How many times you have read about WordPress is one of the best blogging platform and upcoming CMS platform. And one of the reason is WordPress offers best possible SEO options. Though, this is completely untrue and let me clear it out: WordPress is not SEO friendly. Not atleast the default WordPress installation.
Like many others if you also believe, that your stock installation of WordPress without making any changes will get you great search engine ranking or even good ranking in search engines, you are mis-informed. WordPress needs a hell lot of SEO setup to make it search engine friendly. Though the good point is, making your WordPress blog SEO friendly is quite easy with the help of WordPress SEO plugins. Here I will outline some of the default settings of WordPress which are not SEO friendly and what you should do to make it romance with Search engine.
What changes will make your WordPress blog SEO friendly?
Honestly, there are hell lot of plugins out there and you might get tired of installing plugin for everything. So, try to get most of things manually coded in the theme itself (If possible) or use multi-purpose SEO plugins like WordPress SEO by yoast which is free and so far one of the best.
WordPress default permalink is bad ass SEO settings offered by WordPress. In the recent version they have added new permalink options (%postname%) but again the default permalink looks like this:
And I have seen many new WordPress blogs using the default permalink, which is not recommended. If you have read my WordPress essential setup guide, you might not be making this mistake, but if you have’t it’s time to change your permalink to more search engine friendly version one. I have already covered about this in detail in my earlier guide on How to optimize WordPress permalink for SEO.
Replytocom and other URL parameters:
This is another big SEO issue with WordPress which many of you might have faced or about to face it. If you would check out your comment box reply link, it will show something like: http://domain.com/%postname%&replytocom=1#respond
I have faced this issue in the past and this become one of the issue when my site got penalized by Panda last year. Their are many fixes for this and the best one is right from your WordPress blog. You can use WordPress SEO by yoast permalink option to fix it or another easy way to use URL parameter setting in Google Webmaster tool.
This is just one example, and there are many others such URL parameters which are used by WordPress (usually because of new WordPress plugins or theme settings), and you should use Webmaster tool URL parameter settings to make sure your blog never get victim of this WordPress SEO loophole.
SEO title and meta description:
When ever we talk about SEO friendly blog, how could we miss out one of the most common feature and that is option to add SEO title and meta description. I remember someone asking Matt Mullenweg in 2009 WordCamp event about integrating plugin like “All in one SEO” in WordPress by default to make it SEO friendly and Matt answered by saying, they want this should be optional, as there are many plugins out there and user should pick the one from their choices.
Though, it would be good if Automattic ever plan to add this feature in stock WordPress installation, as this will help new users to make their On page SEO more strong. But for now, you can always use any of these plugins like All in one SEO, WordPress SEO by yoast (Recommended) to add SEO meta title and SEO meta description. Many WordPress themes like Thesis, Genesis also offer this feature as a part of theme SEO feature, which is a good approach. Though remember, don’t get confused with so many SEO plugin options and pick one and stick to it for your own good.
WordPress blog speed:
Loading time of your pages is one of the factor in search engine ranking and WordPress is one of the memory hogging platform. Not the stock one, but when you add new plugins and themes and with time as your database size grows, your blog tends to go slow. WordPress is working hard to optimize the future version of WordPress more faster but I highly doubt if we can get the kind of speed Google needs with stock WordPress and our list of plugins.
Another reason for slow loading of your blog pages is using a bad or host which are already slow. Again, with WordPress, there is literally a plugin for everything you want to do.
WpSuper cache and W3 total cache are two of the best plugins out there for optimizing your WordPress blog for SEO. Right now, I’m using W3TC plugin for caching and improving the performance of my WordPress blog and you can try it too. Along with it, you can use Smush.it plugin to optimize images. Also work on limiting your plugins to make your blog load faster and timely keep deleting your post revisions and clean your database for any redundant table.
These are just few of those feature which makes WordPress blog non SEO friendly and there are many other things which any WordPress user should do to make his blog optimized for search engines.
Is WordPress a bad platform for Blogging?
Ofcourse not, and the reason being WordPress platform is one of the easiest platform for any novice blogger to optimize it for search engines. You don’t even have to drop a sweat as with lots of plugins out there, you can do everything to achieve search engine success. Needless to say, all you need is one proper SEO configuration for any plugin you are using.
Above I have covered few of the SEO stuff which should be part of WordPress but is not, and you can easily fix them by reading the above solutions. Here are few more WordPress SEO articles from past, which will help you in making your WordPress blog more search engine friendly:
- 5 Basic WordPress SEO practices for Bloggers
- How to Perform WordPress Blog SEO in easy Ways
- How to Optimize WordPress Robots.txt file for SEO
- How to Deindex WordPress tags and Categories from Google Search
Check out WordPress SEO training video:
So, do let me know other practices you follow to make your non SEO friendly WordPress Blog, SEO friendly?