Google has been changing the SEO game a lot lately with their panda and penguin updates. However, there are simple things that still remain the same and some people ignore. In this post, I’ll show you 23 WordPress SEO Tips I’ve learned on my blogger’s life that still work for 2013.
The idea is simple. In WordPress, most of these tips are easy to put on practice and won’t take you more than 1-5 minutes each. Can you imagine how far you can go if you apply them all?
Just don’t forget that content is still King, and you need to do a great marketing campaign for your site too. You don’t want to rely on SEO traffic only:
20 WordPress SEO Tips that you can’t miss
1. Write a Meta description for your home, pages and posts
Make it unique and easy to read. Write something that catches the eye of the visitors coming from Google. I use WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast.
2. Image description and alt tag
Whenever you upload an image for a post, give it a proper name an add the alt text too. This will help your blog to get traffic from Image search results. Instead of using a number (e.g. 21.jpeg) use a wide description like: Wordpress seo tips 2013.jpeg and a description like: The Best SEO tips for WordPress on 2013.
3. Create an XML Sitemap
Help Google index your blog. Use WordPress SEO by Yoast or XML Sitemap Generator to create a sitemap and submit it to Google Webmaster Tools. It makes the indexing process easier for Google and other search engines.
4. Register your blog on Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Webmaster Tools, Analytics, Alexa, etc.
I use the All in one Webmaster Plugin for this. However you can do it with WordPress by Yoast. Make sure to submit your XML Sitemap to Bing and Yahoo too. This function is also integrated with Yoast.
5. Ping Services
Adding ping services helps search engines to notice every time you publish new content. However, if your list is too big Google can actually tag you as a SPAMer. After reading an article about this on Traffic Generation Cafe I only use the following services:
The first thing you need to do BEFORE creating content is to change your permalink settings and use something easier to read for search engines like post-name or something including post-names. Instead of having a horrible URL, your new permalink will help search engines and visitors to know what they’re looking for.
7. Google+ Authorship
Pagerank is losing importance every month and Google is now giving a lot of importance to Authority. Make sure you register your Author’s BIO with your Google+ account and increase your CTR on the process. Here’s how I did it.
8. Broken links
Google hates them, and I hate them too. Install broken Link Checker and delete all broken or non responsive links from your blog. Beware of comments leaving a link to a temporary site. Broken link checker can send you an email every time it discovers a new broken link.
9. Increase Website speed
In 2010 Google decided to put an eye on website’s speed because most people will get out of a site that doesn’t load after a few seconds. There are 2 things you can do to increase your website speed.
- Get a faster server (I recommend Blue Host)
- Install a cache plugin (W3 Total cache and WP Super Cache)
10. Avoid SPAM
Moderate your comments and use Akismet to delete SPAM. However be careful and check your SPAM inbox once in a while. Sometimes Akismet isn’t as accurate as we would like it to be.
11. Social Share Buttons
Google and Bing already accepted they’re giving some importance to Social activity and shares. Put a floating share bar at the left of your articles or at least add the buttons at the end of each post. This will make easier for your readers to like, pin, tweet or share your content and Search Engines will love it. I use digg digg for my blog.
12. Index your Categories
You should add your categories page to your XML sitemap so it can be indexed by Google. You can enable categories indexing on WordPress SEO Dashboard or on the XML Sitemaps plugin.
13. No index your tags
Don’t add all your tags to the XML Sitemap. If you’ve done this, disable them and avoid duplicated content. Also, don’t use more than 3-5 tags per post.
14. Avoid Keyword stuffing
You don’t need to stuff a lot of keywords on the same paragraph to get better search engine rankings. It will spoil your reader’s experience and Google will notice it sooner or later. Use WordPress SEO by Yoast to keep track of how many times you’ve written your keyword on the same post.
15. Don’t write for search engines
Think on your readers instead. If the content you’re reading doesn’t make any sense just because you want the keywords to be there, you’re doing it wrong. Instead, write for your audience and use keywords as needed. Search Engines will notice it and give you better rankings later.
16. Erase inactive widgets and plugins
They’re an easy way to crash or slow down your site in the near future. If you don’t use them then delete them.
17. Erase inactive themes
Same as for plugins and widgets. If you’re not using it, then delete it. You can keep the WordPress default theme or the framework installed, but avoid having 10 different inactive themes on your WordPress blog.
18. Don’t cloak links
Google doesn’t like that for a good reason. Use an affiliate link plugin instead.
19. Use no-follow links
For comment links and sidebar links. Don’t lose all your Page Rank Juice splitting it into a hundred sites on your sidebar.
20. Avoid duplicated content on your own website
Write an article on one category and then one on another different category. If you write many articles on the same category your homepage will be very similar to the category page, and Google might think it’s duplicated content.
21. Use the power of headers
Most people won’t use headers on their content. But headers are still one of the most important factors for SEO and keywords. Use headers as needed and give your content a better layout for your readers in the process. Use Ctr+1/cmd+1 for H1 header and ctrl/cmd+2 for h2 header. That way you won’t need to add the <h1> header code to the HTML version of your post.
22. Use quote and bold text
If you’re quoting someone else’s words use the quote tag to avoid duplicated content. Or use the bold tag to make some keywords and key phrases stand out.
23. Keep your WordPress installation and plugins updated
It helps avoiding crashes and improves security at the same time.
Want to share an SEO tip for WordPress?
If you have any other easy to put on practice WordPress SEO Tip then I’d like to hear it from you. Let me know what other tip you’d use to improve your SEO and I’ll be happy to add it to the list and add a link to your page at the end as a contributor.
That easy! Until then, take care.