Blog serves two important purposes for companies; it keeps customers informed and and attracts organic traffic from search engines. The most popular blogging and content management system (CMS) option used for blogging is WordPress, however there are many others. One advantage that makes WordPress standout from others is that, it is SEO-friendly and very easy to use.
Most businesses when starting with blogging would install WordPress, post some blog contents and expects some large content view. Getting traffic with WordPress is not automatic. There are certain optimisation techniques that has to be implemented if you want your contents to show up in search result pages and get clicks.
While these optimisation technique sounds easy, to a person just starting with blogging and who has little knowledge of content management, optimisation could be complex. Some basic SEO steps are even often overlooked by experts.
Either you already an expert or you are just starting with blogging and SEO, you will find ten tips and guidelines discussed in this article very useful.
1. Ensure Your Blog is Indexed
Do you know that it is possible to be publishing great contents and not get any traffic on your blog? From experience, I have seen many situations in which bloggers don’t get anyone or enough people to read their contents. They were not getting traffic from Google or any other search engines. Yet they were publishing great contents and understood the fundamentals of On-Page SEO.
The thing is, you can have your blog or website blocked from being indexed or crawled by search engines bot without you knowing. In WordPress, there is an option (Search Engine Visibility) under setting in which when ticked or selected can stop your site from being indexed by search engines such as Google, Bings and the rest. If it is unticked or deselected, it allows search engine bot to crawl, access and index your posts. You see the result of this when your post shows up in search result pages. It means they have now been indexed.
To know if your blog posts are indexed, perform the following search commands “
site:yourblogname.com” – this operation will return all your blog posts that are indexed in the search result. If they are not indexed, a directive to check index settings would be issued.
2. Get Web Address Setting Right
People get to your website using either
www or non-www version of your website. If you set a redirect in place, typing any of the above will lead to the same website. WordPress makes it easy to make domain settings by giving option whether to use or not to use
www version of your website.
If you are just getting started (from scratch) with your blog, it is advised that you use the www version of your blog and include HTTPS. It would like this
The non-www version will look like this
Any link you build should follow the same format. Google and most search engines assigns authority based on link format. If then you have a mixed of www and non-www, it would not be as effective as if they were of the same format.
In case you have been running your blog for sometimes and it has been indexed, see what domain variation has the most pages indexed. The higher the pages, the higher the domain authority. Readjust your domain or web address settings as appropriate.
3. Enable SEO friendly permalink
Google algorithm is advance. Its bot crawls many different parts of a webpage to determine what the content is about; what search terms (keywords) and phrases should trigger it, and in what position should it be displayed for those keywords and searches?
One of the important components of a webpage is the URL of the page. URL means Uniform Resource Locator. It deals the exact web address of the post. Meanwhile, WordPress automatically generates address for posts using date and page title at the end. Here is an example of URL for a post published on March 15, 2022:
While there is technically nothing wrong with this – as it will render the content just fine – you aren’t helping Google understand what the page is about. Set up your permalinks to inherit the “Post Name” setting. With this enabled the same post example from above would simply be:
It looks better visually, and it also helps Google better understand your content, and at scale across hundreds of blog posts, your traffic numbers will increase.
4. Block Spams Common in Blogs
Blogs comment sections are nowadays spammed with fake comments. Blog spam has become a major problem these days. Back in the early days of blogging, auto commenting software was popular as a way to build links. Blog spam has become a big problem to blogging.
It is to be noted that spamming is not done by SEO expert neither is it done for SEO purposes. A lot of spammy websites, from coupon sites to diet pill offers, will spam comments hoping that people will click their links and visit their website. They are trying to generate sales – not improve their SEO.
While an e-commerce site might want to encourage comments from its audience, a blog that is trying to push traffic to an offer quickly might not want comments present as they will just distract from its conversion goal.
To make the best out of your blog, first determine if comment and conversations in comment section are beneficial to your business. . If they are not, simply turn them off and you will not have to worry about comment spam. If you do want to enable comments on your WordPress blog be sure to set them to manual approval. This is more work, but it will keep your posts free from spam and potentially malicious links.
5. Use Only Minimalistic Blog Theme
WordPress has a large library or collections of themes, in free and paid categories. While some of these themes are free to use, they are usually not optimized for performance. Due to how customizable they are, they generate a lot of scripts and codes which slows down a website while loading.
