In my last post, I discussed using WordPress for website management. Today, I’ll explore some built in (and add-on) capabilities for getting optimal WordPress search engine optimization.
There are a number of key steps you can take with WordPress to ensure an effective installation. One of the most important functions you’ll want to understand is your WordPress search engine optimization (SEO). WordPress has a lot of built in options, (as well as plug-in modules), that can optimize your site for the search engines. This is a step you don’t want to miss. Good search engine optimization determines where the search engines place your site in their search results. The higher you land in the results, the more referral traffic you will see from search engines.
Basic WordPress search engine optimization tips
The default installation of WordPress is a good a starting point, but there are tweaks you can make to help the search engines find and catalog all of the pages on your site. Here are a few tips to help improve your WordPress search engine optimization plan.
Permalinks Permalinks are URLs to different pages or items on your site. The search engines rely on link names to help them determine what your pages are about. Rather than settling for the default WordPress permalink structure (which is a number), set your installation to use the post title as the permalink. If you are diligent about putting your keywords in your post titles, the search engines will thank you by increasing the relevance of your post/page in their search engine results. You can set the Permalinks structure preferences under Settings in WordPress.
NOT THIS: http://www.sample.com/?p=1234
Make your post titles relevant! Post titles are important. There’s no way around it, so your best bet is to include your keyword(s) in your titles. The closer your keyword is to the beginning of your title, the better off you are. Now, having said that, don’t include ALL of your keywords in your post title – one will do just fine – as long as it’s relevant to the rest of the material in the post. Keep in mind that you’re constructing your posts for both human readers and machine readers. Machine readers aren’t intelligent, and they’re not nearly as forgiving as human readers are, so err on the side of machine readers when you’re constructing post titles.
THIS: WordPress Search Engine Optimization For Business Websites
NOT THIS: How you can help people find your website
Make your post descriptions relevant! Your post descriptions are little snippets of text that tell readers what your post is about. Consider it support material for your post titles. Your descriptions can be longer than post titles – about 150 characters – but they still should include your keyword(s). If you don’t re-write your post description, WordPress will take the first 150-ish characters from the post text to use as your description. If you allow WordPress to do this, you could be foregoing a great SEO opportunity.
THIS: WordPress Search engine optimization tools are built into the content management system. You can also install additional plug-ins to manage website SEO.
NOT THIS: Website operators are beginning to understand the importance of being recognized by Google, Bing, Yahoo! and other Internet information locators.
In upcoming posts, I will share additional tips to help you make WordPress search engine optimization work for you! In the mean time, if you would like more information about using WordPress as a content management system for your website or additional WordPress search engine optimization tips, please contact our Creative Director, Dave Ramsell or give Dave a call at (330) 243-0651 to set up a WordPress website management consultation.
Photo Credit: WordPress