WordPress.com is an excellent choice for bloggers looking to drive traffic and become popular.
Hosted website platforms can often be restrictive when it comes to implementing more advanced features that are necessary for serious SEO or Internet marketing. However, it’s not all doom and gloom because, as you’ll see, WordPress.com in particular, comes with an impressive list of SEO and marketing features built-in.
Consider using a self hosted WordPress blog (from http://wordpress.org) or something like Drupal (http://www.drupal.org) if you know that at some stage you are going to want fine-grained control over how your website is presented and behaves online.
SEO & Internet marketing WordPress.com Pros
WordPress.com has a lot going for it when it comes to SEO and Internet marketing features. In particular:
- New posts are automatically aliased using the title of the page
- It doesn’t make use of query strings in the URL in order to present pages as some other platforms do by default (i.e. new posts aren’t located by typing a question mark into the URL)
- It comes with a graphic content editor that makes it easy to properly structure content with headings
- It comes with image handling facilities that allow for easy addition of Alt and Title tags
- It has good link editing support
- It comes with RSS feeds
- It automatically generates an XML SiteMap
- It comes with social media integration for Facebook and Twitter (amongst other services) via the Publicize plugin
- It also offer social media sharing via buttons for a range of services like Facebook, twitter, Digg, LinkedIn, Google +1 and many more, including custom created buttons
- It comes with a tag surfer option for finding out more about your niche within WordPress
- It makes it easy to subscribe to and follow other bloggers – helping you to integrate and build trust and relationships better
- It comes with commenting facilities, encouraging debate and interaction
- It comes with basic site stats to help analyse traffic
- It is possible to integrate with Google Webmaster Tools – this provides invaluable feedback on site structure and information
- It is possible to purchase your own domain instead of using wordpress.com
- Automatically implements canonical URLs – so that www.domain.com is not treated as duplicate content for domain.com
SEO & Internet marketing WordPress.com Cons
- No description and keyword META tags – description meta tags are often returned as part of search results by Google
- Robots.txt is not editable – robots.txt helps control how search engines index your content
- It is not possible to easily implement Google analytics for advanced Internet marketing intelligence
- Tags and categories can lead to content duplication
- Not possible to modify the underlying HTML without purchasing an upgrade
Overall SEO and Internet marketing rating for WordPress.com
I think it’s fairly plain to see that overall WordPress.com actually provides an impressive array of powerful SEO and Internet marketing features (certainly more than most other platforms out there). Aside from one or two cons, you can be fairly sure that you are getting the best value around – especially considering it’s free.
I give WordPress.com the following scores for SEO and Internet marketing:
Internet marketing: 7/10
Both of these are very good scores, although I should point out that WordPress.com, I feel, is let down by its inability to easily use a more powerful and full features analytics service like Google analytics. Having excellent analytics is one of the cornerstones of a good marketing campaign because it allows you to easily refine your process based on the best available and in-detail evidence.
Other than that, I highly recommend WordPress.com for any entrepreneur, small business or blogger wanting to leverage the power of the Internet to drive traffic, revenue and popularity through SEO and content marketing. In addition to this great blogging platform, people involved in startups may also want to check out this list of The 5 most important tools and resources for small business startups.