A healthy website would get you all the results you desire. One notable characteristics of a healthy website is its fast speed – ability to load quickly. Building quality backlinks is a versatile part of your online marketing strategy. However, when you build links to a website that loads slowly, you will not get best results.
You can test how fast your page loads by using Google PageSpeed Insight testing tool and that also will give your page loading speed score for your desktop, tablet and mobile versions of your blog or website. Work on your blog to make sure it loads under 2 seconds. The quicker it loads, the easier it makes it easy to show in SERPS.
When selecting a WordPress theme, ensure it is minimalistic and optimized for SEO. Try to run it through Google PageSpeed Test Tool and make suggested changes.
6. Install only necessary Plugins
Plugins (especially badly coded ones) slow down your website. There are several plugins that add features or functionalities, but you must always resist the urge to use them especially the ones whose coding quality are low. Slow websites give a poor user experience and thereby contributing harm to your SEO.
By all means, plugins that inject a line of code should be avoided as they just add to your blog’s size when you can easily hire a developer to install it directly in your file theme files.
7. Generate XML Sitemap
Whenever you publish a new post, you want search engines to discover it quickly and include it in their search results. This is where sitemap is necessary. An XML sitemap consists of two separate “maps” – one for your pages and one for your posts.
So each time a new page or post is published it’s added to your XML Sitemap, letting the search engines know that there is new content on your website for them to crawl and index. Smaller websites will not be crawled often, but if you are constantly alerting the search engines that new content is published they will begin to visit and crawled your blog more often.
You can use the built-in XML Sitemap generator located within the Yoast SEO plugin. Once the setting is on, it handles everything pretty well.
8. Learn to Write SEO-Friendly Titles
There are so many advantages that come with writing click-worthy titles. First, they easily grab the attention of readers or the person performing the search and secondly, they help your pages or posts rank on top of the results for the keyword each page is targeting.
Including keywords in the title of a post makes it easy for a person performing the search to visually connect with your page since it uses the same term as their searched words. Include your keyword in the title, as close to the beginning as possible. Do it in a way that does not portray spam and that draw attention.
Being creative with keywords is a vital skill. Stuffing too many keywords in your title could get your website penalized. Take for instance; this is a poor use of keywords in title;
“Weight Reduction Tips | Top Weight Loss Tips | Best Weight Reduction Tips.”
Meanwhile, here is a better title with better use of keywords;
“These Weight Reduction Tips Has Helped Moms Drop 35 Lbs.” The example uses the keyword in the beginning, but naturally and it’s an attention-grabbing title that will stand out and draw clicks, even if it’s not in the top position.
9. Use Long-tail Keywords in Headings
Targeting a few low competition long-tail keywords throughout the headings on each post you can attract more organic traffic. While a few extra visitors might not sound like a lot, when you consider a few extra visits a day over hundreds if not thousands of pages on a website, you can see how this simple tip can provide excellent results.
H2 and H3 are particularly in your blog post heading as they help structure your contents and makes your posts more visually appealing. The use of headings also allows visitors to skim through your posts and still get the point you are trying to convey.
Google also puts slightly more weight on headings, as it uses them to help it understand what the page content is about. You don’t want to stuff headings with your exact-match target keyword, but it’s a great opportunity to include some long-tail keyword variations.
10. Use Interlinks Throughout Your Blog
Internally linking to relevant content helps to pass authority throughout your blog, thus helping to push up each page in the search results. This doesn’t happen overnight, but doing this throughout your SEO and link-building efforts will drive better results as your domain’s authority increases.
Every link you acquire that is do-follow and passes authority will contribute, as it’s spread across your blog via your internal linking. Not only is this strategy great for SEO, but it also keeps your visitors on your site longer as they click through to different pages and posts.
The longer they stay on your website, the higher the probability of them converting into a lead or sale. Also, the average visitor duration as well as the rate at which your visitors leave without viewing additional pages play a role in your ranking.
These fundamental WordPress SEO tips will help you create a strong foundation to build on if you are just starting your content marketing journey, as well as provide you a list of audit actions for all of your old content if you already have a blog.
It’s easy to get caught up in the newest hype and strategies, but the simple optimization fundamentals outlined above are the backbone of a strong blogging strategy. Not only does it provide you with a way to deliver news and information to your customers – present and future – but it also allows you to attract website traffic consisting of consumers searching for what your business offers.