If you are starting a blog then WordPress can be an exciting platform because it's free, user-friendly and has a variety of plugins that give you many options. It is also known to be a powerful content management system, which is an added advantage. Moreover business owners and individuals alike can benefit from it because it's very simple to optimize it for SEO. Here we have ten simple steps to ensure that your WordPress blog is SEO friendly so that you can make the most out of it.
Install the WordPress SEO Plugins
WordPress is a SEO friendly platform on its own but you can further optimize it with the help of a few simple plugins that can be installed. Yoast has brought out a WordPress SEO plugin that is not only easy to use but has its merits for both, individual bloggers and business owners. All in One SEO is another tool worth consideration.
Choice of Theme is important
While you are going through different Themes that you would like for your page, it might be a good idea to add SEO to the criteria you are making your choice on. In fact, it's as important a factor as price and design. There are many themes that are being talked about as being SEO friendly and they can be looked into closely. Of course regular parameters like right headers can make a particular theme SEO friendly, at the same time it also helps if it is lightweight. It simply means, fewer images and graphics and a small code base. A valid W3C compliant code should also be an integral element of the theme you choose.
Creating XML (and HTML) Sitemap helps
To begin with, you have to understand that XML sitemap works like an index and allows search engines to find your URLs. These sitemaps can be easily generated and uploaded on your blog server directly with the help of plug-ins like Google XML Sitemaps. HTML sitemap can also be created to help visitors navigate easily on your site in case you have many pages of content that can be tricky to get around.
Importance of WordPress Update Service
How this service works is that it lets other website know when you have new content that is meant to enhance traffic. Ping-O-Matics is one of the default settings, which means it pings many sites on its own. But for further results you can add more sites manually. You can do that easily by going to settings, clicking on the writing tab and adding websites in the place where you see update services. Another thing to remember is that your cache has unnecessary build up due to adding or deleting comments, posts or plug-in for that matter. Hence it's ideal to clear your cache frequently as it will help your website function a lot more smoothly.
Search engines prefer to see URLs that tell them more about the page. In case of WordPress, Permalinks, which are numbers and symbols that are used for post URLs. To get the best out of your permalinks, it makes sense to convert the numbers into words. It works as a guide not only for the search engines but makes a big difference to users as well because they have a fair idea of what they can find on the page.
You can customize permalinks by navigating to Settings > Permalinks in the WordPress dashboard.
One concept, One Page works well as a rule
Your users might not have a problem with reading about a couple of different things in a post, but search engines usually like it to be pertaining to one subject. To get maximum SEO benefits you might want to stick to one topic per page, which will thereby mean there are 2-3 keywords on it.
If you are looking for ways to structure your posts smartly, you can have the main keyword in the headline. It will thus be visible in search results, which is what you want. You can have a subheading in your post and it should carry the secondary keyword. Other keywords on your page should be present naturally and in a way that they are in keeping with the content "theme" on it.
Keywords should be in Meta Description Tags
While this strategy might not necessarily mean that your ranking is boosted, it might have many indirect benefits for you. When a user looks for certain specific keywords, Google tends to bold them in the search results. Thus, they will be keener on clicking on your search results. Those who say that putting keywords in Meta Description Tags is a waste of time and effort can think again because it certainly helps you indirectly.
ALT Text should be used for images
You need to get some optimization benefits out of images you use as well and that can be done by using ALT Text for them. If the image is not found then this text will appear in its place. You can also name the image files appropriately. SEO Friendly Images is a plugin that can be used to good effect as it adds a title to each of the post images. It can also add image name to image's ALT tags.
Content should be consistently good
You cannot take the easy way out; Google is very clear that it wants content that has quality on a regular basis rather than something that's just been optimized. Today's users are quite discerning as well and they can spot SEO content from good quality one. Writing regularly lets users know that they can come back to your site more often.
Fight against Spammy Blog Comments
These comments that often have generic use of keywords, do not add much to the conversation. Auto approving blog comments to boost activity seems like a solution, but remember it will dilute your keyword density. Your website might also become a "bad neighborhood" for SEO.
Following these strategies can certainly help in making your WordPress page more SEO Friendly.