What is SEO?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the technique of increasing the visibility of a website in a search engine’s “natural” or “organic” (not paid for) search results. So which results are organic? As you can see in this Google search results page, there are two different types of results. The first is ads; they’re located in the yellow highlighted box and in the right hand sidebar. Below the top ads, though, there are organic search results. These are the results deemed by Google to be the most relative, trustworthy, and authoritative websites or web pages on the subject.
Organic search engine marketing is more cost effective than paid advertising, and we dedicated a separate article that you can read here.
SEO is all about the content.
There is no such thing as SEO without content. You need words, articles, substance, keywords, verbiage. Content and SEO go hand-in-hand. Without one, your efforts on the other are seriously diminished. For example, your keyword research won’t do much good unless you then use those keywords in your content. And, creating content without knowing what your audience is looking for will leave you without any significant traffic. Beyond that, high-quality content is what earns you backlinks, and it’s also what search engines crawl when they arrive at your site.
In order to make web pages appear in high positions in the search results, SEO tries to shape a website according to Google’s algorithm. Although Google’s algorithm remains secret, over a decade of experience in SEO has resulted in a pretty good idea about the important factors.
Google’s algorithm can be divided into two categories, which determine the ranking of your website together:
1 On-page SEO factors
On-page SEO factors are all the things you can influence on your own website. All kinds of technical aspects of your website are important for the chances of your website to rank in the search engines. WordPress actually is a rather SEO-friendly platform. Combined with SEO plugin, most technical challenges are covered.
The structure of your website, your site speed and the content of your site are other important on-page SEO factors.
2 Off-page SEO factors
Next to on-page SEO factors, there are off-page SEO factors. These off-page SEO factors are a bit more difficult to influence, though. The most important off-page factor are the links to your site. The more (relevant) sites link to your website, the higher your ranking in Google will be.
Another off-page factor is the competition or the niche of your specific website. In some niches, it is much harder to rank, than in other niches. The competitiveness of your market therefore also has a large influence on your chances to rank.
WordPress has done a lot over the years to be search engine friendly. By now, it is a mature platform with extensive SEO capabilities. WordPress plays nice with Google and other search engines, has loads of themes and plugins for advanced SEO optimization, is fast and mobile-friendly, community supported, secure and easy to learn.
In short, WordPress is the perfect CMS for SEO and building websites that rank well. If your goal is to hit Google’s front page, the WordPress platform is your best bet.
To learn more about how to set up these plugins, use the following guides: