Once again, I had the pleasure of giving my SEO for WordPress presentation to a large audience of WordPress users at the New York City WordCamp. For those that aren’t familiar with the phenomenon, WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences that cover everything related to WordPress, and in NYC they are attended by everyone from big companies running their websites on WordPress to local bloggers and businesspeople trying to do whatever it is they do better and using WordPress to do it.
My talk was one I’ve given before, updated to reflect changes in SEO practices since 2012 — most notably, semantic search and its impact on how we do SEO. Last time, I used Yoast’s SEO for WordPress plugin for the demo portion of presentation; this time I used Semper’s All in One SEO Pack to show attendees how to configure and use the additional fields it adds to your editing screen to properly tag pages with good, robust SEO titles and meta-description.
I always make sure my audience understands that plugins do not provide any magic, miraculous boost to websites’ rankings in search results, and this year I also tried to emphasize that chasing exact-match keyword rankings is no longer a viable SEO strategy. Yes, you obviously want to do solid keyword research to make sure that the phrases contained in your on-page copy actually carries a decent amount of search traffic volume. My real-life example of why it’s important to do keyword research is that of a boat dealer client who uses the phrase “pre-enjoyed boats” to describe what everyone else calls “used boats” – thousands of people search for used boats each month; no one (with the exception of the marketing department of the boat dealer) searches for pre-enjoyed boats. Semantic search may change all that, but it will always pay to conduct keyword research before jumping into any copy rewrites for your website.
Thanks to the everyone at WordCamp NYC 2015 for inviting me to speak, and to all the other speakers, sponsors and volunteers that made the event a success.