In 2022 it was reported that roughly 43% of websites are WordPress. That amounts to a lot of businesses needing marketers and content developers who are versed in this particular content management system.
Fortunately, Google does not care what CMS you have when it’s ranking your website for different keywords. They only care about returning the highest quality content for their searchers.
Below is a list of general items a WordPress SEO specialist should know, so keep these in mind when you’re in process of hiring one.
The skills needed for successful WordPress SEO
A WordPress SEO marketer should be familiar with a variety of strategies and tools, including:
- WordPress Basics: They should be comfortable navigating WordPress, publishing posts, uploading media, and managing comments. They should also understand how to install and update plugins and themes, and set up and manage user roles.
- SEO Fundamentals: A WordPress SEO marketer should understand the principles of SEO, including keyword research, on-page optimization, link building, technical SEO, and local SEO. They should know how to develop and implement an SEO strategy.
- WordPress SEO Plugins: They should be familiar with SEO plugins like Yoast SEO, All in One SEO Pack, or Rank Math. These plugins can help manage meta tags, create XML sitemaps, and provide SEO analysis.
- Google Analytics and Google Search Console: They should know how to integrate these tools with WordPress to track website traffic, understand user behavior, monitor site performance, find out which keywords bring in the most traffic, and identify any site errors.
- Content Creation and Optimization: They should know how to optimize blog posts and other content for SEO. This includes using keywords appropriately, optimizing images, and using tags and categories correctly.
- Technical SEO: This includes understanding how to optimize website speed, ensuring the website is mobile-friendly, implementing SSL, understanding how to use robots.txt, and setting up proper canonical URLs to prevent duplicate content issues.
- Link Building: They should understand the importance of creating a strong backlink profile through methods like guest blogging, content marketing, social media sharing, and more.
- Local SEO: If applicable, they should understand how to optimize a website for local search, including using Google My Business, optimizing for “near me” searches, and gaining positive customer reviews.
- Schema Markup: Knowledge of Schema markup and how it can be used to enhance search engine results is also beneficial.
- Staying Updated: SEO is a dynamic and constantly evolving field. An SEO marketer should stay up-to-date with the latest changes in Google’s algorithms, SEO tactics, and trends.
These skills and knowledge areas will enable a WordPress SEO marketer to effectively optimize a website, improve its visibility in search engine rankings, and increase organic traffic.
How important are WordPress SEO plugins?
WordPress plugins play a crucial role in enhancing and extending the functionality of WordPress websites. By using plugins, you can add a vast array of features and customization options to your website, without the need for extensive coding knowledge.
One of the main ways plugins help is by enhancing your site’s SEO. Plugins like Yoast SEO, All in One SEO, and Rank Math can help you optimize your content and meta descriptions, create XML sitemaps, and provide overall SEO analysis. This helps improve the visibility of your site on search engines, leading to increased organic traffic.
Plugins also enable you to add interactive features like contact forms, image galleries, and social media feeds to your website. For instance, the Contact Form 7 plugin allows you to create and manage multiple contact forms, while the Instagram Feed plugin lets you display your latest Instagram posts on your site.
Plugins can also improve your site’s performance. Caching plugins, for example, can drastically increase your site’s loading speed by storing a version of your website on the visitor’s browser, reducing the time it takes for the page to load on subsequent visits.
Finally, plugins like Google Analytics for WordPress and Jetpack provide you with detailed statistics and insights about your site’s visitors. These analytics help you understand your audience better, allowing you to make informed decisions about your content strategy.
In summary, WordPress plugins are versatile tools that can significantly enhance the functionality and performance of your site, while also providing valuable insights about your visitors.
What questions should you ask to test a WordPress SEO marketer?
When interviewing a WordPress SEO specialist, you want to ensure that the candidate has the necessary technical skills, a good understanding of SEO best practices, and a knack for problem-solving. Here are five questions that can help you gauge these aspects:
- How have you improved SEO for a WordPress website in the past? This question lets the candidate talk about their past experiences and achievements. Listen for specifics on the strategies they implemented, the challenges they faced, and the results they achieved. This will give you an idea of their problem-solving skills and their understanding of SEO.
- What WordPress SEO plugins have you worked with, and how do you use them to optimize a website? This will help you determine the candidate’s technical skills. Familiarity with plugins like Yoast SEO, All in One SEO Pack, and Rank Math is important as they provide key functionalities for optimizing WordPress websites.
- How do you conduct keyword research and integrate those keywords into a WordPress website? The candidate’s answer will help you assess their understanding of one of the fundamental aspects of SEO. They should be able to explain their process for finding and selecting keywords, as well as how they use those keywords in the website’s content and meta tags.
- How do you ensure that a WordPress website is technically sound for SEO? This question is aimed at finding out if the candidate understands technical SEO concepts such as website speed optimization, mobile optimization, SSL implementation, and URL structure.
- Can you describe how you’ve used Google Analytics or Google Search Console in relation to a WordPress website? These tools are crucial for monitoring a website’s performance, understanding user behavior, and identifying areas for improvement. The candidate should be able to explain how they’ve used these tools to make data-driven decisions.
These questions are just a starting point. You might want to ask additional questions based on the specific needs and goals of your organization.
I have ten years of experience doing SEO marketing with WordPress websites. If you need assistance, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.