In the third and final post of my "3 Ps of WordPress Site Structure for SEO" series I'm going to cover "P for Performance". If you havent read the previous posts, make sure you catch up with "P#1: Preparation" and "P#2: Publishing" first of all.
Test And Refine
The first part of P#3: Performance starts off with testing and refining, knowing exactly which keyword phrases work for your business.
As I'm sure you know, you should have monetary goals set up within Google Analytics. If this is the case youll be able to see which keyword phrases, and which links bring you the highest quality of traffic then you can re-focus your effort on areas that are most relevant for your business.
I also use a tools called Market Samurai to determine which keyword phrases I should be targeting, and how my targeted keyword phrases are currently ranking.
You also need to make sure that your site is loading quickly for the majority of your visitors. Make sure you check out your site loading speed using the Vertain site speed tool.
Also, you need to make sure that your WordPress installation including your site structure such as your plugins is loading efficiently. You can do this using the W3 Total Cache and Optimize DB Plugins.
And of course, you need to be able to trust your host. I've had good shared hosting experience with HostGator, HostMonster and Vidahost. If youre building a big, popular site then you should take a look at VPS.net.
Direct Search Engines
As well as making sure your website visitors have a good experience, you also of course need to make sure that search engines understand what your site offers, and can easily navigate through your various pages.
You can do this by using a good theme which ensures that your site coding is efficient and easy to crawl. Personally I like Thesis, but there are lots of other good alternatives about nowadays.
Another good way of improving efficiency is to make better use of old, irrelevant content that still ranks well in Google. Why not 301-redirect this to fresh, new, relevant content?
Finally, you need to make sure that your site conversion rates are optimized. I like using the theme OptimizePress which is a great way to create an opt-in base WordPress site.
However, if youre not doing this then you should at least be using Google Website Optimizer to run A/B and then multivariate split-tests. Improving your website conversion rates could be a lot easier than getting more visitors!