You’ve probably found by now that there are a bunch of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques out there in general. Everyone’s got some piece of software/plugin that’s going to get you in the top ten, or has a procedure “for a fee” that is guaranteed to work. “Hell!” Whole books have been written on the topic of SEO because it really is a money spinner; convincing the average sucker to pull out their credit card, while in a desperate fever induced haze of Snake Oil Seduction.
When it comes to WordPress, a similar story is told over and over, as well. You need a plugin that generates your site map, solves the problem of the “fictional” tuff to access virtual robots.txt file, adds your post descriptions plus keywords to the Meta tag automatically, and so on and so forth.
Well… I hate to be the bearer of bad news but… “Hardly any of that stuff is reality.”
WordPress was built out of the box to work well with the search engines. In fact; the folks at WordPress freely admit that the fewer plugins that you use with their blogging platform the better off you are. While there are lots of WordPress plugins available to do what you really should be paying a web designer or hosting service like me to do for you; the money you think these plugins might save you now could very well cost you later.
While some WordPress plugins are really good; they should still be avoided at all costs because they add to the overhead that your site will need to run on the server of your choosing. In the beginning this might not matter. However, as your site grows it could negatively affect the overall performance of your website; possibly landing you in hot water with your webhost provider, especially if you are using more than your share of shared server resources.
“Yes,” I did say, “Shared server.” If you are running an inexpensive website like most bloggers out here then the chances of you having a dedicated server all to yourself are really slim.
So, what is the reality in all of this stupid hype surrounding SEO? The reality is…
- You will need a site map to share with Google and Bing once you’ve registered your site in the Webmaster Tools section of each site accordingly.
- You will need a valid robots.txt file that the search engines will be able to understand; preferably with the URL of your site map included within it.
- You need to know the phrasing and other words that your target audience is using to find your site; writing your posts using their vocabulary to talk about your topic, “Not just yours.”
“Now,” I’m going to throw you a bone here. Before you even worry about creating a site map; you need to have a site plan. This plan should include how many posts per category you are going to write.
In accordance with my site plan; the maximum number of posts I will be writing on this site per category is 34. After that number is reached in an individual category; I will either…
- Stop writing posts for said category.
- Update or replace posts; moving them to the front of the cue as evaluation of each post requires.
“Now,” You might very well wonder why I would do this, and rightfully so. I am doing this for two reasons.
- There is only so much one can write on a particular subject before it becomes redundant; unless you are the New York Times and reporting the events of each day.
- The hand crafted site map for this website only has the URL to the home page and each category listed; knowing full well that the search engines will be able to find the links to individual posts all on their own. I know they will find all posts per category because I’ve set WordPress to show 34 posts. Thus, because my site plan only allows for 34 posts per category, no site map is required to help the search engines find posts that would otherwise be listed two and three pages deep if I went over my allotted number, 34.
Even without registering your site with Bing and Google; a robots file will still be a big help to any legitimate search engine seriously looking to index your site; the robots file telling them where they should and shouldn’t bother going. There are loads of sites that can help you create one; and a few free tools offered that can assist you in creating one, as well.
When it comes to post creation; the only real thing that worrying about descriptive and keyword Meta tags will really earn you is extra time wasted. If anything; the search engines might use your Meta tags to determine if you are a spam site or the real deal. “However,” if you don’t know what you are doing in writing your Meta tag keywords and descriptions your real website might get marked as spam. So, not having a plugin that adds the Meta stuff to your WordPress site will more than likely save you lots of headaches and time down the line.
As I said early on in this post, “WordPress is designed to be search engine friendly right out of the box.” Therefore, even a SEO plugin is a waste of time and energy for both you and the server it is running on.
If you are in any doubt about any of the stuff that I’ve written here, “Think back.” How did you get to this post? How far did you have to go to get here in the search engine directory of your choosing? “Are you still wondering if any of what I’m saying is true?”
“And,” to think that you’re here because you were probably researching all you could about finding a good Search Engine Optimization WordPress Plugin. After finding my site and reading this post, “Are you still sure you really need one?”