If you’re a regular reader here, you probably either have a WordPress website, or plan to build one. I’ve made no secret of my belief that at this time, WordPress is simply the best tool for building a website for almost every small business. One of the reasons for that is that WordPress is structured to be easy for search engine robots to navigate. Also, when you create posts and pages, WordPress makes it really easy for you to take the right steps for search engine optimization (SEO).
Search Engine Optimization in Pages
Let’s review some of those steps today, to make sure you’re taking advantage of what WordPress can easily do to help your search engine optimization.
When you create a page in WordPress, the title of the page becomes part of your site navigation – your main menu. This means that it becomes an “anchor text link”, which is a valuable search engine optimization resource. An anchor text link is a link where you click on text and are taken to a webpage. You’re not clicking on the address of the page itself, you’re clicking on text which contains the address. Google and other search engines really like anchor text links, because they help clarify what the page is about.
Marketing Coach <– Example of an anchor text link
http://outcomemarketing.com/marketing-coach <– example of a link with no anchor text
Ideally your title will contain keywords, although in the example I’m using below, it doesn’t. I want to show you how to work around that and still squeeze the maximum search engine optimization value from a page title that can’t contain keywords.
Let’s Use My Bio Page as an Example
My bio page is titled “Who Am I” on my menu, because I want visitors to clearly understand what it’s about. That’s more important than search engine optimization, because there’s no point in getting you here if I only confuse you once you’re here. So since I felt I shouldn’t use “Marketing Coach” as my menu item page title, this is how I made sure I still got the SEO benefits.
Custom Page Titles
In many high quality themes, you can edit a “custom page title” that won’t show in your navigation menu, but will show in the title bar of the page, and be viewed by search engine optimization info-gathering robots. When you’re editing a page, just scroll down to near the bottom. If there’s nothing similar there, I’d suggest you add the All-In-One-SEO plugin to your WordPress installation. You’re looking for something like this:
Just replace the Title you used at the top of your page (the “real” title that will appear on your navigation menu), with what you want the title to be for search engine optimization. Remember that this will be visible to visitors on the title bar of their browser, not just to robots, so it should make sense. Stuffing in too many keywords won’t look good to them, and may actually get negative attention from Google, particularly if you use irrelevant keywords. Make it reasonable.
I used “Marketing Coach Karilee Orchard – Get a Marketing and Technology Coach with Outcome Marketing“. Generally, limit yourself to 60 characters, as that’s all most search engine bots will read, or at least realize that if you go over, as I did in this example, the first 60 characters are the important part. Look at the keywords in just the first 60 characters:
- marketing coach
- marketing coach karilee orchard
- coach karilee orchard
- karilee orchard
- marketing and technology coach
- technology coach
That sure beats “who am i”! Notice that “marketing coach”, my most important keyword for this page, is the first two words. It’s always stronger for search engine optimization to have your keywords first.
Edit: this has been tweaked on my site as my keyword requirements change over time, but the general concept remains accurate.
Edit Page Slugs for SEO
Second, when you create a page, your page address, or slug, is visible at the top of your WordPress user interface, just below the Title of the page. Rather than accept “who-am-i” as the page title, I edited it to “marketing-coach”. See the image just below.
Both of these techniques can be used on posts as well as pages, but I’ll write soon about more search engine optimization techniques which are unique to posts. Please make sure you’ve signed up for my updates so you don’t miss out on these free lessons.