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WordPress SEO Tips and Tricks You Shouldn’t Miss

 

Using the WordPress SEO tips and tricks that work within your blog isn’t a rocket science.

And you don’t have to be an SEO expert before you make your WordPress blog human and search engine friendly.WordPress SEO Tips and Tricks, Best Techniques and Clues

Even though WordPress is a blogging platform well coded and optimised for search engine,there is a need to do some Search Engine Optimisation ( SEO) when using the CMS to develop  your blog or website.

The WordPress software codes are developed with the state of art infrastructure with SEO in consideration. It is left for the users to fully utilised its features to enhance the SEO functionality.

Great mistake some WordPress users make is negligence to put in place SEO tips and tricks in utilising the features of the software.

Do you Use these SEO Tips and Tricks for your WordPress blog?

In these WordPress SEO tips and tricks, I highlight some important SEO techniques to optimise WordPress blog to achieve your internet business goal. I’ve personally tested most of these SEO tips to success. By this you’ll avoid some preventable SEO mistakes right when you start your blog.

How do you implement the SEO tips on your blog or website? I’ll love to hear your reaction in the comment section. Which of these SEO tricks have you used for your WordPress blog? What other SEO strategies do you recommend? How do they affect your blog search engine ranking in SERPs?

Your feedback will definitely help someone.

What WordPress SEO techniques should You Consider onset?

The WordPress SEO techniques are just numerous to mention all in a single post. Below are some I considered inevitable if you want your blog to rank well in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).

WordPress SEO Tips and Tricks

  1. Use  XML Sitemap
  2. Leverage Google authorship
  3. Effective Use of Taxonomy
  4. Set Up Canonical URL
  5. Proper Keyword Research, Study and Usage
  6. Customise and Optimise Your Blog Titles
  7. Insert Eye-Catchy Meta Description
  8. Optimise the Header Tags
  9. Improve Your SEO with Quality Content
  10. Improve Your Visitors’ Engagement, Page Views with Related Posts
  11. Get Rid of Avoidable 404 Errors and Customise Your 404 Error Page
  12. Influence Your Page SEO with Social Media
  13. Install WordPress SEO Plugin. WordPress SEO by Yoast is my Favourite

WordPress SEO Tips One: XML Sitemap

An XML sitemap is an XML file that provides the lists of the URLs of all pages on a website. Before I dig into this and how it could help in optimising your blog posts for SEO, let hear what Google has to say about Sitemap.

“Sitemaps are a way to tell Google about pages on your site we might not otherwise discovered. …Creating and submitting a sitemap  helps make sure that Google knows about all the pages on your site, including URLs that may not be discoverable by Google’s normal crawling process”.

Google has the highest shares volume of online search. When we say search engine, Google comes first. Other giants that may follow are Bing and Yahoo search. I refer  to Sitemap as an essential SEO recommendation from the search engines.

In my experience, XML sitemap is a great tools for a niche blog to rank well  in SERPs. It helps improve search engine crawlability of your site and let the theme of the site be understood in no time.

And the easy part of it is that

Creating and submitting a sitemap of your WordPress blog don’t take more than  clicks of mouse. Just install appropriate plugin and set it up. I recommend you use any of these two plugins

  • WordPress SEO by Yoast – More on this latter
  • Google XML Sitemap- a well-known plugin overly used for sitemap generation.

You then submit the sitemap generated through the Webmaster dashboard – Google Webmaster Tool (GWT) and/or Bing Webmaster Tool (BWT).

WordPress SEO Tips Two: Leverage Google authorship

Is there any SEO tips and tricks associated with proper usage of Google authorship in your content marketing?

And,

You may be wondering how Google authorship helps in blog SEO. What correlation exists between Google authorship and SEO strategy? Google authorship since its inception has become a main criteria out of hundreds ranking metrics used by Google in its ranking algorithm.

Google authorship makes whole credibility linked with your website contents. Try to focus on your Google authorship and Google+ profile.

Google authorship showcases the thumbnail of your Google plus profile in the Google search results for your web pages contents as well as other contents you authored.

  • Google authorship not only improves your rank but also promotes you as a brand with respect to your contents and tones.
  • Google authorship helps to reduce the negative SEO effects of plagiarism, duplicate contents provided by scrapers. Duplicate content affects website SEO performance. If you fail to claim authorship for your contents, plagiarised copies, most often, rank better than pages that originally own the contents.
  • Just as the sitemap does, Google authorship makes the page content indexed faster.
  • It establishes a sense of trust by the visitors and searchers and thus improves click-through rate (CRT).
  • Google authorship connects you deeply with your readers

Improve your author rank by publishing original quality content. High author rank has positive feedback reflection which manifests as high position in Google SERPs.

