In this article we have covered a complete SEO guide for WordPress blog. As everyone of us is looking forward for this vital information.
For a long time, WordPress has become the most popular content management system (CMS). It is even used by popular blogs like Perez Hilton or TechCrunch that produce thousands of dollars monthly because of great SEO practices.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a bunch of various methods that help a blog or page rank high on the search engine. SEO master has to perform all the essential methods so that the website could rank on the first page of Google for more than one or more relevant keywords.
Below you will find all the tips and tricks that represent the Ultimate Guide to SEO for a WordPress Blog –
Choosing an SEO Domain
[Note – Most important part of SEO guide for WordPress blog]
In the beginning, you need to choose a proper domain name. Either by inventing a brand that you know you can promote or by giving a significant name. Sometimes you can even use your own name or nickname for originality.
So if you make a blog about cars you can try http://andys-garage.com, a domain that you can buy from any domain register company. However, first, you need to check its availability at the register or web hosting companies such as BlueHost, eHost, or NameCheap. That offers domains with the extension .com beginning at a very affordable and competitive price.
For instance, if you buy web hosting at BlueHost or eHost, you will get a domain for free.
Equally important as the name is also the extension of the domain. This means what is next to the dot such as .com, .org, for example, http://example.com. In this case, if you want visitors from all over the world you can choose .com.
Else you can choose to depend on the country like .co.uk for the United Kingdom, .de for Germany, .us for the USA, and so on. Or other preferences like new extension domains such as .academy, .actor, .guru, .tech and other. You can see the entire list of domain extensions here.
Setting Title and Description
After you just installed WordPress you should write the title and the description of the blog. Also, pay attention because titles longer than 3-5 words aren’t too well seen. And both of them need to be suggestive and related, but not repetitive.
Enabling SEO Friendly Permalinks
Now it’s the time to adjust the first setting at your WordPress blog namely the friendly URL. So you will have nice and suggestive links for your pages and articles. And therefore you go at WordPress Dashboard, Settings, and Permalinks where you check Post name.
So your pages will have similar links with http://example.com/about-me and not like the default one ‘http://example.com/?p=123’. You can also choose Day and Name where the date will appear at the link http://example.com/2015/09/09/about-me. Or Custom Structure where you write /%category%/%postname%/ to appear the category in the links like http://example.com/personal/about-me.
All in One SEO Pack
It’s time to install the All in One SEO Pack plugin which offers you a lot of options. So you go at Dashboard and at All in One SEO Pack at General Settings. Check Canonical URLs for protection against Google penalization regarding duplicate content.
The next step is to write the proper title (maxim 60 characters and 3-5 words), description (maxim 160 characters), and ten general keywords at Home Page Settings.
At the Keyword Settings section, you need to be sure that you have checked the following options Use Keywords, Use Tags for META Keywords and Dynamically Generate Keywords for Posts Page and at Title Settings you need to check to Rewrite titles, Capitalize Titles, Capitalize Category Titles.
Lower you have Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Webmaster Center, and Pinterest that requires verification codes. For each one of them to authorize access for all three of them and to check the ownership of the blog. I wrote lower more about Google Webmaster Tools and other Google tools that I recommend you to use.
The last step is to optimize each page and article by writing the titles, descriptions, and keywords. Even if they are product sales, testimonials, projects, or other custom type posts.
You can do this by going at Dashboard at Pages and All Pages and at Posts and All Posts where you can see the current title, author, categories, tags, a number of comments for each article you already wrote. Also check the All in One SEO Pack options where you can edit the title, description, and keywords by pushing the pencil.
You can write the title, description, and keywords also when you edit or write an article. In this case, lower than the content area you have these options together with a preview on Google of the article.
Optimizing Images for SEO
Every image can be SEO optimized to appear at Google Images. So you can do this either by going to Media Library and selecting an image or when you make an article and upload an image. You need to edit the title, legend, alternative text in case of missing image this will be displayed and the description.
You need to upload the image on your blog with a suggestive name and not a random one so the link for it to be friendly.
Add Videos to Your Posts
If you want to put videos on your blog, I recommend you upload them to YouTube where you need to write annotations, titles, descriptions, keywords, translations if it’s the case and to choose the proper category.
Enable XML Sitemaps
If you just created a new page, deleted an old one, or modified the link of another. Then you just modified the blog’s sitemap and you need to notify Google. So Google Bot can come back and index the new stuff from your blog. For this, you can use the Google XML Sitemaps plugin that automatically creates an XML sitemap. You can create this manually too.
The plugin’s options are available at Settings and XML-Sitemap having some basic options that you need to check such as Notify Google about Updates of your Blog, Notify Bing, Add sitemap URL to the virtual robots.txt file, and advanced options. Try to automatically compress the sitemap if the requesting the client supports it and Include a sitemap in HTML format.
Lower on the same page, you have Sitemap Content where you can check what you want to be part of the sitemap such as homepage, posts, static pages, and categories.
Depending of the frequency you write new articles, you can go at Change frequencies and choose Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Yearly, Never for every part of the blog: Homepage, posts, static pages, categories and so on, together with the priority at Priorities from 0,0 to 1,0.
Enable Breadcrumbs for Easy Navigation
With the help of the Breadcrumb NavXT plugin, you can set Breadcrumbs to appear in the blog. So search engines can determine the structure of your site more easily.
At Settings, Breadcrumb NavXT, you can find all the options already optimized in the proper way, but you can change them if you need them.
Pay Attention to Headings
For all websites, the headings are essential however, WordPress themes are usually properly built. So you won’t have any problems here, and your titles will be <h1>, subtitles <h2>, and so on highlighting the page structure.
HTML and Text Ratio
Show Related Posts
To increase traffic on your older articles, you should install Yet Another Related Posts Plugin which sends visitors to similar articles with the one they read.
Unique Content is Crucial
You need to write a lot of original content for your blog, you can write about everything from your own personal life experiences to personal opinions regarding a product, a service, or a person. Try to use as many as possible suggestive keywords but in a natural form.
Comments, Testimonials, Guest Posts
For original content, you can also use visitors’ commentaries so you need to make them interact and comment at each article. Another way to have original content and feedback from visitors are Guest Posts and Testimonials.
[Google Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics, and Google+]
You need to subscribe to your website in Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics, and after that, verify your blog through writing the codes at All in One SEO Pack. In Webmaster Tools, you can introduce the sitemap and other special options for SEO. In Analytics you can see SEO reports regarding visits and visitors, but also you can make research for specific keywords.
You can also put the Google+ profile link at All in One SEO Pack so you will be fully confirmed as owner of the blog and its authority will increase.
Use of Social Media
[Note – Last but not the least, point to be considered in the SEO guide for WordPress]
If you install the Jetpack plugin, you can have both the Related Posts option and the Publicize one that you can find at Settings and you can use it to link your G+, Twitter, and Facebook account to your blog.
So anytime you write an article it will be automatically sent at your social media profiles. This will boost your website’s traffic as well will increase the chance of getting a higher ranking in Google.
As you can see, there are many factors to consider when doing SEO for a WordPress blog (SEO guide for WordPress). Applying the above-mentioned tricks to your blog, you can be sure that you or on the right track to having the perfect on-site SEO.
Hope you find this SEO guide for WordPress blog useful. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.