At this time, greater than 90% of the websites I build and maintain are WordPress websites. NOTE: WordPress.org is the application that can be installed on your hosting server. I do not recommend using WordPress.com – please ask me about this if you’re unsure! WordPress itself is SEO friendly, but there are things you can do to improve your search engine optimization each time you add a new blog post or page. This article includes some items that are specific to WordPress, but these tips can be applied to any web page or blog post.
Why do I need to add new blogs, articles or posts to my website?
There are several reasons why you should be adding blog posts to your WordPress website. Clients want to feel connected to you and know who you are. If you are an expert at something, people want to learn from you. The more valid information you provide, the more relevant your website looks to potential customers. But also, adding content to your website improves your relevance to Google. Relevance is an important term used in Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
5 Tips to Improve your blog post SEO
1. Choose the right post title.
Choose a title that is relevant to your content but also includes the keywords and phrases you want to be found for. For example, if you are writing about your favorite Italian restaurants in Boston. Instead of using “My Favorite Restaurants” as the title, consider “Best Italian Restaurants in Boston”.
2. Consider your Slug / Permalink.
What is a slug? The slug is the permalink of your individual post or page. It is what comes after your domain main. In this example: www.danicaleedesign.com/best-italian-restaurants-boston
3. Format your Images correctly.
Image File Names
Be sure to save your images using descriptive file names that include keywords. For example, do not use image-01.jpg, instead use business-card-design.jpg.
Optimize Your Images
Best practices of web page building including saving your files at an optimal size for page loading. Your images should be compressed or optimized and exported no larger than the size showing on the website. If the browser has to resize the images to the space it slows down your page loading. Google likes best practices! If your images aren’t optimized, you will lose points in their search algorithm.
Always use ALT text tags
The required ALT attribute specifies alternate text for an image. If the user uses a screen reader, for example due to vision impairment, the alt attribute will read them a description of the image. Also, if the image doesn’t load due to slow or lost connectivity, the user will see the description of the image in place of the image. Google takes this accessibility tool seriously, and if your website or web pages are missing the ALT attribute, they are less likely to show your page in search results.
When using WordPress, you can assign ALT text within the media gallery that will apply anywhere on your site the image is inserted. This also makes the image more likely to be found in a Google image search.
4. Use Headings and Subheadings
Google cares about the user’s experience. Using headings to format your content makes it easier to read and organizes your content for the user. If you are familiar with HTML you know that formatted headings on web pages are wrapped in code for H1, H2, H3, etc. When your pages are crawled and indexed, the content in the headings is given first priority. Therefore, you want to make sure that you include important keywords and phrases in your headings. The words used in your headings need to align with the paragraph content itself too, or the headings (and your keywords) may be deemed irrelevant. As a general rule of thumb, each post or page should contain at least 500 words.
5. Use the Yoast Plugin to Edit your Meta Information
Yoast is an industry standard SEO tool used on WordPress websites. You should install this plugin and run through the sitewide setup. On individual posts or pages, you can utilize the Google preview tool to edit your page title, slug and meta description. These elements are extremely important to your page SEO. The keywords and phrases used on your page should be consistent with the keywords and phrases you add to the Google preview via Yoast. If your meta information is not consistent with your page content, it will not be relevant to search engines. Consistency and repetition of keywords and phrases on a single page is really important. However, across your entire site you should not use any duplicate page titles or meta descriptions.
There are many other elements to improving your website’s SEO, but these 5 tips should help you get started increasing your site’s traffic and ranking in Google results. Please contact me if you have any questions!