Easy, Lazy WordPress SEO – Jessica Rose (WordCamp Manchester 2014)

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It’s a dull and rainy day here in Manchester, and I’m here at WordCamp Manchester 2014 for a great day of presentations from WordPress experts in the local area. I’ll be speaking later on about managing a multi-author blog, just like wpContent. So, I’m going to be in the General Track for the majority of today, and that’s where my talk will be too. Keep an eye out on wpContent with roundup posts for each of the presentations I hear!

An Introduction

First off is Jessica Rose, talking about doing SEO in WordPress. She begins by talking about some of the fundamentals of SEO, and talking about realistic expectations when doing optimisations for search. Her three factors of search are on page, off page, and user intent. Apparently, we need good data, from Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, and Backlink Intelligence tools.

What Does Jessica Recommend?

Jessica strongly recommends using these tools with your sites, as well as doing it yourself, thinking about value of page, complexity, and specific issues. Readability is also really important, with keyword rich URLs, titles that reflect content, keywords in text, and clear alt text.

Novelty factors are also pretty important, such as media rich content, different types of media, length of written content, and regular new content. Jessica reckons content around 300 words or more is just about right for SEO, as well as having Google see new content constantly being curated. Never reuse content, don’t scrape content, and protect your content with Google+ Authorship… maybe ;)

Oh, and if you wanna be really lazy, use plugins, like Yoast’s SEO for WordPress plugin, giving you all the on page factors you need, as well as a green light to know when you’ve done enough for that page/post.

Other Factors

Domain age, social media indicators, and links are also pretty important for search engines, in order to rank better. Linking tells Google, for example, that something is relevant to something else, and that the linked page is of high quality. Also, relevance is super important, “if you have a clothing shop, don’t get weird links from someone selling lizards”.

If you’ve ever been penalised for anything on Google, using Webmaster Tools for a small site would be good for removing links, though doesn’t have every link in your site, so a Backlink Intelligence tool may be better for removing bad links.

Jessica says, “Google is trying to make the web better, maybe?” Violating the Google guidelines can result in manual penalties, or algorithmic penalties. However, don’t do it, because Google hates it – spam links and content included.

Social Sharing Factors

Social media factors like shares, likes, followers and Google+ (hmm… maybe?) are pretty important too. After a short group discussion, maybe Google+ can help index your new content faster, but no proof for this.

Question Time & Summary

And now, it’s question time. Loads of great questions – I asked a quick question about whether or not guest blogging should be done. Apparently, yes – but not too much!

Overall, she’s got a really natural speaking style, and this was a really interesting presentation. Nice one, Jessica!

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