The Ultimate WordPress SEO Checklist

How exciting, you have just finished your WordPress website and you all set to launch, but have you optimised your site for the best possible SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) results? Below is our Ultimate WordPress SEO Checklist.

SEO Checklist

1. Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools

Google Analytics is brilliant! It generates statistical information about your website traffic and it’s sources. The Google Webmaster tool, helps in optimising the websites visibility and provides information about how a particular website is performing. It also shows information about the keywords, and the queries that are boosting the ranking of each of the pages. This fetches further information, checking if there is any negative impact on the ranking of the website. And the best thing… it’s all free!

Google Analytics Code

2. Meta Keywords and Description

Meta descriptions are descriptive information about a page that explains “the about” of the pages to a search engine such as Google. The characters for meta descriptions must be under 156 characters. These descriptions help the user gain the relevant page information prior to actually clicking the page. WordPress SEO Plugins that help you in this are Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack.

Meta Keywords and Description

3.  Content, Keywords & Pages Titles

It’s important to have a unique page, and the post title is critical, this is because it is generated with on-page optimisation practices, which include placement and keyword density, meta tags and HTML codes. These titles usually must have a 50-65 character limit. For the best approach of keywords, it is recommended to allow 10 keywords per page. It is also really important to have relevant content on each page. Unique and relevant content is one of the fundamental elements that Google always recommends for better website ranking. Relevant keywords will help for the better search ranking also.

Content, Keywords & Page Titles

4. Header Tags

Headers tags come in the form of H1, H2, H3, and H4. These are placed at different spots on a web page to help the search engines locate key headlines plus information, providing the most relevant results to the users searching. The H1 tag should always be placed at the top of a page. H2 tags can help in determining different sections on a page. H3 and H4 tags can be used for subheadings that are specific links to the content.

Header Tags

5. Page URLs – Permalinks

The URL of the content published on a WordPress website is called permalinks. These are the links that are entered into a browser by a user when looking for specific content. As soon as search engines find the best link match, the results are displayed. This means it is very important to optimise the permalinks with the most relevant searched keywords.

Page URLs - Permalinks

6. Image Optimisation

Images which have been described with relevant content are more likely to get a better ranking. Image optimisation (setting specific image URLs), on the other side, is an additional practice to offer improved page ranking. You need to make sure you are naming your files properly i.e. having relevant content with the best use of a top searchable keyword for a specific subject. This will give you better rankings of the pages on the web. Another way is making sure the file size is kept low, that way is loads faster. There is a WordPress plugin named EWWW Image Optimizer that automatically optimises your images as you upload them to your site.

Image Optimisation

7. Page Loading Times

The speed of a page loading will always be important. Visitors usually don’t wait for the page to load they are taking more than 5 seconds. So, it is very important to host the site with  SSD web host  providers like Web Hosting Hub, &  incorporate the page speed online tool, like Disable Page Revision, for helping pages load quicker. If a user has to wait for a page to load, they may leave the site, which could result in a loss of business. You can use tools like Google Pagespeed Insights which will analyse elements of your website and allow you suggestions on how to improve your site.

Page Loading Times

8. Internal Links

WP Internal Links Lite lets you create links that tailor better results in search engines. Developers have the option of including URLs to related pages. Linking another related posts to a specific page helps search engines crawl on the secondary posts and fetch information, this allows a better chance of page ranking.

Internal Links

9. Utilise WordPress Plugins

There are a ton of WordPress plugins available to ensure efficient search engine optimisation, security issues and file backup issues. For every one of these concerns there is a plugin out there available, including Yoast SEO plugin, BulletProof Security and BackUPWordPress. These plugins have been designed to make your’e SEO easier to configure.

SEO Plugins for WordPress

The SEO checklist above gives your WordPress site the edge over all other related websites. If you are set to launch your WordPress website, make sure you have these essentials covered.

If you require any help we at DesignLab can look after all this for you.

WordPress Checklist Infographic

Thanks to Capsicum Media for the below infographic.

