WordCamp Montreal 2012 Highlights - Part 2: SEO and Social Media for WordPress

WordCamp Montreal 2012 Highlights - Part 2: SEO and Social Media for WordPress

7 Sep
WordCamp Montreal 2012 - A WordPress event sponsored by Symetris

Hope you enjoyed my previous article about WordCamp Montreal 2012. After the conferences discussed in my previous blog post, there was a blitz of search engine talk. I will try to capture the best from them.

SEO for WordPress - 4.5/5

Great conference that recapped basic SEO rules as well as providing a couple of tips and tricks. After identifying keywords for a page (Google AdWords has a good tool for this), the presenter recommended the following:

  • Write unique content (including excerpts for articles)
  • Aim for "keyword density" of 2%-5% (amount of times your keywords appears in the text)
  • Write pages of minimum 250 words
  • Use both human-readable sitemaps and invisible "XML" sitemaps
  • Use keywords in menu items and breadcrumbs
  • Add a "no-index" to pages listing tags, dates, authors archives (this forces Google to index results in the "categories" archives, which is more relevant to users who search)

To keep track of all this, he highly recommended the Yoast SEO plugin, which analyses the page as you write and also recommends enhancements.

Enhanced Social Media Marketing for WordPress - 2/5

What seemed to start as a potentially interesting talk soon turned into a shopping list of dozens of plugins and buzzwordy quotes and concepts. It skimmed the surface of a subject that could have benefited from focusing on a few case studies.

A few interesting tips included: 

  • Don't use Facebook's plugin, as you no longer have ownership of the comments - use SEO Facebook comment instead
  • CrazyEgg Heatmap Tracking was mentionned as an interesting monitoring tool (requires CrazyEgg account)

As a final note, we enjoyed the final quotation from Sun Tsu: "Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory; tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat."

Stop Writing for SEO and Start Writing for Your Audience - 4/5

One sentence shared by the presenter near the start summarized his pitch: "Writing for keyword density makes for shit content." The rest of the conference tried to explore how to walk the fine line between content that humans love to read, and content that can be found through search engines.

Luckily, Google has recently updated its algorithm to eliminate "content farming" which was distorting search results. Google wants :

  • Original content (non-duplicate)
  • High quality content (Google now adds to its algorithm the amount of time people spend reading a page)
  • How many trusted sources (external websites) point to yours

In effect, Google's webmaster guidelines suggest best practices for writing content.

A few tips:

  • Focus on headers and lists, which are easier to scan when reading a webpage
  • Pictures in context help readability, but need relevant captions
  • Keep Hemmingway's 4 rules in mind when writing
    • Use short sentences
    • Use vigourous English
    • Use short first paragraphs (and kick-ass meta-descriptions)
    • Be positive, not negative
  • Participate in relevant online communities
  • Be diligent, do the work - writing takes time and discipline

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So there you have it! More WordCamp Montreal 2012 highlights in the next article.

Tags : 2012, marketing, Montreal, plugins, seo

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