WordPress is a great search engine optimized system even right out of the box but there is a lot more to do if you want to improve it.
If you have a blog or a website, you probably want people to come and read what you have there and this is where the SEO comes into place.
About eighty percent of a website’s traffic (traffic = visitors) comes from search engines like Google. If you want to increase the traffic coming from search engines you need to rank higher in the results, in order to do so you need to search engine optimize your website.
The most important things you need to do with your WordPress website are:
- Use Pretty Permalinks.
What does this mean? If you take a look at the address bar when viewing this post (not through the homepage or archive pages) you will see that the address is not something like
http://orenyomtov.com/?p=123(the default in WordPress), instead it’s
http://orenyomtov.com/wordpress-seo-tips.html. This way you have the keywords of your title also in the URL and that helps a lot.
- Use All In One SEO Pack plugin and change the post title tag from
%post_title% - %blog_title%to
%post_title% - %blog_title%.
Why? This swaps the blog’s name and the post’s name in the
<title></title>tag. The first words in the title tag are more important from the last words so putting the post’s name first makes the page title more relevant to it’s content. e.g. before
Oren Yomtov’s Website - WordPress SEO Tips, after
WordPress SEO Tips - Oren Yomtov’s Website.
- Use tags and categories wisely. They can contribute a lot to your search engine ranking as well as do nothing/hurt your ranking.
Don’t use too many tags (I say use about 4-8 tags per post), and when you do use them, try to use the same tags over and over again. WordPress Simple Tags plugin may help you with that. Try not to create more then 2 new tags for each post (of course when writing the first posts of the blog, almost all of the tags will be new). The same goes for categories, there is no need for lots empty/one post categories. When creating categories think what will help the user to navigate through your site and that will be the best for SEO most of the time.
- Use Google Sitemap Generator plugin in order to auto generate the sitemap of your website each time you add a post/page. This helps Google to reach pages that they might not reach otherwise. After you install this plugin and make sure it works (check your sitemap.xml file), add & verify your website at Google Webmaster Tools and then submit the sitemap.
Remember, at the end of the day, your website is not for Google’s crawlers. It’s for humans, average users like you and me. So you need to keep the balance between what’s good for search engine optimizing, and what’s good for your readers.