Wordpress Checklist

Advantages of using WordPress


Advantages of using WordPress to Power Your Company’s Website

At DesignLab, we only build our websites for our clients using WordPress. It has been around since 2003 and is the most popular blogging software around. Over the past years, WordPress has also become the content management software of choice for non-blogging websites. Here are some advantages why WordPress is so popular and why you might want to consider using DesignLab to build a WordPress platform for your company’s website.

1. Easy to Use

WordPress is very easy to use.  Adding new pages, blogs, images, videos, etc. on a regular basis is a easy and can be done quickly.  The technology is so simple, which means less time spent on formatting.

2. You Manage Your Website from Any Computer

WordPress is a browser-based software. You can login from any Internet connected computer and manage your site. Simple. Easy.

3. There is no HTML Editing or FTP Software Required

WordPress is a self-contained system and does not require any HTML editing software such as Adobe Dreamweaver or Contribute. You can easily create a new page or blog, format text, upload images (edit them), upload PDFs, video files, image galleries, etc. all without the need for additional HTML or FTP software.

4. Search Engines Love WordPress

The code behind WordPress is clean and simple, making it easy for search engines to read and index a site’s content. Each page, post, and image can have its own meta tag keywords, description, and title, and be optimised for specific keywords, allowing for very precise search engine optimisation.  You can also use tags to further enhance your search engine optimisation efforts.

5. Control of Your Site is Yours

No more waiting for a web designer to make simple updates on your website. You have control of nearly every aspect of your site and can easily make those simple updates yourself, and if you run into trouble there is tons of free help on the internet.

6. Design of Your Website is 100% Customisable

WordPress acts as the engine for your website. The look and feel of your site can be customised so your brand of your company can come through on your site and provide a unique experience to your visitors.

7. Blogs are Built-in and Ready to Go

WordPress was originally created as a blogging platform, which means blogging capabilities are already built-in and easy to integrate. Setting up a RSS / email subscriptions to your blog, commenting capabilities, automatically adding the most recent blog posts to other pages of the site are also simple to set-up, and help to extend your company’s reach and make your site more dynamic.

8. Extending the Functionality with Plugins

You can add an video gallery, event calendar, photo gallery, shopping cart, Twitter Feed, Facebook Fan Box and more to your site. WordPress makes this possible with plugins, most of which are free or reasonably priced. You don’t need to be a web guru to install them.

9. Your Site Will Grow as Your Business Grows

WordPress sites are so scalable. There are hundreds of thousands of pages or blog posts on your site and the performance of the site will not be compromised in the least.

10. Multiple Users

As an administrator of a WordPress site, you can set-up multiple users for the website and assign access levels and capabilities to each user.

Hints to help you get to the top page of Google

How to get on the Top Page of Google!

There has been many statistics which prove people don’t click beyond the first page of Google search results, so if you want to be seen, you need to be in the top listings on first page. To do that, you need to learn a bit about how search engines work and how to optimise your site, more commonly known as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Once the search engine knows your site exists, they scan your site and index the information, then analyse the content to determine how and where your website should display on the results page. If your site isn’t optimised, then it won’t rank well at all, and could end up well below your competitors.

Some Key Elements to Help Increase Your Rankings:

Each search engine has its own set of rankings and listing criteria, but they all work the same way, let’s look at the same basic elements.

Keywords – These are select words and phrases that someone would use when searching for your product/business. You want to choose 5 to 10 words or phrases that best represent your product/business, then use those words and phrases frequently on your site (but only where it makes sense — whatever you do, don’t cram them in because Google will know).

Title Tag – The title tag is a short summary of what potential customers can expect from your page. It displays in a few important places, including the browser’s title bar, and as the title for your listing in search engine results. If you target a specific audience, possibly consider including that in the title, like “motorcycle accident in Arizona.” It helps if each page on your site contains a unique title, but keep it concise — around 65 characters.

Description Tag – The description tag displays below your website’s link in search results and should entice people to visit your website. Every page in your site should include a unique description using the keywords for that page. Keep your descriptions less than 250 characters and avoid non-alphanumeric characters.

Header Tag (H1 Tag) – Every page in your website should include only one header tag. It doesn’t display in the search results, but it’s the largest or most prominent text on your page. The header tells a visitor what they’re reading. Keep it brief – no longer than a short sentence.

