SEO stands for search engine optimization and it covers the steps that a website owner (or an SEO firm or employee of a company) completes to get a website to appear higher in a search engine’s rankings.
This guide specifically focuses on WordPress SEO tips and techniques that you can use to help optimize your blog to rank higher in the search engines.
So why would you want to complete search engine optimization on your WordPress blog? Well, typically, the better your blog's ranking for a particular search term, the more visible it will be within the results and the more visitors you are likely to get.
From a marketing perspective, more eyes on a page can equate to more sales, leading to potential increases in revenue for your blog. This ability to boost revenue has resulted in SEO becoming a massive business, with SEO-related spend predicted to hit $80 billion by 2020.
How Necessary is WordPress SEO?
Let's say you’ve just built a WordPress website. You’ve spent countless hours creating the logo, designing the layout and writing helpful content for your chosen niche.
Your website goes live and you wait with bated breath for the sudden influx of visitors, and then...nothing happens.
What could have gone wrong? What happened to ‘build it and they will come’?
The problem is a simple one. No one knows about your website!
It’s worth remembering that there are well over 1.5 billion websites online, which is a huge amount of noise for your website to be lost in regardless of how good it is.
Without using any WordPress SEO strategies, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to have a significant number of people visit your blog.
How Does This Guide Help?
This guide covers the steps required to improve both your on-page and off-page (also known as on-site and off-site) WordPress SEO, helping you to increase your blog’s search engine ranking for your chosen keywords and phrases.
Note: this guide is primarily applicable to WordPress.org sites where the site structure can more easily be modified. However, the sections on keyword strategy, creating awesome content and the off-page SEO strategies will also be of benefit for WordPress.com sites.
Related: I provide a comparison between the two versions of WordPress, and show you step-by-step how to start a WordPress.org blog in the following post: WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org.
What Are The Benefits of WordPress SEO?
While I touched on some of the benefits of search engine optimization above, it is probably worth spending more time discussing the various benefits in detail so that you can be assured that it is the correct choice for you and your business.
Spending time and effort on WordPress SEO can help bring about the following benefits for your blog:
On-Page WordPress SEO
On-page SEO relates to the various techniques which you can conduct on your blog itself. This includes various technical items related to your blog, for example improving your blog's site architecture; adopting the correct link structure; being aware of 'crawlability' requirements and adding a sitemap to help the search engines understand your blog's structure.
Optimizing Your Site's Architecture
Creating Awesome Content
Optimizing Your Content for WordPress SEO