In our last blog we talked about the benefits of using content management systems when designing your website. One of the perks of using a CMS like WordPress is that these systems are designed to be friendly to search engines. In order to properly index a website, search engines continuously crawl the internet and include all new data into their algorithms. From there they generate rankings. If you want your website to have good search rankings and traffic, your site needs to be search engine friendly.
Why Is WordPress Search Engine Friendly?
First, it’s important to note that there is nothing magical about WordPress. Creating a website using WordPress doesn’t guarantee great search rankings. WordPress is a simple, straightforward content management system that is easy to use, fully customizable, and has an enormous variety of plugins to help website owners make their sites accomplish more of their goals for their sites. But it’s not magic. With the right website design and a good SEO strategy, you can get great search rankings and traffic from a custom designed website as well. The most important part of that is the effort you put into creating good content – better content than what your competitors’ websites have.
That being said, WordPress and many of its plugins are designed with search engine friendliness in mind. The code behind WordPress is simple and clean. This means search engines can easily read and index content. Each page or post, including written content and images, can have its own meta tag description, and title, and you can optimize them for specific keywords which is ideal for SEO.
Adding the Yoast SEO plugin to a WordPress site takes much of the worry out of SEO for new content. The Yoast plugin will tell you if you are doing it right with its red-yellow-green light indicators for descriptions, titles, choice of keywords, alt tags, and many other little details you may not be aware of or forget. This is important because SEO is not something you can do to your site once and then ignore. In order to maintain or improve your website’s search rankings, you need to stay on top of SEO for every piece of content you generate.
WordPress also lets you create permalinks for each blog page or post. This helps search engines direct users to your content. It allows for categories on blog posts which makes for a better user experience. Customers are much more likely to search your site on their own when they have categories to guide them from post to post. If you want all of your content, including older content read, using categories is a great way to accomplish that. Search engines index using categories as well.
Interlinking is also simple in WordPress, not only on-site linking between your own posts or pages, but interlinking to other sites. WordPress provides trackback URLs when you link to another site, giving that site notice that their content is being read and referenced – and opening up the possibility for those websites to link back to your website.
Finally, it’s easy to create a responsive website with WordPress. Google has made providing a mobile responsive website an enormous priority, altering its algorithm to harshly penalize websites that are not mobile friendly. If you want good search rankings, your website has to be easily viewed and used on phones and tablets now.
For all these reasons WordPress is a useful content management system that anyone should at least consider before designing or building a website. Many people focus on what their websites will look like. This is important, of course. How the website performs, what the user experience will be like for your customers, and how friendly the website is to search engines are also very important considerations, however, and will make or break a website’s success.