7 Methods to Boost Your Blog’s SEO
7 Methods to Boost Your Blog’s SEO
Setting up a WordPress site is the easy part. Optimizing it to have the best visibility in search engines is the difficult part. In the formative days of the Internet, all you needed to do was put up a site, post a few articles in article directories with links back to your site and you were sure of a good search ranking. Not so these days; with all the Google algorithm updates, SEO is now a science.
The following are seven of the most crucial tactics that are guaranteed to boost the SEO of your WordPress site.
- Change your permalink structure
The default WordPress permalink structure is ?p=[id]. This is not ideal for SEO. Change this to month/postname in the settings section. This gives you the opportunity to have a couple of keywords in your URL which is good for SEO. Closely related to this point is ensuring your URL is no more than five words.
- Install an SEO Plugin
An SEO plugin automates most SEO for you. Most of the leading SEO plugins take you through a step-by-step process of ensuring every post and page is optimized before it goes live. A good SEO plugin also allows you to enable the rel=”canonical” tag and avoid duplicate content issues by helping search engines determine original content URLs.
- Be careful how you pass link juice
A link is a vote of confidence in the eyes of the search engines. It tells the search engines that the information contained in the link is trustworthy and adds value to your post. However, if it doesn’t, then you shouldn’t pass on link juice. If you do, your site can drop drastically in search rankings. The rel=”nofollow” attribute for links allows you to link to an external page without passing on link juice. The “nofollow” attribute instructs search engine spiders not to follow the link. You should “nofollow” all affiliate links and any other links that don’t add any real value to the post.
- Speed up your site
One of the most important ranking factors these days in page speed. Internet audiences are a fickle lot. With great advancements in data transmission technology, people expect web pages to load in a few seconds. Google and other search engines have therefore built page speed, as a ranking factor, into their algorithms. So, how do you improve page speed on a WordPress site? By using a caching plugin. A caching plugin caches static content, that is, content that doesn’t change e.g. static HTML pages and images. Bigger sites with lots of traffic should make use of a Content Delivery Network (CDN), a system of distributed servers that bring content closer to Internet audiences thus speeding things up. You should also minimize the size of your images using a free tool such as Gimp or a plugin. Compact images load faster. Themes that have complicated code can also cause your site to load slowly. If you aren’t sure whether your theme could cause loading issues, have a developer take a look at it.
- Use a responsive design
More people are now accessing the Internet using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Thus, your theme must have a responsive design. This ensures the site can be viewed on any type of device. Google gives search ranking priority to sites that are mobile ready if the user is using a mobile device.
- Social media
Social media is ranking factor. Google and other search engines use social media to determine the kind of reactions your site elicits from users. Good social interactions means that people like your site and you therefore get an SEO boost. Ensure your WordPress site has social sharing buttons displayed prominently so that people can share your content easily.
- Quality Content is King
In 1996, Bill Gates uttered the words “Content is King”. In hindsight, these words now seem almost prophetic. One of the best ways to guarantee success online is to create high quality content, all the time. You may go through tactics one to six above but if your content is crap, site visitors will leave your site as soon as they land on it. A consistently high bounce rate is a signal to search engines that there is a problem with your site’s content. But, a low bounce rate and a high number of repeat visitors is a sign of high quality content. Create quality content and post regularly and the results will blow you away.
These are by no means the only ways to boost the SEO of your WordPress site but they are the main ways. Try out these techniques and track your site’s performance to see if there are any improvements. If you have problems implementing any of the recommendations, please consult a developer.
Bogdan is the founder of Top Design Magazine. You can find him in Bucharest-Romania so next time you want to drink a beer there and talk about web and stuff, give him a message.