Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a staple for WordPress blogs. Did you know that there are over 4.4 million blogs posted a day?

Your blog will be hidden amongst the other blogs in no time! SEO can improve your blogs visibility, but it requires your time to understand SEO and to put it into practice. Don’t worry, we’ll give you important SEO strategies to apply to your WordPress blogs!

WordPress provides a user-friendly platform for bloggers to use. It is the industry leader; 34.6% of websites are made using WordPress and has a content management system market share of 61.4%. All the basics of SEO are covered within WordPress and it lets users to easily navigate.

Before we begin, take a look at our SEO 101: A Guide for Beginners blog as it will provide you with a general understanding of SEO.

1. Create Keywords

Keywords are what gets your blog at the top of the list in a Google search. For each article create a keyword strategy and enforce it to maximize the SEO for blogs. There are many platforms out there that provide you with predictive metrics and identify high-impact suggestions. We suggest MozTextmetricsAhrefsKwfinder, and Google Keyword Planner as tools to find the best keywords.

Use the keywords in titles and header tags to boost your SEO value and engage readers in your content. Header tags, such as H2 and H3, instantly make it more readable and serve as visual cues. Many readers skim blogs and focus more on the portion that is captured by the heading that interests them. This doesn’t only count for readers, but as well as search engines. Google scans your blog for content relevant to the searched words and looks at the header tags to understand what the content is about.

That is why it is crucial to make it easier for Google to find the words. The header tags don’t necessarily improve your SEO ranking but provide SEO value. The header tags are an important part of your SEO as they help Google find the keywords. This method of optimization should be always be done!

2. Quality Content

After conducting target audience research, you will be able to garner content that targets them. Don’t underestimate the quality of content as it can improve your ranking on Google search. Pay attention to grammar, structure, and error-free writing.

Have troubles with creating quality content? There are tools to help you. Besides providing keyword input, Textmetrics can help you with quality content. The platform contains a set of algorithms that are able to interpret wording and suggest changes while writing a text.

3. Alter default Permalink structure

The default structure for permalink (URL) is not SEO-friendly as it does not contain any keywords. It is very easy to change your default setting.

How to change your default permalink:

Make sure that you use a URL that includes keywords from your article to optimize your blogs. It should look something like this: https://example.com/your-post-titel.

4. Add Meta tags

Meta descriptions show up under your site name on search engines. These sentences are one to three sentences long and hook in the reader. Simply put, meta descriptions should tell your audience why they should click on your blog and read it. Adding meta tags will enhance your SEO and visibility and will encourage readers to visit your blog.

5. Build Links

Add links to your blog to enhance the likelihood of your post being at the top of search engines. Research has proven that the more links, external and internal, influences your SEO. External links to other sites is very important, but also internal links will improve the visibility of your other blogs. Don’t forget to include your social accounts on your blog and encourage readers to interact with your social media accounts and on your blog.

6. Create a sitemap

A sitemap is a map of your website that allows users and search engine crawlers to understand the structure of your website and easily navigate. It’s a list of URLs that you want to have public to help search engines index your site. WordPress dives into the topic and explains how to create a responsive sitemap in a matter of seconds.

By implementing our top 6 SEO strategies into your blog is vital to see a difference. Its importance is only growing more as more and more blogs come out every day. Don’t let your blog get mixed with the other ones, let it shine and be seen by readers. It’s a necessity that all bloggers need to follow in 2019.

Got questions about our SEO strategies to apply to your WordPress blog? Contact us.  

Did you know that your Google business reviews have a huge influence on your business' local SEO? As entrepreneurs, we know how important it is to have a good reputation.

Let's take a look at an example. After inserting a quick Google search for “Ottawa Coffee”, I found the business that ranked the best coffee due to the number of reviews and keywords used.

You can see that the highlighted words showcase the relevant keywords that apply to my search of "Ottawa Coffee". Do you know how many reviews people read before making up their mind on a business? According to a survey by Bright Local, consumers will read ten reviews before they can trust a business. In my example, you can see that the top three coffee places in Ottawa have hundreds of reviews. Reviews are incredibly valuable, 91% of 18-34 year olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

By simply increasing the number of Google reviews with your specified keywords, you can see an increase in visibility of your website. Encourage your clients to leave Google reviews and it reflects your credibility in the online world. This cheap (no cost!!) approach can quickly bring your ranking up since Google uses keywords in reviews to rank the businesses in order.

Wondering HOW you can increase your Google reviews?

Ask your clients and customers for their feedback and attach a link to your Google reviews page. Don’t be scared to approach them: Podium’s study shows that 77% are likely to leave a review if they are asked. In addition, you can post on your social media accounts to ask for Google reviews. Be respectful when you are asking for reviews and don't make it obligatory as people don't want to be pressured into doing a favour. Make sure to train your staff and explain how to strategically ask customers to leave reviews.

Good news! Google recently made this process of getting a link to your Google review page much easier. Now from your Google My Business dashboard, you can enable a custom short name URL for your business reviews. This makes it really easy to share this URL with clients. You can include this link on multiple platforms like email signatures, social media, and your website.

