Be a Great Web Author. Try these super important SEO tips for WordPress Writing. Get people to read your website! Read this guide for a better click-rate while using a Title, Excerpt, Key-Phrase, Meta Description and Keywords for a Great
Call to Action!
Now that you have gotten your WordPress set up properly in our last tutorial, it is time to add your posts. To do this we start with an idea. Of course the idea will depend on your market. This idea needs to be devided into a number of areas… Here are some that are really required in 2017 and beyond…
- Meta Description
- Yoast SEO
You are the Web Author
Wikipedia states: An author is narrowly defined as the originator of any written work and can thus also be described as a writer (with any distinction primarily being an implication that an author is a writer of one or more major works, such as books or plays).
You are the Web Author!
A Web Author is also a person who rewrites, or explains, or critiques someone else’s work. Likewise, a Web Author is someone who compiles a group of short writings into one composite work, usually to make a point, or give a parable, teaching or instruction that the original writer did not intend.
WordPress Writing is a way of writing for the Internet that uses a content management software called WordPress. WordPress Writing is far easier than writing a document, and then adding all the coding and formating needed to publish an article on the Internet.
In addition, WordPress Writing as opposed to being a non-WordPress Web Author, makes tools available to make SEO easier and to get better SERP rank and therefore more “traffic” to their website (people viewing their webpage).
Post should be at least 300 words. A better goal fot the Web Author, would be posts of between 500 – 1000 words. Post of 1,000-2,500 words (or even a little longer) will really help your SEO overall.
Of course, your posts must be as original as possible. If you are editing others work, or ideas, try to reword each sentence a little. It may mean the same to a human reading it, but when computerized plagiarism checkers “read” it they have a better opportunity to think it is original and give you a higher ranking.
Even if you can only come up with 3-4 keywords,
and only use 2-3 keywords in all the above,
this will make a great difference.
Make a list of words you think people would type into a search engine who would want to find your webpage. Some people say make a list of 30 words and then optimize them by priority. then use all of them and use the first five keywords a few times in your document.
In practice, I rarely write down more than 10 or 12 keywords. Then hone this group to about 5-6 in the priority. The top keyword(s) need to be found, or used, in the document – a few times in the document and in some specific places, in the Title, the Excerpt, the Sub-Headers and don’t forget to use these in the body of the page text a few times.
Even if you can only come up with 3-4 keywords, and only use 2-3 keywords in all the above, this will make a great difference.
Likewise, you should test each of your top priority keywords in Yoast SEO (Focus keyword). Try to fix as many non-green indicators as possible while you are looking at the Yoast SEO box. We will come back to Yoast SEO later.
Use one or two Key-Phrases. Your primary, or priority, key-phrase should be used in your Meta Description and Excerpt. Likewise, it should appear in your meta description and in the body of your article. If you typed this phrase into a search engine, with quotes around it, you should place on the first three pages on the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
Before writing your article, you may want to test a key-phrase or two by typing them into Google with quotes around them. How many competing pages rank for your key-phrase?
Make an eye catching title with few “stop words”. Titles should contain keywords, as should sub-headers. Keep your titles at around 70-71 characters max. And not less than 50 characters. 60-70 characters in the title would be ideal.
If you automatically add the site title into the post title tag, it should be at the end and not at the beginning.
The slug is simply the title turned into a URL. During WordPress Writing, The Title punctuation, spaces and capital letters are removed until what is left is all lowercase and numbers, and dashes. “Stop Words” should also be removed. If you are using (and you should be) Yoast SEO then the stop words were removed for you automatically. This happens only on the first time you save the post. However, if you need to delete stop words, you can click on Permalink/Edit. Delete the Permalink and click OK, or edit the Permalink manually.
Many people find hand crafting the Excerpt one of the most difficult tasks in making a blog page (post). But it need not be difficult if you just practice a few simple rules while WordPress Writing.
Summary: Consider that your Excerpt is a very short summary. You want to tell people what to expect in your post.
