One of the primary features or benefits of a CMS like WordPress is that it does a lot to make basic SEO easy for users. WordPress allows you add tags, categories, titles, and other information that helps to optimize your website content for search engine indexing.
Of course, there is more to do and a number of excellent plugins have been created that try to squeeze more SEO leverage out of the platform. However, what they also do is presume a pretty robust understanding of how SEO works and what strategies work best.
This is all well and good, but many new WordPress users don’t really know that much about the intricacies of SEO. What those users need is a program that helps them with the fundamentals of building site traffic – not just the execution.
Install A Consultant In Your Dashboard
Helping novice users understand SEO is what InboundWriter was designed to do. Unlike a lot of other SEO plugins, InboundWriter does not provide fields where you can add title tags, meta descriptions, meta keywords, and other similar information to get the most out of your keywords. In fact, rather than conflicting with your other SEO plugins, InboundWriter’s plugin is best used in conjunction with other SEO plugins.
What InboundWriter’s WordPress plugin does instead is help the user to figure out what keywords they should target and how good of a job they are doing targeting them in their content. Essentially, it is a little like installing an SEO consultant in your website’s dashboard. Want to know more? Take a look at their informational video below (or keep reading below):
Here’s The Process
Once the plugin has been installed in your site, and you have signed up for the service, you will see an interface (like the one on the right) in the upper right-hand corner of your WordPress website’s post and page editors. This interface is what InboundWriter uses to help you optimize your posts and pages. So how does it do that, exactly?
The first thing you see are two fields that you can toggle between: Document Strategy and Document Score. The Document Strategy (we’ll talk about the Document Score later) is intended to allow you to help the plugin work better by giving it an idea of the market and user you are trying to target. This targeting occurs across the following three categories :
- Search & Social
- Advertising Strategy
- Reader Targeting
Search & Social asks you to choose whether you are interested in seeing keywords that receive more traffic or those that receive less. If you think your site will be able to compete with other offerings in a popular search category, then you will opt for the first. If you are more interested in targeting a niche that you think you can dominate, then the second would be more your speed.
Advertising Strategy asks how important Google Adsense, or other similar advertising service providers, is to your site. If you do rely heavily on advertising, the plugin will prioritize those keywords which have a higher price and are consequently more likely to generate revenue for you.
Reader Targeting asks you about the educational attainment of your prospective audience. This will affect how much reading complexity that the plugin recommends, with a more educated or older audience being more comfortable with a greater level of complexity.
Having adjusted your settings, you are ready to get on with the real work of researching your keywords. Click on the Research Topic tab and you will be presented with two options: you can either have the plugin research your topic automatically, where it combs through your post for the most frequent keywords, or you can enter three starting terms/words that you think are relevant to your topic, and have the plugin research those terms.
Once you hit that research button, the plugin starts to do the interesting bit (or rocket science, as far as they are concerned). It will use your terms to:
- Get the context of the article (what topic are you talking about)
- Search through similar articles online to extract relevant keywords
- Figure out the metrics of those keywords
In addition to giving the metrics for the keywords you entered, it will also give you other keywords that you might want to substitute for your existing focus keywords. And what are those metrics that they give?
For the keywords that you submitted (or those top three that they automatically extracted) the plugin will give the Popularity, Competition, Cost Per Click, and Usage. These allow you to answer the biggest questions when targeting a keyword: do lots of people care about this, how hard is it to reach the people who do care, how much does it cost to reach them, and are you targeting them well.
It allows for repeat submissions, so you can try out different keywords, enter new keywords, or even add terms for them to rate and in this way home in on the best keywords for your purposes. But once you have isolated those keywords, you have to go ahead and make the best use of them.
This is where the Document Score I mentioned earlier comes in. The Document Score function analyzes your text and assigns it a score between 1-100 (there is a red/yellow/green system for those of you who like a visual representation) based on how well you used your keywords. Along with the scores, the plugin gives you some suggestions on how you can improve your score – increasing the frequency of keywords, using shorter or longer sentences, using those keywords in different locations, etc.
There are some limitations with the plugin that should be mentioned:
- The plugin only looks at your post, not all the other SEO stuff (i.e. tags, titles, meta whatever). If you are using another SEO plugin, you can grab the keywords that InboundWriter gives you and push them into your meta stuff, but it will not count those when deciding on the SEO quality of your post.
- Although I can not be certain, since I am not able to see how they produce the Document Score, the plugin seems to give too much emphasis to keyword density and other strategies that are becoming less relevant to search engines.
- It is not a free service, so check out their pricing to see if the value of the plugin matches your need.