As more and more blogger and webmasters are moving to WordPress, it is worth noting the important of SEO in WordPress. So why SEO? Search Engine Optimization play an important role in determine the position of your site url on search engines. Having optimized posts can bring your site url to top 10 position with your chosen keyword, which in term can bring thousands of organic traffics from google.com. There are basically two type of SEO: On Page SEO and Off Page SEO. Both are important to boost your site ranking, so by mastering these two SEO can give you edges on how to optimize your site.
On page SEO is basically optimize several elements on your WordPress site:
1. Post Titles
By default, WordPress has its own type of post titles format, which is not quite SEO friendly. Luckily, there is a plugin like “All in One SEO”, which can allow us to change the title format more SEO friendly with just few clicks. All you have to do is to go to Plugins -> Add new, and then search for it and activate it. After that, you just have to go to the Setting page of All in One SEO, and then change Title format to following:
2. Title, Meta Description and Keywords
The good thing about “All in One SEO” is that after you install it, you will find that on each post/page, there will be a section call “All In One SEO Pack” which has Title, Description, and keywords fields that you can use to put the post meta information there. Each post/page should have its own unique title and description, because each of them is writing about different things. In addition, it also helps search engines to determine what the page/post is all about, and how to rank it based on your keywords.
By default, you will find that WordPress is using post id number as permalink. As you can tell, it is not really SEO friendly. Instead of post number, permalink should include your keyword or title there. In order to do that, you just have to go to Setting -> Permalink, and then Post Name, after that, click Save Changes. What this does is that it automatically updates all Permalink on the site into more SEO friendly format.
4. One Page Linking
One page linking is quite important, because you want to make sure that when a search engine arrives to a particular page, you have to make sure that it can find out other similar pages as well. One of the most popular way to accomplish this is to install a plugin call “Yet Another Related Posts Plugin”, this plugin will automatically embed a set of codes after each post and display all other similar posts on your site.
5. Eliminate Duplicate Content
What most search engines hate the most is the duplicate content, so you should try your best to avoid duplicate content on your site. Although WordPress is the most amazing platform, it can sometimes create duplicate content that can be used against you. Such as tag pages and archive pages all can be duplicate content in the eyes of search engines. Notwithstanding you might not aware them, most of them actually create themselves under your nose. So, how can you avoid them? Actually, there is way to guide how search engine spiders index your site by creating a robots.txt in your website root directory. Following are the recommended codes to put into the file:
6. Speed of Site Loading
Believe it or not, the loading speed of your site also plays role in SEO. So it is best to have a good web hosting server that has minimum down time and good server speed. Another way to speed up your site is to install a cache plugin. Currently, there are three cache plugins out there. They are Quick Cache, W3 Total Cache, and WP-Super Cache. They are basically doing the same thing. Quick Cache is quite easy to install, you just install, activate, enable and you are done, so it is the safest way to speed up the site. W3 Total Cache and WP-Super Cache, on the other way, can be tricky, because these two plugins will need to change or overwrite some codes on your server, and sometime, your hosting might not allow to do, which might cause conflict, and that will result site errors. Before you doing any in-depth setting, best to contact your host and make sure that server is ok with the plugin. It is always better to be careful than to be sorry later.
7. Image Optimization
No matter what kind of WordPress site you have, you ought to have images. Very often, people will forget about creating alt tag for each image. This can lead to potential traffic loss if you do not optimize images on your site. Fear not, there is actually pretty easy to fix in WordPress, all you have to do is to install a plugin called “SEO Friendly Images”, you just need go to Plugins -> add new, and search the plugin and activate, and you are done. The plugin will automatically add the alt tag to each image by using the post title or image name.
Off Page SEO basically means ways of increasing your website branding. What most people misconstrue about off page SEO is they think the more backlinks that they have, the more authority of their websites are, which is not true. What you need to increase Off Page SEO is to build around your site brand name by interacting social media sites, gaining visitors and build your brand.
1. Social Media Optimization
Interacting with people in the social media, such as facebook, twitter, and linkln, is the best way to increase your brand awareness. So that if there is any interested party, he/she will follow to your websites, and share your post with his/her friends or followers. Social Media Optimization doesn’t mean that you need to have a lot of fans or followers, because you can actually buy those. But those fake followers or fans can do more harm than good to your site, what you need is loyal fans or customers.
2. Networking with your Niche
It may sound cliche, but it still works. Have relevant websites are linked is best way to boost your SEO. What you can do is email to potential website authors that have similar content as yours, and then request if interested in exchange links. Note, relevant is the key, you don’t want just to exchange links with any type of websites, because it can only do harm to your site and be marked as spam.
3. Places that can Boost your Off Page SEO
There are quite few places that you can go and boost your off Page SEO. For example: Wiki, Social Bookmarking, Social Network, PDF, Web 2.0 Profile, Forum Profile, Press Release, etc.