Google loves new relevant content, as such we always recommend to clients that they write a few blog posts to help them improve their search ranking. But does blogging actually help search and is it difficult to blog with a wordpress website?
Many people don’t see the need to blog, and for a long time we didn’t either. It’s like playing a gig to an empty room, something I’ve got some experience at, which is really deflating, and for the most part you wonder if it’s worth it. But as any good muso will tell you, empty rooms are a great place to practice, and the same goes for blogging.
The cool thing is, even if nobody is listening to you, Google and the other search engines are. They are constantly scouring for content, for keywords, for authority, and the more you produce, the more chance you have of Google sitting in on your next gig.
So we are back gigging again. When Google’s latest search update hit, we got hit, and it wasn’t because we were doing anything dodgy, it was merely because we hadn’t spent enough time focusing in on SEO.
WordPress SEO Challenge
So we thought we’d challenge ourselves to produce a blog post a day for at least 30 days, to see if we can improve our search ranking naturally. To prove it’s not a fluke we’ve enlisted the support of Rachel Friend from Media Friendly (Queen of media training), to get blogging with us. If anyone has authority on a topic it’s Rachel!
Our blogging strategy and basic SEO optimisation included the following:
1) We installed and configured Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin which allows you to pick focus keywords (i.e wordpress websites) for each page and post in our wordpress website. We install this plugin now with every single wordpress website that we develop. WordPress is already naturally pretty good for search engine optimisation, and it was born to blog, so producing content and publishing it shouldn’t be an issue, but with this SEO plugin you can really focus your efforts.
2) We went back and played with some of our old posts and pages to rename them all inline with the SEO principles mentioned above. We would set a feature phrase, and then change the heading of our post, the meta description, and the URL to focus in on these phrase. We haven’t had a lot of time but we also digged into some old content to make sure we had mentioned our focus keywords numerous times throughout our posts.
3) We started producing new fresh content, concentrating on these keywords. For us these are keywords like wordpress website. For Rachel is it media training and she is now focused on producing blog posts with the title Media Training Tips.
4) We made sure we had a few links out to other parts of our site, as well as to key external sites. It’s actually more important to have links into your site, which is something we can cover another time.
5) We used a cool free rank checker which tells us how much our organic search ranking has improved for these specific keywords.
With search you can’t expect an overnight return. It can take weeks or even months for your site to change its rankings. The good news is that both our sites have really started to climb.
Media training blog post higher than homepage
We were keen to see how Rachel’s website was fairing so we did a search for media training. The cool thing we noticed was that when Rachel changed the heading of one of her posts she climbed above her home page!
A few other points that might be useful for you to understand (see screen shot below).
1) You will notice that Rachel has included Media Training in her page title. Media training tips is a highly searched keyword, and is especially relevant to her business. The fun thing is, when you search for media training tips, a different post comes up on top – different to the two below in other words. This is further evidence that you can’t produce one page, or one post and expect a return. The more the merrier. Optimise every post and page not just your homepage!
2) Ideally in order to improve her ranking even further Rachel should change her meta description to include the phrase media training as well as ensure her URL includes media training. The post above hers in the screen shot is a good example.
Other factors affecting search ranking
What we are doing above is what you call ‘on page’ search optimisation. There are various other factors which affect your google search ranking. Your page authority which determines your search ranking includes links to your site and from your site, as well as time on site information. It can get really technical at this point so we believe there is no better strategy than blogging.
If you struggle to find the time, then do a few posts in one hit, and then publish them weekly for a month.
So we are only mid way through our little blogging adventure, but I can tell you that by producing content like this, focusing in on keywords like wordpress websites, has put Florence Road back on page 1 for wordpress websites melbourne, and wordpress websites perth. Rachel is in position 3-4 for media training Sydney and is climbing fast for media training from a nowhere position to page 2.
So get blogging people, and if you want us to conduct a basic SEO audit of the site, inline with what we’ve discussed above, please just drop us a line.