12 Months of WordPress Optimization

WordPress user. Photo by Heisenberg Media

It's January and you are already sick of resolutions and goals, right? Let's not lump SEO into the same category as gym membership. I am going to outline one target goal for you to execute each month, so by next year at this time you will have some tangible achievements.

January: Define a list of User Intentions (back in the day this was called keyword research; however I have seen so many posts that say keywords are dead that I was afraid to mention keywords). Then review your pages and posts. Make sure they all have meta titles and descriptions that include your geographic target area and the keyword. All in One SEO and Yoast are two popular SEO plugins for WordPress SEO management.

February: Make sure that you install Analytics, have a sitemap of your website and that you have submitted it to Google & Bing Webmaster Tools. I use Google XML Sitemaps.

March: Set up an editorial calendar. Set up the rel=author link. Yoast has a very comprehensive tutorial on how to do this and you can test to see if it is working using Googles Rich Snippets testing tool.

April: Local Presence - this is very important if you are a local business or service:

  • Review of name, address, phone number (make sure it is in html on your website, not just part of an image in your header)
  • Review of proper listing on website
  • Define strategy for local directory listings (this process can be time consuming, you need to budget this into your monthly To Do goals)

May: Make sure that your pages & posts are properly optimized. Don't forget your navigation structure. Use Google categories which apply to your business as your page titles and in your menu.

June: Create a video! Upload it to YouTube, make sure you include a link to your website in the description.

July: Inbound links, go for the low hanging fruit: social media LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube - (if you did what you were supposed to in May, then check, you already did YouTube!). Then think about other opportunities: the schools you graduated from, chambers you may be a member of, boards you serve on, industry directories, etc.

August: Let's go back to your WordPress website. Have you linked to your social media profiles? You can put these icons or links in your footer, sidebar or even on your About page. Also, add the social sharing buttons to your blog. JetPack has a sharing tool and I have used Really Simple Share for a long time and it has worked great.

September: Your About Page. Seriously, this is categorically, the second most visited site on a website. People like to know who they are doing business with, so tell them a little bit about how you can help them and what makes you interesting. Feel free to come out from behind your desk for a photo or make a video, show your personality.

October: Get some reviews. There are some fantastic tools out there that make the process super easy, my favorite is Get5Stars. You can set it all up in less than 30 minutes and then you are set. I have an insurance agency in New York using the platform and just a couple of months of having the Plugin set up on their website they have close to 30 five star reviews.

November: It is time to give thanks. Go visit other blogs leave constructive comments, if appropriate link to content that you have written that adds to what the author has shared.

December: Decorate for the holidays. Seriously, make a new header that is a bit festive, or add snow to your site or even create an infographic.

The order of my list may be a bit random, I think it is important to do all of above, but we both know, the process can be overwhelming and probably not the best strategy anyway. Consistent attention to websites signal that the site is live and cared for, which ultimately may be the best factor in SEO rankings.

Which would you do first? More importantly, what didn't I list that should be here? I am also here to learn and with the ever changing landscape of search engine optimization, really appreciate your input.

About the Author: Eileen Lonergan

Eileen Lonergan is a WordPress website designer, a ghost blogger, and manages social media for a variety of clients.


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