There are many content management systems (CMS) that you can use for your website (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento, and a whole host of others). You can even build websites on completely custom or proprietary systems, though we would almost never recommend that. We almost always recommend WordPress – it’s very easy to use and completely customizable. But one of the biggest benefits of WordPress is the value that it brings for SEO.
We recently had a client who came to us for help with SEO. The following chart shows how many keywords were ranking on the top two pages of Google (not comprehensive, but based on a very large sample of keywords) month by month. The dark blue (bottom) represents keywords on page two of a Google search, with positions 5-10 on page 1 above that, and the top five spaces of a Google search above that. In other words, the taller the lines, the better the site is performing on a Google search.
So, the website looks like it’s performing fairly well in search though traffic started to drop. The client decided that they wanted a new website and hired a designer/developer to build it. This was a custom, hard coded site with no content management system. Oh no!
All of the sudden search engine traffic tanked. Though the new site looked great, it wasn’t performing well at all in search results. It’s nice to have something that looks good, but if it’s not generating leads for you, it’s kind of like throwing money away. This is where Points Group comes in.
The first thing Points Group did was implement the site into WordPress. Upon implementing WordPress we installed a few simple plugins that enabled us to more easily alter Titles and Descriptions, use quick redirects, and other similar changes. These are all things that could have been done with a straight HTML site, but WordPress enables this to be done in a fraction of the time. Of course, along with this we made other simple changes and did keyword research to make sure that we were looking for the right keywords. The results came quickly.
Almost instantly, there was a rapid recovery in the search engine rankings of the website increased. The change here happened almost instantly upon implementing WordPress with the additional changes we made. Although the results weren’t exclusively because of WordPress, it did play a big part. Then, we began the next phase of program, blog creation.
The other major SEO benefits of WordPress is the native blog platform. Since WordPress was originally created as a blog platform, and later expanded to a full website CMS, the blog is very friendly, intuitive, and helpful. Blogging is also a critical component of SEO as it allows you to easily expand your content to provide depth to your website as well as increase the number of keywords you can easily target.
We started the blog posting (only about 2 per month) at the same time as the WordPress implementation, but the results were not immediate. However, as we continued to post, the search engine ranking continued to rise.
Within a few months of taking over the SEO for the site and implementing WordPress, not only did we recover from the drop in search engine rankings, but we surpassed where the site originally was. Yes, we did perform some other link building services within this time frame as well, and that likely played a role. However, circumstances showed us that the blog was a major contributor.
After we were in full swing, we had to take down the blog posts temporarily due to extenuating circumstances and adjust them before putting them back up. Because of the nature of the blog post review process, they were down for a little while. As soon as the blog posts came down, so did the rankings.
Yes, there were holidays involved at the end of the year, and traffic typically falls slightly. That needs to be considered. However, this is a drop in traffic that is more than normal. However, we are also confident that as we restore blog posts and add new content, the trajectory will resume.
We previously stated that traffic dropped off slightly due to blog posts which needed to be removed, but were confident that the search results would bounce back with the blog posts restored, and that traffic would continue to climb.
We were right.
Since this post was written, we have restored the blog posts, added additional blogs, and continued with the same SEO program we had started. Not only can we see that WordPress had a dramatic affect on the website, but content does as well.
Relevant traffic to the site continues to climb steadily with no end in site. More importantly, conversions are coming in the form of phone calls and website form submissions, indicating that the traffic is highly relevant. Conversions have more than doubled over the past few months and the estimated ROI has now far surpassed 10,000% using conservative estimates on close rates.
Conclusions for WordPress Effects on SEO
So, we can see a direct correlation between blogging and website traffic data. And, the bottom line was that when we utilized WordPress for SEO, we saw strong results.
Now, it obviously wasn’t just WordPress that created the results – there was a lot of brainpower behind it – keyword research, content creation, strategic direction of the site, on page optimization, building other external links, etc. However, we know that utilizing WordPress gives a distinct advantage in SEO if you know what you’re doing.
The Cliff’s Notes Version
So, here’s the quick rundown on why WordPress helps us to be so effective with SEO:
- Plugins – Plugins enable you to quickly and easily do things like create redirections, alter meta data, create canonical URL’s, change URL structure, and other changes. Yes, you need to know what you’re doing and what to change everything to, but WordPress makes the actual implementation quick and easy.
- Blogging – Native blog implementation makes adding new content through a blog simple and effective. It’s what WordPress was designed to do and is easy to take advantage of.
- Google Said They Love It – We didn’t mention that before, but Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team (they’re basically in charge of Google Search) said that WordPress is a “fantastic choice for SEO.” It’s pretty safe to take his word for it too.
There are a host of other reasons for using WordPress that we didn’t even get into here. It’s open source so any developer can make changes to the site, it’s incredibly flexible allowing endless design possibilities, it’s very user friendly, and has plugins that will allow you to do almost anything. Unless you’re a heavy e-commerce site, there’s almost no reason to use another Content Management System.
So, if you’re looking to build a website for your business, we can’t stress WordPress hard enough. Of course, if you’re looking for help, we’d be happy to talk with you about what your options are for a custom site for your business. And, if you want that site to get found in search, we have the knowledge behind the tools to get that done for you. Give us a call, and we’ll get started with turning your online presence into a lead generation machine.