Top 10 SEO Tips for Your WordPress Blog | WebReference

Top 10 SEO Tips for Your WordPress Blog

By Sukrit Dhandhania


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Here are 10 tips for making sure that your WordPress blog posts rank high in search engine results when users search for topics that you cover.

1. Choose the Right Theme

When you scour the Web for a theme to use in your WordPress blog, you should add search engine optimization (SEO) to your list of criteria for choosing the right theme, along with the design and price. A lot of WordPress theme developers advertise their themes as being SEO friendly. Besides the standard SEO practices such as using the right headers, one factor that makes a theme more search engine friendly than others is being lightweight. Lightweight is defined in two ways: fewer images and graphics, and a small code base.

You should also make sure that the theme you use has valid W3C-compliant code. Check whether your website's theme validates correctly.

2. Adjust the Link Structure

Your link structure plays quite an important role in making your WordPress blog easier for search engines to index. Link structure is defined by Permalinks, which are the URLs used for your blog posts. WordPress allows you a reasonable amount of flexibility in this space. Post URLs in a default WordPress installation would look something like http://www.sevenacross.com/?p=24. If you go to Settings -> Permalinks, you can view and modify the Permalinks settings for your blog.

The preferred settings seem to be using either /post-name/ or /category/post-name/. For the first option, you need to change the custom setting to /%postname%/, and for the second one, change it to /%category%/%postname%/.

3. Use Sitemaps

Sitemaps are a great way to improve the speed with which Google and other search engines discover your content. The sitemap is a way to tell the search engine spider where to look for information. This is effective for just about all search engines. You can use the Google Sitemap Generator plugin to generate the sitemaps for you. After you install the plugin go to Options -> Google sitemap and then click on the "Build sitemap manually" link. This will create a sitemap of your blog, and as you add new posts this XML file will get updated automatically with new posts URLs. When you are done with this part you need to submit the sitemap to search engines such as Google and Yahoo using their webmaster tools.

4. Use Alt Text for Images

To get some SEO out of the images you use, you should make sure that you have the alt text entered for all your images. This is the text that appears in case the image is not found. Also, name your image files as aptly as you can. There is a plugin called SEO Friendly Images that can automatically add the title of the post and/or the image name to the image's alt and title tags.

5. Implement Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs are another great SEO trick. They allow you to display your content with hierarchical structure. For example a blog post about a trip to Istanbul could be presented with the following breadcrumb: Travel -> Europe -> Istanbul. This allows the user to navigate through your website easily, while allowing search engines to easily and quickly pick up the structure of your website. You can use the Breadcrumb plugin to help you implement this feature.


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