Back to Fluid Thinking
Simple Ways To Optimise Your Site Content Via WordPress
Who doesn’t have a deep and unrivalled love for the wonders of WordPress? ‘It’s the blogger’s choice’ as a cheesy 1950s ad campaign would say.
Bloggers love it for its usability and us digital-marketing types love it for the fact it’s so easily optimised for both reader engagement and SEO.
So without further introduction we’re sharing the way we publish via WordPress in-house with you. It’s simple throughout, features some of our favourite tools and focuses on every aspect of your site content (both blogs and page content).
Know your keywords
If there was a Fluid bible on digital marketing, it would have the words ‘write for reader’ etched in the front page. Quality copy always, always prevails over keyword stuffed junk text. But of course artfully dotting your content, titles (and internally linking on your site) with keywords is where it all begins, so firstly you should determine what terms you are ranking for and what you would like to be ranking for.
You probably think that you know your keywords, or can at least accurately predict what your target audience will be searching for, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the obvious choice will be the most effective. Here we have searched for ‘web design Manchester’ and come up with a staggering 43,100,000 results. Fancy competing with that?
Slightly tailor your keywords to be slightly more descriptive however and you get a much smaller (although still quite large) pool of results. It may seem that targeting less competitive keywords is two steps back as far as your digital marketing efforts are concerned, but ranking for the most searched terms is one serious long hard slog.
That isn’t to say you shouldn’t try to target the ‘super-searchers’ but mixing up your keywords with those less competitive search terms in the body of your text and titles is more fruitful for ranking in the short term (or ranking for your particular niche) whilst building towards a long term position for the dominating keywords.
A manual check is the most straightforward way to experiment with less competitive search terms, but in order to see exactly what terms your customers are searching for and which keywords you are already ranking for, there’s a variety of free insight tools available.
Optimise For Your Current Organic Search Terms
For a user-friendly and free way to see what your target audience are searching for and how many results those terms reap, Google Analytics is a useful tool for unveiling which search terms are already directing to your website. As you can see, following “traffic sources > source > search > organic” allows you to see exactly what terms people are using to land on your page.
You can then click through the ‘primary dimension’ options to see where your customers are searching (source) and which page they are landing on (landing page)
Check Your Position: FireFox Rank Checker
Aside from Google Analytics’ keyword tool, the more user-friendly and free FireFox Rank Checker plug-in is another great tool for beginners. Rank Checker basically allows you to input your domain, upload a list of the keywords you would ideally rank for and see how you’re currently measuring up.
Rank Checker is consequently a useful tool for focusing on those flagging key words and keeping the highly ranking terms on your radar. You can export the results to an excel file too, so it’s a useful way to document your results and manage how your keywords are performing over time.
Optimise Your Headers
So you have now established the keywords you want to target, both competitive and less competitive, so how do you utilise them to the full without damaging your copy? A lot of people unused to writing on a daily basis are sent into panic mode as soon as they hear ‘quality content’ and ‘keywords’ in the same sentence, but a sprinkling of keywords in the header, if done well, should be designed as much for your users as SEO purposes.
Using search terms for inspiration is an effective way for collecting content ideas and you can be sure your content is responding to a real need for information. For example we might check Google Analytics and see ‘How to run an effective social media campaign’ is a viable search term. We could then use this term in our headers (either h1 or h2), respond to real searches and tell the reader and the search engines the content is relevant immediately.
WordPress practically takes the HTML stress out of everything and you can usually just select your headers by scrolling down the ‘paragraph’ drop down menu to ‘Heading 2’ for titles within your text. It isn’t uncommon for even CMS savvy types to bold their titles instead of assigning a heading, but aside from harming your SEO efforts, this can look unprofessional and less engaging to the reader. If you do need to use the HTML code however (perhaps on an older version) to assign your titles, it’s very simple:
<h3>Fluid Creativity</h3> (for subheadings)
You can even insert your brand name within your heading too i.e. ‘Fluid Creativity: How to optimise your content’, but ensure your heading isn’t too long or it will be cut off in browser windows and make for a messy URL.
Install an SEO Plug-In
Yoast is a free WordPress SEO plug-in that allows you to optimise your content quickly and creates results that benefit both SEO and readers. It’s also incredibly user friendly and its features give instant results:
Google doesn’t take the meta description keywords into account, but your readers will use that rich snippet to determine whether your content is what they’re looking for, so it’s well worth penning a short engaging summary of your post. If left, the meta description will simply take the first couple of lines of your text, which as most Google results will show, is a bit of a incomprehensible hashed together mess 9 times out of 10.
Yoast also allows you to assign a focus keyword which will bold the term within your meta description. This isn’t that widely used, so out of a Google search throwing up numerous similar results, the focus keyword option is well worth utilising.
There are also advanced options which allow you to generate XML site maps or ‘hide’ a certain page, but for the beginner the general functions are a good place to start.
It’s all well and good to focus on blogs and current articles, but your site category content is just as important and although it is simple to modify, it’s often something business owners overlook. Interlinking to various pages on your site will help get your pages indexed and usually makes for quite a ‘natural’ way of building links.
The obvious way to interlink is to simply direct your keywords to the relevant sections of your site, for example in this post we could link to our various digital marketing sections on the Fluid site (SEO, social media marketing, etc.) but many experienced SEOs also claim it’s well worth building a link profile throughout your blogs and news articles to link to previous relevant content.
For example I might direct you to a great post Chris wrote last week about creating quality copy when you’re not a ‘writer-type’. Obviously this will only come when you’ve established an archive of content, but again, this is ideal for bringing useful information to your readers whilst ticking the SEO box too.
It’s also useful to insert your internal links early on in your content as they will be deemed more relevant to the search engines. Unfortunately this isn’t always an option as many sites accepting guest blogs will only allow you to include links in your author bio, but wherever possible don’t leave your links until the last few lines of your text unless it’s a call to action (which will usually naturally occur at the bottom of the content).
Last but not least, it’s also well worth paying a little attention to your images to help your SEO efforts along. Like many of the ways to optimise your content, this is simply a way of quickly transforming a user-orientated image into some relevant information for the search engines.
By assigning a quick title and an alt tag labelling your image you are essentially telling the search engines that your images are relevant to your content and readers. This literally takes seconds to complete and a title and description panel will pop up allowing you to input your titles once you have chosen an image to upload to your site.
We hope that’s introduced you to simple methods we use for making our content beautifully reader focused whilst still pleasing the ever watchful eye of the search engines. If there’s anything you would like to know or anything we’ve glaringly missed then please get in touch via the comments, Facebook, Twitter or any other social media malarkey of your choosing.