Page Content – Your content, the text that your visitors will read, is really important for search engines. Use between 350 and 650 words, including those keywords we mentioned above, one good thing is to bold each of the keywords once on the page. And always make sure everything on your site is original material, do not copy and paste from other competitor websites. Google will know.

Interesting Fact: Google can tell (and will probably penalise you) if your content has an excessive number of keywords.

Link Building Links can be a big factor in how search engines rank your site. There are two: interlinks and back links. Interlinking is creating a link from a keyword or sentence on one page to another area of your website. For example, the sentence “Find an lawyer near you” would be linked to the list of office locations on your site. A Back link are other websites that link to your site. Google weighs this more heavily when determining your site’s rank, and unfortunately these are more difficult to achieve. An easy ways to create back links are listing your business with online directories (such as Yelp, TrueLocal and social media). You could also contact other business owners online in your area of business and offer them a link exchange.

Menu Navigation – Navigation refers to all the links on your website. Visitors and Google both rely on good navigation to get around your site. Broken links are like hitting a wall, so be sure to check your links regularly and make sure they are all working.

Sitemap – A sitemap is essentially the map of all the pages in your website. Sitemaps will guide a search engine throughout your website with the names and locations of pages. They can speed up indexing and, in some cases, increase site traffic by indexing previously buried pages.

Image Tag – Images are good to break up the text and add a visual appeal to your website. Be sure to include an image on every page, and format it with an “alt” attribute using those keywords we mentioned. Because search engines can’t see images the way we do, they depend on alt attributes to appropriately catalog and index the image.

Tip: Optimising your images, so the file size is smaller and the image loads faster, can also help your search rankings.


Content is King #2: Is SEO Dead?


SEO isn’t dead; it has evolved and now requires descriptive keywords, as well as engaging content to help your online marketing succeed.

Quality content is very important when it comes to today’s marketing online. But it hasn’t replaced search engine optimisation (SEO). What has happened is that SEO doesn’t work without good, quality content. Your website and its content still needs to include rich keywords that your target market uses to search for your services or products, but stuffing your pages with keywords will see your page penalised by Google, which means it will rank low.

What we really should title this blog is: “Keyword Stuffing is Dead, Long Live King Content!”

Search engines i.e. Google, look for content based on the words the online user enters and then returns what it thinks deems most relevant in the search results. These results are still based on programming and algorithms.

So to optimise your website’s, you still need the proper keywords as well as engaging, well-written, well-researched and informative content. But, you can’t just write great and informative content, with a few keywords and hope for the best.

What you need to do is create content that converts your readers into actors, readers that do something, react to your content. Some ways are to make them to sign up for your newsletter or download your free e-book, in exchange for giving you their e-mail address so you can send them newsletters, and possible marketing e-mails. They could share your video from their social media sites, so that you can hopefully reach more people and possibly get more followers. They may even – buy from you.

Here are some ideas to get your customers to act:

  • Have you ever though of going back through some of your old posts and see if you can re-link them to newer posts. (This is best to do this with your most popular older posts). Doing this can help your readers of older posts read newer posts, plus Google really loves it when inside links do this.
  • Look carefully at your calls to action headlines. Check to see if any links are getting clicked on. Then possibly tweak the calls to action of those pages where the few people act.
  • Your page load should be no more than three – four seconds. These days people have exceptionally short attention spans. If you want people to click a link on a page or give you their e-mail, they have to stay on your page. “Long” loading time means people could leave your site.
  • Use your old content in new ways. Take your posts and maybe turn them into an e-book, or any case studies. If you have a long post on an interesting topic, think of re-writing it into two or three posts.

SEO isn’t dead. It’s just changed. For the better we think. Google has forced marketers and SEO companies to do what they should have been doing from the start: provide engaging, informative, and trustworthy content.


SEO Strategic Plan


We have plenty of clients come to us and ask us ‘how can we make their website rank on the 1st page of Google’. First thing is first, any successful project starts with a plan. We call it a SEO Strategic Plan. We sit down with our client and ask a series of questions which help us determine what content and action plan we can create to help them rank in a good spot on Google.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is often about making small modifications to parts of your website. When viewed individually, these changes might seem like improvements, but when combined with other optimisations, they could have a noticeable impact on your site’s user experience and performance in organic search results.

