Creating great content that is relevant for your website visitors is the most important factor for SEO. And Blue.Lift and WordPress offers excellent on-page SEO (which means we optimize how the content is presented and structured for Google). However there are some basic things you could do that would bring great SEO benefits.
Page Titles and Permalinks
When creating a new page, using the right page title and the permalink (ie. the url) can make the entire difference between whether your page is going to be found by someone using Google search, or not.
- Use a page title that reflects the most common search phrase that you want your page to appear in Google’s search results for. ie. If you think people will be searching for “Event ABC”, then you should title the page “Event ABC”. Google and other search engines, primarily match text from your pages to what people are searching for, and the page title is considered the second most important piece of text on your page. Keep in mind the search engines try to match the text exactly, so whether a word is singular or plural makes a difference, and the order of the words also make a difference.
- Avoid the temptation to use a clever title – because no one is going to search for the phrase that matches that title, and you show up in search results that are not your target audience.
- That said, also avoid titles that are too generic. Your page title should be specific enough so people know what they are getting when they click on your link. Using a generic title, for example, “Accounting”, is going to make it difficult for your page to appear in search results compared to all the other pages with that title already out there.
- Also avoid the temptation to use a very long page title in an attempt to capture more phrases. Google and other search engines do take into account how big of a fraction of text is matched.
- There is no need to use your website name in the page title, as your website name is considered the most important piece of text across your site (so it is already given priority in search results).
- The permalink or url for the page is an important factor, because people are much more likely to click on your link in search results if the url looks legitimate and matches the title; urls that do not reflect the page title look like a potential spam or attack site. Google and search engines take this into account as well. Typically, the permalink or url to the page is generated from WordPress using the first page title you put in, though you can edit it by clicking on “edit” next to the permalink:
As a rule, use all lower case letters and the “-” symbol to separate words.
- Finally, choose your page title and url with the long view. Changing the url can disrupt all the SEO “juice” that you had accumulated with that page upto that point. So it pays to put some planning and thought into your page titles and urls from the start.
Site Title, Tagline & Meta Descriptions
You had setup your Site Title when you first installed WordPress. With what you’ve learned above, you will want to review your site title again and make sure its appropriate. Also we will need to setup your site Tagline, which is used as the page title for your home page. From the main WordPress menu, click on Settings > General.
The page title for your home page as seen by Google is going to be Site Title – Tagline. For example, our Site Title is “MemberFindMe” and our Tagline is “Membership Management & Websites”, so when you search Google for “memberfindme” you see the title “MemberFindMe – Membership Management & Websites”. Keep in mind the total length Google will display is 70 characters, so be smart about your Site Title and Tagline! If you prefer you can make your Tagline empty, then the title is just going to be your Site Title.
Next, you will want to setup your Meta Description for your home page. Navigate to Pages > All Pages then click on your “Home” page to edit it. To the right you will see a box titled Page Options, and a box for Meta Description.
The Meta Description provides the 2 lines of text displayed under the page title and url in Google search results. If you do not enter a Meta Description, Google will simply try to generate its own text based on the content of your page, but that would not be the best description to have if you want someone to click on your link. So type in a description that would make your link appear the most attractive, keeping in mind it should be no more than 150-160 characters long. Click the Update button to save the Meta Description.
We also recommend that you enter a Meta Description for all the other pages on your site as well, though that is less important than having the Meta Description for the home page.
Authorship Information for Your Posts
Have you noticed search results in Google that show the author’s picture and information next to it, like the one below?
People are much more likely to click on these search results, because (a) it looks more legitimate, and (b) visually it attracts greater attention on the search result page. And the more people click on your link, the more Google will rate your page as being relevant for that search. Blue.Lift is ready to link your author information to all your posts, but you do have to setup and link a Google Plus account for it to work:
- Decide what email address you want to setup the Google Plus account for. If you want to link the authorship to your organization, and are setting up the new Google Plus account for the organization, be very careful to use a general organization email address instead of an email address connected to one person, because it is nearly impossible to change the email address for the Google Plus account afterwards. That makes it difficult if the person ever leaves the organization!
- If you have setup a Google account for that email address, you should sign in to that account. If you do not have a Google account connected to that email address, you can create one here: https://accounts.google.com/NewAccount
- If you do not have a Google Plus account, you can sign up at plus.google.com. Follow the steps to complete setting up your Google Plus account.
- From your Google Plus page, click on Profile on the left menu, then click the button Edit Profile near the top of the page. Scroll down and you will see a section Contributor To. Click on that section to edit it:
Enter your website in the URL box, and give it an appropriate label. Then click Save. Then click Done Editing near the top of the page.
- Note down your Google Plus url. If you look in your browser’s navigation bar, this would be the url with “plus.google.com/u/0/” followed by a string of numbers. For the example below, the url would be “https://plus.google.com/u/0/115678896345285569578/” (ie. ignore the “posts” or “about”)
- Login to your WordPress dashboard, click on Users > Your Profile from the main menu, then copy the Google Plus url into the Website box, then click Update Profile: