On many occasions my clients and students ask me how to write for Internet using WordPress.
They want to have better SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for their content, so they can be read by more users. May be this is your same case, and that’s why you’re here.
The answer, of course, is neither unique nor simple. Writing for Internet using WordPress is not just a technique, but rather a set of actions, which are part of a strategy, which can result in the expected benefit.
So, in this article I want to explain, since the technical aspects of the CMS WordPress (Content Management System), to some good basic SEO practices that should be common in every high profile web.
Researching is the first thing in the to do list
No matter how expert you can be in some area, someone may have something to contribute. So, never think that you don’t need to investigate before writing.
In addition, research is good because it lets you know what it has already been written on a certain topic. Maybe that way you could feel as a need to show a different point of view or some little known aspect, to stay outstanding.
When researching, try to find keywords, but not only as you, an expert in the field, would do it, but like an user without knowledge. That way you could reach different sources of information, and get something from each one.
Content is King
Since Google penalizes duplicate content, when writing on the Internet using WordPress, never make a copy and paste. Although you can insert pieces of text from another blog in yours, remember always to credit the source.
Content is king, Google has proven. So, the first thing to ask ourselves is if that topic we want to write about for Internet is something that our audience is looking for. One way to do this is in Google itself.
Research within Google
Use the appropriate Google for the country you are heading to. For example, if you want to know what has been written about something in UK, use google.co.uk
But if you want to target an international audience, with only the language limitation, then use google.com and ask for the results to be in English only.
Another excellent tool for determining how much material has been published for a topic – and therefore knowing how difficult it could be to get a better SEO for that keyword or keywords – is Google Keyword Planner.
You can do the search in a language or even go to Google Keyword Planner for a particular country. Just to clarify: the purpose of this Google application is for us to buy them AdWords ads.
Also you can use Google Trends to know the interest a particular topic have over time, and even predict (although nothing is sure, of course) how much that trend will remain.
Again, you can search internationally, just choosing a language or geolocalize the search to segment the interest of users in a particular country.
Even so, chances are you decide to write for Internet using WordPress about the topic you know in depth, and that would be a wise decision.
Whether you are passionate about a topic, or you want to write on your company’s corporate blog about the products or services you offer, the main thing is that you have valuable information to share. Google highly appreciate expert opinions.
Organize the content when writing for Internet using WordPress
Having established the theme of your blog, it is time to categorize the content. When writing for Internet using WordPress, the contents, by default, must have categories and tags.
Categories: What is that?
Categories are the primary order of organization and may have hierarchy, that is, there may be parent categories and child categories.
The names you decide to use for the categories should be as short and descriptive as possible. As an example, a travel agency may categorize the contents of their blog in “Europe”, “Americas”, “Asia”, “Africa” and “Oceania”.
This way they specify that a certain article is related to Europe, for example. However, they should keep in mind that this may not be the way their customers are looking for information.
Perhaps it would be easier for these if the categories were “Adventure Tourism”, “Ecological Tourism” or “Cruises”.
Categories are the primary order of organization and may have hierarchy, that is, there may be parent categories and child categories.
Anyway, a blog post can have more than one category. Following the example of the travel agency, a post about a trip to the Galapagos Islands may be categorized into “Americas” as well as “Adventure Tourism”.
This would facilitate the navigation of the users and would allow a better relation between the content targeted to visitors.
It is needed that categories be concise and logical words that users would use for research.
So, for example, a category called “Sunday Morning Walks in the City When It Rains” does not seem very functional.
In fact, it could cause errors and would unnecessarily lengthen the characters in the URL.
Tags: What is this other thing?
Tags, on the other hand, are keywords that describe the content. There is no a limit about how many to set.
Some recommend using a good number of tags in each article, to achieve “long tail” indexing, that is, by other words that are not necessarily part of the keyword or keywords.
Tags are keywords that describe the content
However, it would be ideal if at least in part, the words choosen as tags would be present sufficiently in the text.
For example, if we sometimes use the word “rent” in the text, we can include the tag “rent”, as well as “rented”, “for rent”, “renting”, etc. The idea is to choose tags between keywords in the text and their variants.
Images and other media files
Images are fundamentals pieces when writing for Internet using WordPress. Ideally, the images used in a blog have a standard, that is, they are all of the same dimensions, in order to maintain a style of visualization.
But it is not an writen-in-stone law. So, one of the first questions that you should ask yourself before writing the first post of your blog is whether it will maintain uniformity in the images or not.
There are different aspect ratios that could be used. For example, some TVs are 16: 9, while others are 4: 3. Also 3: 1, 2: 1 and 1: 1 ratios are common. All these numbers refer to the width size with respect to the height of a screen or object.
To explain it, the 16: 9 ratio is a rectangular object or screen. When you measure the width of the object or screen, divide it between 16 and multiply by 9, you get the height of the screen or object.
Some common sizes in pixels for the featured or main images that should be part of the post are 800 × 450, 800 × 600, 640 × 360, 640 × 480, etc. Pixel is a common or basic measure of digital products.
More details about the images
Although the images could be use more than once, I prefer to use one for each post and not use it again anywhere else.
The image that will be use as featured should be filenamed the same as the post, separated by dashes.
For example, if the title is “How to write for Internet using WordPress”, the featured image should be filenamed: how-to-write-on-internet-using-wordpress.jpg.
In addition, in the alternative text field, the title must be re-entered. And you must explain what the image is about in the field for caption.
Always use images, but remember: less is more
Of course, when writing for Internet using WordPress you should not only set featured images in post. It is also necessary to set other images, as well as videos and other multimedia files time and again.
