WordPress SEO – beginner guide

Most of the SEO (Search engine optimization) can be done with very little effort. Ideally speaking there should not be too much effort in SEO by a publisher. A publisher should put most of the effort in good content creation rather than SEO. If some basic steps are taken while creating content to make content more appealing to users, then majority SEO is automatically done.

I’ll use wordpress as context for this article so that some specific code can also be added to the article.


WordPress SEO – things to do

These are few things which can be done for SEO of a wordpress site to take majority of benefits:

  1. First pick a good title. This should be very user centric. If you want to add you brand name in title, it should be in the end. Also use simple english which people might search for when they need such content. Here is how html title tag looks like:
    <title>blah blah blah...</title>
  2. Use permalink and keep only main important words in the url. There are few url structures you can use:
    1. /post-name/
    2. /YYYY/MM/DD/post-name/
    3. /category/post-name/

    You can pick one of these formats. My personal preference is for /post-name/ as it gives you option to change category of article and to change the modification date.

  3. Add a meta description whenever possible. Search engine can potentially take description snippet which they show in search results from this value.  If you don’t add meta desc, search engine will show snippet from the page content. It is not something you want to spend tons effort but add it wherever it is easy. Here is how it looks:
    <meta name="description" content="blah blah blah..."/>
  4. Add an RSS feel url to your pages. Here is how it looks:
    <link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="InfoHeap - Feed" href="http://feeds.infoheap.com/infoheap" />
  5. Use Google verified author feature for your posts/articles. It adds credibility to your posts when people view them in search results.
  6. Use h2 (0 or more) tags whenever makes sense in addition to the main default h1 header. That way Search engines know the header of various sections.
  7. Have alt value for images. Also use meaningful verbose names for images instead of some numerical id alone.
  8. While giving credit to outside links, you suitable anchor text and/or title (whenever possible) which describes that external page.
  9. Use WordPress SEO plugin by yoast and at least set custom title and h1 for all tags and category pages.
  10. Try to make your pages load super fast. Be extremely obsessed about it. You can use Chrome page speed plugin for monitoring this.
  11. Have twitter, facebook, google plus channels for your posts. Whatever you share on Google plus, keep them public. Also let visitors easily share the stuff from your site using these mediums.

WordPress SEO – things to avoid

Here are some things I believe you should avoid:

  1. Don’t worry too much about page rank. Only focus on content.
  2. Off page factors are pretty important but you should not be obsessed about them. If the content is good and is benefiting people, off page stuff will automatically happen.
  3. Avoid changing url structure.
  4. Avoid focussing too much on keywords density, etc. Just focuss on what looks natural to user.
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