The Best Practices for WordPress SEO in 2015
Blogs and content marketing have become powerful e-business tools, and WordPress is a blog site that can provide you with powerful content marketing.
If you’re looking to get the most out of WordPress, here are some tips to maximize its potential:
1. Use SEO-Optimized Themes and Plugins
WordPress has been redesigned to help online companies with their SEO practices. When first using WordPress, determine which plugins and themes can benefit your goals. One in particular that you should consider utilizing is Yoast. Yoast helps you create a sitemap and customize links, which will help your blog get noticed in organic searches.
2. Add No-Index Tags
When placing your content into archive pages and tag and category links, it’s best to use no-index tags. These will allow your tags and archive pages to be seen online, making them easy to click through while also preventing the creation of spam. You might wish to edit your meta data so it shows just excerpts of your posts until readers click on it. Also, don’t add keywords to the old content; that’s an indication of spam.
3. Set Up Permalinks
It’s a good idea to use visually impressive permalinks whenever you publish a new post on WordPress. That’s because when you post something, the default URL is usually a long set of random numbers, letters, and symbols, which are poor for SEO. Instead, change the URL to a phrase related to the content.
4. Observe Site-Wide Links, Blogrolls, and Footer Links
Related to your content and photos is your site-wide links, the use of your blogroll, and the inclusion of links in your footer. Links are obviously powerful, so including them goes without saying, but make sure they link to relevant content from reputable sources. This can be done with a blogroll, a list of similar blogs that appears as a sidebar on your site. Finally, your plugins can include links in your footer that may or may not be related to your own blog; make sure you confirm that the links it contains are relevant.
5. Produce Unique and Shareable Content
The key to quality content that people will enjoy and hopefully share is to not stuff it with keywords. Instead, focus on 500-600-word blog posts that feature decent images and properly arranged links. Google actually keeps a close eye on keywords, marking excessive amounts as spam, while also rewarding quality content with a better ranking.
6. Maintain Correct Heading Tags
The architecture of your pages, specifically the hierarchy of titles and headings, matters. When creating your WordPress pages and laying out your content, you need to make sure your titles and headings are correct, sizing headings and subheadings correctly. A helpful trick is to test a page before publishing, looking over the headings; if there’s an irregularity, edit the meta data as needed. Don’t always rely on WordPress to do this for you, either; you might have to do it yourself.
7. Fill in the Excerpt Interface
Under the “Edit Post” button, you’ll notice the “Excerpt” option. This feature is used to include a meta description of your posts. WordPress will automatically fill it in once you post, but something written by you, preferably 150 characters and with keywords, will be far more effective, helping to improve clickthroughs by acting as an interesting teaser for the content.
8. Optimize Your Photos
Similar to Facebook, WordPress allows you to optimize your photos by including titles, captions, and descriptions. These aspects of your photos can be found in organic searches, improving SEO traffic as a result. Also consider using the Smush.it plugin to help compress your photos without sacrificing visual quality. On a related note, don’t upload huge, banner-sized photos; they’ll work against your SEO by making it load too slowly.
9. Have XML Sitemaps
This aspect of WordPress often goes ignored. Once you’ve created your pages and visuals, you need to make sure that you create a sitemap in XML to tie all the work you’ve done together. This is important because it lets Google know that you have a blog that’s optimized, helping to get it pushed to the top of online searches. It’s pretty easy to create a sitemap—just use the webmaster tools to create its architecture.
Many argue that a WordPress blog is more powerful than a company web site. And with the right content, links, graphics, meta data, and tags, it very well can be. If you’re going to use WordPress, apply the tips above to make a successful, marketable blog.