10 SEO tips for WordPress websites

Search Engine Optimization

What sense does it make to have a beautiful theme and a killer portfolio that isn’t search engine optimized?  Google, Bing, and Yahoo could care less about your pretty photos and web design.  They care about things like alt tags, file names, keywords, and hundreds of other really, really boring tech things.  Understanding those “boring tech things” might bring you new success.  Misunderstanding them could help to put you out of business.

What is Search engine optimization (SEO)?

SEO is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to your website from search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. via “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results in search engines. The theory is that the earlier (or higher) a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search and so on.

The following ten tips are those that we think are either often overlooked or common mistakes.  This is not a top ten list.

10 simple tips to get noticed by the world wide web:

  • Content is the best optimization. Any type of optimization is effective only in combination with high quality and unique content. Ideally, the text contains keywords that highlights the overall theme of the post.  The content should be understandable and readable. Use your keywords wisely. Text should be written primarily for visitors, not for search engines.
  • Exchange backlinks with other relevant websites relating to your topics and with high authority websites (websites with high page ranking). Also link between pages within your website, but do this with caution and only if it’s relevant.  Don’t link every page to each other.
  • Think of a good name for your image files. Google also draws images in the calculation of the ranking. Google displays both text and images on it’s search results page, drawing on relevant images contained in the post itself, which are linked to the corresponding page. Implement keywords of a specific subject in your file name, instead of DSC93948.jpg use Tennis-Andre-Agassi-New-York.jpg if you have a picture of Andre Agassi in New York for example. Don’t forget to use the alt tag and title tag for your images, which also provide better usability and optimization for your search ranking.
  • Use short permalinks, including keywords. Use an understandable permalink.  Instead of http://yourwebsite.com/page-id?495/ use http://yourwebsite.com/andre-agassi-new-york/. Please note that only the first four words in a permalink are relevant.  Google doesn’t care about any succeeding words in your permalinks.
  • Use search engine optimized themes. Some themes use a lot code to create the layout and design. Google will wade through the source code to find the relevant content. The more code you have, the less content and keyword density. Fast performing themes are good for your Google ranking, since the performance of a website is one of two hundred criteria that determine your ranking.
  • Create a sitemap in XML format. With WordPress and plugins like Google XML Sitemaps it is a very easy task.  Google has a variety of other useful tools, too, such as Website Optimizer and Webmaster Central.
  • Highlight informative content or keywords on your website. Use h1-h6 to highlight headings or subtitles of an article or important sentences. Use the strong tag, too. But please don’t overdo it!
  • Add your posts to social networks. But please don’t only promote yourself.  Promote other posts and websites you like.  People will honor your kindness and link back to you.
  • Don’t use black hat techniques or mirror html sites. If you try to trick Google, they will find out.  Promise.  Recently, some pretty high-profile portfolio sites were recently punished by Google for such practices.  Being sneaky will do more harm than good.
  • Don’t use flash. Flash is virtually invisible to search engines.  Use WordPress.  Period.

One of the quickest and easiest way to optimize your page ranking is to download and install an SEO plugin, like the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast.

This list can go on and on. As mentioned above, there are over 200 criteria, Google is using to determine your ranking including lesser-known criteria such as age of domain, duplicate content, meta description and tags, how active the website is and many more criteria.

Last but not least, don’t try too hard!  Concentrate on publishing unique, relevant and quality content. If you do that, everything else will be a cake walk.

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Posted by , at Graph Paper Press

Thad is the founder of Theme.Works and Graph Paper Press. Previously, he produced online multimedia and documentary projects for USA Today including the inauguration of President Barack Obama and many others. He lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife Abby.

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66 thoughts on “10 SEO tips for WordPress websites”

  1. What a useful article ,Thanks for sharing .i can use it for my website .Content is King

  2. Nice article, although we know the basics, but this article strings them together, as a check list to see what we have missed. Cheers!

  3. Thanks for the tip on highlighting. I haven’t been doing that with my blog, http://newmothertips.info , but I will give it a try. I have however been using a plugin that creates links within my site to new posts. That’s helped me with internal linking.

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  5. Thanks for info…succinct + understandable. I’ve researched WordPress since it appeared on my radar screen…about 2 years now + am ready to make the switch to Graph Paper Press. Looking forward to making the transition.

  6. Re-posting as Silkfineart: Thanks for info…succinct + understandable. I’ve researched WordPress since it appeared on my radar screen…about 2 years now + am ready to make the switch to Graph Paper Press. Looking forward to a smooth transition.

