Last Updated on May 19, 2021 by Sunny Staff
Back when the internet was yet to achieve mainstream appeal, people of all kinds developed their own websites with no particular ambitions. Instead, they largely wanted to enter the exciting new online world — to discover how it all worked and get involved in the overarching conversation. Skip ahead to today, and things are very different: almost everyone creating a website has a goal in mind. They might want to make money, grow their brand, or even help their career.
This all means that SEO (or search engine optimization) has gone from a niche interest to a vital pursuit for every website owner. For years, Google has heavily controlled how we experience the internet. How much of your web activity starts with a Google search? If people can’t find your website, they can’t visit it, and your website can’t effectively serve your objectives.
So what can you do to help your website rank well in Google? Well, the first step is to choose a strong CMS (content management system) with solid SEO features. And given that WordPress dominates the online landscape, it seems like a great choice — but is it the best option for SEO novices, or should you consider something else? Let’s try to answer this question.
It’s technically solid and has a huge range of plugins.
Let’s make one thing clear right away: WordPress is absolutely solid for technical SEO from the outset. You can set it up and use it without any additions, and you’ll still be able to ensure that all your fundamentals are covered: URL structure, indexing, metadata, etc. This hasn’t always been the case, but WordPress has come a long way over the years, becoming truly formidable.
When you factor in the huge range of plugins, you start to see its incredible SEO flexibility. Something that’s important to consider, though, is that most of them aren’t purely about technical factors (after all, those are largely fine in the default installation). Instead, they cover more nuanced content-centric concerns: I suggest checking out Joost de Valk’s appearance on Marketing Speak, in which the creator of the popular Yoast SEO plugin talked about how users of the plugin need to engage with its tips on how to improve readability.
If you view WordPress and its plugins as a package deal (many of them are free, after all), it’s hard to deny that most of what you need for SEO is there. The technical elements covered by the former and the on-page elements covered by the latter — but there’s something big we’ve left out here, so let’s take a look at it.
Performance heavily depends on the chosen hosting.
Yes, we’ve yet to look at performance, something that matters quite a lot when it comes to SEO. Google doesn’t want to push traffic to websites that load and run slowly because that leads to bad user experiences. A modern website should be snappy and responsive. So how does WordPress fare for performance? Since it’s a self-hosted platform, that’s up to you.
If you invest in premium WordPress hosting, you’ll never need to worry about the speed of your website, and you’ll truly have everything ready for strong SEO — but if you simply go for whatever looks cheap without reading any reviews, you can end up with poor hosting that can’t accommodate much traffic without slowing to a crawl.
With that said, changing your hosting isn’t anywhere near as onerous as changing your CMS, so you needn’t panic if you’re unhappy with the quality of your hosting. This is reassuring for SEO novices because they can make mistakes purely due to inexperience. Provided they pay attention to how their sites are running, they can look for new hosts down the line.
SEO is largely the same across modern platforms.
Despite how much is made of SEO features in today’s platforms, the simple truth of the matter is that they’re largely the same. It’s tough to find a highly-rated platform today that doesn’t make it reasonably easy to tick all the boxes, which is obviously great for users because it makes it much less likely that they’ll choose poorly. This is also great because it means that relevant resources abound. WordPress has a huge community behind it, leading to the production and maintenance of countless guides on things like SEO for WordPress, but you can also glean a lot of useful information from a general SEO guide. So is WordPress the best option for SEO novices? It’s hard to say that it’s the best for everyone, but it’s easy to say that it’s a fantastic option — and one that’s hard to pass up.
Sunny HQ is a team of WordPress experts that provide 100% comprehensive hosting, management, and support services for your WordPress site. To learn more about SEO and how we can optimize your WordPress website, feel free to contact us with any questions – we love to help!