If you are setting up your first WordPress Website or Blog, it can be very easy to become overwhelmed with making sure that the site has an awesome Theme, is responsive, has a great navigational system etc. But the truth is that Google, Bing, Yahoo and the likes really couldn’t care less about your pretty design – the search engines take some design elements into account, but the deciding of where you land in the rankings is ultimately down to SEO.
The following tips are those that many WordPress users, especially first-timers overlook when it comes to their Website’s SEO, resulting in poor search results and not much luck for their Website when it comes to traffic.
Content is King
You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘content is king’ thrown around on the internet in various Blog posts and Forums, but the fact is that it’s actually true. Good quality content is the ruling factor of any SEO strategy, and using high-quality content marketing strategies is also one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your Website or Blog. However, when using content for SEO it’s vital that you don’t write the content for search engines. This can be quickly picked up by crawlers and could do you more harm than good. Instead, write your content for visitors first and foremost.
Choose SEO Friendly Theme
There are literally thousands of WordPress themes out there to choose from, both from the selections offered by WordPress themselves to others created by third-party designers. When you’re searching for the perfect WordPress theme for your site, it’s important to take more into account than simply the way it looks. Some themes use a lot more code than others, meaning that search engine crawlers will need to wade through the source code in order to find the relevant content. The more code a theme has, the less content and keyword density. The performance of a website is an important factor when it comes to ranking, making fast performing themes among the best to choose from.
Title Your Images!
Google and other search engines also take images into account when it comes to calculating where you stand in the rankings. Because Google displays both images and text on its search results page, it draws on relevant images in the post itself which are linked to the corresponding page on your site. Instead of using generic names for images such as image.jpg, use keywords that are relevant to a specific subject.
Social Networking is Important
Adding your posts to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter is another effective method of improving the SEO of your WordPress site. When updating your social media, don’t just link to your own posts – promote other posts and sites which you like as this will gain you respect and more importantly, links back to your site.
Create a sitemap in XML format.
With WordPress and plugins like Google XML Sitemaps it is a very easy task. Google has a variety of other useful tools, too, such as Website Optimizer and Webmaster Central.
Highlight informative content or keywords
On your website. Use h1-h6 to highlight headings or subtitles of an article or important sentences. Use the strong tag, too. But please don’t overdo it!
Don’t use black hat techniques or mirror html sites.
If you try to trick Google, they will find out. Promise. Recently, some pretty high-profile portfolio sites were recently punished by Google for such practices. Being sneaky will do more harm than good.
Since there are over 200 criteria, Google is using to determine your ranking including lesser-known criteria such as age of domain, duplicate content , meta description and tags , how active the website is and many more criteria …
This list can go on and on …
Last but not least, don’t try too hard! Concentrate on publishing unique, relevant and quality content. If you do that, everything else will be a cake walk. Content is King!