WordPress SEO – The Basics

WordPress is known by many to provide SEO qualities right out of the box. Thanks to the clean code base, search engine spiders have an easy time crawling your archives, categories, and pages. However, thats not to say that the SEO qualities with which WordPress contains out of the box can not be improved upon. Here are some tips and tricks on how to boost your WordPress installations SEO.

Custom Permalinks – WordPress gives users the ability to define custom permalinks. Permalinks are permanent links to content. Out of the box, WordPress uses a mundane linking structure which is not recommended. Instead, configure permalinks to use any option other than the default. As for myself, I use the post title as my permalink url since my post headlines always contain keywords that are relevant to the post.

Posts and Page Titles – When creating a new post or page, make sure you use descriptive titles. These descriptive titles will act as highly relevant keywords for your blog.

If you’re doing a blog post on a certain topic, make sure that the title of your blog post contains at least one or two keywords about that particular topic. This gives search engines more ammunition to list your site in search results for that topic. For instance, if you write a blog post and give it the title, I Saw A Movie Yesterday, search engines have very little to go off of when listing a series of search results. However, if you replace that titles with I Saw “Title Of Movie” Yesterday, this will list your blog post along with all of the others that deal with that particular movie.

Text – Probably the most important aspect of SEO and the one with the most influence. The Text or Content of your blog is what search engine spiders crave the most. This is where you want to provide relevant keywords as it relates to your niche. Keeping your blog updated on a regular basis with these keywords and relevant niche keywords is a good way to maintain your rankings in the search engines.

Category Names – WordPress provides you the opportunity to create categories in which you can name. These categories are also crawled by the search engines. Again, using descriptive and identifying names for the categories you create in WordPress will provide keywords into the URL structure of your blog. However, unless your custom permalink structure includes the category name of the post inside the URL, you won’t see much benefit from this. Services such as Technorati use blog categories as tags.

Tags – Tags are like keywords for a blog post. After a number of tags have been created on a number of different posts, relationships are formed between the various posts on your blog. Each tag you create in WordPress will have it’s own dedicated page filled with content that shares the same tag. I’ve noticed many people browsing through my blog via tags while also seeing search engine queries turn up through the use of tags.

Images And ALT Tags – Some may scoff at Alt tags which is an HTML tag that when defined, describes what the image is, in case the image does not load. These Alt tags are text meaning they are crawled by the search engines. More specifically, search engines which offer an image search. When filling in your Alt tags, provide descriptive keywords that are relevant to the image. You’ll be surprised how much traffic you get when performing this technique from Google Image Search.

My SEO philosophy has always been, write for the readers and everything else will take care of itself. Although the best combination is writing great content for your readers that naturally has relevant keywords sprinkled into it.

If you are still looking for an easy way to manage some of the SEO aspects of your blog, look no further than the tried and true All In One SEO Plugin. This particular plugin has been used by a large number of WordPress users who have claimed the plugin works.

All In One SEO Pack –

* Automatically optimizes your titles for search engines
* Generates META tags automatically
* Avoids the typical duplicate content found on WordPress blogs
* For WordPress 2.3 you don’t even have to look at the options, it works out-of-the-box. Just install.
* You can override any title and set any META description and any META keywords you want.
* You can fine-tune everything
* Backward-Compatibility with many other plugins, like Auto Meta, Ultimate Tag Warrior and others.


11 thoughts on “WordPress SEO – The Basics

  1. I have been looking at over 300 wordpress blogs over the past few months and you would be surprised at just how many of them do still not use the things in this post – not all of them anyway. Although WP has improved, people can still be lazy it seems.

  2. As you have stated – writing for the readers is always the way to go. Contrived posting for Search engine attraction is so obvious and can put people off – permanently

  3. The question to answer is not only to be listed high but also to motivate the searcher to click on the provided link. The basic trick is to get a high CTR for a not so good listed page. The search engine will notice and will list your page higher because of the better CTR!

    How-To get a nice click through rate (CTR) on search engine result pages (SERPs) and how to achieve a better listing. This article is meant for everybody who likes to optimize his website/blog for better search engine results. Additionally I will list three plugins for WordPress to achieve that goal. Senior SEO hobbyists may skip this article 🙂

    3 SEO plugins: More traffic with custom titles and individual descriptions

  4. Not intended as a follow-up (pure accident) but somehow it fits. You will see

    Somehow rapping about clean code is much more fun than writing the next ordered crappy list about SEO

    SEO: (Tired of reading about SEO?) Listen to the SEO Rap!

  5. I’ve used that plugin (All In One SEO Pack) and I agree it’s a great plugin for WordPress SEO. Right out of the box you can get some great results from the plugin plus you have the ability to make so many adjustments to tweak this and that.

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