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WordPress is one of the best platforms for blogging. People have options to choose between Blogspot, WordPress, Drupal and many more blogging platforms. My favorite is WordPress for many reasons like it’s support, flexibility, SEO and scaling it to maximum limit.
The biggest advantage of WordPress over any other blogging platform is it’s search engine optimization capabilities. By default WordPress is 70% search engine optimized but to make the most out of it, we need to optimize more.
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Here I will be sharing 5 basic tips to optimize your WordPress blog for search engines.
WordPress Permalink Structure:
WordPress permalinks are not even close to search engine friendliness. By default wordpress permalink is domain.com/?p=123 . To make your permalink search engine friendly, you need to change your permalink to pretty permalinks.
Permalinks which I prefer are:
One simple reason why I avoid category/postname or yyyy/mm/dd/post-name permalink structure is, both have their down side.
The first one (category/postname) will create a post duplication issue if you use 2 or more categories per post.
The second one (yyyy/mm/dd/post-name) will not let you recycle your content in future.
Once you have written a few articles, changing your permalink structure is never suggested. This will break your post completely. Use plugins like Deans’ permalink migration plugin to change your permalinks. Follow expert guidelines on how to change your WordPress permalink structure without breaking your blog.
Sitemap Submission :
Sitemaps are recognized by search engine robots and it will help search engine bots to quickly crawl your web-pages.
In static websites we use many online tools to create sitemap, but in WordPress we can achieve it with a plugin call Google XML sitemap Generators. This is a one step process and once you have activated and created your sitemap, you can find the sitemap at yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml.
Once you have created your sitemap, the next step is to submit your sitemap to major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
Robots.txt files are very effective at blocking search engine crawlers to parts of your blog which are not important for search engine. For example your admin pages, your affiliate links and so on.
A smart robots.txt will give you a great boost in search engine ranking, as you will let only useful links to be indexed and blocking search engine access to useless pages.
Meta Title, description and meta keywords:
Though Google have made this official that they don’t care about meta keywords and meta description I still believe they do hold importance in search engine ranking.
Meta title, description and keyword works in two fold in WordPress: Site wide and on single post/pages.
Despite any domain name, if you have a good knowledge about SEO and keyword research, you can optimize your blog quickly and effectively.
In WordPress you can take advantage of plugin like All in one SEO to optimize your blog for search engine and for your visitors. You can add meta description, meta title and meta keywords for site and for single posts. If you are not using it, you are missing a great chance to rank your blog well in search engines.
WordPress SEO plugins:
I already mentioned SEO plugins above but there are many other essential SEO plugins which you should install on your blog.
Here are some which I recommend (apart from 4 SEO WordPress plugins):
- Robots meta wordpress plugin
- Google XML sitemap plugin
- Robots meta plugin
- Ping optimizer WordPress plugin
- SEO smart link WordPress plugin
- RSS footer
- No Self ping WordPress plugin
Along with it, I also suggest you read my other guest post on 4 WordPress plugins you should try today.
The above mentioned points are not complete, many other factors also helps you to SEO optimize your blog. One of them is backlinks. Which you can easily achieve by commenting and writing guest posts on other blogs.
Do let us know what steps do you take to optimize your blog for search engines?