Join Patrick Rauland for an in-depth discussion in this video Fundamentals of SEO, part of WordPress Plugins: SEO.
- [Instructor] A good place to start is by defining exactly what we mean by SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. The goal is to leverage both the technical aspects of your site as well as creative strategies to get ranked higher in search engines. Let's take a look at a search page. For this course, we'll be optimizing a cake store website, so let's use the search term, cake delivery. Now Google will always fill the results page with what it thinks is most relevant, so up here at the top, we'll see some sponsored ads.
If we scroll a bit further down, we'll see the local results. There are some stores that sell cakes, and we can see the distance, the rating, an image, and sometimes a description. This information is usually called microdata, and if you configure your site correctly, you can make sure that search engines have access to all of this information so they can display it. If we scroll a bit further down, we can see the unpaid listings, also called organic listings, and this is what we want to optimize. Now, every search engine results page is going to look different.
Sometimes there are no ads, or there are no local results, but there will always be the organic listings near the bottom, and if you can optimize these, you can see huge increases in traffic to your site. There have been several studies that have looked into click through rates, and their findings are what you would expect. The higher you are in rankings, the more clicks you get, so if you're ranked second on a page for a specific term, and you think you can get to the number one spot, it could very well be worth doing because you'll double the amount of traffic that you're going to get. Similarly, if you're on the third page for a specific term because you've never optimized your site, and you think you can get to the second page, you can still double or triple the amount of traffic you're getting from that one term.
There are a lot of factors with SEO. A lot of it has to do with your content, which includes how unique and compelling your message is. Search engines like Google can tell if someone bounces off your website if the content isn't useful. The structure of your content can also be a big factor. If you have poor tags or categories, search engines will have a hard time understanding the structure of your website, and they might point users to the wrong page. Your content is also important because writing good content is one of the main ways of getting links, and links are an important part of SEO.
You can think of a link like a vote for your site, and the more votes you get, the better off you are. So if you make an invaluable tool or post, you could get a lot of links which will be very helpful for your SEO. Throughout this course, we're going to focus on the technical aspects of SEO. That means making sure every page has a page title, meta description, and microdata. Once everything is setup, it only takes a few minutes to optimize a page or blog post, and that optimization will tell search engines everything they need to know.
This will make sure that you're ranked as highly as possible.
- Considering keyword strategies and SEO factors
- Preventing confusion with tags and categories
- Installing and activating Yoast SEO and the All in One SEO Pack
- Configuring title and general settings
- Importing SEO content
- Adding SEO and social info to posts and pages
- Configuring XML sitemaps
- Redirecting Google Search Console errors
- Building a reusable import file
- Installing the AMP plugin