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  14.  Excellent job! Thanks for the great posting and your all efforts. I think the above article is valuable for all concerned people. At least, if was very useful for me. I’ve bookmarked this page for future reference, thank you again.

  15. at the risk of necro’ing and old thread I’ve just finished an SEO course that claimed links were really king, if content was above a reasonable level. so much conjecture about this across the web.  Nice article! its good to read some authoritative advice on SEO. Thanks oOn the advice of the same SEO ive migrated my website from html to wordpress, and I must say I’m loving the change, and ease of maintenance you can find it here, hoping it doesn’t look too wordpressy. http:\www.ppc.com.au

  16. Excellent article post here and As seo perspective that every one should follow each and every tips to maximize traffic on website as well as it is right direction to attract with genuine user..Thanks for sharing.

     

  17. Awesome tips for SEO here! I learned a few things while reading through your post especially about black hat techniques which I had no idea about. Thx!

  18. I have been using wp for about a year or so to create some of my sites. I love it and it is always great
    to learn something new and white hat that can help my rank my sites better. I am fortunate that I follow
    most of your suggestions anyway but hearing/reading it from someone else just reassures me that my efforts
    are in the right direction. Great tips.

  19. WordPress is a site what we call SEO friendly,well those tips for me are really amazing even though i don’t know some of them .Keep Posting like this really helpful.

  20. Great tips for SEO WordPress websites. This website truly has all of the information I needed about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  21. Thanks for sharing the post as it is more informative to know the basics
    for beginners. A great learning experience and Hopefully more people can
    learn from this post what I have.

  22. Hello there! I just want to offer you a huge thumbs up for your
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  23. Cool tips about wordpress seo blog. I have recently started my blog and hoping to get more traffic.Will implement all the tips you said.Thanks for sharing

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  25. Very useful article. thanks for sharing mate. I am new to wordpress and i found your article extremely hellpful

  26. On page Optimization means the process of preparing website pages search engine
    friendly. Thanks for sharing such useful on page seo tips.

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

  28. 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.

  29. Today where social media is so popular email is still here, busy, alive and kicking. No matter what business you’re running, a well thought out email marketing campaign can prove quite beneficial.

    BloggingRex

  30. Really helpful tips for everyone who wish to learn. And want to get these tips for my blog.
    Thanks for sharing

  31. I created a Movie Articles site using WordPress, thinking that it would traffic loads of traffic with it being about movies. Huh, how wrong I was. Despite constant SEO, the site is still only getting around 20 unique visitors a day on average. Where am I going wrong, guys?

    1. To remedy the depressingly scant traffic, I am now in the throes of converting all my pages to posts. What do you think, guys? Will I start seeing results now? Well, I bloody well hope so!

  32. These all techniques are useful for a blog or even for a buddypress site but how to SEO a portal?

  33. WordPress is extremely well-coded which is why many call it SEO-friendly. By using word press it adjust media sizes to the theme and narrow the niche.

  34. These are all very interesting blog tips. We already following these tips and really get a positive points. If someone try to start their blogging journey then they should must keep in mind all these tips. Thanks for sharing this great tutorial with US.

  35. Hi….can anyone help me here. I have pages set up with nothing in them (ie they are just set up so that they can be menu headings in my top nav bar. They all show as having poor SEO because there is no content. How do I fix this? Would appreciate any advice. thanks Kerri

  36. I think most important part in on page seo is to be organic and natural. Over optimization can also harm and site seo. Content structure, Internal linking, header tags, keywords. All should be used organically and naturally. You have shared really good content on On page seo. I found your article helpful for me to know much about on page seo. I am also going to apply on page seo techniques to optimize my post or pages on myinfostake. Thanks for sharing such a valuable post.

  37. Thank you for your article. Common sense normally prevails when it comes to SEO and Google provides a wealth of free information that novice webmasters can utilize.

  38. Hello

    Well, Greatly described Points. I agree with most of your points.

    Recently Google become more intelligent with quality update and now, they they know, what content is all about, so they know, exactly, where to rank our article, depending on it’s quality.

    So, Keyword Density is out of the window these days, Instead, we can just use LSI keywords for better ranking.

    Also Meta tags like Meta description is not that important, like it was few years ago, now, Google can pick any word or phrase from article depending on users query.

    But I do agree that, using Headings Tags, Image Alt Tags and internal Linking is very important.

    So, Overall, having a nice URL structure, Authority Outbound Links, proper Title, can do the Job easily.

    Correct me, If I am wrong?

  39. There is nothing over high authority links from high respected sources like Wikipedia.org, one unique value link can beat hundred others..

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