 

WordPress SEO Tips Three: Effective Use of Taxonomy

As far as blogging is concerned, taxonomy means classification of your blog topics into ordered categories. This feature is provided in WordPress by means of ‘categories’ and ‘tags’.

“One thing that is worth consideration is two-sided effect of taxonomy when it comes to SEO. When properly used, taxonomy is a great feature to improve your blog SEO and the overall blog SERPs ranking and performance. If otherwise used, It can negatively impacts the blog SEO”

Many bloggers do claim that taxonomies are unnecessary while some go the extent saying that they adversely affect blog ranking in SERPs and totally drop the usage. This is something I’ve personally experimented and the results are in favour of the use of taxonomies.

I’ve seen some new blogs that remain unranked for many months because they find it difficult to get backlinks to their blogs.

This is most especially in era of various Google algorithms updates that discourage site owners to give do-follow authority links which are essential for Google high PageRank.

Taxonomies are on-site SEO factor that can at least move your website to a ranked kingdom through web pages deep interlinking.

  • Taxonomy improves your page visibility and easy navigation
  • It provides means for page interlinking and improve on-site SEO
  • Taxonomy improves users engagement and lowers bounce rate. This constitutes a metric for webpage appearance in SERPs.
  • It enhances keyword assessibilty.

The other side of taxonomy to SEO comes to place when it results into WordPress duplicate contents that confuse search engine. You can easily avoid this with the use of WordPress SEO by Yoast. Avoid over-usage of tags and don’t place tags for categories. The reverse case should also be avoided.

A simple analogy of tags and categories is to take your blog as a book, categories as the table of contents and the tags as the index. Remember this and you’ll be on the right track to proper use of taxonomy for your blog SEO.

WordPress SEO Tips Four: Use SEO-Friendly WordPress Permalink Structure

A permalink refers to the unchanging permanent link (at least not intended to be changed) of posts as well as pages on your site. WordPress settings has default permalink structure that isn’t well optimised for SEO. The default permalink structure looks something like this:

http://example.com/?p415

It amounts to great SEO mistake to leave this permalink default settings since it plays a vital role in WordPress blog optimisation for search engine. Positioning your keywords in the pages and posts URLs ( which otherwise called permalink in WordPress) is an important on page SEO factor.

You need to choose a permalink structure that allows you to have the page or post keywords in place. And you don’t have to wait.

Such permalink structure that is SEO friendly should be considered as soon as your WordPress blog is set up to avoid the need to change post/page URLs when the blog has matured with large numbers of posts/pages and inbound links- a case that makes redirection and site audit a necessity.

But you haven’t done this! The next best time is NOW.

To change your permalink to SEO friendly format, go to your WordPress dashboard and proceed as follows:

WordPress Dashboard >> Settings >> Permalink

Suggested possible permalink structures are provided.

How to choose SEO optimised permalink settings in WordPress

Select ‘postname button’. Then, the ‘custom structure’. The value ‘postname’ appears on the custom structure field.
The settings avoid unnecessary long URLs that may affect on page SEO score of your WordPress site. Also, ‘postname’ permalink structure give your site flexibility. Lot of things can be changed on your blog without disrupting the entire site structure and its SEO performance.

WordPress SEO Tips Four: Proper Use of Canonical URL

Proper use of canonical urls is an essential element of on-page optimisation. Set your website preferred domain name format as soon as your blog is up and running with appropriate redirection.

To understand what canonical url means, let look at the urls below:

  • http://aceclue.com
  • http://www.aceclue.com
  • http://aceclue.com/
  • http://www.aceclue.com/
  • http://aceclue.com/index.html
  • http://www.aceclue.com/index.html/

The urls are apparently considered the same.

Why?

The same content is served the users who type any of the urls.

However, the urls are technically different in the search engine sight. Each has the potential to show up in the SERPs if allowed to be crawled and indexed.That is where canonicalisation comes in.

Canonicalisation is the process of choosing a preferred domain name version among the possible alternatives.

“It doesn’t matter which of the domain format (www or non-www version) you choose. It is just a matter of preference. You choose the version you preferred and you force the users to call your website with the same choice.”

Why do you need canonicalised url for SEO?

“Just simple.

A site that has no preferred domain set up and appropriate redirection (to make the users land your page with the choice) from non-www to www or vice versa has duplicate contents issue which earns the site ranking penalties in the SERPs.

