SEO, short for Search Engine Optimization, is one of the biggest factors deciding your online success. If your site fails to follow the best SEO practices, then it will not be able to rank higher on the search engine results page, a.k.a SERP.
But what’s the big deal if your site doesn’t come up on top of a Google search? Well, did you know that the website occupying the top rank sees over 32% of all the search traffic followed by a steep decline to 16% for position no. 2 and 10% for no. 3? After that, they are all in the single-digit spectrum and the sites on the second page of Google rarely see any traffic at all.
This is why, you need to make sure that your site ends up on the first page of the SERP, preferably in the top 3 rankings. And to do that, you will need to make sure that your site adheres to the best SEO practices.
Now, if you are a WordPress user, then you are in luck! We have put together a small series of articles as a comprehensive guide on WordPress SEO.
By the end, you should have a clear understanding of all SEO terminologies, how it influences your ranking, and the basics to WordPress SEO, so you can aim for that lucrative #1 position on the SERP.
For part 1, let’s teach you the basics. This is going to be your WordPress SEO 101 to help you get started on your SEO journey:
A keyword (or keyphrase) is a particular word (or phrase) that helps describe the contents of a webpage to the search engine. Search engines use the keywords assigned to a particular webpage or post when finding search results for a particular search query. For example, if a person searches for “best cake shop in the UK,” Google will start searching for webpages with the keywords that match the search query.
As you can guess, multiple websites might target the same keyword. This is where search engines like Google use an algorithm that helps them not only find all the websites targeting that keyword but also rank them in order of relevancy.
The ranking will vary depending on what criteria the search algorithm is programmed to look for. This is why different search engines deliver different search results for the same search query.
Keywords can also be ranked in terms of their popularity, depending on how many people are using them in their search query. Also, if many websites are targeting the same keyword, then it becomes very competitive.
While searching for the right keywords, you will need to strike a balance between high popularity and low competition to optimize the incoming traffic from search engines.
A content strategy refers to the planning and process of creating and publishing the right type of content that promotes maximum user engagement. If your site talks about “baking cakes” as well as “dangers of deforestation” then it might be hard for you to get a good ranking.
Whereas, if all the keywords you are targeting are related then it builds a cohesive narrative. It then has a much higher chance of ranking for that particular topic or niche.
User engagement and online presence is a huge ranking factor in most search engine algorithms. This is where building a social media presence comes in handy. Not only will it help build user engagement levels, but also fetch in traffic from social media websites.
Link building is an SEO tactic that involves getting other well-established websites to link back to your own website. The fact that multiple websites refer to your site gives Google the impression that you are a quality resource. This can help build domain authority which is a huge factor in securing higher search engine rankings.
Google’s search bots can scan through your site’s text-based content with ease. But it is not developed enough to understand your media-based content like image, audio, and video. This is why, you need to provide meta descriptions and meta tags to your media-based content, so Google can understand what they are about and use it as a ranking factor.
These were some of the basics to give you an idea on WordPress SEO. However, there are still many more things you need to learn like how site speed factors into ranking, AMP (accelerated mobile pages), responsive website design, and much more. So brace yourself, as it's going to be a deep and insightful journey inside the world of WordPress SEO.