Learning About SEO at WordCamp Atlanta

by Charity on February 4, 2012

Jenny Munn, the Atlanta Copywriter, spoke at WordCamp Atlanta 2012 about Search Engine Optimization and WordPress blogs. This was a fantastic refresher for me AND I even learned a few things!

I’d like to share my favorite ideas from Jenny’s presentation with you today. If you would like to learn more about SEO, you should definitely consider purchasing Jenny’s ebook How to SEO Your Site: A DIY Guide for Small Business Owners.

Jenny Munn explains Google Adwords Keyword Generator Tool at WordCamp 2012

Jenny Munn explains the Google Adwords Keyword Generator Tool at WordCamp 2012

Jenny started right out of the gate with the importance of keyword research. Before you begin building your blog, research the words that people actually use to find you on search engines. This doesn’t necessarily mean your company name – focus on what your company does, where your company is located, and the services or products that your company provides.

Take a look around and check out what your competitors are using for their own keywords. Use key phrases rather than individual words to expand your reach and improve your results. Then, verify keywords and phrases within the free Google Keywords Tool as being worth your effort to use. Are they getting any clicks? Are they being used by your competitors?

Jenny Munn explains Keywords and their impact on SEO at WordCamp 2012

"Keep the words and phrases that make sense and throw out the others." - Jenny Munn

Don’t forget about using plurals! An “s” or an “es” can make up a “hidden gem.” Use lots of combinations! Pick 5-15 keyphrases and use up to 5 per page. Keep a spreadsheet, prioritize and assign keywords and phrases to pages. Don’t use them all on the home page!

Take some time to do in-depth competitive research. Who are you competing against and how can you outrank them in search? Large companies have the benefit of an SEO team but traffic does not equal leads! Use local keywords and phrases to gain an advantage in your market.

For example, consider these keywords and phrases: Writer vs. business writer vs. Atlanta business writer. Which do you think will work best?

Jenny Munn explains Keywords at WordCamp 2012

"A 'hidden gem' is when there is a lot of traffic but the competition is not using the keyword." - Jenny Munn

One important thing to consider: Make sure your website is user-friendly! No matter how great your keywords and phrases are, no matter how many clicks you receive on your site, it won’t matter if people cannot find what they are looking for.

Here are a few tips about WordPress titles, tags, and descriptions from Jenny:

  • Title tags are very valuable real estate – start with your main keywords and put your name last
  • Most important keywords in the beginning of your title tags and within your descriptions
  • You have 60 characters, make them count because Google won’t see beyond that magic number
Jenny Munn explains page optimization versus site optimization at WordCamp 2012

"You don't optimize a website, you optimize your pages." - Jenny Munn

There is a difference between website optimization and page optimization. Get down to the nitty-gritty by focusing on the individual pages. Often, people will land on your blog or website on various pages, not necessarily the landing page you’ve built.

On Page SEO involves using keyword-rich anchor text. For those of you who are unfamiliar with anchor text, it is the text that is used when hyperlinking to another website. Please don’t use the words “click here” or type out a website url. In WordPress, you will simply describe the website you are linking to, select the text, and insert the hyperlink. Easy-Peasy!

In every blogging session, the speakers reminded us to include a call to action on our blog posts and within our pages. The All-In-One SEO Pack plugin was recommended in every session as well.

Here are a few other random tips about blogging from various sessions at WordCamp Atlanta:

  • Titles should be 70 characters or less
  • Only use 5-8 keywords
  • Post in 1-2 categories
  • 100-300 words is ideal for timely posts
  • Be open-minded about your resources, follow competitors
  • Journals, newspapers, magazines, community sites are great resources
  • Your readers can tell if you love what you’re writing about!
  • Be a newsworthy resource for Wikipedia on your subject
  • Check out basicblogtips.com
  • “If you have more than 6-8 categories on your blog, you’re doing it wrong.”
    - John Saddington

If you’re using WordPress, or considering starting a blog, I highly encourage you to locate a WordCamp in your local area. Not only will you be able to learn from the best, but you’ll make friends you can call on if you have questions later.

Do you have any WordPress challenges?

  • http://twitter.com/jennymunn Jenny

    Wow, Charity, what a great recap! I’ll definitely refer people back to this post who either couldn’t attend or needed a refresher. Thanks so much. 

    The organizers of WordCamp did a great job, and my only WordPress challenge now is to go back and put into effect all the new things that I learned. 

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