Call to Action: Consider using the word “Read”, (“Extra, extra, read all about it!” or “Read how you can become a millionaire!” The action you want from them is to Read your post! However, the first action is to Click on the Link!
Other good call to action words are Ways (Ways to make mayo without eggs or oil!), Try (Try making this beauty cream at home, with all natural ingredients from your kitchen!), DIY (DIY homebuilding for complete nerds!), Truth (Truth is the government and industry is in partnership to destroy you health and your life – do not let them!). There are many other ways to build a call to action, but each has one goal, click the link to our website!
Put this call to action within the first 155 characters of your Excerpt. This may become the meta description that will be listed on search engines like Google and Bing. When someone googles something and Google displays an impression (link) to your webpage, you have 155 characters (maybe more) to ask them to click your link (call to action) and tell them what your webpage is about! Beyond 155 and up to 254 characters, you can add more information about your webpage (fill out your summary of the page). This will be displayed in many places on your website.
In the Pinnacle WordPress theme (which I am now recommending for WordPress Writing), the Excerpt is mainly used in following ways:
- The Main Blog Post Page
- RSS Feeds
- Search Results
- Tag Archives
- Category Archives
- Monthly Archives
- Author Archives
By default WordPress shows a limit of 55 words in an Excerpt. This is not really what you want as it is sloppy and usually not very effective for WordPress Writing . Likewise it does not provide a chance to craft a good invitation / call to action for Search Engines and social media websites like Facebook, Google Plus, Google Search and Bing Search.
Do Not Use the Default Excerpt – Write it Yourself!
Start with Your Excerpt
I recommend inserting the Excerpt at the beginning of your post, in an italicized block quote. This does a few things for you while WordPress Writing. These include:
- Provides a Summary, right at the beginning. (Helps people remember the major points!)
- Gets better Search Engine Optimization
- Helps a large amount of people who skip over the first few lines.
The Meta Description can make, or break, your website. Search Engines like Google and Bing, will use this on there SERPs. So people will read them when deciding if they will click the link to see your page.
Likewise, the Meta Description will often be displayed when someone shares a link to your webpage on Facebook or Google Plus (Note: This can be overwritten by Facebook’s Open Graph protocol, but this is way beyond the scope of this article) .
Just remember, potential readers will review your Meta Description
while deciding to click the link to view your webpage!
Most people say use 155 characters or less for the Meta Description. Others say 150-160 characters. I do not agree. Google Search has added about 100 characters to that! Google Plus and Facebook use about 254 characters already. Bing is said to be preparing to increase their limit also. Google is experimenting on some servers displaying a longer Meta Description.
Everyone will accept 254 characters, but what is displayed is in question (Google displays 155-254 characters, all the rest display 254 or more). There is NO SEO Penalty for using 254 characters, or less, in your Meta Description.
My sites keep the Meta Description under 255 (so I post between 155-254 characters in the Meta Description) and this works extremely well in WordPress Writing. Just put your call to action in the first 155 characters.
Breaking Yoast SEO… This is the ONLY place I will recommend not following a Yoast SEO recommendation. As an extra step, sometimes I cut my Meta Description down (from the Excerpt) to the first 155 characters, then Evaluate with Yoast SEO, then add the full Excerpt back into the Meta Description. Google/Bing have Always accepted this with Great SEO!
Meta Description Rules
Before we go on, let’s make a couple Meta Description rules for WordPress Writing…
Don’t Use Quotes
Web Author don’t use quotes in any Meta Description.
It’s a simple rule: Don’t use quotes! Single quotes (‘) or the apostrophe, and double quotes (“) should both be avoided in the Meta Description. They “Should” work, but in some cases they have been known to truncate the Meta Description.
Don’t use Links
Web Author don’t use HTML, including links, in any Meta Description.
Do not insert links (or other HTML elements). Using HTML elements will cause the Meta Description to fail, or will truncate anything beyond the “offending character”, just don’t use HTML!
EASY Meta Descriptions
The good news is, if you wrote your Excerpt as above, just paste it into your Meta Description also! Saves a bunch of time, and it works really well.