Secondly, as the two versions share the site inbound links, the blog Google PageRank is also adversely affected.”

Then, how can you canonicalise your blog url for SEO?

Tell Google your preferred domain name through its webmaster tools: Login to your Google Webmaster Tool (GWT) account. Click on the gear icon at the top right corner of the domain name in GWT and select Site Settings from the drop-down options.

URL preference for SEO

You’ll be presented with the following canonical url settings options:

How to set up canonical url using GWT

Choose your preferred domain name version (i.e. www or non-www version). This tells Google which url it should index. Then, force everyone to use your preferred domain name version by using 301 redirect. This can be done in many ways. Let look at these two:

  • Using .htaccess file
  • WordPress settings

For .htaccess file approach, add these lines of codes to your root .htaccess file which is accessible through the root folder of your web hosting control panel.

If you desire www version use:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^(.*)\.aceclue\.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.aceclue.com/$1 [R=301,L]

If you want non-www version, use the code below

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www\.aceclue\.com$ [NC] RewriteRule ^.*$ http://aceclue.com%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]

For WordPress canonical url settings approach,log in to the admin area of your WordPress blog. Go to

Settings >> General >>

WordPress address and Site Address

Use only one of these redirect techniques to avoid multiple redirection error when people access your site.

How do you test if canonicalisation is successful?

  • My domain name preferred format is non-www version (i.e. aceclue.com). If a user type in www.aceclue.com, he’ll be redirected to my preferred domain version when the page is loaded. Check your address bar to confirm this.
  • When your blog pages appear on search engine, check the SERPs snippet if the destination URLs is in your preferred version format.

WordPress SEO Tips Five: Proper keyword Research, Study and Usage

Use keyword tools to get correct ideas, accurate monthly data estimate of searches and competitions for global and local target audience.There are two essential SEO factors related to choosing and targeting keywords for your blog post.

  • Relevancy: How relevant is the keyword to the article presented in the blog post and the website theme as a whole? Does the keyword relate to your industry? These are questions you need to ask before deciding what keyword to target for the post. Google Panda and its updates are on watch to knock out poor and irrelevant contents. Don’t forget quality and relevancy of content go hand in hand.
  • Optimisation: This is the apparent side of keyword planning. Most content marketers focus on this. That is keyword marketability and profitability measured in terms of keyword search volume and market competition (keywords demand and supply).

WordPress SEO Tips Six: Customise and Optimise your Blog Title

To come up with SEO blog title, you need to include your post keyword. The blog title should be the bye-product of your keyword research.It is a clickable link heading in the snippet provided in search engine results. It dictates how your page looks in SERPs. Your title should be

  • Descriptive: gives ideas of what the whole content is all about.
  • Impressive: creates an exciting thought and inquisitive feelings.
  • Attractive: has aesthetic and magnetic look that is difficult to resist, calls users attention.
  • Welcoming: answers people’s questions, expresses the solutions to their problems and creates a joyful scene of fulfilment to the users who seek specific information.
  • Short: not longer than 60 characters including spaces.

You might be interested in Aaron Wall post for more tips and tricks on writing seo page titles

It is also important to have unique titles and description for each blog post. Just like the content as a whole, duplicate title and description have negative effect on your site SEO.

You can easily check this out with your chosen WordPress SEO plugin while preparing your article. Another option to check for duplicate title and meta description is your Google Webmaster Tool.

 

WordPress SEO Tips Seven: Insert Eye-Catchy Meta Description

Just like your blog title, the blog description should be meaningful and briefly explains the title keywords in descriptive manner. This means there should be free natural flow of thought between the title and description.

Your blog/page description should be limited to 160 characters to be fully optimised for search engine. In both cases (title and description), your target keyword is better placed at the beginning. The more the target keyword nears the beginning of the title and description, the better.

WordPress SEO Tips Eight: Optimise the Header tags

This trick works like a charm.

Search engines aren’t human. They however have senses of judgement. The ones they use to judge the theme and relevancy of your blog post, and that of the entire site. The head tag is one of the search engine organs to assess a page and categorise the content accordingly.

Ensure you make the contents of H1, H2 and H3 tags relevant to the subject-matter of the page. Include tags keywords within them where it is humanly necessary and  not annoying. Ideally, your blog title should be the only elements of H1 tag in your post. Other header tags chronologically follow with the flow of the content.

WordPress SEO Tips Nine: Improve your SEO with quality content

Saying that “quality content is the most important on-page SEO strategy for WordPress” isn’t an overstatement. This is agreed upon by nearly all SEO experts. No search engine algorithms update could ever affect quality content pages just for its contents. Of course, we aren’t talking of just any content but the contents that are invaluable both in terms of quality and quantity.

