WordPress Dominance Growing – Great for SEO

Wordpress Dashboard ImageI fully advocate using the WordPress platform for small business SEO and the numbers seem to indicate that I’m not alone. On the WordPress Blog, on August 19th, in their State of the Word post, WordPress announced some facts about usage of their platform.

First, 147,000 of the top one million sites on the web are using WordPress, up from 85,000 not long ago. In addition, and this is more important for us, “22 out of every 100 new active domains in the US are running WordPress.” The reason for the growing popularity of WordPress is that it’s the easy platform to install and manage.

A basic WordPress blog can be up in minutes. Add a different theme and some plugins and its ready to go and SEO friendly. If you don’t want to set it up yourself, you can have it done by someone for no more than a few hundred dollars. It wasn’t long ago that a decent site was in the $2,000 dollar range. Now, we’re talking $200 or less. Bid it out on ODesk or Elance, or if you want to go local use Craigslist.

Using WordPress doesn’t change the process of market research and keyword research. It just makes it easy to set up the site and publish and manage your content. It also allows you to use pages or posts when publishing content. For more on that, visit our post WordPress – Posts or Pages – Which is Best?

Now, a few hundred dollars is what you will pay for the set-up, plugins and a basic theme for your WordPress site. For $200-300 more you can have a custom template created to meet your custom needs. To get an idea of what can be done with WordPress, visit Groupmind.

Another thing I like about WordPress is that it there are so many sites using the platform, that your site visitors will be accustomed to the navigation. This factor makes usability decision less of an issue. You pick the design and WordPress will allow you to use, one column, 2 column left, 2 column right, 3 column, and / or top menus for navigation. It’s a very elegant and visitor friendly platform.

I’ve also been hearing that WordPress is working on HTML5 compatibility. WordPress is open source and the platform itself is free. The platform is constantly enhanced and improved and there’s no danger you site will be on an obsolete platform. I advise all small business SEO websites to use WordPress unless there is some clear burning reason to create a custom site.

Note: I’m not affiliated with WordPress or Groupmind.

WordPress – Posts or Pages – Which is Best?

Using Wordpress Pages

Worpress Pages DashboardWordPress posts or pages – which one should you use when publishing your content? Is there a difference?

So Few WordPress Pages

Many blogs based on the WordPress platform use only a few pages on the site. That could be a mistake for two reasons:

  • Long term search engine rankings
  • Visitor time on site and conversion

Pages Are Your Showroom

From an SEO perspective, here’s what I’ve found for using WordPress blogs:

  • Pages are your showroom
  • Posts are your promotion

Posts can rank well in the search engines, but unless your site is structured around categories and pages, visitors coming to those post will not find more of what they’re looking for. According to Steve Krug in his fantastic book, Don’t Make Me Think, a visitor landing on your post is looking to answer these questions:

  1. What is this?
  2. What can I do here?
  3. What do they have here?
  4. Why should I be here – and not somewhere else?
  5. Where do I start?

I’m convinced that you can’t answer these questions unless you treat the WordPress Platform like two separate sites:

  • Pages – Important content that you want visitors to view and the content you want to rank in the search engines
  • Posts – Promotional and conversational pieces to send visitors to pages and support those pages to rank higher

Posts are like television news and pages are like a feature movie. People watch TV while doing a lot of other things. They’re often distracted and interrupted when watching. When people go to the movies, they’re getting higher quality content (hopefully), they’re not interrupted and they’re paying full attention.

The 100 to 1 Ratio

For SEO purposes, a blog post should always promote a page. For competitive keywords, the ratio of posts to pages may be 100 to 1. That ratio can be reduced by sending external links to the pages. You will also need fewer posts or links for less competitive terms.

Think of the concept of landing pages. They’re not call landing posts for a reason. You control the page, you test it and then you change it to perform better.

Site Structure and Pages

I’m testing pages as the site structure for blogs now. I’m converting category pages to static pages and doing evergreen content as pages. When I layout the initial site structure, I’m doing that as pages not posts.

Take the example of a photography review site. My categories might be cameras, lenses, flashes, tripod and so on. Each of those categories would be pages. Within those pages, I would control the navigation to sub-categories within the site. Posts could be used for individual products or items, and those posts should be added to the category page. Other posts would promote the product posts and the category pages like this:

Using WordPress Pages

If you’ve created a blog just to create links, pages are not necessary. However, if you’re creating a website based on the WordPress platform, then you need to use pages for good site design, showcasing your most important content and small business SEO rankings.