Search-engine opmisation explained

Matt Cutts, among the world’s most preeminent SEO experts, explains what happens when you search for something on Google. Search-engine optimization, or SEO, is the art of making web sites that rank well in Google, where 90% of the clicks go to the top 3 results. How well does your site rank? Could you use some help with your SEO?

Google page speed 100

No one likes to wait for a slow web page. But blinding fast sites don’t just happen.

For those that don’t know, Google PageSpeed is a free tool that assesses the performance and usability of your website for mobile and desktop platforms. It’s extra important because Google uses it in determining key elements of our SEO ranking, i.e. how high we appear in their search results.

On our first pass recently, the K4 Media site scored 86. Not bad. But not great. WordPress doesn’t make it easy, either, with bloated themes and unnecessary plugins. If your aim is Page Speed 100, however, Jeff Reifman at Tutsplus shows you the way.

WordPress SEO meetup, Phnom Penh

Be Chantra, the indefatigable social networking master, is putting together a WordPress SEO meetup. Connect with him on Facebook or LinkedIn if you are interested in speaking. K4 Media will definitely be attending and taking notes. In the meantime, here’s 5 links to help get your SEO mind ready.

The definitive guide to higher rankings for WordPress sites

If you are using WordPress and concerned with SEO, you are likely using Joost de Valk‘s industry leading plugin Yoast SEO. Like the headline says, this is the “definitive guide.” It’s long. But it covers the fundamentals of SEO, and anyone hoping to wade deeper into the SEO ocean should be comfortable with the ideas here.

WordPress SEO

This Siteground tutorial is basically a light version of the above definitive guide. It’s short and identifies key areas of the WordPress page to target for better SEO, but doesn’t go into great detail.

Beginner WordPress SEO (Part 1): How to Optimize Your Blog Posts

A do-it-yourself guide to SEO. As the article promises: if you focus on these 7 key areas of on-page SEO, you can improve your search engine rankings.

10 WordPress SEO Questions That Took Me 10 Years To Answer!

Trond Lyngbø, a columnist at Search Engine Land, touches on some frequent questions surrounding WordPress and SEO. These questions are not aimed at beginners, and the answers are often a bit technical in nature (ex, Can It Hurt My SEO If I’m Not Using The User’s Native Language? Will Adding A Post To Many WordPress Categories Be Good For My SEO? How Can I Improve My SEO With WordPress Widgets?). But there are worthwhile ideas here that even experienced SEO hands have probably not thought about in a while.

5 crazy SEO mistakes not to make in WordPress

These 5 tips are also a bit technical in nature and presume at least an intermediate level of SEO understanding. But such is the way of the SEO warrior. If you plan on reaching the advanced levels, there is no getting around the technology.

A Google search returns literally millions of articles expounding on the often shadowy world of SEO. You can never know it all. To further complicate matters, SEO techniques are constantly in flux, ebbing and flowing to the algorithms of Google and other search engines. Paid professionals can help, but so can rolling up your sleeves and doing the messy work.

That said, however, remember that SEO is marketing. And before going gung-ho with SEO, I strongly, strongly suggest evaluating the effectiveness of your current marketing strategy.

You have one, right?

Because SEO is not a replacement for a real marketing strategy. And skipping this step will likely end with tears and lots of lost dollars. Caveat emptor.

SEO in 1 minute

Read Jill Whalen. Religiously. Her newsletter is among the very best resources on search engine optimization available anywhere. Her posts are far too complete to try and summarize, but here is a taste from her latest newsletter:

I recently did a site audit for a client who was wondering why they were having a hard time showing up in Google. … They have a fairly small local company that sells some common but specific types of office furniture. While they have a niche for the type of furniture they sell, for the most part it’s nothing that you can’t buy at most of the large office-supply stores such as Office Depot and Staples.

So how do you compete SEO-wise with the $1 million budgets of Office Depot and Staples. It’s not impossible. But it’s not easy, either. Or fast. Read the whole post.

SEO contrarianism

Looking for the latest ultra-clever shortcut to outsmart the search engines and rocket to the top of the rankings? Vitaly Borker, a Brooklyn merchant who runs DecorMyEyes.com, has discovered a wickedly effective strategy.

The story is too long and too good to summarize. But in a breath, it’s all about customer service. David Segal in The NYT explains.