It’s common to think Google and other search engines will automatically display your website as the first result for your business’ name or key words related to your business, but that’s not actually the case.
To rank highly on search engines you need search engine optimisation (SEO for short). SEO is – simply – “the optimisation of web pages for success with search engines”.
How do you actually get SEO? This is simple: you need great content on your website and an SEO ready WordPress theme.
How themes optimise for search engines
One of the big parts of SEO is letting search engines know exactly what’s on the page and all good themes have logically placed code which search engines can easily understand.
Putting the right header tags in the right places for you, so search engines know which are the important bits on the page. You’ll often find little features like breadcrumbs which give search engines a better idea of how your content is laid out. Don’t worry about the theme itself.
Should I install an SEO plugin?
SEO plugins helps in putting the Keywords, Description and Meta tags etc in proper coded manner on each and every page. It saves time and avoid error in manual coding of on page optimization process.
Many plugins are readily available like All in One SEO, Yoast SEO etc comes free. Features include page analysis, focus keywords and XML sitemaps. You can install any of good plugin and let the plugin handle the heavy lifting for you.
Once you’ve installed WordPress SEO you don’t probably don’t need any other SEO plugins. The code in all themes will handle most of the “heavy lifting” for you; the plugin just optimises everything a little bit more.
Does the speed of my website matter?
Website speed is a factor in Google’s algorithm for ranking websites. The speed of your website is very important. It’s important that your WordPress theme is well coded to allow fast loading.
Google uses a thing called PageSpeed in order to measure your site’s speed, which ranks your site on a scale of 1 to 100. This measures the potential of your site to load quickly (not whether it actually does – you might just have a slow internet connection).
Here a score of 75+ is okay, and 85+ is great. Google will tell you what you can to do increase your PageSpeed and give you instructions how to do so. You can test your PageSpeed here.
You can also use a tool such as Pingdom to test the real-world speed of your website. Kingdom will also give you a rating out of 100 and rate your site’s performance in relation to other sites. A good theme shall be faster than 95% of other websites. Get testing!
If you find you need to make your site faster, install WP Super Cache. WP Super Cache is a free plugin which stores a static copy of your site rather than grabbing the dynamic content (the bits which change) every time your site is loaded. Install and fully set up and you should see big improvements.
So what should I be doing?
If you’re using a good theme in conjunction with good SEO Plugin then most of the SEO work is covered for you. All you need to do now is fill your website with useful, quality content. That’s the main variable factor here and somewhere where you can spend serious time.