WordPress SEO – The Complete Guide

Pendem RajuSEO95 Comments

WordPress SEO

WordPress SEO

WordPress is the best blogging platform available on the web. WordPress is robust with it’s premium themes, plugins and widgets. Okay you started a blog what next? You want your blog to be popular on the web. One must implement SEO (search engine optimization) on blog for increasing your blog’s online presence. For many people still SEO is a bitter fruit. In this post we will try to explain the best WordPress SEO practices that improves your blog’s online presence and drives more traffic.

WordPress SEO – Theme

When you start a blog first thing you have to take care of is theme. When you are selecting a theme for your WordPress blog you should keep 3 things in mind. Search engines also consider how fast a website loads as one of the SEO factor. First thing is your WordPress theme should load faster. Secondly your theme should be responsive. As the smartphones and tablets are increasing, your blog should be compatible  with all devices. Thus your theme should be responsive that adapts any device. Lastly these days displays are coming with retina display. So your blog should be retina ready. Keep these 3 in mind while choosing a theme.
1. Loading Time
2. Responsive Theme
3. Retina Ready

WordPress SEO – Permalinks

A WordPress permalink is nothing but URL to individual blog posts. As the name suggests permalink means permanent link to particular post. WordPress has Permalinks option, on your wordpress dashboard under Settings click on Permalinks option. the best url structure is website url followed by post name http://www.yourblog.com/sample-post/ in that case choose post name option. Most of the blogggers divide posts into different categories then select Custom Structure then enter /%category%/%postname%/ as shown in below pic and save changes.

Wordpress SEO Permalinks

WordPress SEO – WWW vs non-WWW

Choose how your website url should look www.example.com or simply example.com. Update the same in WordPress Settings -> General as shown in below pic.

WordPress SEO Website url

WordPress SEO – Post Title

Before implementing WordPress SEO on post titles and description install WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin. When you search for a query search engines also see whether search keywords present in the post title as shown in below pic.

WordPress SEO Post Title

After installing WordPress SEO plugin under Titles & Metas -> Post Types set Title template as shown in below pic.

WordPress SEO Post Title

You can give post title to individual posts in SEO Title field of WordPress SEO dialogue box in post editor as shown in below pic.

WordPress SEO Title

WordPress SEO – Meta Description

When you search for a query search engines also see whether search keywords present in the meta description of the post. By default WordPress SEO plugin takes first 156 characters as meta description as shown in below Snippet Preview.

WordPress SEO Snippet Preview

You can manually enter post description in Meta Description field of WordPress SEO plugin dialogue box in post editor as shown in below pic.

WordPress SEO Meta Description

WordPress SEO – Image Optimization

Optimizing images is also a search engine optimization technique. Search engines crawl better if you provide alternate attribute to your image. An alternate attribute gives an alternate information to the image. If for some reasons browser can’t load images then this alternate description will be shown.WordPress SEO - Image Optimization

You can also give alt and title attributes to images by clicking on Edit option on the inserted image as shown in below pic.

WordPress SEO - Image alt and title attributes

WordPress SEO – Headings

Using H2 or H3 tags is always one of the best SEO practices. When you search for a query search engines also looks whether keywords present in any headings. So always try to use proper headings as we used in this post.

WordPress SEO – XML Sitemaps

In order to index your WordPress blog by search engines you need to submit sitemap to search engines. Search engines crawl your blog better if you submit XML sitemap.  We recommend to use XML Sitemap generator plugin. This plugin creates XML sitemap of your WordPress blog, automatically updates whenever your publish a new post and pings Google, Yahoo and Bing search engines. The default sitemap url is website.com/sitemap.xml. Submit XML sitemap to Google, Bing Webmaster tools.

WordPress SEO – Google Authorship

These days you might have observed picture in left side of search results. The picture says that particular person is author of the post and author name with his/her circles. This is called google authorship. Benifits of google authorship are
1. Your picture in search results.
2. Increased Page Rank.
3. Increased CTR (Click Through Rate)

Google Authorship for WordPress

1. Go to your google+ profile, click on Profile, click on About and the go to Contributor to Section as shown in below pic.
2. Click on Edit and add the WordPress blog your authoring to that section. Save it.

google+ contributor

3. Now go to your WordPress Dashboard, left side you can see users, click on your profile.
4. In profile page under contact info you can find Google+ field paste your google+ profile url as shown in below pic and save it. That’s it you have setup google authorship on your WordPress blog.

google authorship for wordpress

After implementing google authorship to test how it works useGoogle Rich Snippets Tool and enter any of your post url. If you get profile picture in your post snippet as shown in below pic then your authorship is working.

google authorship

WordPress SEO – Site Speed

How fast your website or blog loads is one of the factors that search engines consider. Your blog loads faster if your theme has less scripts. Always it is recommended to serve HTML version of your blog to search engines. There are many caching plugins available in WordPress. W3TC and WP Super Cache are famous WordPress plugins which reduces your blog loading time. If you can spend some bucks on improving your site speed we recommend using maxCDN which is trusted by many webmasters.

WordPress SEO – Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs gives your blog a structure especially if your blog has many categories. Breadcrumbs help visitors to identify where they are in your blog. For example above this post title you can see something like this Home / SEO / WordPress SEO – The Complete Guide. If your theme comes with Breadcrumbs then it’s ok if not try Breadcrumb NavXT plugin which is trusted by Million WordPressors. Checkout our post on Breadcrumbs and SEO.

