Sure, social media and links on third-party sites can make a significant impact on your blog’s traffic, but the big fish is still the search engines, which is why optimizing your blog for their web crawlers is so important.
If you’re using WordPress, I’ve got good news: there are a lot of tools and techniques available to make SEO easier. Many of them you can simply set up, and then you’re done!
Enable trackbacks. This means that when someone links to your article elsewhere on the web, a link will be automatically created in your comments section. The feature helps to encourage others to link to you, providing a great SEO boost.
Change the permalink format. Put in layman’s terms: you want to change the web address that is generated for each blog post. The default results in pretty ugly URLs, like this “www.hellboundbloggers.com/p=123“. This does very little to tell search engines what the post is about. Instead, visit the permalinks page in the administration panel (/wp-admin/options-permalink.php) and change it to “Post name.” For instance, that would make the URL of this page: “www.hellboundbloggers.com/tips-and-tricks-for-better-seo-on-wordpress“, which gives those web crawlers much more information about what to expect on the page.
Label images. When you add an image to a post, don’t forget to fill out the “title” and “alt text” fields. Use keywords that describe the image as well as the article’s content. It just takes a few extra seconds, but it can help search engines better categorize your post.
Install Headspace2 SEO. This WordPres plug-in allows you to add a title, keywords, and a description to each post. You’ll find it at the bottom of the page after installation. This is a simple, easy way to add META data to your blog without needing to mess with coding.
Interlink. It’s not just links to external sites that make a difference for SEO; you can link to your own site! When you do, be sure to use keywords as the links, so the search engines know what you consider important to your content.
Generate a site map. It’s simple enough. Download and install a plugin like Google XML Sitemaps (which actually generates a sitemap that works for all the major search engines, not just Google.) Then go to settings under your administration panel, and select “XML-Sitemap.”
Tag your posts. This is a step that many people skip. Use keywords that you want the search engine to pay attention to, but make sure it’s relevant to your content. Over time, you’ll develop a “library” of sorts for tags which you can access by clicking on “choose from the most used tags.” This makes it easier and easier to tag posts — just click on those that are applicable and voila!
By taking these few extra steps to improve the SEO of your WordPress blog, you can have a significant impact on your search rank – and that will translate into more visitors.
About the author: Thomas is an accomplished writer with many years of experience within the technology industry. When he isn’t busy working on his book, you can find Tom reviewing digital marketing companies in Chicago.