SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” Fundamentally, SEO is the art and science of having your website be easily found by prospects and information-seekers who are using a search tool – like Google or Bing. The point of SEO is that you want to be as close to the top of the listings when somebody enters a search term that’s related to whatever your business or organization provides.
Your website was built by me using the WordPress platform. There are thousands of WP plugins available that help in building and maintaining your website, among many other reasons. All of these plugins can be accessed and configured from the WP dashboard, to which you have access.
Not long ago, there were numerous “SEO tricks” that one could use successfully to achieve high search engine rankings. For example, if you ran a pizzeria, putting the word “pizza” dozens – or even hundreds – of times in the copy of a web page might get you near the top. However, the search engine algorithms were tweaked to avoid this happening. So now, if a word or phrase appears too many times in a given page, it may actually go down in the rankings. In the end, there needs to be an appropriate density of that word or term within the copy of the page.
I’ll put the subject and discussion of web page keywords aside for the time being and get back to the subject of this post: The three other reasons why I’ve installed an SEO plugin on your website.
Using an SEO plugin gives you control of how a search engine looks at your website and how it represents it to the world. Most people don’t realize just how much control they actually have. Using this control properly will send considerably more searchers to your site – and isn’t that what you ultimately want?
An SEO plugin automatically generates an XML sitemap for your website. (Don’t worry what XML stands for.) This sitemap, which resides in a file on your website that’s logically named “sitemap.xml,” essentially tells Google or Bing, “Please look at these pages and index the information that’s on them.”
I will have set this up in the SEO plugin for you, so there’s no need for you to tinker with this aspect.
Every page in your website can have metadata associated with it. Rather than explain metadata, it’s easier just to illustrate it…
When I search Google with the term “microphone reviews” I get these two entries as the top results:
Note that the website authors of the first-listed record did not exert any control on their home page’s metadata; they let Google decide what the metadata would be. Google failed miserably to adequately describe the purpose of this web page. The second-listed website did have its metadata edited by its authors. Now, which one looks more inviting and compelling? You’ve got about 150 characters to describe and pitch your page to the world and what you want displayed here – and what you have total control over – is going to decide whether people move forward by clicking the link, or moving on elsewhere.
The sitemap tells the search engines what pages are important on your website. The “no index” directives tell the search engine what not to consider when indexing the site. It’s telling Google or Bing that pages that are of certain types contain superfluous or meaningless information.
WordPress generates a few pages that it uses for its own purposes that have nothing to do with what the outside world wants from your website. These pages, in effect, should be overlooked by search engines and that’s what the XML sitemap will tell them.
These three aspects are significant if your website is going to be found. Trust Websmithian to ensure that all of them are properly enabled.