SEO with WordPress Websites

Experts in marketing consulting emphasize a primary goal: getting your site indexed and ranked with the search engines.

Not long ago, they would have said a blog might help you do that. They likely wouldn’t have recommended that a blog serve as your main site.

Thanks to advances in content management software, however, that’s no longer the case. The line between conventional websites and blogs has all but disappeared.

“Blogging” programs have evolved into some of the most powerful and flexible content management systems available. One of the leading packages, WordPress, is entirely free.

WordPress For Content Management

Sites built with WordPress can easily include static pages and sections. Technically, you will have a “blog,” but it can be made to appear virtually indistinguishable from any other site on the Web.

For new website owners who want to manage their own sites without learning code, content management systems like WordPress are particularly attractive.

Rather than compromising on your available SEO options by running your site with blog software, you are actually gaining some unique and affordable SEO advantages and opportunities.

Effortless Structure

Content management systems allow material to be easily categorized. Search engines love structure. Categorization options will allow you to keep a more orderly site that will naturally perform better with the search engine spiders.

By establishing and sticking to categories, you can effectively group relevant material and keep up with keywords and anchor text you’re optimizing. This includes:

  • URLs with anchor text. Blog software makes it easier to create “crawlable” URLs that include your keyword phrases and anchor text.
  • Relevant internal links. By grouping material in categories, you can make sure your internal links are relevant and doing the best job of dispersing PageRank across your site.

(All reliable marketing consulting professionals stress the importance of relevant internal linking.)

Creating Fresh Content

Software like WordPress was specifically designed to handle the frequent creation of content. By regularly updating a portion of your site, either as a “news” section or as conventional blog commentary, you will:

• get crawled more often by the search engines,
• cultivate a regular readership to generate “word of mouth” traffic,
• more readily attract inbound links,
• and develop site “authority” faster.

The “blogosphere” is a social environment. Studies show that blogs trade links much more often than conventional websites.

By including a “blogroll” or list of links to relevant sites in your sidebar, you will find that other bloggers organically return the favor. Inbound links bring PageRank to your site and create a greater perception of site authority.

Traffic and Links Via Comments

Commenting plays a large role in link sharing on blog sites. Comments and trackback features further encourage interaction among sites and improve overall visibility.

Be warned, however, that for comments to best serve your site, you will need to engage your readers by answering their comments and by visiting their sites and leaving your comments.

(Note that comments can be turned on and off throughout your site with the WordPress system.)

Links in “Unconventional” Locations

Syndicating a site managed with blog software via RSS is a largely automatic process. By actively managing your RSS feed, however, you can include links and generate traffic that does not come directly from the search engines.

Further, your site will be eligible for inclusion in blog directories and will be crawled by blog-specific search engines where your competition may have no presence whatsoever.

Content management software like WordPress will:

• impose structure and order on your site,
• strengthen the use of anchor text in your urls,
• encourage the addition of fresh content,
• lead to organic links in the blogosphere,
• boost the frequency with which the search engines crawl your site,
• gain visibility for the site in areas your competition may ignore,
• and generate a greater sense of authority for you and your site.

So, how can using the software to manage your site be a bad idea in terms of SEO?

Wrapping It Up

Content management systems, when used with the basic principles stressed by marketing consulting professionals, are simply another tool in an affordable SEO arsenal.

Such systems do not change the core purpose for establishing your site, they simply provide a different means of maintenance and improvement.

While you may spend money initially to have your site’s WordPress installation customized, overall, you will save on dollars that would otherwise go to a webmaster. Over time, that money can be spent on other SEO strategies.

With the ability to more easily and quickly manage your site, you are not at the mercy of another person’s schedule. At the same time, the native controls built into the software will give you greater control over your efforts to gain search engine ranking.

That’s a win / win in anyone’s book.

By Paul Marshall (c) 2010