Nowadays, quality contents come to mind when we talk about on-page SEO tips and tricks amidst of present day search engine algorithm updates. The algorithms that works as closely as humans do.

Search engines follow human judgement to decide the relevancy of a page in SERPs to search queries. Put these quality content assurance checklists in mind when writing your blog or site contents:

  • Beware the wrath of Google Penguin. Don’t over-optimise your contents with keyword stuffing.
  • Be factual. Never publish guessed information
  • Anchor your points with researched data.
  • Be unique by publishing original content. Don’t plagiarise. Google authorship addresses this malicious act.
  • “Constant content editing and updating” is a mother of over delivering value. Invest time to edit and format your content before and after hitting that bottom “Publish”.
  • Avoid thin content. Google for years frowned at thin content. In contrast, detailed, in-depth content is your SEO honey.

WordPress SEO Tips Ten:  Improve Your Visitors’ Engagement, Page View with Related Posts

As I said, search engine judgement is a twin to human (visitors) behaviour on your site. One great SEO strategy is to increase readers reachability to much of your blog contents.

One tactic to do just that is to include “Related posts” links within your content. Chances are someone reading a post will be interested in the listed related posts.

How does ‘related post option’ affect your blog SEO?

Related posts have the potential to

  • Increase page view per visitor
  • Reduce your website bounce rate
  • Increase average time spent on the site
  • Engage your audience, give them better experience, turn them loyal readers as they find more useful posts that cater for their needs.
  • All these send positive SEO signal to search engine to rank your site high in SERPs.

It is pretty easier to add related posts to your WordPress blog. Here are few plugins if you’re a fan of plugin approach:

  • Another Random posts
  • Yet Another Related Post
  • IGIT Related Post
  • WordPress Related Post.
  • Jetpack Related Post

You can easily download any of the above plugins from your WordPress dashboard. Go to

plugin >> Add New plugin >>

Then, type the name of the plugin in the box provided and install the plugin.

WordPress SEO Tips Eleven: Avoid Unneccessary 404 error for SEO

404 errors are issues with SEO and daunting to users. They discount site credibility. They’re unnecessary because they can be avoided (those generated from your side and actions).Visitors receiving 404 errors are inevitable. That is where 404 error page comes in. Lot of reasons cause it

  • Visitors mistype the URLs
  • Misspelled links
  • Deleted pages
  • Changes of address as a result of site redesign, changing permalink structure
  • Broken inbound links etc.

What 404 error page actually is?

It’s a “NOT FOUND” error page presented to users when they visit non-existent pages on your website. Search engines as well encounter this error page during their crawling exercise through invalid or broken links.

And the good news is

You can monitor your 404 error in Google Webmaster Tools. Login to your Google webmaster tool dashboard. Go to health, crawl error and Not found

Webmaster Tool >> Health >> Crawl error >> Not Found.

How to customise 404 error for SEO

A pretty good alternative is through SEOmoz if you’ve account with them at SEOmoz.org.

How does 404 error affect your blog/site SEO?

Error 404 affects the website ranking metrics such as

  • Bounce rate
  • Page view
  • Average visit duration
  • Users engagement

It might be argued though that the ranking won’t be affected as Google will notice the no-more-existing pages and de-index them accordingly but what about the annoying visitors, traffic loss/leak, PR leakage (from broken inbound links).

That is why you need to care. Just do the followings:

  • Prevent avoidable 404 errors: Don’t add to the possibility. If there is a need to change the permalinks to some of your WordPress pages and posts or delete any of them, follow it up immediately with 301 URL redirection of the old URLs and the accompanied inbound links to the new URLs.
  • Create custom 404 error page
  • Redirect external links pointing to 404 error page to relevant pages on your site.
  • Don’t like to miss the PR juice from those authority backlinks pointing to 404 error page, you may consider creating relevant content pages for those links.

You can make the redirection with plugin or .htaccess file

WordPress SEO Tips Twelve: Social Media and SEO

When it comes to SEO, social media connection plays vital roles. You shouldn’t limit your SEO strategies to quality content creation (SEO optimised) with proper and well designed website, accurate linking and user-friendly navigation architecture.

How do social media impact your blog SEO and search engine ranking of the web pages?

That simply said.

Social media inform search engines how relevant the blog contents are to human visitors. It is a distinguishing line between contents that are made for a human readers and those made for the search engine crawls.

