Whether you’re reviewing a game or writing a tutorial for a level, your website is only useful to visitors if they can find it. Visibility on Google’s SERPs has become harder over the past few years. And with the launch of Google Hummingbird, WordPress has become a useful tool. It powers your entire site and also helps you optimize your site for search engines in the following ways:
SEO Benefits of WordPress
WordPress offers some basic features that help your SEO efforts. Your permalinks (URLs) use a post slug that is derived from the title of your page or post. If you’re using keywords in your title, they’ll appear in your URL. Set up permalinks based on the category to include even more keywords in your URL.
The ability to automatically create category archives promotes linking between pages. WordPress also includes category and archive widgets to link to existing content in your sidebar or footer. If someone isn’t already on your website, WordPress can help with that, too. You can enter URLs to ping whenever you updating your WordPress-powered site. We recommend entering the following URL for update services. Pingomatic updates many services simultaneously.
SEO and Plugins
The great thing about WordPress is that you don’t have to do anything by yourself. Chances are, a plugin exists to do whatever you want to do, and SEO is no exception. One popular plugin is WordPress SEO by Yoast, which allows you to specify a focus keyword, SEO title and meta description for your posts and pages. The plugin then checks content, title, URL, and description for use of the keyword. WordPress SEO uses an easy-to-understand red/green/yellow system to analyze keyword density.
However, WordPress SEO goes even further by allowing you to specify whether search engine robots should index individual posts, add the post to your sitemap or redirect that URL to another one. Yoast’s social sharing options are also helpful because you can add a description and URL to every post or page for sharing on Facebook and Google+. WordPress SEO even allows you to add breadcrumbs.
However, it’s not all about one plugin. WordPress is compatible with a handful of related post plugins, which allow you to automatically link to other relevant posts on your website without so much as lifting a finger. Yet Another Posts Plugin and nRelate are among our favorites.
Finally, you can easily edit error pages with WordPress thanks to plugins such as Smart404. While you can manually edit “404.php” from your editor, this plugin makes it easy to redirect visitors from broken links without knowing PHP or other code. Default 404s often drain SEO juice so we recommend editing them no matter which method you use.
Another benefit to using WordPress is Jetpack, the plugin created by the developers of WordPress. The features of Jetpack are available to sites hosted on WordPress.com but not with the self-hosted installation. Jetpack offers different functions that will help you with SEO and online marketing:
- Ping search engines when you add new posts.
- Connect social media accounts to Jetpack, allowing WordPress to post your new updates to them automatically.
- Visitors can share your content on social networks and via email.
- Create short links with WP.me for pasting into social media with character limits.
- Create photo galleries on your gaming site such as this with titles that contain keywords.
- Link to your Google+ profile in your author bio.
- Use a mobile-friendly theme so smartphone and tablet users can access your website easily.
If you haven’t installed Jetpack already, do it. It’s useful well beyond SEO, and you won’t regret it.
Of course, you’ll find that WordPress helps with SEO in more ways than you realize once you become fluent with the script. There’s no better time to make the upgrade!
Timothy Herrera is a gamer and writer at newswebzone.com. If he’s not too busy gaming or tweaking Google SERPs, he writes game guides and reviews.