As part of an ongoing web project I’m working on for a friend, I have been looking at WordPress and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) with a view towards improving overall Google rankings for a particular web site – http://faceworksevents.com. Read on for how – without resorting to cheap tricks like spinning or trying to spam the search engines – I was able to get the site well up on Google!
WordPress is already a great platform for publishing blogs, setting up static pages, creating simple entry forms, and pinging search engines with changes. However, the site was simply not showing up in any search results – that was a concern for the owner and definitely a problem I wanted to fix! My approach in this article was multi-pronged:
- Determine the amount of traffic actually hitting the site so I could measure results.
- Research and implement keywords within each article.
- Move the site’s external blog from wordpress.com to the actual site so that all results would reference back to the main site to avoid search diffusion.
- Work with the site owner to update content to meet SEO best-practices.
I’m happy to report that with a few simple changes the site’s Google ranking went up significantly based on a number of sample searches.
A Starting Point – Google Analytics to the rescue
For details on how we implemented Google Analytics into this site, please refer to our WordPress / Google Analytics integration writeup.
As a baseline, we wanted some numbers on current site traffic. Google Analytics was our low-cost (read: free) solution for getting traffic counts. Analytics offers several features to make this easier, including the ability to define a Goal URL, which Google defines as a measure of how often visitors take or complete specific actions. For a travel site, a Goal URL might be the “Submit” button for creating a reservation. For this particular project, we used the “Contact Us” page from the FaceWorks web site.
To setup the Goal URL, we wrote another blog entry on Setting up Goal URLs with Google Analytics which you can reference. Once you have Analytics setup and your Goals defined, then you have a good starting point.