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WordPress SEO Tutorial | The Definitive Guide

WordPress SEO Tips and Tricks

Bloggers and webmasters are constantly wondering why Google is such a bully to some websites and why they are so positive toward others. What are the keys to building a successful presence on the search engine results pages? What are the most important SEO tips for WordPress users to get their sites discovered by Google’s search bot and how can we get in on that action?

In this short blog post, I’ll answer these questions and provide you with some incredibly practical and easy to implement search engine optimization tips to help get your site out of the shadows and into the mainstream. 

As most of us who run WordPress sites are aware, there are a whole host of plugins that claim to offer help with SEO by automating some of the jobs that we generally find a little tedious. This is normally just the Page Titles and Descriptions, but your SEO efforts need to go far beyond this. There needs to be a certain amount of social activity, author links and common sense applied to any SEO strategy these days. Below are just a few pointers for you.

Page Naming

What’s in a page name? Why do you have to put plenty of thought into this? Google is going to be analyzing the page and looking for a correlation between content and the page naming convention. Get this wrong, and although you wont see your site slide into the depths, you may not be doing yourself any favours. With so many sites competing for that coveted first position, you need to ensure that ever ‘I’ is dotted and every ‘t’ crossed. It takes just a moment to think about how to name the page, so don’t waste this opportunity.

Keep your page naming strategy consistent, not too long and separate words out with a hyphen (-) rather than an underscore ( _ ). Try and ensure that when the page is complete that your entire URL is under 100 characters in length.

  1. Optimizing WordPress Permalinks. You should change your website urls so that they do not display like this: http://www.mywebsite.com/?page_id=1 but instead let’s make them look like this: http://www.mywebsite.com/about. We call these pretty permalinks and they provide much more information about your page to search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
  2. Optimize Images for Better Search Engine Rankings. You must illustrate your topics and articles with attention grabbing artwork or photography people are more likely to view your content. As you work to do that, be sure to use image titles and alt text that adequately describe both the image and the content of the article.
  3. Google Site Map.Google likes it when you provide them with an easy-to-read overview of all the pages on your site. The easiest and most effective way to deliver this much needed SEO tool is to simply install the WordPress plugin called Google XML Sitemaps. This plugin will do all the hard work for you and automatically update every time you add new posts to your site.
  4. Interlink Keywords Between Articles. Internal links are a powerful way to let Google know what your articles are about and they’re a terrific way to increase page views across your site as they invite your readers to click through to read other articles. Do you inter-link your articles? You should. Linking within an article to other articles is a great way to build Page Rank throughout your site and it’s a great way to get readers to find your other articles on similar subjects.

Page Title and H1 Tags

This is something that Google really doesn’t like. You may or may not have heard. But Google has just introduced an over optimisation penalty (OOP) so if you try and do too much SEO and ram it down their throat, you are likely to feel a swift backhand. Although just duplicating the page name and H1 tag won’t be enough to cause you to appear on the Google OOP radar, make too many clear SEO changes and this may well just be the nail in your coffin.

Keep both your page title and H1 tags descriptive but at the same time, ensure they are different. Keep them the same and Google sees this as a negative because you can be seen as having used template or auto-generated content.

Don’t forget also your H1, H2, H3, H4, H5 & H6 Tags. They all help. The header tags (H1, H2, H3 and so on) represent the beginning of a new section or area of a pages content and alert search engine spiders of the relevancy of the content that follows the heading tag. It’s always a good idea to have great headlines on a site that may or may not use a keyword phrase, whether it’s wrapped in H-whatever tags is of no consequence to your rankings. In short These elements represent the Headings for their sections.

Spelling and Grammar

This might seem obvious at first because you want to ensure that whoever is reading your page stays there because what is being written is interesting and compelling. However, did you know that Google reads pages and looks for something that is grammatically correct? Write a page of 2,000 words and don’t break it up, and you get a thumbs down from Google. Write a page and have lots of spelling mistakes, and you get another thumbs down from Google. Poor grammar on the same page will lead to a page that Google doesn’t think will be of interest to visitors and will result in a lower position in the SERPs.

There really is no excuse to introduce spelling mistakes if you use a spell-checker, and considering how important this is, you want to make sure you get it right first time.

Integrate Social Media

Adding social media links/buttons like the ones above makes it easy for visitors to promote your quality content (hint, hint). Social media is a great way to build links naturally as well as drive targeted site traffic.

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3 Responses to WordPress SEO Tutorial | The Definitive Guide
  1. Mach1 Corporation
    September 19, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    Useful information, thanks for sharing..

    Reply
  2. Thank you for these tips. I am just new to WordPress and I am not familiar yet with its features and with SEO as well. At first, I was just thinking of merely blogging but then I realize that I should optimize it and generate traffic.

    You are a pro for sure.

    Reply
  3. Good to read this blog post.

    Reply

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