Once considered a platform used only by amateur bloggers talking about their cats, WordPress has established itself as a key player in web content management systems. While it might not seem like focused SEO efforts would be effective for platforms such as WordPress or MODX, nothing could be further from the truth.
WordPress hit the ground running with myriad functions and built-in features that make the process of search engine optimization smooth and relatively seamless.
A Team Effort: Third-Party Plugins
Out of the box, WordPress already stands out as an effective platform for SEO. However, that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with just that.
One of the great benefits to open platforms like WordPress is the ability to integrate third-party platforms into its suite, allowing you to increase the functionality of your SEO efforts beyond what’s available with its basic processes.
The title of your posting can be one of the biggest contributors to your SEO ranking, making its optimization an important first step to getting your post noticed more.
SEO plugins developed for suites like MODX and WordPress can allow you greater control over title influence, including providing you with templates for titles and meta descriptions to help facilitate a better SEO result.
This level of control extends to descriptors, too. Features such as the “snippet” view that are included in WordPress and MODX focused SEO suites allow you previews of the values you input into your SEO optimization templates, giving you instant feedback on how successful your title and keywords will be for your investment.
Plugins can provide a type of shorthand for generating meta descriptions, too, but these are generally focused on the most prominent keywords in your post or are gleaned from the first few lines. Neither of these are optimal; meta descriptions should be hand-crafted based on the specific requirements of your post and should include specific content that makes your reader want to click through. Automated meta description generators have been notoriously bad at creating results that are effective for SEO.
Streamlining the Search
Aside from the initial boosts that third-party plugins can add to your title and description SEO, other aspects of your postings can be streamlined, too:
- Images can be leveraged with SEO plugins as a new way of traffic generation outside of the search engine optimization that is typically focused on the written word. While its impact may not be substantial, every little bit can help.
- Template optimization is an area that can be greatly boosted with SEO plugins. These optimization features allow you to examine the structure of your site from an outside perspective, allowing you to help your users navigate it more easily. It can also help search engines figure out how complex your site is and can help you reduce coding clutter and redundancies that are present in many of the default WordPress applications.
- Increasing the Speed of your loading time can be achieved with third-party plugins that index and cache as well as streamline your web structure for maximal efficiency. Part of this is making sure you’re using a hosting package that isn’t a dud; a hosting suite capable of sustaining high loads is a necessary part of keeping your SEO running as best as it can.
Sending Your Rankings Into Overdrive
Plugins designed for WordPress applications can boost your rankings in other ways that you might not have considered:
Keyword density is an often overlooked aspect of increasing your SEO. Comments on blog pages throw off the delicate balance of keyword density that your page needs. WordPress allows you to post as a basic page to prevent this from occurring, or if comments are something you can’t do without, update your pages with new content accordingly.
Linking new posts to old content is a way to reinvigorate postings that rank lower in search. Plugins that automatically crawl for keywords in your post database and provide relative links can make this process simple and effective for increasing your WordPress SEO capabilities.
Subscription plugins for following content can increase click-through rates and help generate a following of viewers who are likely to share your content.
However, an important aspect of optimizing your WordPress suite is to remember that all of the focused SEO efforts in the world won’t help you if you don’t have quality content available. After you have established content that your viewers are interested in seeing, you’ll be able to leverage the wealth of SEO plugins available to send your page to the top.