If you’re a longtime WordPress user, then you’re probably familiar with the term “sidebar”. It’s the small column found on either side (or sometimes on both sides) of your main content. Most of the free and readily available WordPress themes have already integrated the sidebar, so that all you need to do is place whatever content of widgets you want to appear on your pages.

Even if you’ve been using the world’s most popular blogging platform for years already, some of you might be surprised that sidebars can also play a big role in improving your website’s Google rankings. A number of search engine optimization companies have been studying WordPress deeply now, and have discovered some basic elements and some tweaks that should appear on posts and pages.

Here are four things that you can put into your WordPress sidebar so that you can see your website climbing up the ladder of search results:

Most Popular Posts. This is perhaps one of the best ways to make sure that your site visitors not only discover your other pages, but will also stay longer on your site when they see another interesting (and hopefully relevant) page. Unlike in past years when plug-ins were few and far between, the WordPress depository is now a rich and deep haven of plug-ins that provide you with practically anything – including the placement of your most popular posts on the sidebar. If you’re diligent enough, you can even find a number of themes with the Most Popular Posts widget already integrated into the template.

Category List. Another basic element available as a WordPress sidebar widget is a list of your categories. This provides you with an internal link structure, while at the same time allowing your visitors to visit your other page archives by clicking on the category link. Using categories is also a great way to organize your website for better browsing not only by website visitors, but also search engine spiders.

Search Field. In order to aid your visitors in browsing through your site, make sure that you have a search functionality available for them to use. Not everyone is patient enough to go through each and every line in your content, so having a search field will make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for.

Random or Related Posts. Like a normal human being, search bots also seem to prefer new content. The sidebar is not excluded in this matter, and so putting up a regularly changing content at this portion of your page will bring you double benefits. To do this, you may use a WordPress plug-in that displays either a “Related Posts” that displays links with the same topic or category as the article that the visitor is currently reading. Alternatively, there’s another nifty plug-in that displays a list of random posts on your sidebar.

———————————-

Most of these search engine optimization tips are pretty basic on WordPress. However, if you don’t use them properly, you might be wasting a potential opportunity to improve website SEO by making simple adjustments to your sidebar.

New call-to-action

Author
Michael Transon

Michael Transon is the CEO of Victorious. He's a big fan of ASU football, his cat Tux, and dinner parties. He lives at Ocean Beach in the Outer Sunset Neighborhood.

Additional articles

How To Stop Dreading And Start Loving Google Algorithm Updates

Google algorithm update. It’s a phrase that strikes fear into the heart of many site owners and SEOs alike. And it used to scare me too. But, in reality, there is no need to be upset. Paranoia about algo updates and trying to cater to each individual update makes about as much sense as obsessing over whether or not there will ever be a rainy day where you live. Yes, there will be rain. Yes, there are ways to prepare for it. Yes, rain can be fun sometimes. What Is an Algo Update? The first thing we should probably clear …

Read Article
12 Min Read
Turning the SEO Flywheel

The Flywheel Effect The flywheel effect was conceptualized by Jim Collins in his book, Good to Great. Collins and his team of researchers found select organizations that drastically outperformed their competition for years, and analyzed their commonalities to assess what propelled them to their exceptional success. What did they find? 7 key characteristics, culminating in the concept of the Flywheel Effect. Keep pushing and the flywheel builds momentum. Keep pushing and eventually it starts to help turn itself and generate its own momentum – and that’s when a company goes from good to great. As Jim explains: “The flywheel image …

Read Article
6 Min Read
What is Organic Search?

The main way we navigate the internet around the world today is by searching — with the vast majority of searches coming from the Google search engine, and a very small market share going to other search engines like Yahoo or Bing. In marketing terms, all of this searching is referred to as organic search, and it is the most “natural” way you might navigate to a new place, or find the answer to a burning question you find yourself suddenly needing to know the answer to. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about organic search engine …

Read Article
6 Min Read
Let's give your business the attention it deserves