From the time I first started using WordPress, I’ve touted its SEO-friendly qualities. I wrote a few posts this month focusing on some tips, tricks, and best practices to improve the search engine rankings of your WordPress site. But then I got to thinking: What is it that makes WordPress so SEO-friendly? And second, what does “SEO friendly” mean, anyway?
I’ll handle the second question first. In short, an SEO-friendly website is able to be indexed by search engines and offers tools which make it easier for search engines to find and rank your site, such as enhanced meta data, categories, tags, and titles.
Alrighty then. But what makes WordPress so SEO-friendly?
That’s a pretty easy question, and it goes back to the tools portion of the previous answer. From the time you install it, WordPress offers all kinds to tools to make it easy to include the data you need to improve your search engine rankings. As is stated on the WordPress codex, “WordPress, straight out of the box, comes ready to embrace search engines. Its features and functions guide a search engine through the posts, pages, and categories to help the search engine crawl your site and gather the information it needs to include your site within its database.”
Through permalinks, tags on images, plugins, and dozens of other little ways, WordPress can help you improve your site rankings. Which is fantastic. I love things that make my life easier, and when it comes to search engine optimization, WordPress is as friendly as can be.
But don’t think for a minute that “SEO-friendly” means “SEO automatic”. This is not a Ronco-style “Set it and forget it” process. If you think you can slap together a WordPress-based site and have it magically appear on page one of every search engine out there… well, I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but it ain’t gonna happen. There is work to be done. You need good content that is updated regularly. You need to follow best practices to make your site as visible as possible.
The SEO-friendliness of WordPress makes it an excellent tool, but at the end of the day, it is a just another tool that makes the job easier. Like any tool, you need to use it properly to get the expected results.