seo, simple

Simple SEO

Search Engine Optimization photograph with telescope overlooking the ocean.

Search Engine Optimization is SEO

We use “Search Engines” from our mobile phones and other computers to find information on the Internet. And the most commonly used search engine is Google, which drives the majority (70%) of the world’s searches today. The way that Google finds just one post from the billions of posts out there is both an art and a science. And SEO is the art and science of optimizing a website so that Google can find it easiest.

An example of the SEO challenge is to type “SEO” into Google and see what appears. You’ll usually get a total of ten results to pick from. And although there are millions of other results to scroll through, being listed first is definitely best.

You’ve chosen to own the best kind of website on the market — a WordPress.com site is fast, secure, and beautiful. And when it comes to SEO capabilities, we have exactly what you need to excel. But getting to the top of a Google search doesn’t happen overnight. Only if you’re lucky will it happen for you within your first few months.

SEO DOs and DON’Ts

Do:
  • Regularly publish original content.
  • Use a few precise categories and tags.
  • Write for human ears.
  • Build your traffic in smart, organic ways.
  • Choose simple, meaningful post slugs.
  • Create a descriptive tagline.
  • Include keywords selectively.
Don’t:
  • Start duplicate sites.
  • “Stuff” your site with irrelevant, broad categories, tags, or buzzwords.
  • Write with search engines in mind.
  • Purchase or exchange meaningless “backlinks.”
  • Buy into SEO fads.
  • Worry too much about SEO at the expense of writing good content!

SEO Myths and Facts

SEO For Beginners

Use this section if you are new to WordPress and it’s your first time owning a website on the Internet.

The way that you get your site to be found and ranked by Google has evolved a lot since Google was invented at Stanford University, but the essentials remain the same. And although Google is not the only search engine in the world, the other services available like Baidu, Bing, and Yahoo! use a similar style of thinking.

First of all, if your website doesn’t appear at the top of Google — don’t be surprised. It’s because your site is one of millions of sites on the Internet wanting to be found — so it’s your job to stand out by one of two methods: 1/ making your site distinctive, and 2/ getting others to link to your site.

How do you make your site distinctive? You want to always choose your words wisely, and you should be explicit whenever possible. Google and other search engines aren’t very “smart” so you need to use as many descriptive words as possible to stand out. Like saying “hamburger with little mushrooms from France” versus just “yummy hamburger” — the latter might work fine for a person, but the former tastes better to a computer because it’s so much more descriptive.

How do you get others to link to your site? If you have friends with a website or else a Facebook account, ask them to announce that your site is out there. Give them your site address so that when they share the link, Google will notice that you’re being “referred” to by someone on the Internet. And just like the power of knowing others who refer to you as “my friend,” Google will reward you for being popular. The more popular you are, the more that Google thinks you deserve to go to the top of a search.

SEO For Advanced

Use this section when you’ve succeeded in appearing on the first few search pages of Google, and you’re looking to make it to the top.

There are four general factors to consider for SEO:

  1. Knowing your competition. When you do a Google search, find the similar sites out there to your own that are successfully being found. How much content do you estimate sits on those sites, and how much of it do you think gets updated? That will give you a rough sense of how much work you’ll need to put into your own site.
  2. Knowing your strengths. With your site already launched, it becomes possible to study how visitors use your content. WordPress.com has Jetpack features enabled — which makes it possible for you to study how much traffic you get and which of your pages get visited the most. This makes it possible for you to test your ideas and see how they impact your site.
  3. Having access to tools. We recommend that you upgrade to our Business Plan to enable our popular SEO Tools. By investing more time in your site content, our tools can help you optimize it for a search engine’s unique needs. If you want to go even further, if you are on our Business Plan you can install any advanced WordPress-compatible SEO plugin to push your capabilities. And Google’s too.
  4. Understanding the tech. The Web was invented in the 90s, and although it’s undergone a great deal of change much has stayed the same. A consortium called “W3C” works to make sure that the way things were in the past don’t change too much so that compatibility with newer technologies is sustained. Studying documents from the W3C and also the latest theories on changes to Google’s algorithm will help your journey.

Visit our special guide on SEO for our Business Plan customers.

Universally, we suggest that you be sure to have a blog on your website — if it’s doesn’t have our world-class blogging capability enabled already. By your continually adding entries to your blog at a regular cadence, search engines will notice your site as changing. Although a blog can become a considerable time commitment, we’ve made it easier for you by taking one of our free online classes at Blogging University.

Lastly, visit one of hundred WordCamps around the world where volunteers in the WordPress community gather to share their knowledge with each other. These events are in cities everywhere, and they often include a lunch and T-shirt for just $15-20/day.

Alternatives To SEO

If you are finding it impossible to appear on a Google search, another approach to consider is the name of your site — called “the domain name.” The more descriptive your domain name, the better. For example, if you are a location-based business, adding the city in your domain name can be helpful.

Another consideration is to find an SEO consultant. Within the WordPress network there are many SEO experts that are available for hire.

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