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WordPress SEO Tips: Get the Most Out of Your WordPress Blogs

With over 40 million new posts created every month, and with it holding host to the likes of CNN, UPS, Reuters, et al, it’s safe to say that WordPress is the premier platform for you to build your site upon.

On top of using it as a content management system/blogging platform, it can be massive in your SEO strategy.

A vanilla WordPress site can be well optimised for search engines, but there are an absolute plethora of methods and plugins out there which can vastly improve your WordPress SEO, and help get the most out of your site.

This post will run through a list of methods that you can introduce to your WordPress website/blog, and as well as that, I’ll also mention various plugins which can play a big part.

Permalink Structure

Permalinks are, simply put, how URLs of your site’s pages will appear. A badly formatted, non-SEO friendly permalink structure can certainly prove to be detrimental. You’re going to want to optimise this, so that users and search engines can attain a better grasp of what the page is about. From the get-go, WordPress’ permalinks are more robotic, adding things such as the date of the post, which of course nobody wants. So, in order to quickly rectify this, you can go to the Permalinks section, found within the Settings.

WordPress Permalinks Example

Now, as you can see, the default option isn’t the most ideal, nor is anything numeric really, so we’ve gone with Post Name. You can of course create your own structure, such as “/%category% /%postname%/” or just “/%postname%/”.

Your URLs will now contain your chosen URL, as opposed to garbled numbers, making things much more user and search engine friendly.

XML Sitemap

One of the most important things you should do when running a site on WordPress is to create an XML Sitemap. Sitemaps are what the search engines recognise they peruse your website. They give search engines a way of viewing all pages on your site, ensuring that the crawling process is further improved, and can provide information of newly updated pages.

A very simple way of going through this process is to use the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin, widely seen as the finest all-round WordPress SEO tool out there.

Once you have this plugin, you can find the XML Sitemap area under the SEO tab.

XML Sitemap

There’s nothing difficult here, just tick the box to enable XML Sitemap functionality, and there will be a Sitemap created under yourdomain/sitemap.xml. You can also create Sitemaps via the Google XML Sitemaps plugin.

1 <?php if ( function_exists(‘yoast_breadcrumb’) ) {
2 yoast_breadcrumb(‘<p id=”breadcrumbs”>’,'</p>’);
3 } ?>

Page Title Optimisation

Sorting out your page titles and ensuring that they’re fully optimised is one of the most integral parts of your on-page SEO strategy. It’s the first thing that people will see in search results, and it’s a major part of ranking in said search results. Ensure that your titles are relevant, poignant, and contain any keywords which you’re targeting.

WordPress Blog Title Snippet
WordPress Blog Title

As pictured above, the character limit for a title is 70 characters.

When planning your titles, one thing you can do to give yourself a bit of a boost is to ensure that your keywords are near the front of your title. Search engines seem to prefer when a keyword is near the start of a title, so doing so can aid you in your site’s ranking. Also, people who have searched will see your targeted keyword at the start of your title, and will be more enticed to go to your site.

Image Optimisation

Optimising the images in your blog posts is something that is often overlooked. Though standard image search may not be the biggest source of traffic, blended search can certainly prove fruitful if you’ve optimised your images properly.

To start off with, you’re going to want to make sure that your targeted keyword(s) can be found in the actual file name. Your file name has to help describe what your image is about. Also, make sure to separate all words in the file name with hyphens as opposed to having one block of a file name.

The ALT attribute of your image plays a big part as well, so you have to make sure that your keyword(s) are in the ALT attribute.

One final thing to consider is the image file size. It’s been stated that load time is a factor in search rankings, so you can aid things by resizing your image before uploading it to WordPress. Also, there are plenty of plugins out there that can help you in this process.

Google Authorship

When you see an image (usually the author’s headshot) accompanied alongside an article in search results, that’ll be Google Authorship. Setting up Google Authorship is a must these days, with Google pushing Author Rank and Google+, as well as the marked increase in click-through rate and general visibility. The overall process is quick and easy, and I’ll quickly guide you through how to implement it via WordPress.

Start off by taking the URL of your Google+ page and entering it into the Google+ section of your WordPress profile.

WordPress Google+ Authorship

After this, all that needs to be done is to add a link to complete the circle and add a link to your WordPress blog in your Google+ profile, under the “Contributor To” section. You’ll notice the change within roughly a week.

WordPress Authorship Contributor

Social Media Integration

Making sure that your site and its content can be shared throughout various social media platforms is one the most integral parts of an SEO strategy. The most common way that people implement this into their blogs has to the Sociable plugin. This plugin can be downloaded here completely free of charge, and contains plenty of customisation.

Sociable Plugin

There it is, a list of methods which if you implement into your WordPress site, you’re certain to see improvements.

Of course, these are a selection of a myriad of things you can do to your site. Which methods/plugins do you think is integral to WordPress SEO? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

Qasim Majid About the author
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10 years ago

All pretty good tips, however, a company recently showed that Google authorship doesn’t work for all sites. Sometimes it can actually be detrimental. http://www.jitbit.com/news/183-how-google-authorship-decreased-our-traffic-by-90/

10 years ago
Reply to  Barctic

A very good point. I think you have to understand when it’s best to use authorship and also, when you do implement it, make sure that you have a relevant and fitting profile image that goes with it.

10 years ago

Has anyone heard the recent news that someone has contacted google telling them they can SEO there page ! haha ridiculous

10 years ago

thanks for the nice share really helpful

10 years ago

Glad you found it useful, Michael.

10 years ago
Reply to  Jason Walker

Haha, that must’ve been a tough sell!

10 years ago

Hi there

Great tips. However, I think we should give most priority on image optimization and make image responsive for make website speedy.


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