Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of my favorite buzzwords in the Web 2.0 era. It refers to the process of improving the volume of visitors, the quality of traffic from search engines, and higher ranking of a website in search engine results page (SERP).
SEO is significant to site owners (regardless of the nature of the site) because it promotes greater chance of getting a higher position in SERP. Higher rank usually means greater probabilities of being searched by people, bringing traffic to their website and creating opportunities. If you just created a blog website powered by WordPress or you have an existing site that is not optimized, here are the most common effective methods you can do to improve your SERP rank.
Provide quality content at higher frequency
This is easier said than done. Providing fresh, quality content at higher frequency remains the most effective method of SEO. Quality content refers to the significance of information or services presented on your website. For instance, if you’ve published an article (or any content) that interests your users, chances are great that they might visit it again, promote it or create link to your website.
Search engines nowadays are getting smarter and more sophisticated that it can nearly bring visitors exactly to the page they really want. Search engines will look less on the syntactic composition of a web page, and focus more on the real, actual content. Since this is the trend, it’s wise to strive to provide quality content. The content, for me, remains the “king” when it comes to website marketing.
Make your pages searchable
Join the social community bandwagon
If you ever heard of social community and bookmarking sites (e.g. Facebook, StumbleUpon, Technorati, Digg, Del.icio.us, among others), they are hot these days because they promote socialization beyond borders. Fortunately, webmasters can take advantage of them because they can be great tools to improve the exposure of a website. Most sites work by submitting to them your content through Web feed formats (like RSS), online bookmarking and personal submission, which they publicize. Squidoo, for instance, lets you create blurbs to promote or sell just anything. If interested online readers found them, they can potentially bring huge traffic to your blog or website. To participate, visit social community websites and create an account to them.
Install SEO-friendly WordPress themes and plugins
Personally, the Themes and Plugin feature are among the myriad things I love in WordPress blog platform. They are easy to install and you don’t need to be a geek to be able to add widgets and extended functionality (well, it helps when you know HTML, CSS and PHP – but don’t be scared if you don’t). If you own a WordPress-powered blog, visit their official website and browse for SEO-friendly plugins and themes. You may personalize them if you want.
This website, powered by WordPress, uses the following plugins:
- Adsense Deluxe
Place Google AdSense ads in your WordPress Posts. Requires WordPress 1.5 or higher. For complete usage and configuration click on AdsenseDeluxe under the “Options” menu.
- All in One SEO Pack
Out-of-the-box SEO for your WordPress blog.
- Digg This
Adds Digg story link on detection on digg referrer.
Selectively disable the “nofollow” tagging for comments.
- FeedBurner FeedSmith
Originally authored by Steve Smith, this plugin detects all ways to access your original WordPress feeds and redirects them to your FeedBurner feed so you can track every possible subscriber.
- Google Search Widget
Adds a sidebar widget to let users search your site with Google.
- Google XML Sitemaps
This plugin will generate a sitemaps.org compatible sitemap of your WordPress blog which is supported by Ask.com, Google, MSN Search and Yahoo.
- Social Bookmarks
Adds a list of xHTML compliant graphic links at the end of your posts that allow your visitors to easily submit them to a number of social bookmarking sites.
- Text Link Ads
Really Simple Web/RSS Advertising For Personal or Commercial Use
- WordPress Database Backup
On-demand backup of your WordPress database.
Very fast cache module. It’s composed of several modules, this plugin can configure and manage the whole system.
Displays a printable version of your WordPress blog’s post/page.
- WP 2.3 Related Posts
Generate a related posts list via tags of WordPress 2.3
- WP YouTube
WP YouTube makes it easier for you to post embed YouTube videos in WordPress. It also features YouTube options , for you to control all the YouTube videos at the same time.
I’d like to give credit to the creators of the above-mentioned plugins. It is up to you to discover how they work and what benefits they bring. Also, please note that there are other plugins that you may want to install for your WordPress site. My personal advice, however, is not to install too many plugins because they may consume too much CPU resource if you are on a basic hosting.
Spread your links to the world
In SEO, it is generally better if you strive to have more inbound links. Inbound links are links pointing to your website from other sites. If you are blog is new, it is wise to submit your website’s Uniform Resource Locator (URL) to free web directories. This can initially build inbound links that can be beneficial. Your next option is to exchange links with other bloggers or sites. Making friends online, blog commenting and link baiting usually help. If more of your inbound links come from sites with high PageRank and belongs to your blog’s niche, you might increase your blog’s PR as bonus. There are still quite a number of methods to spread your links to the Web, I leave it to you to discover. Enjoy!