WordPress SEO Essentials with Peter Mead @petermeadit #vcbuzz

Wordpress SEO Essentials with Peter Mead @petermeadit #vcbuzz

WordPress has made incredibly easy for anyone to set up a professional website.

But apart from set-up and content, there’s one more important part to the puzzle: Findability.

Your site needs to be easy to find using Google and that’s where Wordress SEO comes into play.

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About Peter Mead @petermeadit

Peter Mead @petermeadit is a highly experienced award-winning WordPress SEO Consultant.

Peter has been involved in the SEO community for many years and has become known to some as The Godfather.

Peter was awarded a Special Recognition Award by @SEMrush in 2019 at the annual Search Marketing Awards held at the Sydney Opera House.

Questions we discussed

Q1 How did you become a digital marketer? Please share your career story!

The story of my career into digital marketing began in the 90s when I got interested in the internet as a project, and in particular @timberners_lee, I started making websites on Windows with notepad, and also on Red Hat Linux with Vim etc.

Got interested in search engines, Yahoo!, Magellan, Lycos, Infoseek, and Excite. Also loved Dogpile and Web Wombat… haha. Then, like everyone else was blown away by Google when it started showing fast results with a simple interface.

Was also learning, studying what we used to call Information Technology. Of course IT means something else now, but by the early 2000s I was getting into databases, and programing languages for browsers, Netscape, and Internet Explorer.

Getting into languages, building Java web applet, Shockwave flash, then moving onto .NET with C#, and eventually settling into the whole LAMP stack with PHP, HTLM, JavaScript, and MySQL, which lead me into @WordPress in 2004.

I thought of it as the Internet Project, and how people find things, that’s been a consistent thread I guess. Always did consulting here and there. At what point I started thinking of myself as an SEO probably when I quit my day job started fulltime consulting in 2011.

Current roles now include: Senior SEO Consultant for @StudioHawk co-organizer Melbourne SEO meetup @SEOMeetups, @SEMrush Australian Marketing Academy Webinar host for #ASMA

Q2 First things first: Can WordPress SEO be handled by a blogger or should they always hire a professional? Why?

Yes WordPress SEO can be handled by a blogger if they are willing to go on a learning curve of trial and error and make mistakes. We also know some mistakes are pretty costly in SEO, such as penalties by unwitting growth tactics. Many great SEOs learn this hard way.

The blogger might also decide to engage a professional SEO if they would prefer to keep blogging, while the Technical SEO issues get sorted… What’s your thoughts?

Yes, uninformed and thinking plugins will SEO their site… they need to take some learning.

Agree, spending time learning, and making mistakes. You don’t forget mistakes… I never forget Penguin, haha!

Q3 What are the most common SEO issues a WordPress blog usually has?

Most common WordPress SEO issues are often similar to other sites, but some specific to WordPress include:

  1. Permalinks and URLs structure not sorted.
  2. Poor quality and unreliable web hosting.
  3. Issues with poor Themes, and Plugins.

More detailed issues include:

  1. Problems with visual editors adding too much cruft, bloated HTML, numerous js files, and css.
  2. Theme issues with JQuery particularly with WP version 5.5
  3. Conflicting plugins, javascript rendering issues etc.

Yes I’m a fan of Gutenberg editor now, @jasonmbarnard convinced me during the adoption of the new editor. Blocks are great!

Q4 For older blogs, how can a blogger audit SEO issues that need to be fixed?

Auditing WordPress SEO issues, is best done using tools to start with is @SEMrush, connect your Google Search Console and Google Analytics accounts. Run a crawl with @screamingfrog and use @sitebulb for deeper checks.

Audit using Visual Checks – How does it look in Google SERPs? Brand name search, site:http://examplesite.com to see how the pages are indexing. Featured snippets, titles, metas, Google for competitors for their main terms. Check GMB, citations, & testimonials.

Audit using Google Search Console – for any penalty, broken links, indexing, penalties, sitemap etc. Disavow file, other issues.

Audit using Google Analytics – traffic any traffic anomalies, organic traffic, direct, bounce rate, main metrics, bad referrers, tracking code setup.

Audit using Screaming frog – Crawl with js 5 second timeout enabled, and text only, keywords and brands in titles, meta descriptions, rendering, crawling, redirects, canonicalization and dig into issues.

Audit using @SEMrush – Check the project history, audit report, crawl history, keywords etc. domain overview, and for important issues.

Audit for Page Speed – GTMetrix, page speed insights, lighthouse, webpage test.

Audit your On-Page – Site structure flat less than 3 clicks, and good content clusters, Structured data, Internal and outbound linking, Footer issues, site navigation.

Audit basic EAT – is this a YMYL site -site:http://examplesite.com “entity name”, clear signals of who the organization or individual is(schema) . testimonials. author clearly displayed? Good about us page? Links to qualifications etc.

Audit your Backlinks – SEMrush, Ahrefs, for patterns, look for toxic markers, too many anchor texts. Check Disavow file in Google Search Console.

Audit your Content – use @SEMrush Content Analyzer. Is text clear and concise, main topics, concepts, ideas explained well. Is there a hero content, 10x or skyscraper post? Is there dead wood, useless pages to remove? good use of imagery and video?

Q5 What are your favorite SEO tools?

No surprise top fav tool is @SEMrush since its early days of just checking competitor traffic, it’s now got integration with with other platforms, and many tools, including new integration with @Yoast

Other top SEO tools are @Majestic, @Ahrefs, @Sitebulb, @Screamingfrog, @InLinks… Plus the standard ones: Google Search console, Google Analytics, Google Data Studio, Bing Webmaster Tools.

WordPress specific tools such as @Yoast, #Gutenberg, WP Asset Clean Up, Google Tag Manager for WordPress.

Our previous SEO chats:

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