WordPress does not help SEO. With all the talk about SEO plugins you might think you’re at a disadvantage without WordPress. And without the SEO plugins you might think you’re at a disadvantage compared to those who have them.
But you’d be wrong.
WordPress and SEO just aren’t related in any way.
SEO is the process by which you prove to the search engines that you are relevant for a given topic. Wordpress itself is just a content management system. WordPress is a program like Microsoft Word, but instead of being designed to create text documents it is designed to create web content. That’s all it is. WordPress is a program that makes it easy for you to put content online.
Does that help you prove your content is the most relevant content on the net for your topic? No, not even if you have the SEO plugins.
The search engines aren’t looking for WordPress. They’re not looking for Yoast. They’re not looking for WordPress categories and tags.They’re looking for the best, most relevant content in whatever form it was created.
I would argue that plugins like Yoast almost hamper your ability to rank well by the search engines because people use them as the solution, not as a tool to complete the solution. Ever see one of those plastic “iron holders” in a hotel? The iron sits on top and the ironing board hangs at the bottom? Well, Yoast is the plastic iron holder. It won’t get the ironing done, but it is a tool to help store the iron.
The SEO plugins are the same way. They don’t do the SEO, they’re merely tools to help you complete some of the steps. And even then if you don’t complete them correctly, they just don’t serve a purpose.
Did you know that some posts should never be optimized for the search engines? If your content is about something nebulous like “positive energy will make you happier”, then stick to social media as a traffic driver. People don’t search for “positive energy will make you happier”. They just don’t. So even if you ranked #1 for that term, you’ll have spent 5 minutes too long chasing the rank instead of driving real traffic.
SEO is about standing in front of people who are looking for what you are writing about. Write about the best dishwasher? SEO is perfect because people are searching for that. Write about “vacations in Idaho”? Again, a great topic for the search engines because people search for that.
Write about “the importance of clean cupboards”. . . well . . . that was probably a waste of time in the first place.
It doesn’t matter if you use SquareSpace, Wix, Squidoo, WordPress, Concrete5, Custom HTML or Dreamweaver. You still have to prove through links, titles, social media, content and keywords that your content is the #1 most relevant for a given topic.
There’s no ifs, ands or buts. WordPress won’t help you with that. It just makes it easy to get your content online. The plugins are just nagging reminders of the 3 or 4 things you need to do on the page itself. But they don’t help with the other 23.
The rest is in your brain.