You might be a WordPress developer, WordPress plugin developer or WordPress theme developer. You may have worked with WordPress for over a decade. But have you ever wondered what it’s like to purchase a website without any knowledge of WordPress or whatever other CMS? Still, that’s probably true for the vast majority of all WordPress users.
The discussion was triggered a couple of weeks ago in this brilliant post by Morten Rand-Hendriksen about the average WordPress user. You know, when WordPress pushed an automatic update of our WordPress SEO plugin to cover an unfortunate security issue. This post is about making everyday website optimization super easy for your customer. And yourself.
Everyday website optimization
WordPress is the Word-like tool a website owner can use to update text and images on the website. That is basically it. The rest, so will your customers assume, is taken care of. Plugins? Post Types? They don’t know and don’t care about these. They just want to change the content. That’s their everyday website optimization. So what are the things you should or could take care of?
Logging in and security
It’s already hard to remember that login URL for your customer, to be honest.
/wp-admin/ you say? What does that stand for? Can’t that just be
/login/? And that customer hasn’t even logged in yet. You might want to create a 301 redirect from a simpler URL. Don’t just add that WordPress meta widget in the footer – don’t you think that looks lame as well? It’s just not that professional.
Luckily, you have already changed the default admin username to a client specific one. Note that I’ve seen my share of Brute Force attacks over the last few weeks that target my exact first name instead of the admin user. Perhaps that has something to do with my login name being the same as my first name… I could have done that differently. I did just update the password again, something I do on a frequent basis.
Of course you have also installed the Sucuri plugin and configured that for your customer. They don’t even need to know it’s in there. Your main job towards your customer is to inform him that trustno1 isn’t a password. Make it CLU: Complex, Long, Unique.
Tony Perez is one of the Co-Founders and CEO at Sucuri, a globally recognized website security company focused on providing security services to website owners. Sucuri is known for their ability effectively clean hacked websites, and protect them from malicious actors.
Writing and editing
Now that the user is able to log in, he or she just wants to write posts or pages and add images. Posts or pages. Explain the difference. If the client doesn’t want to add news articles (posts), explain that dynamic content really helps the website’s rankings in Google. Besides that, regular posting will also make sure the client visits the website itself on a frequent basis. That will help keeping the website up to date, of course. Your job in this is to make sure there is a news or blog page that will display the blog posts in WordPress › Settings › Reading:
“My customer still doesn’t want a news section on his website.” Consider it a service to set this up anyway. It’s a minute’s work. I have seen agencies charge hundreds of dollars to create a news section that is just two templates in WordPress. Especially when you’re creating a child theme, this is a no-brainer to me.
Just to be sure: there is a catch. If you do this, the blog page will probably display entire posts and that means duplicate content: a post is available via the blog page (in the list of posts) and on the actual page of the article itself. Just a few weeks ago, I took Easy Custom Auto Excerpt (plugin) for a spin. Found some room for improvement for a personal project I was working on, and the guys at Tonjoo fixed these within a few days. Try it for yourself.
Do I have to go there with you, frequent visitor? Probably not. But you should tell your client about our free Page Analysis (in WordPress SEO). It’s the easiest way to optimize a page and at least give some guidance to your client. Just a few things you really have to mention:
- Use one focus keyword; the exact focus keyword is used for the analysis;
- use headings in your texts for better scanning and overall user experience;
- writing a meta description also helps to determine whether the goal of your post is clear;
- add images and optimize these.
- the temptation of the green bullet;
Perhaps most important, as mentioned on our blog earlier this week, that you should develop an Holistic SEO approach. Our blog helps you fill in the blank, and I think most articles are written in a way that even the less tech-savvy (WordPress) user will understand how to optimize his website.
We’ve been discussing internal linking a lot. Internal links help your visitor navigate the site and search engine to find valuable connections between pages. These links are almost always relevant. Besides related posts, you should also focus on adding internal links in your texts itself.
There are a number of plugins that automatically link certain words in articles and pages, but at Yoast, we prefer a less automated approach. If you feel a topic needs background information, add an internal link.
You can use the internal link creator in WordPress (Add link > ‘Or link to existing content’), but that one tend to flood you with suggestions and the most relevant ones are not always at the top. We have been testing Better Internal Link Search:
The most basic feature limits results to posts and pages that contain your search term in the title, rather than returning every post that contains the term in the title or content field — this greatly reduces the number of results on sites with a lot of content and should improve accuracy.
Simple features make this plugin really nice, like the option to just type ‘home’ to quickly link the homepage. You should give it a try, as this will really help your client to create valuable internal links.