so the URL contains my keywords like this example.com/keywords.
The second thing I do is change the meta title tag and meta descriptions for all the pages and posts, the meta title is a very important part of your on-page SEO, it is important to use your keywords in this meta title tag. The meta description is shown in the search results, Google say meta description is not a ranking factor but it can increase your click through rate. It is a good idea to take some time and to create a compelling meta description relevant to all the pages and posts on your site.
A very good free SEO plug-in is The Yoast WordPress SEO, this plug-in enables you to make meta title and meta description changes as I have described above for every post and page on your wordpress site. The plug-in can also create an XML site map, robots.txt file, breadcrumbs, canonical urls and much more.
The plug-in also enables you to check each page is optimised for your target keyword ensuring your keywords are included in the page title, URL, content, meta description, etc. If you already have a wordpress site and don’t use the Yoast plug-in I would recommend you try it.
Author Bio: This guest post was supplied by Mark Stubbles, Mark owns a number of sites on topics that interest him like cycling, cars and SEO, he offers guest blogging and other SEO services on a freelance basis.