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Panel Discussion: Where Do You Start With WordPress SEO?

Avatar for John Locke

John Locke is a SEO consultant from Sacramento, CA. He helps manufacturing businesses rank higher through his web agency, Lockedown Design & SEO.

Recently, I was very graciously asked to be part of a panel discussion on where to start with WordPress SEO.

This was for the WPBlab show, hosted by Jason Tucker of WP Watercooler and Bridget Willard of WordImpress. Also appearing on this episode was Michael Bay of Flaunt Your Site.

Just a few things we discussed included: Google Analytics, Google Search Console, using the Yoast SEO plugin, tools like Moz and Ahrefs, keywords and the difference between regular search phrases and long-tail keywords.

We also looked at some common WordPress SEO mistakes that people make, and things that can hurt your SEO rank.

WPblab EP033 – Where to start with #WordPress #SEO

At about the 37 minute mark, I discussed Google AMP, and how page speed affect performance. My recommendation was to consider using Google AMP for WordPress blogs or news sites, but not for e-commerce sites or any site with complex functionality.

About 41 minutes in, we talked about the effect of certain social signals on SEO. My thoughts on this are social shares and likes are brand signals. Real companies do real company stuff and people know who they are. People share their brand content on their own. Social engagement is correlation, not causation. Known brands get shared on social platforms.

At about 49 minutes in, Bridget brought up a great point about context and search intent. Words and phrases can have different meanings when they are related to a specific industry as opposed to a general search.

About 52 minutes in, Michael talked about how long-tail keywords factor into searcher intent. At about the 56 minute mark, I expounded on how organizing your content can help Google differentiate between an informational search or buying-intent search.

At the one hour mark, Michael made a great point — you should be promoting ideas, not yourself.

At the 62 minute mark, we talked about how your domain becomes known as an authority on a specific subject, and how some sites may be diluting their topical relevance. We talked about the difference between domain authority and page authority.

At roughly the 70 minute mark, we talked about how the relevance of the sites linking to you can have a great affect on your search rank.

What about comments as links back to your site? Are they important? I mentioned that these are usually nofollow links, which means they don’t pass page authority to the linked site, but they can still be useful. When you comment on pages that are relevant to your business and industry, that helps raise awareness of you and your brand. When people see your name over and over on different blogs, they draw the conclusion that you are somehow connected to that industry.

Overall, this was 84 minutes of super useful information on search engine optimization. Check it out and leave it a thumbs up on YouTube.

Avatar for John Locke

John Locke is a SEO consultant from Sacramento, CA. He helps manufacturing businesses rank higher through his web agency, Lockedown Design & SEO.

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