Starting with a Blog is fun and it’s more fun when you are starting without any other materialistic motive such as money or fame, as in such scenario you Blog only for passion and you don’t care about many essential factors like Blog design, SEO and many other factors. But if you are like me who is Blogging as a career choice, it will become a serious work for you and you have to take care of all vital elements of your Blog.
Specially WordPress SEO is one of the most important factor for increasing your blog visibility in Search engines. Here I’m sharing some of the easy to implement search engine optimization technique for a WordPress blog, which you can do it yourself.
DIY SEO guide for WordPress:
Lets start with Sitemap, which is a XML file containing an index of all important link (Posts, Pages, Tags, categories) of your Blog. This sitemap file will help search engine bots to effectively discover your blog content and index them in search engine. There are many WordPress Sitemap plugins out there, but I prefer using Google XML sitemap which is one of the oldest and reliable one out there. All you need to do is install and activate the plugin and go to plugin settings and generate sitemap for your blog.
By default your sitemap link will be http://domain.com/sitemap.xml (Ex. sitemap)
- Bonus tip: Also add a Sitemap link at the footer of your Blog and also in the Robots.txt of your Blog.
Control Indexing of your WordPress Blog:
One of the most important factor of better search engine ranking is offering the best content in search index. With Panda updates, Google penalizes the domain with low quality content and if you would refer to my guide on what is low quality content, you would realize your pages like Tags, Categories, author archive are not useful for search engine index. A quick and easy way is to add noindex tag to these pages. You can use Meta robots or WordPress SEO by yoast plugin to do it quickly.
For existing WordPress sites SEO, you can refer to my earlier guide on:
- How to Noindex WordPress categories and tags
- How to deindex WordPress tags, Categories and Attachments
Permalink in simple word is URL of your blog post. For example: domain.com/wordpress-seo-guide.
By default, WordPress Permalink is not search engine friendly and doesn’t give any additional value in on page optimization of your blog post. As soon as you install WordPress, you should go ahead and set up WordPress permalink. In the latest version, WordPress offers post name permalink as an option and simply select it to give a search engine friendly URL.
Image Alt tag and Image Sitemap:
I’m not sure how many of you are utilising images to improve the presentation of your content but if you are not doing it, you should start adding images in your Blog post. If you are asking Why you should?
- It will make your post presentation better
- It will make your content Pinnable on Pinterest
- It will help you drive more organic traffic via Images search.
- You can submit original images to Flickr and get extra traffic and free Backlinks.
These are some of the advantages which I listed and now lets stick to main topic and that is: Optimizing your WordPress images for search engine. Unlike text content, Search engine bots uses Alt tag to understand and rank an image. You can use SEO friendly images plugin to create auto ALT tag for all your images but make sure your images name are meaningful. Use simple naming convention like WordPress-SEO.jpeg instead of DSC001.jpeg.
Also, if your blog have lots of images, you can consider creating a sitemap of WordPress images and submit it to Google Webmaster tools for deep indexing. I have tried this method and this not only helped me to rank fairly high for some competitive Keywords but also helped me to drive targeted traffic. Also, use Smush.it plugin to reduce your image size.
Use Unique Meta Title and Description:
One of the biggest SEO blunder which I made when I started Blogging is , not using unique Meta Title and Meta description while writing a Blog post. A good, catchy and Keyword rich Meta title will help your content in getting better ranking and higher CTR. Similarly a Unique Meta description (in 160 characters) will help searchers to better understand your content and you can utilize the power of call to action to get better CTR again.
I do offer SEO optimization service for WordPress blog, but it’s always a good idea to do it of your own and learn SEO yourself. One of the biggest advantage of using WordPress is easy and quick SEO with the help of SEO plugins, but all you need is proper configuration to make most out of it. Here are some of the related WordPress SEO article, which will help you to further optimize and learn about SEO of WordPress Blog:
Here is my 38 minute WordPress SEO Presentation at WordCamp 2014: (Watch it to learn everything about SEO of WordPress Blog)
This is one simple DIY SEO guide for WordPress Blogger and if you have any additional questions, feel free to ask me via comments. If you enjoyed this article, do share it on Facebook and Google plus.