We recommend that you should base your optimisation decisions first and foremost on what’s best for the visitors of your site. They’re the main consumers of your content and are using search engines to find your work. Focusing too hard on specific tweaks to gain ranking in the organic results of search engines may not deliver the desired results. Search engine optimisation is about putting your site’s best foot forward when it comes to visibility in search engines, but your ultimate consumers are your users, not search engines.

The below Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) customisations will be help your site. Following the best practices outlined below in this post will make it easier for search engines to crawl, index and understand your content.

Create unique, accurate page titles on all your pages – a title tag tells both users and search engines what the topic of a particular page is.

Make use of the “description” meta tag – a page’s description meta tag gives Google and other search engines a summary of what the page is about

Improve the structure of your URLs – simple-to-understand URLs will convey content information easily.

Make your site easier to navigate – the navigation of a website is important in helping visitors quickly find the content they want. It can also help search engines understand what content the webmaster thinks is important.

Create HTML and XML sitemaps on your website – a simple site map page with links to all of the pages or the most important pages on your site can be useful. Creating an XML Sitemap file for your site helps ensure that search engines discover the pages on your site.

Write better anchor text – anchor text is the clickable text that users will see as a result of a link. The better your anchor text is, the easier it is for users to navigate and for Google to understand what the page you’re linking to is about.

Optimise your use of images – We will optimise your use of them. All images can have a distinct filename and “alt” attribute, both of which you should take advantage of. Media assets influence search rankings – i.e. photos, videos are all great ranking material.

Use heading tags appropriately – heading tags to emphasise important text. There are six sizes of heading tags, beginning with <h1>, the most important, and ending with <h6>, the least important (1).

Make effective use of robots.txt – tells search engines whether they can access and therefore crawl parts of your site.

Outbound links – Make sure all outbound links in site are not named ‘Click here’ or ‘For more info’, but are named after your keywords.

Create profiles on all small business directory sites – Such as Yelp, True Local, Yellow and White Pages. It is very helpful to fill them with as many videos, photos and reviews, this helps your ranking.

Use reviews – the profiles are so powerful, everyone is comparison shopping, so it’s important to generate positive reviews.

Google’s Webmaster Tools – this helps you better control how Google interacts with your website and get useful information from Google about your site i.e how many people are linking to your site, HTML problems, how fast your website is, keyword research tool and much more.

Google Analytics – provides information on traffic and tracking information, i.e. bounce rates, website statistics, average visit duration and much more.

Google Keyword Suggester Tools – focuses on correct keywords for your business by identifying what keywords your site ranks for.

Create a Google+ account content posted on Google+ is crawled and indexed far quicker than on competitor sites. The most straightforward way Google+ impacts search rankings is with personalisation. For example, if someone is following you on Google+, the chances that they will see your posts in Google’s search results go way up.

Google AdWords – is a system Google has developed to assist you in marketing your products or services in the Google Search Engine, and its affiliate sites, via the use of a placed text ad that appears when people search for phrases related to your offering, this appears as a “sponsored link”. We will help set-up your account and create the first ad.

WordPress SEO Plugins 

Yoast – The most complete SEO plugin for WordPress available today offers you everything you need to optimise your site.

Google XML sitemaps – A plugin that generates a sitemap of your site which makes it much easier for search engine bots to review your site, which is important for SEO. Another feature is that it notifies major search engines when new content is added.

Super Cache – Speeds up your site, one of the things Google looks for is a fast loading site.

No Ping Wait – Every time you publish a post, it pings the internet which means you can be found quicker.


Google is creating new algorithms all the time. Search engines are constantly changing and evolving; they are consistently refining their techniques and algorithms to supply the best, relevant results to your searchers. That is the reason why we stress to our clients that SEO should be considered a marathon instead of a race to the finish line. Using legitimate and effective SEO strategies will deliver more impressive and lasting results.

