Introduction to WordPress and SEO

Google’s Penguin and Panda updates have changed the rules of the content game. Google is now much better at accessing the value of a webpage based on the content of that page and it’s relationship to other valuable pages. Here are two great tools which you can use to make sure that your technical and on-page SEO is up to snuff.

The Content Writing Process

One of our mantra’s at CanIRank is “Rank Smarter” and one of the ways that you can Rank Smarter is to plan before you write. Don’t waste time writing anything that you aren’t already sure is going to pay dividends by gaining you new customers or exposure or both.

You need to write a very targeted piece of content which has the specific goal of helping you rank highly. First we need to figure out a keyword term that is the right fit for our website. Not too competitive and with enough traffic to make it worth while. The next step is the write the content. If you have some existing content then we can use that. Decide what stage of the customer journey you are writing for: awareness, research, etc. Last you need to optimize that content so that search engines will be able to efficiently categorize your writing and index your page.

The tools that were going to use for this are CanIRank, obviously, and the Yoast SEO Plugin. Yoast is a well known expert in the area of WordPress and SEO. His SEO plugin is the most popular WordPress plugin for SEO and a it’s a great tool for helping people optimize the content that they publish.

Use CanIRank to Find Effective Keyword Terms

CanIRank can help you quickly figure out what keyword terms you can target right now in order to rank well and get found by customers.

You can start in two ways. If you have a hunch about a keyword term that you think might be great you can plug that into CanIRank or if you need to get fresh keyword term ideas you can get those from CanIRank as well.

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What you need is a keyword term that is “in your league” so to speak. You don’t want a keyword term that is too difficult and you don’t want one that is too easy. No matter how big or authoritative your existing site is CanIRank can help you find keyword terms that will help you improve your search engine rankings.

If you have a site that already has a ton of authority with inbound links from major players in your niche then CanIRank will show you keyword terms which are more competitive. If you have a site that’s just starting out then you will need to pick less competitive terms that you can rank for. Once you are ranking for those less competitive terms you can use your new page rank authority to rank for more increasingly competitive terms. Increasing your audience and potential customer base as Google continues to view your site as a more and more authoritative resource for people looking for information in your area.

If you have a term that you already had in mind that Keyword term may not work. It might be too competitive, If the term is not competitive enough you may be leaving traffic on the table. You might have to find another term which is close the term you had in mind which will be competitive enough to get you some worthwhile traffic. Finding the right keyword term takes a little bit of touch. It’s not a black and white exercise. Sometimes it’s a little more art than science.

Once we find a keyword term that we think we can rank for then we need the content. I won’t be covering the actual writing process here. Let’s just assume that you have you have a piece that’s about 1000 words ready to go or you will be writing one.

Use Yoast SEO Plugin to Evaluate and Optimize Your Content

Yoast has an analysis feature that will walk you through what you need to do to optimize your post content for search engines. You will also want to make sure that the post is also informative for your readers and that is where the art comes in. Finding ways to write your posts so that both Google and readers get what they want from the page is the goal and really the toughest part of writing web content. The upside is, if done correctly, on-page optimization can improve Google rank quickly.

The plugin allows you to analyze the content that you have and optimize it so that you can rank well. The plugin adds a section to the WordPress edit post screen. This section has a few tabs. We will be focusing on just two of the four tabs that are available:

General tab
Using Yoast for WordPress and SEO
This tab has a general analysis of the meta information available about your page. The title, keyword, and description are analyzed here by the plugin and the plugin will let you know whether your keyword term is being used in those areas or not. You will want to adjust your title, content, and meta description until your keyword term is being used well in all three.

Page Analysis
Yoast WordPress and SEO content analysis
This tab has a run down of how your page content is doing in all the areas where you will need to be effective in order to rank well in search engines. Yoast himself is highly regarded as an authority on WordPress and SEO and although Google doesn’t explicitly tell us what it uses to evaluate page rank there are a number of people who have done the research to figure out how they probably do it.

When you save a draft of your post the plugin will analyze your content and give you a score based on how well you have done. Each time you change your content you will have to save a draft of the post or update the post in order to have the plugin analyze your writing again. Keep working on the suggestions until you get an SEO analysis score of “Good” with a green circle. If you are having issues with the Flesch reading ease test, you can use the Hemingway Editor, listed on our free SEO related software tools. Once you have the green light you can be assured that search engines will be able to crawl your content and display it on Search engine ranking pages (SERPS).

Wrap Up

Using CanIRank and the Yoast SEO plugin we can write informative content that will rank well. In the past many people had a “Publish and Pray” mentality to writing content. With these two tools you can be sure that your content is going to be effective for search engines and readers before you publish. That’s Ranking Smarter.

Added bonus: Check out the best wordpress schema programs here.