Blogging is more than just a hobby for a lot of people. Some bloggers actually make quite a nice living from their blog. Therefore, having a blog powered by WordPress is a great way to get your blog noticed. However, regardless of how well-written your blog posts are, you have to ensure good visibility for your content.
If no one can find or access your blog posts seamlessly, then they are of not much use to you, to begin with. Fortunately, SEO can help with that, and this marketing strategy works exceptionally well with WP. It is no wonder that every good and professional website marketing company will offer you besides web development SEO strategy also. But SEO does not just help your content get the necessary attention it needs.
As a matter of fact, SEO can also help your blog with credibility, authority, and exposure, among other things. That’s why it’s of vital importance to consider optimizing your blog posts for search engines, especially considering the fact that the online market is quite competitive these days.
With that in mind, here are a few easy steps to optimize your blog posts for SEO in WordPress.
Conduct a keyword research
Keywords are the lifeline of SEO. Without keywords, search engines can’t really index your pages properly or match your content with user intent, for that matter. By finding the right keywords for you to rank for, you’ll be able to ensure more visibility for your blog posts on search engines.
But how do you do that? Simply put, you’ll have to conduct thorough keyword research. For example, try to guess which phrases would your target audience use to find content similar to your own online?
Finding out what your audience would type in their browser when conducting their search will help you understand which keywords are the most relevant ones for your blog.
Once you’ve discovered enough keywords, you can start implementing them in your content. That being said, here are a few things to do when conducting keyword research.
Keyword research tips
- Watch out for keyword competitiveness and difficulty.
- Opt for long-tail keywords.
- Diversify your keyword portfolio – Having more different keywords to rank for is better for online visibility.
- Update your keyword list regularly.
- Prioritize keywords for more organic traffic.
Polish your blog’s design
SEO is not just about creating awesome content and optimizing it for search engines. If you want to truly rank well, you’ll have to ensure that your audience can have an exceptional experience on your blog. That includes polishing your blog’s design and improving its functionality.
Fortunately, WP is one of the best content management systems in the world, which means you can do everything you want with your blog on your own. Even if you don’t have the necessary know-how, you can always rely on a plug-in.
However, too many plug-ins and your blog will get bloated, which means your page loading time and overall speed will decrease. This is bad for both SEO and user experience.
Therefore, you should use the only plug-ins that you really need. If you feel like an additional feature may improve user experience, it’s better to consult with a custom web design company than to opt for a third-party plug-in. After all, website speed is an essential factor for both user experience and SEO. That said, here are a few things you should do to polish your blog’s design and make it more SEO-friendly.
- Include relevant and high-quality images.
- Use WP editor to add alt text to images.
- Categorize your blog posts.
- Ensure seamless navigation.
- Optimize your blog for speed.
- Enable automatic indexing in WP via automatic ping feature.
- Optimize your page layout.
Conduct on-page SEO
On-page SEO is crucial for ensuring that your blog, as well as your content, are well-optimized for search engines. If you don’t know how to conduct on-page SEO, you can use a plug-in, such as Yoast SEO, for instance.
This plug-in can help you perform a full audit of your blog and help you point out areas that could use optimization. On-page SEO has a lot to do with ensuring that your blog is search engine-friendly so that search engine crawlers can properly index your pages.
Moreover, the purpose is to not just make your blog and content more SEO-friendly but to help search engines understand the context of your pages so that they can rank them properly. That said, here are a few essentials for proper on-page SEO.
- Create SEO-friendly URLs – You can do this by restructuring permalinks for your pages. Just go to the Settings panel > Permalinks in WP to restructure them.
- Optimize title tags, headings, and sub-headings
- Optimize Meta descriptions.
- Check your XML sitemap.
- Keyword implementation (Avoid keyword stuffing).
- Fixing crawling errors, redirects, and broken links.
Internal links are important for SEO and for helping your audience find your content on your blog more seamlessly. You can do this when creating new content. By adding an anchor text to a relevant keyword, you can link internally to your other blog posts.
This also helps you to establish an information hierarchy while helping search engines follow your links so that they can crawl and index everything they’re supposed to on your blog. However, helping your audience navigate your blog and helping search engines index your pages are not the same.
Oftentimes, you want to lead your audience to the specific page on your blog, but you don’t want search engines to crawl and index that page. For example, it may be an advertisement page or something not relevant to your content. That’s why you need both dofollow and nofollow internal links. You can easily decide which links are dofollow and which are nofollow by adding a specific attribute to each link in WP settings. Here’s an example.
A dofollow link should look something like this:
- <a href=”http://www.yourblog.com/” title=”Keyword Text”>Keyword Text</a>
On the other hand, a nofollow link should look like this:
- <a href=”http://www.yourblog.com/ rel=”nofollow” title=”Keyword Text”>Keyword Text</a>
So basically, the “rel=nofollow” attribute can be added to any link you don’t want search engines to follow. For your audience, it will look just like any other internal link.
If you want your content and your blog to hold more sway over your target and broader audience, you’ll have to build some authority for your blog posts. The best way to do this is via off-page SEO.
As its name might suggest, off-page SEO focuses on strategies outside your blog. Its purpose is to help you build credibility, domain authority, and exposure for both your blog and your content.
Off-page SEO, therefore, focuses on link building and guest posting. That being said, guest posting and link building go hand-in-hand for the most part. If another blogger allows you to guest post on their blog, they’ll most likely allow you to have at least one backlink that leads back to your blog.
When you create backlinks on other relevant and credible sources, such as websites, blogs, and forums, you also build credibility for your own blog and content. WP can help you with content distribution and link building so that your off-page SEO efforts are more viable. Here are a few examples.
Off-page SEO tips for WP blogs
- Use the dofollow and nofollow tactic for your external links – The key is to not get more page scores than you’re giving away. Otherwise, search engines might consider your strategy to be fishy. In other words, you’re basically giving a portion of your SEO score to the website or blog you’re linking to and vice versa. That’s why some of your external links should be nofollow.
- Optimize your posts for social sharing – You can add social sharing buttons and optimize your blog posts for social media with the help of the Yoast SEO plug-in. Although social media and SEO aren’t directly correlated, blog posts optimized for social sharing can yield a lot of organic traffic for your blog.
- Search for broken links – The large part of the link-building process is looking for broken or missing links on other relevant sources. You can then reach out to webmasters and ask if you can replace their broken link with your own.
Update your blog regularly
SEO is a continuous effort. Once you’ve optimized your blog and your posts for search engines, you must continue to keep an eye on everything so that you can maintain or even improve your rankings. WP is an excellent platform.
It allows you to add more content seamlessly and tweak your blog as you see fit. However, with every change you make to your blog or with every new piece of content you add, you might lose rankings if you don’t continue to optimize.
Fortunately, WP can help you do all of that with ease. As mentioned before, you can even set up your WP blog to automatically inform search engines that you’ve added new content so that their crawlers can index it right away.
Therefore, every once in a while, perform an audit on your blog and make sure you optimize everything so that you can truly benefit from SEO.
Optimizing your blog posts for SEO is much easier with the help of WordPress. You can automate the majority of tasks that you’d have to do manually otherwise.
With the right strategy in place, you can have your WP blog optimized in no time, and your content will gain all the attention and credibility it needs to help your blog become successful.
Travis Dillard is a business consultant and an organizational psychologist based in Arlington, Texas. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for Finddigitalagency.