Spelling seems almost too obvious for a Web Author, but it is vital for Google to match this.
Use a computer spell checker to be sure your spelling is right. Set your spell checker on American English or USA English, unless you are specifically writing for people in the UK, Australia, South Africa or some other small location with an English that is different.
Check each word. Do not trust the spell checker to catch grammar or usage errors. I have a weak finger and often drop the r from words that end in r. “You” is not the same as “Your”, but both are spelled correctly.
Check out this mistake, made from a Baptist Missionary, to his supporters, in an email newsletter…
“I want to thank Bro. Bob especially, for his generosity in allowing me to take full advantage of his fiancée!”
The Baptist Missionary’s computer had “auto corrected” his misspelling of finances!
Always proofread your document by reading it out loud yourself. It is also wise to ask someone else to read and correct your document (spelling and grammar) for you. I am sure none of the above Missionary’s friends, would have let him send out the above statement, without suggesting he correct it!
SEO = Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO – noun) is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular webpage by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.
Wikipedia states: Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural”, “organic”, or “earned” results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users, and these visitors can be converted into customers.
Let me demonstrate this with an example, go to Google “2017 Web Author SEO – WordPress Writing” What you get is the first Search Engine Results Page or SERP for short. SEO in short, is what position (rank) do I have on the GROUP of SERPs. For example, if this page was the eighth listed on SERP page one, my SEO rank for the keywords I entered, would be #8. Instead, if I was the 9th listing on page 3, the SERP rank would be #29. Both of these are excellent position considering these keywords have over 9 Million SERP listings. That is 29 out of 9,000,000+
If you spend all your time on SEO you will fail to be a Great Web Author. It is better to spend your time creating great Content!
Consider this, you do perfect SEO but you are a failure at writing Titles and Descriptions, so Google puts you in SERP rank #1, but when a person sees your Title and Description on the SERP, they fail to see an invitation or call to action, and do NOT click on the link to your page. That is an SEO Failure. Great SEO but no one ever reads your webpage!
We now return to Yoast SEO.
Your goal here is to have everything green!
If that is impossible for whatever reason, then try to allow no red!
Anything orange needs to be something you accept as needed, or at least acceptable.
Yoast SEO Exceptions
Like most things in life, there are some exceptions.
For example, what if you write a page with no images? Yoast will give you a red flag! It is usually best to simply add an immage, however, if you really do not want an image on the page, you could choose to ignore the red flag! (Personally, I would not recommend ignoring Yoast, but it is your decision.)
The one flag I do ignore on a regular basis is an Orange flag that reads: The specified meta description is over 156 characters. Reducing it will ensure the entire description is visible. What Google actually does, as far as my testing can determine, is it ACCEPTS the first 254 characters of the meta description, and displays the first 156 characters, backing up to the first word boundary.
By writing excerpts as I outlined above, I can use the one Excerpt for the Excerpt, for the First Paragraph (in a block quote), for a Meta Description (Open Graph Description), for a Facebook Description (you can add this via Yoast if you want, but it is extra work!).
Open Graph Meta Tags
Adding Open Graph Meta Tags to your webpages is a good idea, and they are being used more and more because they are less restrictives. As of this writing (Nov 2016) Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ all read Open Graph Tags.
However, the above use of the Excerpt and Meta Description will perform almost as well as adding Open Graph Meta Tags, with NO Additional work!
As a Web Author it is extremely important to Validation your WebPages while WordPress Writing. There are a number of tools you can use for this.
Speed is the measure of time it takes Google/Bing to download your webpage. Many Web Authors assume there is nothing they can do about website Speed. However this is far from the truth. For example, images can be resized during (or even after) WordPress Writing.
If you only write posts for a website, Page Speed may be something you can do little to nothing about.
SEO is greatly effected by speed. However, some things, like turning on photo compression, may requite Admin level actions.
Nonetheless, doing speed testing is worth the time! The Web Author can then adjust what he can and ask the Admin about anything he feels could be improved.
Speed Test Websites