WOLFBITES - Issue 32

What WordPress website developers don't know
about search engine optimization could hurt you

How do you rank, a question raised by Toronto copywriter Wolfgang Franke, who specializes in web marketing, online advertising, web advertising and video marketing.

The next time you get a business pitch from a WordPress web developer, remember this warning about the Search Engine Optimization failings of all too many WordPress web designers. We know because we are constantly called in to fix SEO problems in WordPress websites. For example, we just looked at a Word Press website done for a home renovation company and were astonished to see elements with absolutely zero SEO value (plus a host of other website failings).

I will show you the worst of the worst, but first a little SEO education. A key element of any SEO program is the creation of Title Tags that summarize the content of the page. They are visible, but only if you know where to look.

Some care needs to be taken in the writing of the Title Tag because the word choice is noted by the search engines. In general, the goal is to choose words (known in the SEO biz as "key words") that are most commonly used to search for your product or service. So, if you are in the roofing business, it would be important to use the words "roofing" or "roofer"

One more thing: the Title Tag should be 7-10 words and the SEO value declines from left to right, meaning the first word is far more important than the tenth word.

To review, a Title tag should include keywords related to your business and service. It should be 7-10 words long. And the SEO value decreases from left to right.

Now let's look at a Title Tag done by a WordPress developer for a home renovation company:

   Estimate = One -- Results = Straight - Welcome

Note the absence of any words related to renovation. The first word, "Estimate", is a dud with zero SEO value. Even worse is what comes next: an equal sign (zero SEO), "One" (zero SEO), two dashes (negative SEO, if that was possible), results (zero SEO), another equal sign (really!), "Straight" (zero SEO), a dash (ugh), "Welcome" (zero SEO).

So what happened? It is obvious. Instead of doing a search engine friendly Title Tag, the WordPress developer made a feeble attempt at writing a marketing tagline or USP (Unique Selling Point). It is a spectacularly bad tagline and, as we have already seen, an equally bad Title Tag.

Bottom line: lousy SEO means low, low website ranking (think page ten or worse). Lousy marketing means low, low response. But the WordPress website developer gets paid.

You have been warned.

PS: If you are still not convinced, Google "Common WordPress Problems" and see what comes up.

PSS: Did you notice the dual spelling we used in this advertising blog? It happens twice for very important SEO reasons. See if you can find them or get the answer.

Wolfgang Franke is President & Creative Director of Words at Work Advertising & Marketing, a full service communications company established in 1988. Our growing list of valued clients are found throughout our local market, Markham and the Greater Toronto area, across Canada in cities such as London, Ontario, and Edmonton, Alberta, and an expanding list of international locations ranging from The Big Apple in New York to Kanturk, Ireland.

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