WordPress is one of the most popular ways to build websites and manage their content. Millions of people use WordPress to create everything from personal blogs to large corporate websites. Given its popularity, it’s no surprise that there is a lot of competition for attention on the web.
Unfortunately, out-of-the-box WordPress is poorly configured. That’s where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in. Here are some SEO best practices to implement for your WordPress blog.
Change The Title Structure
By default, WordPress places your blog title first, then the blog post. For example, if your blog’s name is “Rick’s Blog” and your blog title is “How to Learn Spanish,” WordPress would display the following:
Rick’s Blog | How to Learn Spanish
In reality, you want it the other way around:
How to Learn Spanish | Rick’s Blog
That will give you the most potent rankings for your individual blog posts.
By default, WordPress uses a numeric system for creating permalinks. Your posts will be labeled example.com/?=24, for example.
Instead, it’s better for your rankings and the human eye to have something that’s readable and has your keywords in it. For example, example.com/best-prices-on-widgets/.
Internal Linking and Categories
It’s best to link related articles to one another within posts on similar topics. This will pass relevant link juice between your blog pages and show real people other pages they might be interested in.
Categories can help a lot with internal linking. Make sure you have well-named categories and place each blog post into its specific category.
That will make it easy for search engines to tell what each category is about and see that you have a lot of relevant content in that category.
Add Caching To Increase Speed
One often overlooked SEO factor is page load times. Search engines place quite a high importance on load times. If your site loads fast, your site gets quite a few points for that. Install a caching plug-in like W3 Total Cache to decrease your load times.
Tag Your Images
Tag the alt tags in all your non-navigational images. In other words, images that are part of your blog posts should always be tagged.
Use a Sitemap Plug-In
A sitemap helps search engines find your site’s pages.
Yes, search engines can find it without a sitemap, but by decreasing the computing power it takes for a spider to spider your site, you’ll win a few extra points in the search engine’s eyes.
Installing a plug-in will automatically create and update your WordPress sitemap.
Following WordPress SEO best practices will boost your site’s rank and traffic. However, it’s important to remember that these are just guidelines, and there is no guarantee that your website will rank first in search results. Most crucial is creating quality audience-relevant content.
The All In One SEO plug-in is a free plug-in used by many in the WordPress community. It makes it easy to change your title structures, permalink structures, and more.
Preventing blog comment spam is also an essential part of ranking. The best way to do that is to use the free Akismet plug-in, written by the founder of WordPress.
These are some of the most important practices for optimizing a WordPress blog for SEO.