Content Marketing with WordPress and SEO

The best SEO is good content

It’s been said before but I’ll say it again, just in case you missed it. I shouldn’t repeat myself, but in this case, I really feel like I need to. The best SEO is great content.

There is something about the internet these days that makes people think that a little SEO coding tweak here or there is going to make phenomenal difference to your search results. It isn’t. You just have to write stuff that people are going to want to read!

blog writing

Yes, there are some classic and obvious SEO advantages you can build into your WordPress blog. And you’re going to need a few inbound links to start with. But, in order for your site to be a successful marketing tool for your business, you need to write good articles.

Basic WordPress SEO

Just in case anyone has missed anything I’ll go through the absolute basics of what you should do to optimize your site and then we’ll get on to the nitty gritty.

  • Ensure that you have your keywords in your permalinks. Use the Apache mod_rewrite rule to get your links looking pretty.
  • Put keywords in your titles. Bit of a no-brainer. If you want to rank as a “psychologist” put that term in your post titles and write about it. You can compound this by putting them in your subheadings, text, bolded text, image names, alt image descriptions, etc.
  • Use a theme framework that is well structured for SEO. I use Genesis by Studiopress.
  • Use an SEO plugin to sort out your titles and meta descriptions. I use Yoast SEO. Make your page titles %%title%% – %%sitename%% and your post titles %%title%%. Set home page titles and meta descriptions individually. This plugin can do loads more.
  • Create a Google XML Sitemap. Use an XML Sitemap plugin to do this or if you have Yoast SEO plugin use that, better one plugin than two.
  • Create a robots.txt. It should say “User-agent: * Sitemap:” if you create your sitemap with Yoast SEO “sitemap.xml” if you created it with another plugin.
  • Register your site with Google Webmaster Tools (register sitemap), Yahoo! Site Explorer and Bing Webmaster Tools.
  • www or non-www Choose whether your site will have a www or non-www web address. If both work you need to force one on to the other by writing a rule in the .htaccess file.

There, that’s it. That is more-or-less the complete onsite SEO tasks that you need to undertake. After you have done this all you have to bother about it creating great content.

How to create great content for your blog

“Write as if you were dying. At the same time, assume you write for an audience consisting solely of terminal patients. That is, after all, the case. What would you begin writing if you knew you would die soon? What could you say to a dying person that would not enrage by its triviality?” – Annie Dillard

Yes, it needs to be that good. Have you any idea how many webpages there are out there? If you could get your head around the number you probably wouldn’t even start.

Be simple. Be concise.

People can smell BS a mile off these days so you need to be sure of your subject. Start with the basics and move on to the specifics.

Keep a pad of paper and a pen with you at all times. You never know when you could think of a good blog post title. After a while you will realise that there are a hundred and one things within your own professional niche that you can write about.

This pool of experience can be split up and re-appropriated for different blog posts. Just don’t waffle:

“Strip every sentence to its cleanest components. Every word that serves no function, every long word that could be a short word, every adverb that carries the same meaning that’s already in the verb, every passive construction that leaves the reader unsure of who is doing what—these are the thousand and one adulterations that weaken the strength of a sentence.” – William Zinsser

So just write. Get on and write now!

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Readers Comments

  1. This type of advice regarding SEO is incredibly misleading. For starters, why would you put great content on a WordPress blog instead of your company site? Even if the blog is on the same domain as your website, your best content should go on the pages that are going to deliver the conversions. Blogs are about communication and knowledge – but they need to serve a purpose for the overall business plan. Merely putting up a blog and writing “great content” isn’t enough – it needs to actually meet the needs of the people most likely to become CUSTOMERS.
    Secondly, what actually constitutes “great content”? Writing like you would if you were dying is ridiculous advice. If you were dying you’d be writing a heartfelt letter to your loved ones. You certainly wouldn’t be offering useful information about your products, services and the industry in which you work. Your company blog needs to be interesting, yes, but it shouldn’t be a soppy heartfelt love letter.
    Thirdly, take some advice about blogging for your own blog – make sure your content isn’t rehashing stuff said first and better by others – add something to the conversation, and make sure that something is actually offering something useful to your target market. If you want to offer business advice to businesses about marketing their business then you need to provide more specific and detailed advice – because this sort of article only duplicates the mish mash of vague advice already out there.

    • Rob Cubbon says:

      Firstly, a company’s blog should ALWAYS be on the same domain as the website and have the same header and general style of the main website, that is a no-brainer. Having it on a different domain, apart from anything else, shows people you don’t know what you are doing which is never a good idea.

      Who said anything about conversions? Most companies that are starting out with blogs aren’t selling anything online, they are just trying to attract people to their business. Google rewards freshness. A conversion page needs inbound links in order to attract the traffic because it isn’t fresh. The article mentions “a few inbound links to start with” – so we’re obviously not talking about conversions here. And, “put your best content on pages that deliver conversions”? Well, it needs to be proven to convert with testing, but, have you ever learned anything from a sales page? I don’t think so. Wrong again.

      “Blogs are about communication and knowledge” – I agree with you there but “it needs to actually meet the needs of the people most likely to become CUSTOMERS” – wrong! You carry on writing for your customers and watch your site and business plateau flat as a pancake. You will deteriorate to shameless self promotion in no time and that is always a bad idea. Don’t keep writing about your products and your company write about how you create your products, the competition, the industry, everything tangentially to do with you niche. You have to write blog posts to get traffic for months and years into the future so you’re going to need all the topics you can get your hands on.

      The point about the Annie Dillard quote is to not enrage the audience by triviality, not to write something soppy, that would be stupid, obviously.

      Make sure the content isn’t rehashing stuff? Please! How many blog articles are written everyday? The only way you can write something different every time is to get it wrong as you have shown above. Of couse you’ve got to rehash certain topics and how-to’s but you’re writing from your perspective – that’s what makes it different and useful to certain people (your target audience AND your prospects).

      That fact that you are offering this incorrect advice to people to “add something to the conversation” (ooh, never heard that before!) proves to me that advising people to write about what they do is correct. If people thought they needed to get past the self-appointed “useful content police” they’d never get started.

      This blog clearly doesn’t duplicate the mish mash of vague advice already out there as it’s provoked a reaction already and I’ve only just got started. And I’m delighted that I still have much to do. Thank you. :)

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