WordPress is an increasingly popular site that has been embraced by bloggers. A website can be built on WordPress or WordPress can be added just for blog use on your existing website. Website design with WordPress is fairly simple, but understanding SEO for blogs can feel a bit bamboozling, so I wanted to highlight 10 tips on SEO for WordPress that are simple to use and easy to follow.
Here are a few simple tips to increase the visibility of your WordPress site or blog:
- Choose your URLs – when you set new pages up, your URLs are auto produced by the WordPress generator. The URL can differ from the page or post title so make sure it has impact by changing the links to include relevant keywords. For example, your auto-generated URL may look like this: www.jonnyross.com/123445 but you should change it to look like this: www.jonnyross.com/about. These specific descriptive URLS are called vanity permalinks and search engines like Google and Yahoo rank these higher in their search than blanket URLs with numbers. Numbers don’t provide search friendly pulls for SEO.
- Optimise the images in your post – When you use images, think of them as another way for the search engines to pick up relevant information. Make sure that the image URL is ‘search engine-friendly’ by going into your media centre and giving the images names that match the page or blog. Make sure each image is attention grabbing. Make sure you title the image too. This may seem a long winded process but it is best to get into the habit early on to increase your online visibility.
- Use attention-grabbing intros – Make sure your post or page introduction draws the reader in. Use a handful of your keywords in the opening paragraph and add a ‘read more’ link so the reader has to clink into the post to read it in it’s entirety. It often helps to write the introduction after you’ve written the blog post to ensure it fits and leads in well.
- Use SEO slugs – When you have picked the title and keywords of your posts make sure you use the ‘slug’ field located just below the title of the article. This will shorten your title in the URL and remove any unnecessary words. More on SEO slugs for WordPress here. You can match the URL to the blog title or consider a better search terms instead.
- Add internal links – This is a good way of climbing the search engine ranks. Internal links inform the search engines what your posts are about and they can increase page views by showing your reader relevant or complementing content. It can also build up your page rank so it is a simple win/win. An example would be: “Read more on SEO for web design.” Make sure the links open in a new page so readers can easily flit between the two posts for reference.
- Use an SEO plug-in – As an additional boost to your site, this can also act as a good reminder to consider how you want your site searched by your users as well as the search engines. It can also help you understand and feel comfortable with SEO on a post by post basis. Yoast SEO is simple and easy to use, although there are many others to choose from. Try 1 or 2 and find one that fits right with you. This way you are more likely to use it.
- Add social media buttons – Make sure you match up any social media channels to your home and post pages. It gives users another way to connect and gives you other avenues to promote your business. Make sure all your social media buttons work correctly and that they are aligned nicely across all pages.
- Add share buttons to your pages and posts – Word of mouth marketing is very powerful and any sharing online will boost SEO on your blog. I definitely recommend having a Facebook, Twitter and Google+ share button as well as digg and StumbleUpon (online directories).
- Recycle older links – You can update and republish pieces that you had previously written. If new views or practices have come in you can refresh the article with the new information and add in newer relevant links. Just leave the permalink the same as previously used.
- Have fun, be confident and be knowledgeable – Write about what you know. Making your post natural will entice the reader. If you have quality and informative content you will find the use of your keywords comes easy. It is better to have a natural and approachable piece of writing then one that comes across as awkward and abrupt.
So there are my tips for WordPress SEO. I hope you find them helpful but please feel free to ask questions or leave comments with additional advice for our readers.
Need some help?
If you need any help with website design with WordPress or SEO for WordPress, I run SEO workshops and bespoke SEO training for business. To find out more or book a course, call me on 011 33 20 21 21.