SEO Checklist for Your WordPress Blog [With Infographic]
July 26, 2013
So, you have finally started your WordPress blog. You have customized it with all the bells and whistles that you wanted and have also written your first post. Now what? Going by the number of WordPress blogs being started every day and in order to make sure that yours does not get lost in the jungle,most WordPress website designers you consult will tell you that proper search engine optimization of the blog is a must.
SEO Checklist for Your WordPress Blog
There are a number of steps you can take in order to optimize your site for search engines to recognize and pick and here is a quick checklist of the same for your reference:
Enable Search Engine Indexing
Switch off the “Discourage Search Engines from Indexing this website” option under Search Engine Visibility in Settings.
Make sure your site is responsive and mobile-friendly
Since a huge chunk of traffic visiting your website will be mobile, it is important that it is optimised for mobile viewing and browsing.
Improve your site speed
Website speed directly affects user experience – improved speed will improve rankings and reduce early exits and bounce rates.
Manually Set Titles and Descriptions
Keep the user in mind and set catchy, keyword-targeted titles and descriptions for your pages.
Use Your Primary Keyword in the first paragraph
Once you set your focus keyword for your page, ensure that it is used in the beginning / is visible in the first paragraph.
Optimum Keyword Density for Better Ranking
Keyword density is the number of times a keyword appears in the content copy compared to the total body copy. Too little keyword density will mean search engines won’t know what your content is about while too much signals keyword stuffing. The right balance is between 0.5% – 3% of total copy.
Use Related Keywords
As Google gets smarter, it is necessary to optimise for related keywords and relationships between topics.
Interlink Your Old Blog Posts
Interlinking old blog posts improves on-page SEO and helps search engines crawl and index your articles. Another great benefit is that it reduces bounce rates and passes link juice to one another.
Jump Start Your Social Media Marketing
By integrating social sharing and jumpstarting your social media marketing, you will be able to generate more traffic and in turn, improve search engine ranking.
Step one is to optimize your URL structure.
Whether you outsource SEO for your blog or decide to take a shot at it yourself, this is one of the most important optimization techniques. By default WordPress uses URL’s that have question marks and lots of numbers in them. This is an almost ugly permalink structure and changing this to a custom URL increases aesthetics, usability and forward-compatibility of your links. Post names as permalinks work well for optimization.
The H1 tag should be the name of your site on the homepage.
A lot of themes use the H1 tag for the blog title. This is an issue. On single post pages, it is the title of the page that should be in H1. The reason for this is the fact that Google considers the H1 tag really important to determine the relevancy of your site to any topic. Finally the category/tag title should be H1 on the category and tag archive.
You should always allow all categories and tags to be indexed
As they can be a really good source of inbound traffic.
Add some relevant all-in-one SEO plugins to boost the blog optimization.
The WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast is absolutely fabulous and solves most issues with just one installation. You don’t have to go about looking for a number of different plugins.
When you add an image to your post, put in extra effort and take steps for image optimization.
WordPress facilitates adding alt-text, caption and description to photos and this should be used always.
Make good use of Google author profile on WordPress.
As part of Google+ you get the option of showing your profile picture next to the article you have written which is a good optimization technique.
Add Google/Bing Webmaster Tool to your blog in order to index your websites in search engines.
This will enable you to track the number of anchors, backlinks and the number of pages indexed on search engines.
Add Google Analytics to your blog in order to track stats.
This feature packed Webmaster tool will help you track data as well as hits and other traffic options and reveal whether you are on the right track with your SEO or not.
So these are some of the steps that can be taken to enhance the results of your blog when it comes to search engines.
If you’ve used a similar checklist, let us know what the result was in the comments! And don’t forget to call if you have any questions or need help with your WordPress blog.