WordPress is the largest open source platform in the world and is generally accepted to be the best content management system in existence. Over 69 million websites are built on word press and it claims a massive 19% of the market. It is easy to see why it has become one of the most common foundations for websites, it is easy to develop for and allows for the circulation of a great number of plugins that can provide further enhancements, functionality and future proofing. There are just under 30,000 plugins available for WordPress, this includes Akismet (the most popular) which allows you to track comments and NextGen Gallery that allows your website to host high resoltion image galleries.
There are a huge number of SEO dedicated plugins that are designed to help you monitor and improve your website’s ranking upon search engines. There are a number of ways you can improve your SEO using WordPress, we have identified some of the most important steps.
1. Install a dedicated SEO plugin
As already stated, much of the appeal of WordPress applies to its endlessly modifiable nature. There are a number of SEO plugins you could potentially attach to the backend of your site, all of which provide the ability to optimise your onpage elements and provide monitoring capabilities. The best is WordPress SEO by Yoast, who have also written a very comprehensive guide to SEO on the platform. On an editing level, Yoast allows bulk management of your title tags from one table, which is useful when improving the SEO of your content on mass whenever there is an algorithmic change. There are plenty of other plugins such as All in one SEO, SEOpressor and SEO friendly images, which allows you to capitalise on the growing importance of image related content to improve the authority of your overall website.
2. Title Tags
WordPress allows you to create a structured website that is suitable for Google to crawl through and read, it also allows you to enhance the onsite SEO for each of these pages. One of the most important steps to getting your page ranking on search engines is to ensure that you have clear titling and meta-tagging attached to each of your pages. Google have recently made changes to the way it displays title tags in its search engine results page, which we have covered in a previous blog post.
Normally, blogs organise titles as such blog title>archive>a keyword heavy title, but proper SEO conduct tends to work in reverse. Put your most valuable keywords at the front of the title, as this will be the first thing the search engine will read. As always be concise with your title, no more than 60 characters.
3. HTML Meta Tags
Below the title display will be a brief description of the post, this is the meta tag and you should write a clear and concise description of what exactly the user will see on the page. Think about yourself when browsing the web, what kind of description will ensure that you click through on a SERP? As ever don’t go overboard with the description, make sure that it is clear and concise, populated with some of your keywords.
WordPress has the ability to change the nature of how it automatically creates permalinks (permanent, search-friendly link URLs), but you want to make sure that you always have it switched on to post name rather than a generic setting that creates a unique ID. At the top of the editing page, you will have the ability to edit the url to your post. As a general rule, you want to keep this brief. Cut out all stopwords, as in conjunctions, definite/indefinite articles and prepositions so you are just referencing the subject of the post. The words in your permalink should link specifically to what people are searching for, it is a valuable place to feature your keywords in other words.
5. XML Sitemap
It is necessary to get a site map plugin that will automatically create an XML site map, that will make Google read your website more easily. The Yoast WordPress SEO plugin already contains this feature as a module.
Bonus tip: Establish a content calendar
Having a WordPress CMS allows you to easily upload content related to your brand. It is important to commit to the frequent publication of content on your site via a blog or news item. The best way of doing this is to first of all set up a content calendar that lays out a strategy of how frequently you will be posting and what you aim to be posting about.
There are many ways of enhancing your SEO through WordPress, these are just a few basic rules that can all be controlled within dedicated plugins such as WordPress SEO or the All in one SEO pack.