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Freelancer:Take Advantage of Google Using Little Known Wordpress SEO Tricks
Hello and welcome to 2012!
Here we are for another "The Freelancer," and in this edition I want to talk a bit about a few tricks that you can use for WordPress to get better rankings for your clients blogs (which we all would like to make happen) so just what are these "tricks" that I'm talking abouit anyway?
Well the title should be a give away because I'm referring to using a WordPress SEO plugin to make this all possible so let's start there. If your familiar with WordPress then you more than likely are familiar with it's main dashboard which looks something like this...
What you'll notice to the left is the "plug-in's" selection and if you select that tab, you'll see a list of the blog's installed plug-in's and what we're looking for is an WordPress SEO plug-in. The most complete SEO plug-in at this point is the "Yoast" SEO plug-in and it's the one that I use on my site, KeyWords Media. The Yoast plug-in screen looks like this...
Okay, so here is where the magic begins, right at the plug in's screen. When we write a blog article, the first thing that we want to do is come up with an attention grabbing title or headline. The title or headline is the first thing that will be seen in Google's search results, but you can do things with the SEO plug-in that will alter the way Google looks at your article and how it displays certain information that's inputted into the SEO plug-in...so let's start with that all important headline.
Use Your Heads Wisely
In your blog post, the headline is the "first head" that you use to get noticed by Google and the other search engines, and this happens with "Tags." The "second" head is the Meta Description, and this shows up in Google and other search results just under the headline of the article, and the "thrid head" is probably the most overlook aspect of this whole process, and it'ts the "Excerpt" that can be used to your advantage as explained below.
Head #1-The Headline
There is something that I was recently exposed to in SEO...something called "SEO Tags" and I was a bit confused because I always thought that SEO was all about using certain "Keywords" and ":Keyword Phrases" that were sprinkled throughout an article and in the headline to get the attention of Google and other search engines.
Then I came across an article that a freelance client was requiring "H1" and "H2" tags to be added to the text, and I was naturally confused by this so I started a conversation on LinkedIn about this, and my question turned into a discussion about the use of SEO tags which was quite educational... but to get back on point, when we write our headline, WordPress use's the "H1" tag and encapsulates the headline with it so that Google can read the headline and better understand what your article is about.
That headline will show up in Google's search results...but it will look a bit different from the original title on your client's blog. You see Google will only display the first 69 characters of the headline, but it also shortens the headline so that the main focus is still intact.
Head #2- The Meta Description
So I did mention "2" heads and the second head is the description that you create using the SEO plug-in's "Meta Description" area. This is very simple to do because all your doing is writing a short description (about 140 Characters) about the article including the keyword(s) that you used for the article. When you publish the article, Google's going to display the headline as discussed earlier, and it will display the "Headline" and the two line "Meta description" in the search results page.
Head #3-The Excerpt
One other thing that you can do depending on the SEO plug-in that you have installed on the blog is adding an "Excerpt" in the excerpt area of the plug-in. Here you just have another field to enter content into, although much shorter in length. This actually creates a third head or lead for your article. This lead when done correctly allows you to add more keywords and phrases and also entice the reader to want to "take action" by clicking on the "Read More" link that will take the reader to the full article.
Okay, so that's it. Three little known tricks that you can use to make any blog post show up better in Google's search results and this will also effect searches done through Yahoo or through Bing. There is one thing that I want to leave you with...SEO and anything that has to do with blogging or any other written web content does not immediately show up at the top of the heap as far as search is concerned.
It's takes a concerted effort, and it takes time, so remember that SEO is just one part of the bigger picture. Writing content that entertains and informs is also part of the overall mix so that a client's or even your own blog or website attains better web search results.
Lew Newmark is the owner of KeyWords Media, a company that offers services such as written web copy for online business sites and blogs.