WordPress SEO – Conversions

Once you are done publishing a post you must convert every visitor to a customer or subscriber so that they stay updated with our new articles. If you observe this blog at the end of each post we are asking visitor to subscribe to our updates. If you are visiting this blog for the first time a popup might have appeared asking for subscription or like. These are few ways to convert visitors to customers. We recommend using WP Lead Magnet plugin which can increase your leads by 300%.

WordPress SEO – Comments

Always write your post in such a way visitors should leave a comment on your post. Make sure you reply back to visitor’s queries and stay connected with them. As your WordPress blog grows you receive more spam comments. Then how to deal with WordPress comment spam? This is a 1 year blog so far we filtered 3500 spam comments. We recommend using AkismetGASP and Simple Trackback Validation plugins together. These plugins reduce comment spam on your WordPress blog by 90%.

95 Comments on “WordPress SEO – The Complete Guide”

  1. Pingback: Blogelina 2013 Commentathon – Group 4 | Blogelina

  2. This is GREAT! I am in the process of switching from Blogger to WordPress. One of the main reasons I am doing this is the added SEO benefits of wordpress. I will be referring back to this as I start publishing posts on my new domain! Thanks!

    1. Brandy, I’m glad you found this post helpful. I also included a post on migrating from blogger to wordpress in this comment please do read the post also. It is simple and safe way to move from blogger to wordpress 🙂

  3. What great tips. I’m glad I found your blog. I am struggling with a lot of this little plug ins and this frustrates me. I love the screen shots, too. I bookmarked your page on submitting blog posts. I was looking for a cheat sheet on this subject as well.

  4. For someone who loves to learn all she can about blogging and SEO and wordpress, this was a great breakdown and helped me understand some topics I hadn’t fully understood before. Thanks!

  5. This is a great post. I have read many articles on SEO. I still don’t have it all figured out. I have always used both WordPress and Blogger as my blog platform. For me, I just prefer Blogger. It’s a personal preference. But WordPress has amazing features and capabilities. I think your post is really informative and easy to understand.

  6. As I read through this blog I tried to implement some of these things, however they do not seem to work with my Empower Network Blog… I would really like to learn how to add a lightbox (from my Aweber) to pop-up on my blog, however EN does not allow plug-ins… is there no other way to do this? I was able to update my Google+ profile and that was pretty awesome! I look forward to learning more from you, thank you!

  7. These are some awesome tips. I have just started really concentrating on my SEO side of the blog and have noticed a huge improvement by optimizing my images. Bookmarking this for later re-reading.

  8. These are great SEO tips. I know I don’t do it for any of my photos and now I see the benefits of using it for all the parts of my site. I did get my Google authorship done recently but I have lots of other areas to improve on for sure.

  9. Awesome post…so informative but so concise at the same time. I bookmarked it and will be referring back to this for some assistance with certain things (like the XML Sitemap) and the meta description. Great job!

  10. I really need to make the time to get my SEO together. There are many different advice out there and it can get confusing. Thanks for your advice. : )

  11. This is really helpful, Anil! I just moved from Blogger to WordPress this summer, and I still have so much to learn, especially SEO. It’s still sort of a foreign language to me, but I hope to get there someday. Thanks for sharing this valuable information 🙂

  12. This was such an informative article! I’m pinning it for later, since I’m currently on Blogger but realizing I ought to switch over. Thanks!

    – April

  13. Great tips! I have been working a lot more recently towards finding better seo techniques. This post was definitely informative and I will refer back to you site for more tips! Keep up the good work!

  14. Thanks for the tips! I have not yet gotten serious about SEO on my blog…but plan to before the end of the month. Bookmarking this page for future reference.

  15. These are some pretty good tips, but a lot of people focus more on receiving hits and whatnot rather than feedback and the actual content. Thus, I think it’s more important to focus on the quality of the website and its content (posts, pages, comments and all) than the way that one comes up in search.

  16. Thank you so much for this information. As a new blogger, I am often lost! It looks like you have all of the information right here, so I know that I will be coming back.

  17. I’ll be pinning this to work from in the future. I really liked the Google authorship advice as well as the photo optimization. There’s always something more to work on on my blog. It’s neverending!

  18. We appreciate you other sorts of beneficial web site. The location else might I am getting that type of info written in this suitable technique? I have a undertaking that i’m only today running about, i have been on the style out there intended for such information.

  19. I must be insane because I have read so much about SEO and I still don’t know what I am doing. I can’t even to get Google to pull up my page!!! So I read all about it and I’m still confused!

  20. Great break down of the basics of SEO. Even though I know them, it still drives me insane to have to do it. I know how important the steps are but I just find it boring. lol Unlike friends of mine that are SEO geeks.

  21. Great info! I’m still on blogger, but I’m trying to work into my budget to switch over. I’m absolutely bookmarking this page because when I do you have wonderful info here! SEO is so confusing to me, but you’ve simplified it in a way that makes sense. Thanks so much!

  22. Hi, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog site in Chrome, it looks fine but when opening in Internet
    Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!

    Other then that, very good blog!

  23. I got behind on the commentathon due to a storm here, so now I am trying to get to all the blogs. I definitely will come back to this one and I have subscribed! The technical part of blogging just does not compute very well for me.

  24. Great post, I have actually been thinking of moving to WordPress for my blog and this was a great help. I don’t think I ever really took the time to think about SEO. Now that I am taking blogging more seriously, your site will be a great help.

  25. This is a great help, Anil! I am still new to the blogging world, but I have done the Youst pluggin – it is helpful. Look forward to rereading this and implementing some more ideas!

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