Blogs that rank high in search engine are the blogs that present contents that are search engine friendly as proved by its readers engagement and connection through social media. Social media and SEO are interlinked.

Let see how social media affect almost all WordPress SEO tips so mentioned.

  • Social media enhances your online presence, establishes you as an authority in your field/niche. Don’t forget authority and relevancy are essential ranking factors in SERPs.
  • It signals the real value of your marketing contents with their inherent valuable information. Social media make value in your content apparent to search engines.
  • They provide easy way to create viral and passive traffic through brand awareness and propagation in the long time.

You have to take along the social media engagement in your SEO trip to high pagerank, improve SERPs position, massive organic traffic and great conversion. So you should go ‘social’. All your effort to improve social share of your SEO content, build Facebook fans, increase Twitter and Google plus followers are worthy. The are SEO efforts.

WordPress SEO Tips Thirteen: WordPress SEO Plugins

WordPress SEO plugin is an essential SEO tool for WordPress blogging and optimisation. There are many SEO plugins that can ease your blog optimisation for search engine. Some of them are:

  • WordPress SEO by Yoast
  • Headspace
  • All in one SEO
  • Platinum SEO

My recommendation when it comes to WordPress SEO plugin is the Yoast WordPress SEO.

Why I love and use Yoast SEO Plugin?

Yoast WordPress SEO plugin answers many SEO questions and encompasses most options you’ll likely need to fully optimise your page for high SEO score. This isn’t a post specifically made for the Yoast SEO plugin but let me mention few benefits that you may consider to choose the plugin.

  • It’s really an all in one SEO plugin. It gives full functionality of on-page SEO.
  • Automatically generate XML Sitemap for your site without any technical work on your side. I use Google XML Sitemap for this.
  • It helps to set up your Google authorship with only few mouse clicks.
  • It optimizes your keyword selection, placement and density.
  • It incorporates RSS settings.
  • Your social media optimisation, sharing/recommendation can’t be more easier than what Yoast SEO plugin provides
  • It gives options to optimise various elements of your post contents such as images, links (inbound and outbound), title and meta description to meet search engine guidelines.
  • You can preview the snippet of your post in one time as it’ll appear on the SERPs.
  • Mostly, if you want to shift from another WordPress SEO plugin to the Yoast SEO plugin, the latter provides options to import the previous SEO data. You don’t lose anything as a result of such transition.

 

As you can see employing WordPress SEO tips and tricks isn’t meant for SEO experts. Don’t forget to share this article. It is just a mouse click and that can really help someone out there. At least I’ll appreciate when you just do that.

If you follow the SEO guides, you’ll soon experience a better position in SERPs and hike in your blog traffic.

I hope you find these WordPress SEO tips and tricks helpful. How do you optimise your website for search engine? What important SEO techniques you used on your WordPress blog? The community is eager to hear from you.

About Lasisi Afees

Professional Blogger and Internet Marketer. He has deep passion for blogging and sharing ideas on making money online. Connect with him on Twitter,   Facebook  and Google Plus

Comments

  1. WordPress is very popular platform. Nice Tips provided about WordPress platform. These tips and tricks will helpful for newbie bloggers.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. All above information helpful for me. But i want to ask one question. Can you explain more about Taxonomy?

  3. I am using WordPress SEO by Yoast for a long time and on all of my blogs without a single problem. I love the way it takes care of everything related to SEO for your blog. And the regular updates that comes with more features is another great thing about the plugin.

    Sneha Agarwal

  4. The SEO tips mentioned in the post was a great help in enhancing my blog. thanks for updating the post.

  5. Bilal Ahmed says:

    Great tips, I use content marketing and it brings me benefits. I use wordpress and joomla but definetly preffer WP.

  6. hussainraees says:

    Very nice article
    If you want to increase organic traffic on your blog, all you need to read these top 15 SEO tips and tricks.

  7. Charlie Green says:

    I agree, one does not need to be an expert for this to work out. Be resourceful and do you leg of work by researching and updating yourself with recent innovations on SEO.

  8. content is the king… but content without SEO is will not found by the reader…

  9. Don Hesh says:

    I think optimizing the page speed is important in WordPress. Lot of themes comes with slower loading speed.

  10. Erick Stevi says:

    WordPress is very popular among bloggers and all points mentioned above is an important part of the optimization of a website. Do not miss any arrangements mentioned in this post …

  11. Great 13 SEO tips you got there, very straightforward and actionable!

  12. Sri Sathvikar says:

    WordPress is a good platform. Thanks for providing tips for this website.

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