Once we handover your website we highly recommend to stay ahead of your competitors you must continue to do the following outlined below:

  • Ensure you write unique, valuable and relevant content for your site, it will increase your chances ranking higher than your competitors. You must make sure to use your targeted keywords in the content. Around 400-500 words per page is what Google prefers.
  • Consistently update your website and your Google+ account for better SEO ranking.
  • Social media – lots of tweets and posts to show Google your business is popular and active.

7 Things You Should Know About SEO

Search engine optimisation is something that is often spoken of, but it isn’t often that people truly understand it. If you know what you’re doing, SEO can change the way you do business. If you don’t, however, what you don’t know could sink you.

By now, most people realize that SEO is a very important part of business. An Internet presence is vital if you want to make it in today’s world, so search engine optimisation is something that just about everyone needs to know something about. If you run a business, it’s even more important that you understand how to optimize your website or blog.

Search engine optimisation isn’t just about adding keywords to your website content and blog posts; there’s quite a bit more to it, in fact. If you really want to be successful and reach the front page of the search rankings, there are a few things to keep in mind.


1. Research is Key

Most business owners are aware that they need to have keywords, but they don’t know just how to find the best ones. Since the entire SEO campaign depends on selecting the right keywords, this is a very important step and one that cannot be taken lightly. Don’t just guess at your keywords, take the time to research them thoroughly.

You can use the Google Keyword Tool to help find good keywords with plenty of searches. Simply type your keyword into the search box and let Google give you suggestions. You want something that will bring in plenty of searches each month. Try using several keywords with lower searches if you can’t find one with less competition. Then click to Google and search for the keyword phrase with quotation marks on either end to see just how many other websites are optimized for the exact same phrase. You want lots of searches and very few competitors.

2. Less is More

At first glance, it might seem like the more often you use the keywords in your content, the better. However, thanks to scammers who used a technique called “keyword stuffing,” that’s not a good idea. You can actually end up penalized for using too many keywords in one piece of content.

The key here is to be natural. Don’t stuff the page full of specific words; instead let the information flow freely and insert the keyword phrases wherever they actually fit. This will result in much better content that search engines will love.

3. Label Your Photos

Photos really add a lot to a blog post, but they can’t help your SEO unless you make full use of titles and ALT tags. Using your keywords in these areas will give your page a nice boost. It doesn’t hurt to name your photo something SEO friendly either. Instead of labelling it PIC1566874.jpg, go with something like logo-design.jpg.

4. Skip the Flash and Java

Flash might make for a funky website, but it is useless when it comes to search engines. HTML is far cleaner and readable for search engines, so the worst thing you can do is have a Javascript or Flash intro page to your site. Google and the other search engine spiders won’t be able to register the site easily nor read the content embedded in the fancy Flash.

5. Add Regular Content

This is one area that is more important now than every before. Good content has always done well with the search engines, but since Google changed the rules in early 2011, it’s even more important. Regularly updated pages with quality content are treated very well by the search engines, so it makes sense that blogs, rather than fixed sites with static content, are doing very well these days.

While your content should contain keywords, keep in mind that the most important thing is to offer quality information. It should be written more for human eyes than for search engine spiders.

6. Try Deep Linking

Getting links from other websites is vital in boosting search engine rankings, but what many people don’t know is that deep linking is also very important. Deep linking means linking to other pages within the same website. For example, you might have a site on sound equipment and on your article about Sony stereos, you link to your page on choosing the right speakers.

This type of linking should be done on a regular basis and goes hand in hand with providing regular content. Whenever you write a blog post, check back to see if there’s anything relevant to link it to.

7. Too Many Backlinks is a Bad Thing

Chances are, if you’re online, you’ve heard of backlinking. This is the practice of getting links from other websites. When you use the right anchor text, this can be very helpful in boosting your search engine rankings. However, it is not something you want to overdo.

Getting regular links from various locations looks a lot more natural than one article directory linking fifty times to the same page. Try to spread your backlinks out, a handful here, a few there, and keep them trickling in at a steady rate to ensure the best results. If you have 10,000 links come in one day and then nothing for the next four months, the search engines will know something is up and will rank you accordingly.

SEO is a combination of common sense along with some careful tricks. As long as you are putting out excellent content on a regular basis with keywords naturally mixed in, you can expect to see an improvement in your rankings.

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