Search Engine Optimisation

an introduction to SEO and SEO with WordPress

A presentation for WordPress Findhorn, April 2013, by Mark Rowatt Anderson

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  • What is SEO
  • SEO basics
  • SEO in WordPress
  • Other SEO tools
  • Q&A

What is SEO?

Convincing Google* that a specific page on your web site is useful and relevant to people searching for specific keywords

*and all the others. Most of the principles apply to all search engines, but in this talk I'm focusing on Google. Besides, I don't think I've ever met anyone who uses the other search engines ;-)

Common misconceptions

  • You can get to #1
  • Linking to other sites helps
  • Doing SEO is a one off exercise
  • SEO is cheap, easy and cost effective
  • SEO is hard and expensive

Useful to know

  • Don't try to trick Google
  • Speed counts
  • Fresh content helps
  • Comments might help
  • Google personalises results
  • Google localises results

Beware Localisation

Searching from US

Searching from UK

Searching from UK

Searching from US

Onsite SEO

  • Write good content
  • Use HTML tags properly
  • Keep your site fast
  • Use metadata
  • Install Google Analytics
  • Understand your audience
  • What keywords do you want to optimise for?

Selecting Keywords

  • How do people find your site
  • What searches would they likely use
  • Popular keywords won't likely get you far
  • ... unless part of a targeted phrase
  • Explore the stats & experiment

Keyword Phrase Example

search: community

search: findhorn community

Offsite SEO

  • Who links to your site
  • How do they link to your site
  • Quality over quantity

WordPress Quick Wins

  • Allow search engines
  • One domain to rule them all
  • Permalinks
  • Meaningful page titles
  • Page description
  • Structure your content

Allow search engines

One domain

  • Use one domain everywhere on your site, e.g.
    • either or
    • either or
  • Aliases & redirects are ok


Meaningful Page Titles

  • Be descriptive
  • Make sure permalink matches
  • Don't change once published

Page description

  • Needs a plugin, e.g. Yoast SEO

Spot the Difference*

Heading 1

*for people

Spot the Difference*

<h1>Heading 1</h1>

<center><b><font size="10">HEADING 2</font></b></center>

*for search engines

A brief diversion

  • Use CSS to format

h1 {
    font-size: 48px;
    text-align: center;
    font-weight: bold;
    text-transform: uppercase;

Structure Your Content

  • Headers are headers
    <h1>Heading 1</h1>
    <center><b><font size="10">HEADING 2</font></b></center>
  • Use descriptive links
    <a href="">a great article on SEO</a>
    <a href="">click here</a>
  • Explore HTML5 tags

Other Tools & Tricks

  • Avoid personalised search
  • Is a page indexed?
  • Google Webmaster Tools
  • Google Analytics

Beware Personalised Search

search for 'awesome':

To avoid:
  • Search 'incognito'
  • pws=0 search parameter

Is a page indexed?


Google Webmaster Tools

  • Submit pages
  • Search queries
  • How Google sees your site
  • How fast is your site
  • And more...

Google Analytics

  • Search queries
  • What content is popular
  • Goal tracking
  • Email reports
  • And lots more...

Other things to consider

  • Adwords
  • Local search
  • Microdata
  • Social media

Useful Resources

Useful Plugins

Wrap Up

  • SEO is a journey not an event
  • It can be worth the investment
  • But check the stats
  • If in doubt, do what's best for your audience
  • Don't try to trick Google

Future Meetings

What topics would you like?

  • Plugins
  • Security & backup
  • Hosting
  • Widgets
  • Ecommerce

Thanks for listening

Mark Rowatt Anderson

(0797) 123 1239