We all want websites that are search-engine friendly. But sometimes when you are busy it’s easy to publish a new blog post and be off to the next thing on your to do list.
Over time, this can really hurt your SEO efforts. That’s why I’ve put together this short hit list of things you can do to boost your WordPress SEO.
Schedule these tasks in your calendar to make your blog traffic soar.
1. Post New Content Regularly
Google has a bias toward fresh content. Part of Google’s algorithm looks at how new the content is and gives preference to more recent results. So publishing original content on a regular basis is important.
Also, size matters when it comes to content. Generally longer content ranks higher than shorter content. So strive to make your post at least 500 words.
2. Create a Keywords List
If SEO is a priority, then you’ll want to develop a keyword list. This is basically a list of keywords and phrases that describes your products and services. These keywords should include words from search terms that are more likely to be used to find your offerings online.
Google has some incredible tools to make keyword research easy including Google Search, Google Suggest, Google Instant and Google Wonder Wheel.
Hint: if you want a really targeted keyword list, hire an SEO expert.
3. Install an SEO Plugin
This will allow you to set keyword-rich custom titles and Meta descriptions for your posts for search engines.
A couple of popular SEO plug-ins to consider are All in One SEO Pack and WordPress SEO by Yoast.
Again, this is something your Web designer or a SEO professional can easily install for you.
4. Hand Submit to Search Engines
What good is a site if no one can find it? That’s why getting listed in Google and the other popular search engines and directories is one of the most effective ways of getting free targeted traffic to your website.
You have probably seen lots of automated submission services where you pay a small fee for them to submit your site to hundreds of search engines. These services not only won’t help — they can actually hurt you.
Almost all of these free directories never send an actual visitor to your website and getting links from them can hurt your ability to rank in the real search engines like Google and Bing.
The best practice is to manually submit your site to search engines yourself. WordPress makes this easy once you set up an account in Google, Bing and Yandex Webmaster Tools.
If unsure, just ask your webmaster or SEO specialist to set up these accounts.
5. Add Tags to your Posts
WordPress, straight out of the box, comes ready to embrace search engines. The tags feature is one of those SEO-friendly features you should take advantage of.
Be sure to add relevant keyword-rich tags to every post you publish.
6. Leave Comments on Other Blogs
Start linking more to other people’s posts on their blogs and encourage them to link back to you.
One search engine factor that Google considers is backlinking. A website that has more backlinks is considered more of an authority site and gets higher rankings.
7. Block Spam Comments
When people leave comments on your blog, it counts as content to Google. So if you have a website about DIY crafts and someone leaves five comments about ‘cheap enhancement pills’ that ruins your keyword relevancy and hurts your rankings.
So blocking spam comments from posting to your blog will improve your SEO as well as make your real blog readers happy.
8. Internal Linking
One easy way to get more traffic is to add internal links to your blog posts.
For example, if you have an article on Overcoming Your Resistance to Blog Writing, then at the bottom of that article you can post links to ‘Other Related Articles You May Enjoy.’ WordPress SEO by Yoast does this automatically for you.
9. Use Image Alt Tags
For each image you use in your post, ensure you add the Alt tag to help them rank better in image searches. This is another excellent place to put relevant keywords.
Google has an image search function that works in pretty much the exact same way as the webpage search with keywords and relevance. So adding Alt tags helps Google find and include your images when someone does an image search.
10. Tweak Blog Post Titles
If you quickly wrote titles to your blog posts before, take time to review them first before publishing.
Your blog post titles are vital to your SEO rankings, so compare the keywords used to your keyword list and make your blog titles more keyword rich.
11. Add Social Media Sharing Buttons
When Google sees a blog article is getting a lot of posts and shares on social media, it boosts the ranking of that blog post.
So making it easy for readers to share your posts helps others tweet and share your great content.
12. Update Your Theme
Not all WordPress themes are SEO-friendly and the free WordPress themes may be hurting your search engine rankings because of this.
Having a premium WordPress theme ensures your content will be indexed by the search engines, since the developers have taken special time to optimize every aspect in terms of both security and SEO.
It’s smart to make sure your theme programming isn’t bloated with inefficient code that slows down page load times — something that can occur with purchased themes compared to custom themes.
As the founder, Susan Friesen brings a unique advantage to eVision Media clients by having earned a Bachelor in Business Administration degree with a concentration in Computer Information Systems through the Thompson River’s University. Her experience in the Web development industry since 1999 has gained her much insight and knowledge in how to effectively brand a business and then translate that to a user-friendly, search-engine friendly, custom designed website. She is a graduate of the Vancouver Film School multi-media program and also earned several certificates in technology through the University of Victoria and Athabasca University. She won the 2003-2004 Governor General’s Bronze Academic Award for achieving the highest academic standing in a diploma-level post secondary program. http://evisionmedia.ca