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Lara Kroeker Interactive
Wordpress Tips and Tricks

SEO Basics

I usually tell my clients that unless you are selling suppositories, laxatives and anti-diarrhea medications, things that people just don’t want to talk about, drawing people to your site is most effective the old fashioned way, through word of mouth, sharing and face to face contact.  SEO is important but content is more important in my humble opinion.  That being said I always add the basics to every WordPress site which will improve site ranking (hopefully).

    1. Images
      WordPress has some great tools built in for optimizing the use of images for search engines, but they often go unused. Search engines cannot “read” images but they can read the descriptions, tags, and titles you give your images, so use them!
    2. Plugins
      I use the All in One SEO Pack which allows you to control your search engine data without having to know anything about code and it works “out of the box”, so you can simply install and go. It allows you to control all your meta data on individual pages and posts, as well as having site-wide default settings.  It automatically optimizes titles for search engines, generates meta tags automatically and uses canonical URLs and supports custom post types and taxonomies. For advanced users you have the ability to fine-tune everything (which I never do).  There are other ones out there, like Yoast, that do the same things but I have just gotten used to this one.
    3. Meta Data
      Meta data tells search engines what your site is about AND shows up in search results, which tells real live people what your site is about. Your Meta Description doesn’t actually affect your placement or ranking in search engine results, but it is important for what appears on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) because if your search descriptions sound lame people will not click on your link!
    4. Keywords
      Keywords are part of how search engines determine the relevance of your site for a particular search. And just as important…they help the searcher know if your site is a match for what they are searching.  This is where specialists come in and it’s important to find someone who doesn’t cheat OR write just for SEO because it is impossible to read.  My technique is to write ONLY for humans because in the end, for myself and most of my clients, it’s word of mouth, sharing and face to face contact that draws people to your site, like I said earlier.
    5. Links
      There are 2 different types of links – Internal and External. External links are, obviously, links to sites outside of your domain and every time you link to a page, post or other site, you are passing “SEO juice” to that site.  Internal Links are cross links within your own site. For example, one blog post may contain a link to another blog post or page on the same topic. Developing internal links is a great way to teach the search engines of the relevancy of your site, as well as assist the human reader in finding valuable information.
    6. Verifications
      Some search engines and social sites offer additional webmaster tools like Google, Bing, Yandex, Pinterest.  If you have a specialist they will help you with this.  You can also do it yourself.