What is search engine optimization? And how can you “optimize” your WordPress website for SEO?

Let’s take a look.

Free, Organic Search Engine Results.

Like Pay-Per-Click advertising, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) draws visitors to your WordPress website. Unlike Pay Per Click, with which, like the name says, you’re paying for the click, SEO attracts visitors who are using “organic” searches, meaning they are not clicking on ads.

There’s nothing wrong with a well-managed pay per click campaign like Google AdWords if you’re tracking conversions and it makes sense for your bottom line, but with Adwords once your ad is clicked and your budget is depleted so is your listing.

SEO has a much longer shelf life. A budget spent on a good managed SEO service will go a lot further than a Pay Per click campaign because as long as it’s maintained the shelf life doesn’t expire.

“I want my website to show first on Google.”

We hear it all the time. While that’s definitely something to work towards, be wary of any company that promises to give you that type of result. Working your way up the rankings of Search Engines is hard work and takes time when you do it right.

The wrong way

Unfortunately, there is a lot of black hat SEO. Black hat SEO refers to tactics that do not follow guidelines set by search engines and rather than create content with the purpose of providing information to real people is created to just target search engines through practices like keyword stuffing, invisible text, doorway pages, and adding unrelated keywords to page content.

At first thought, you may think why not use black hat tactics to get the results you need “who cares”. That’s wrong. You may see an instant surge of traffic to your website and create revenue for a short period of time, but search engines recognize this and will penalize you. Ultimately your website will be banned and you will get no traffic.

The right way

White hat SEO refers to web strategies and tactics that are approved and encouraged by search engines. Finding popular keywords that fit your business and creating useful content through pages and posts that focus on those keywords. Other good SEO practices include link building and back linking which shows website activity and ultimately represents referrals to your website.

Why doesn’t my website show on the front page of Search Engines like Google?

It’s not that simple. Think of your website as a house. Your house has a front door and this represents your ‘home’ page. Sure it’s great that your visitors come through the front door and see your home page that has all your messaging and is nicely designed. But they can also get in through the garage door that targets another keyword like ‘garage’. Or the back door which could represent other pages of your website that may target other specific keywords. In this analogy, you can see that your website isn’t just a home page backed by information on other pages. Your website is a lot of equally effective pages that all act as doors to your web business. If you do home remodeling, they don’t need to come to the door that represents home remodeling, it’s just as good, maybe better if they come to the door  for garages. Especially if they’re looking to have their garage renovated.