October 6, 2016 Kevin

Improving the SEO of your WordPress website

WordPress is a fantastic tool for amateur and professional website builders alike and its best feature is its ability to provide a logical structure to your content to improve your SEO.

Search Engines love structure. They are built upon relationships between pieces of content – links.

Inbound links are extremely important, but there’s an extent to which they’re out of your hands. You can only ask someone to link to you or hope that they find your content compelling enough to do it off their own back.

Internal links aren’t as important as inbound links but they are crucial in helping you to guide the search robots to your key content.

Imagine you’re an accountant who loves to blog. You do a great job of posting success stories on your website but you simply put them on your site as you write them. And when you do, you don’t have much distinction between them.

After a while, you might find yourself with half-a-dozen posts where clients are heralding you as the best R&D tax accountant in Guildford but there’s really very little difference between them. They’re roughly the same length and they all use the same keyword set. None is particularly more linked to by external sites than the others.

Which one should / would Google or bing rank the highest? There’s no clear indication of which of these is THE page of choice so the bots take a punt and choose one themselves. But the likelihood is that with no signal (or only a very weak one) as to which is the “best” page, they consider that none of them are particularly key pieces, and so the overall result is a poor ranking.

Restructuring content to send a stronger ranking signal

Because WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) we’re able to quickly and easily give structure to our content by applying a category.

Categories group together posts that you say are on a similar subject that result in a single place. Your posts will still appear in your main blog, but they’ll also start to show up in the category page.

We won’t go into the detail of how to create categories on this page. There are plenty of other sites that deal with that already.

This new category page now sits above the posts we already created.

The content posts above have the same label but they are different, of course. Each will deal with a different aspect of our category topic. Some will share similar aspects and, in time, there will be overlap. That’s ok.

 

Linking the content to improve SEO

Now we need to ensure that each post is linked to the category. We know the category will link out to each post, but we need them all to link back to the category.

A simple way to do that is with a breadcrumb trail (home > accountancy > R&D tax accountant category > R&D tax accountant post.

But a better way is to ensure that you include contextual links within your content, and preferably within the first paragraph or two.

“If you’re trying to work out how to choose an R&D tax accountant”

“Your tax accountant”

etc etc.

Now, you don’t want to go to far, keyword stuffing is bad, folks. And you have to take great care to ensure that your content still makes sense and can be easily read and understood by an actual human.

But whenever you add a piece of content that is relevant to a category page, you must link to it. It only takes a couple of minutes but can make a world of difference to your SEO.

Linking between posts to complete the picture

The final piece of the picture is to create links between your posts, tying everything together at the foot of the pyramid.

Here, unlike with the links to the category, we only need to worry about linking to one or two pieces. Normally you can achieve this easily by selecting an option in your theme settings to show related posts. Often that’s done by using Tags to indicate how content is related and it’s a topic we’ll address in the future.

If you don’t have a related posts tool in your theme, don’t worry. Just do manual linking and keep an eye on it if you go back and delete any content.

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