We all like Web traffic. It’s a version of digital currency and makes us feel valued when we see that the content we produce is of importance to others. But, how does one go about increasing traffic? One part to that answer is S-E-O.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be tricky. Or at least made to sound tricky. The fact of the matter is that the fundamental basis of SEO revolves around a search engine’s secret algorithm, which is tweaked and changed all the time to prevent spammers from overtaking search results.
That being said, it is important to note that there are proven tips and tidbits that you can control to help increase the chances of improving search results around content you publish to the Web. Blog posts happen to be one of those components that are highly dependent on SEO. But where do you start when it comes to making sure that you’re doing what you can to optimize each post?
Because I’m a WordPress fanatic and it happens to be the most popular blogging platform, here are 5 tips to get you started with maximizing SEO on your next WP post:
1. Title With Care
Search engines love your blog title. They love your blog title even more when it accurately reflects the content you are blogging about in the body of your post. This is a fine balance. You want to be creative with your title, but still try to incorporate a couple keywords that best represent the content of your post. Spend some time with the title and review it again before hitting that publish button.
2. Adjust Your Permalink
WordPress will automatically generate a URL for your post that matches your title. You want to keep this URL as simple as possible, focusing on your keywords but still keeping it logical. WordPress provides a simple edit button to quickly change the permalink. For example, when I first started drafting this post, the auto-generated URL read: https://scottmeis.com/2010/05/27/5-tips-to-maximize-seo-with-your-next-wordpress-post.
That’s quite cumbersome.
Instead, it made me rethink and simplify my title to the following: …/5-tips-to-maximize-seo-on-wordpress. If you can trim, do it. Here’s where to find the permalink edit button:
3. Check Your Hyperlinks
Outbound links from your post are another measure taken into consideration by search engines. They want to see that you’re not a spammer trying to be deceptive by masking a hyperlink to an irrelevant site. Be accurate with your hyperlinks. For example, if I was linking to Waggener Edstrom’s Thinkers & Doers blog, I would not link here but rather link to the Thinkers & Doers blog.
4. Title Photos and Hyperlinks
On a similar note, people often overlook the “title” field when creating hyperlinks or adding photos to blog post. Check yourself. That title field is a tangible component for search engines to read and use as yet another measure to gauge relevancy and authenticity around the content of a post. On the image front, it’s also a way for search engines to know how to categorize images within their image libraries. Be direct and descriptive with your titles.
5. Tags & Categories
A bit more obvious but never forget to assign tags and categories to each post. Tags are slightly more crucial as they should represent between 5-7 keywords that accurately describe your post. Categories are also important but moreso serve as a convenience to your reader to better organize the content on your blog.
A colleague of mine (@nronche) enlightened me about the “all-in-one seo pack” WordPress plug-in for those using self-hosted (.org, not .com) WordPress blogs. In addition, coworker @kevmurphy also informed me about the WordPress SEO Slugs plug-in to help refine your permalink.
Have additional SEO tips to share for WordPress blog posts? Feel free to share below and hop on over to Google’s SEO basics guide to learn more about general SEO.