You can also send personalized messages to your partners, clients, friends, etc. to ask for google reviews. Ask them to include the keywords specific to your business. For example, for WP Expert it would be “Wordpress Help Ottawa” and "Wordpress Support Ottawa".

The more Google reviews, the better local SEO!

By increasing your amount of Google reviews it can help your local SEO.

It affects your reputation because reviews add value to your product/service to customers who are searching something to fulfill their needs successfully. In a study done by Podium, it showed that 93% of consumers say that reviews have a high impact on their consumer engagement with B2B and B2C businesses.

Make sure your Google alerts are on and you will receive a notification when you get a review. Begin your response with the reviewers name, and don't wait too long to reply. Be proactive and manage your business mentions to maintain your reputation.

Don’t leave the bad reviews alone! 

Remember to respond to your reviews: negative or positive. Leaving a review alone doesn’t help your business reputation. If it is a bad review, take time to breath so you don’t let your emotions effect your response. Try to look at them as an opportunity to learn. Thank the respondent for putting in time to review your business and offer them to contact you privately so you can discuss how to improve their experience with your business. Keep it short and simple in your professional response. Once you have been in contact with them and have made the customer happy, kindly ask them to edit their review. Your responses to the reviews are important as it encourages more people to leave a review as they know their review is important and they are valuable to the business.

Lost and need guidance? Google has a help page and can provide you with suggestions on how to improve your local ranking! Check the article out "Improve your local ranking on Google".

As you can see Google loves to read your reviews and will use them as a ranking factor. It’s a worthwhile task to try to get reviews to improve your local SEO. Thanks for reading our article! We hope you were able to learn how Google reviews carry a lot of weight when it comes to SEO. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to .

If you are a beginner with WordPress and you see the dashboard for the first time, I definitely recommend you to watch this series of How To from WordPress.tv. More video is added every week.

Good Luck!

Help and tutorials for beginner and expert alike: http://wordpress.tv/category/how-to/

Today, I discovered a fantastic plugin called Sidekick. They offer you a step by step guide like how to add a page or create a post.

They said that it's a "Real-time, voice-guided WordPress training and support straight from your dashboard."

I tried it and I am very impressed by how it's easy to use and how you can learn quickly how to use the dashboard, how to create a page or a post... etc.

If you are new to WordPress, it's the must have plugin to learn how to do things inside your dashboard...

Play with it now:

Sidekick plugin

Download Sidekick plugin now on WordPress.org

Google Plus was initially viewed as something of a failure by the social networking community. So far, it hasn’t proven to be the Facebook killer that everyone hoped it would be. Its user-base is nowhere near as expansive as Zuckerberg’s behemoth. But Google Plus has one major advantage: it’s made by the people behind the most popular search engine on the web.

So before you groan over being advised to use yet another social network, think about the significance of a social network designed by Google. Google’s products have traditionally had many layers of interaction, and Google Plus is no different. Several aspects of Google Plus makes it an idea social network for those who would like to increase their SEO footprint.

Social Media Has an Increasing Impact on SEO

Social media in general is rapidly becoming a bastion for future SEO development. This year, Searchmetrics published a report claiming that seven of the top eight factors that correlate with a high search engine rank are social network-related – what are called “social signals.”

On that list were Tweets, Facebook likes, Facebook shares and Pinterest pins. And topping out the list was Google +1s, beating out “Number of Backlinks.” That’s mighty impressive, and though we have to remember that these are correlations, not causations, it’s clear that Google Plus is something to look out for in the SEO space.

And most industry analysts believe that social signals will only become more important as the SEO industry evolves.

Google Plus is Google Search Friendly

There has been some speculation that Google favors Google Plus pages over others. Though it’s hard to substantiate this, it is clear that Google wants Google Plus to be a factor in searches.

If you’ve begun to see author’s pictures showing up next to articles in Google’s search engine, you’ve already experienced the benefits of Google Plus. Google is calling this “Google Plus authorship.” It’s a way to group all the content written by one person into a single Google Plus account. It’s pretty easy to set up and it allows users to find other content you’ve written quickly, a major plus for you. If you’d like to set one up, check out our quick tutorial(LINK TO HOW TO HERE).

But more important is that picture of your face beside the content you’ve written. So much of SEO is presenting content in ways that encourage clickthroughs, and this certainly meets that requirement. In fact, some estimates claim that simply having a Google Plus picture increases clicks by as much as 150%.

The Joys of Personalized Search

Google Plus is part of Google’s unified user platform, which means that what people like on Google Plus influences their searches. If someone likes your page on Google Plus, it’s theoretically more likely that your website will show up in their search results more often. Just like any social network, Google Plus allows people to like, follow, and add you to their circles. All of these things are likely to affect users’ search results down the line.

A free WordPress cheat sheet for WordPress theme designers and/or developers created by Paul Maloney. It includes everything you would want to know whilst designing and developing a WordPress theme.

wordpress-cheat-sheets-16

Download

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