Every blogger wants to keep getting traffic for their posts and websites. The key point to achieve that is to present posts in the best possible way to make your content both reader-oriented and search engine friendly.
In terms of optimizing individual WordPress posts, besides collecting valuable ideas and developing quality content, utilizing other search engines tricks is also of great importance. There is a lot you can do to gain the favor of search engines.
We started the following article, mainly giving some tips on how to optimize WordPress posts for SEO, which you can refer to in your later posts.
Conduct Keyword Research
A focus keyword is the key element that people will use to find your post. Getting to know what people type when they search for something using a search engine is important for choosing a keyword. There are some keyword research tools you can take advantage of, such as Google Adwords Keyword Planner, Google Trends, and Wordtracker, etc.
These tools allow you to select a good keyword for your posts. Once you enter the keywords in the search box, you can see some detailed stats like the traffic and competition. Below are the suggestions related to keyword research.
- You’d better avoid using keywords that are too competitive.
- Try to use long tail keywords as they are more focused and more likely to convert to sales.
- Make your keywords content-centric.
Devise Good Post Title and Meta Title
First, you should be aware that post title gives people a short overview of your content while post meta title is what search engines will see and display in the search result pages. To keep your post friendly for both readers and search engines, no matter you’re setting post title or meta title, make the title short (no more than 60 characters), catchy and keyword included.
Work out Proper Meta Description
A good and helpful meta description works great for search engine ranking and traffic. For search purpose, your meta description should include keywords and should be a good summary of what your post is about. Besides, try to limit the characters to 156.
When people search on Google for a specific keyword, Google will display the meta description in the search results. As meta description is the first impression your post leaves on visitors, you’d better try your best to make the description attractive enough to encourage people to click your post.
Insert Internal Links with Good Anchor Text
When writing a new post, always remember to add internal links as it is an action that not only leads readers to your old posts, but also strengthens the relationship between your posts, which is favored by Google and considered as an important ranking factor. By inserting internal links, you’re able to offer helpful information, which will ensure better experience for your readers and reduce the bounce rate.
If you need to add an internal link, click the “link” button in your visual editor. Then in the pop-up search box, enter the destination URL and title of the post you want to link to. If you don’t want to bother to find the URLs of the previous posts, you can enter the keyword in the search box and you’ll see some results listed below. Then choose the post you want to link.
The anchor text of your internal links is important for SEO. Hence, do remember to devise good anchor texts. When you write an anchor text, you can follow the tips below.
- Include the keyword of the post you want to link to.
- Keep the length within 5 words.
- Avoid using zero anchor texts like “Click here”.
- Don’t use the same anchor text too many times as this can be perceived as manipulation by search engines.
Optimize Image Names and ALT Tags
As we know, Google cannot read images, but read image text. Therefore, don’t just upload image with name like this: image01.jpg. Instead, you should find related images and create proper image names to provide further information for search engines. To achieve this, name your images before uploading them to your website, and make sure each image name is relevant to both the image itself and your post with keywords included.
In addition, remember to add descriptive alt tags with focus keywords. This can be very helpful as the alt text will be displayed when the image is invisible or broken. To do that, you are supposed to use the options provided in WordPress media editing tool.
Do Not Ignore Permalink Setting
The permalink is used to describe the structure of your URL. By default, WordPress permalink setting is like this: http://www.yourwebsite.com/?p=123, which looks awkward and does not make a lot of sense for search engine optimization.
Therefore, you should not use the default one but change it. We would like to suggest you use /post-name/ or /category/post-name/.To do so, simply go to your WordPress Dashboard > Settings > Permalinks, and make a selection from the list. Once done, click Save Changes.
Another thing you need to do is to delete the stop words in the permalink. They are words like “the”, “a”, “to”, “and”, etc. To remove stop words, just click “edit permalink” and eliminate them. Note that the changes should be made before the post is published or the precious link may lose.
Properly Use H1, H2, H3 Headings
Using proper H1, H2, H3 headings makes your posts easy to scan and better accommodates your readers, which optimizes your content for SEO as well. Heading tags can be recognized by browsers which don’t recognize style sheets. Besides, they can be used by search engines to define words which are more important than the page content, and they are also something readers rely on to navigate the page.
In any SEO-optimized theme, the post title uses H1 tags by default. Therefore, for the next sub heading you can use H2 heading, or H3 heading for further sub heading. There are some tips on creating effective headings and subheadings below.
- Keep headings short. You’d better limit the number of words to no more than 8.
- Include keywords that your readers are interested in in the headings. This encourages them to read more.
- Divide your post content with several headings. It’s a great way to make your content concise and give a clear preview of the following content of your post.
Besides, we recommend this post How to Properly Use Keywords Throughout the Post which is another helpful tutorial for WordPress post SEO.