WordPress has become the CMS of choice for some of the web’s largest (and smallest) properties. A simple User Interface and some of the best plugins available make this content management system one of the most adaptable and effective on the web.
As well as its user-friendly interface and massive power as a content management system, WordPress has a key advantage for bloggers and businesses : it’s makes easy to optimise for SEO.
We have prepared this simple and effective 9-step guide to make your WordPress blog SEO friendly:
Step 1: Install the WordPress SEO Plugin
While WordPress is a very SEO-friendly platform right out of the box, it’s even easier to optimise for SEO with a few plugins installed. WordPress SEO by Yoast is a helpful plugin for bloggers and businesses alike that makes optimising WordPress easy. Another WordPress SEO plugin is All-In-One-SEO.
Tip: Yoast, the company behind the WordPress plugin above, has a detailed guide to WordPress SEO that’s perfect for advanced users.
By default, WordPress uses a permalink structure that is not ideal for SEO. The first thing you should do just after installing WordPress is to change your permalink structure for optimum on-page SEO even before you write any post.
To Change permalink structure ->> Go to the Settings menu in your WordPress Dashboard and click Permalinks. Choose “Post name” for on-page SEO, or enter a custom permalink structure if you’d like more flexibility.
Step 3: Use Custom Post and Page Titles
WordPress’s default page title system is great for organisation, but dreadful for user-friendly SEO. By default, post titles will have your blog’s name first and your content second – not a good structure for favourable SEO.
SEO plugin listed earlier in this guide, allows you to adjust your title structure so that your content title comes first, followed by the name of your blog or use your custome title for SEO.
Step 4: No-Follow Unimportant Links
Got a login page that doesn’t need any link juice? By default, WordPress will make all of your internal links “follow” – a value that tells Google to pass PageRank from one page to the next.
Since login pages and administrative areas are rarely targets for SEO of website, so, you have to convert the links that point towards these pages into “no-follow” links. The plugins listed earlier will automatically “no-follow” links to admin pages and other on-site areas.
Step 5: Important Content? Make a Page, Not a Post
WordPress will automatically make your blog posts to appear in as categorised and dated blog content. While this is great for creating an archive of useful blog content, it isn’t the best way to ensure that your content reaches the widest possible audience.
If you have an important topic to discuss or an article that you’d like to optimise for search engines, try creating a page instead of a post. Pages are easier to organise on your website, giving you more power from an SEO perspective.
Step 6: Create an XML (and HTML) Sitemap
XML sitemaps let Google (and other search engines) quickly and easily find content whenever they index your website. Using the SEO plugins linked earlier, set up XML sitemaps for all of your WordPress websites to keep search engines in the loop.
If your website has hundreds of pages of content, you may also develop an HTML sitemap to assist visitors in navigating your website, Like e-commerce websites do.
Step 7: Fight Back Against Spammy Blog Comments
Spammy blog comments are easy to spot – they typically use generic names and offer very little value to the conversation.
While it can be tempting to auto-approve blog comments to increase activity, doing so dilutes your website’s keyword density and makes it possible for your website to become a ‘bad neighbourhood’ for SEOs.
Keep your content safe by approving comments manually and participating in the Akismet anti-spam service.
Step 8: Tag Your Images Accurately
Most people search using Google’s standard search engine, while some people like to use Google Images to find new content. Tag your images accurately and you’ll be surprised by how many visitors stumble onto your website from Google’s image search engine.
Step 9: Write for Readers, not Google
A final point for dedicated SEOs – write for readers, not for Google. It’s easy to think in terms of SEO at all times, sneaking keywords in here and there without thinking about how it could affect your readers.
With the above tactics implemented, you’ll have no problems optimising your blog content for Google and other search engines, even if it’s slightly below the ‘perfect’ keyword density.