The use of multimedia elements allows users to relax from reading and enjoy an image or video that, of course, must be related to what we are writing or, even better, serve to explain the subject as the written word can’t do it.
Writing content for Internet using WordPress
Once you have set down all the basic issues of your blog, it is time for you to write your post.
Every time you dedicate yourself to writing a new one, you have to open wide your eyes in these details that are explained below.
Jakob Nielsen through his usability studies has explained how people read on the Internet. F reading pattern is the resulting concept.
Like this letter, users read the first section of the post and determine its value to decide if continue reading or skipping some parts.
Then the eyes go to the left end and then make a second sweep of less intensity. Then continue to the left until the end.
This behavior means that:
- Users are unlikely to read all your material. Have you read this article word for word?
- The first 2 paragraphs should contain the main information
- You must put meaningful words at the beginning of the subtitles, paragraphs and bullets, since these will be the areas most viewed by users
- You must place visual resources that attract attention so that users want to read the post until the end
This is perhaps the most crucial aspect of writing for Internet using WordPress. Users will decide to read the article or not according to the title shown.
In fact, it is one of the core values of SEO, so you should think about it carefuly.
A title is a promise. You promise the user that, if she/he reads that post you have written, she/he will know something meaningful. Never put a misleading title about something that is not explained in the post.
Ideally, the title should have a length between 35 and 45 characters. In any case no more than 60.
That ensures that will fit perfectly in the space destined to the title in the Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP’s).
The results of Yahoo, Bing and others have a similar extension. In addition it should be sufficiently descriptive so the users know what would be about and don’t feel defrauded when reading it.
A title is a promise. Never put a misleading title.
Some of the phrases that work best for titles begin with the words we use to ask. In fact, it’s generally how people search on Google.
This way, the best articles in your blog could be titled: “How to do …”, “Why to use …” or “When is better …”.
Other titles that work well are those of the type “Complete guide about …” because it indicates that it says everything you need to know about a topic.
Take as an example the title I chose for this post: “How to write on the Internet using WordPress”.
It has the appropriate length, when reading it users know that it will be about how to write content to be published for Internet, and more specifically, using the CMS WordPress. Direct and with no surprises.
In any case, if you have doubts, name the title to someone and ask if you would like to spend a few minutes reading about that topic.
Seeing her/his facial expression and answer, perhaps you can imagine the reaction of your visitors.
The time you use choosing a great title for your post it will always be well spent time.
This is the most extensive part and the one that will take more time from your work. Ideally, try to explain everything in the simplest way possible.
As Albert Einstein put it, “If you can not explain it simply, you do not get it right.”
Write what you want to communicate in the most organized way possible, as you have accustomed to your audience.
An idea is to place the ideas in chronological order, giving information as the user needs it. Another option is to tell a story and use it to captivate your readers.
In case you want to write a post as telling a story, the process is similar to the plot of a movie.
You begin to write narrating the cusp of the story, you leave it in suspense, and you go on to relate in chronological order or of importance what I take to that.
It is extremely necessary that you use visual resources to help your readers. For example, is necessary that your blog have good contrast between the background and the words.
The user experience shows that the best thing for this is that the background be white and the words be black or very dark gray.
“If you can not explain it simply, you do not get it right”
– Albert Einstein
In addition, you must use bullets, place some words in bold, links to other sections of your blog or even other websites. As I have sad before, images and videos are also valuable to keep the user’s attention.
Paragraphs should be short. You can write a paragraph on your computer and see that it only takes 5 lines. But on the phone that same paragraph could take up more than the entire screen. And users do not read large blocks of text. So, split your ideas.
Being concise in ideas is also vital. Most internet users do not have much time and appreciate websites that are straight to the point and where they quickly get what they are looking for.
Nielsen believes that only 50% of the content of written articles should go online, in the case of news sites. If you want to spread more, you may need to write for a printed journal.
That is true if we only consider the issue of usability, but for SEO long texts are suitable. So try to get the best of both worlds.
Even within the text it is necessary to set some subtitles. These should be tagged as HTML H2 or Heading 2 to indicate that they are pieces of important texts, but lower than the title itself.
The most common content type in WordPress is the post. Post can be set in a lot of formats, such as text, audio, video, quotes, image, etc.
You must choose the format that best identifies your content.
The SEO review
When you have finished writing your post, it is time to review the details. I always use, and I highly recommend, the Yoast Seo plugin, as it makes it much simpler for me to do the SEO review.
You can download it for free from the WordPress plugin repository and set it up in just a few minutes.
In the plugin you should set the keyword of the post. Based on that, it tells you what is good and what needs to be improved.
The analysis is not only based on the keyword, but also checks the readability of the post. These functions are very valuable when writing for Internet using WordPress.
Yoast checks that the keyword:
- Be part of the title and url
- Be in the first paragraph of the post
- Also be included in alternative text for featured image
It also reviews that:
- The text has the appropriate length (a minimum of 300 words, and an ideal of 1,200)
- The title has the appropriate length (between 35 and 45 characters)
- There is a meta description, or snippet (between 120 and 160 characters).
This meta description is the text that Google places in 2 lines just below the title of the page in the SERP’s.
It must say very clearly the content of the post so that users decide to visit it.
Spending time reviewing that all SEO factors be in an excellent condition is one of the best things you can do when writing for Internet
It’s worthless to spend a lot of time preparing and doing content if no one is going to find it.
It is clear that achieving good indexation is not an easy task. However, it is worth it.
As Twitter says, your digital presence may be the only thing many people know about you.
In addition, it is universal and can mean the difference between a successful brand or business and one that is not.
Have you implemented any of these suggestions? How did it go? Did you find this article helpful? Write what you want to say in the comments section. I want to hear about you.