WordPress SEO – Building the Foundation

Out of the box, WordPress is a pretty well optimized system, but there is a lot you can do to optimize your blog posts, so they can perform better in search results. By using SEO functions properly for each post, you can definitely improve your search rankings.

Permalinks Structure plays a vital role in SEO of your website . To edit or see your current Permalinks structure navigate to Dashboard>>Settings>>Permalinks  .  Mostly blogs make use of %postname% permalinks structure and Even I am using same structure on this blog but the best Permalinks for SEO is %category%/%postname% .

WWW vs non-WWW

You need to think about what you want your site to show up as, www.example.com or simply example.com. Both the WWW or the non-WWW version are treated as completely separate versions of your website. If you have both, they are almost always treated as duplicate content of each other and cause indexing problems with the search engines. This will hurt search rankings.

Make sure that in your general settings, under Settings → General, the version you want to show up is properly reflected. You will also want to set this correctly in Google Webmaster Tools. Make sure to set up your site with Google Webmaster Tools and set the preferred domain, you can find this setting under Settings → Preferred domain.

Choosing a Focus Keyword

A focus keyword is the main keyword that you are hoping people will look for and find your post. If your blog is in a competitive niche then chances are that you will be competing with many other established and reputable publications for popular keywords. In such situation, you can get more organic traffic by using long tail keywords. Always remember that your audience is humans not search engines. People don’t just type one keyword in search engines, they use phrases. Your focus keyword can be a phrase.

Writing a Good SEO-Friendly Post Title

A good SEO friendly post title is easy to read for humans, contains your focus keyword, is within the 70 characters limit. An often over looked aspect, it also needs to be catchy. A searcher is moved to click on your link simply on whether or not the are attracted to your headline. The description part may change as search engines display the most relevant part of your article as the description. But the title will remain the same.

Make sure your SEO Title gives an accurate description. And finally, simplify your title, rather than using “A Comparison between Categories and Tags From SEO point of view” or “My thoughts on Categories and Tags” try something like “Categories vs. Tags – SEO Best Practices for Sorting your Content”. This title is not only catchy, it also contains the right keywords that people would be searching for.

For your WordPress blog to get the traffic it deserves, this should be the other way around, for two reasons:

  • Search engines put more weight on the early words, so if your keywords are near the start of the page title you are more likely to rank well.
  • People scanning result pages see the early words first. If your keywords are at the start of your listing your page is more likely to get clicked on.

Optimize Your Descriptions

Now that we’ve got proper titles, we should start to focus on meta descriptions. The meta description can be used by search engines to show in the snippet, it’s the black piece of text shown beneath the URL. The meta description is usually only used when it contains the keyword the searcher was searching for.

The description tag should be written in such way that it will show what information your website contains or what your website is about. Write short and clear sentences that will not confuse your visitors.

The description tag should be less than 200 characters. The meta description tag also has a great importance for the SEO optimization of your page. It is most important for the prospect visitor when looking at the search engine result page – this tag is often displayed there and helps you to distinguish your site from the others in the list.

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