By Sandra D’Souza
To raise your WordPress site’s ranking on search engines, you need to build it around some best practices on search engine optimisation. Here are some tips to get you started.
Good SEO shines the spotlight on your Website
With one out of every six websites running on WordPress, it only makes sense to use this content management system for those who would like to promote their work or their business online. The blogging platform is relatively easy to use, free of charge, and now boasts of over 60 million in users – with nearly 100,000 being added to its community daily. With this popularity, it must be effective in helping people and/or businesses “get the word out” on the Internet. So shall we hop on the wagon and create a WordPress site?
Of course, the work doesn’t stop there. It wouldn’t make sense if your website isn’t seen by others, right? With millions of WordPress users, your site can easily get lost in the pipeline. Fortunately, implementing a good search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy for your website will help it get ahead in search results from Google, Yahoo or Bing. As a result, more people will see it. However, WordPress will not build your site’s SEO, and you may have to do this work on your own. Therefore, here are some tips to build a fine SEO strategy.
Some steps to develop good SEO for your site
- Creating a XML Sitemap- A XML sitemap basically contains information about the pages on your website, how often they are updated, and their media content. Search engines normally deploy a “spider” to comb through web pages to obtain information from them. Afterwards, the data will be stored on the server of the search engine, and it will be organized with a program known as an “indexer.” Setting up a sitemap initially informs search engines about the structure of your website, and which sections should be indexed in the servers so that they will turn up in search results. This task can be accomplished with the use of WordPress plugins such as Google XML Sitemaps.
- Informative Permalinks- Permalinks refer to the URL of the posts in your website. Under the default setting in WordPress, the URL does not provide clear information about the post. Changing the permalink setting to “post name” can eliminate the confusion. For instance, the viperchill website has a URL of http://www.viperchill.com/wordpress-seo/ to accurately reflect the content behind its post, instead of www.viperchill.com/?p=38.
- Specific Key phrase and Handwritten Meta Description Tags- To gauge possible topics that can give your site a high ranking, you need to determine the keywords used by people in their searches. This can eventually send traffic to your site. However, this does not need to be a trial-and-error task, since tools are available for this. Still, you can gain a glimpse of keywords that might not be helpful for optimisation by doing a Google search. If a keyword/key phrase generates thousands and thousands of results, it means lots of competition and might not be advisable to use. Once you have chosen the appropriate keyword/key phrase, use it as a post title as well as basis for your article.In relation to this, you can also use the keywords for your Meta description tags. Now, what is this? A Meta tag is the short description of your post that appears after a Google search. Google tends to emphasise any keyword that is noticeable on your Meta tag. In turn, this encourages your audience to click on your page.
- Specific alt tag attributes- Thanks to the alt tag function, WordPress automatically generates a label for your images,depending on their file names. Having a specific file name for your photographs or images can bring you further to the top of search rankings as Google also highlights this information in alt tag attributes. A picture file name such as “DSC93948.jpg” will be seen on your alt tag and it will be meaningless for search engines. However, a file name such as “content-marketing.jpg” will be seen on your alt tag and will be highlighted by search engines in search results.
- Original, interesting content- A regular stream of interesting and original content will alert search engines that your site is updated and active. In turn, they are more likely to display your posts in search rankings. In addition, keeping your posts updated establishes the purpose of your website, which is important for attracting more visitors. Insightful and informative content also encourages other bloggers to link to your site as reference, and as a result; they will point their audience to you. Aside from tweaking the structure of your website, you also need to ramp up on content to enhance your SEO strategy.
- Using analytics- The use of analytics is vital for any website because it monitors the traffic, and it reveals any problems such as broken links or 404 pages. Receiving this information will allow you to address these issues promptly and modify your website to make it more attractive and efficient for visitors. For instance, the Google Webmasters Tools can prompt you about any incidence of hacking, or broken pages. To easily implement analytics on your WordPress site, you can also use the Google Analytics for WordPress plugin from Joost de Valk. This tool monitors users through their username to achieve accuracy in estimating the website’s traffic.
Of course, these tips are not meant to serve as a complete guide to enhancing your WordPress site’s SEO. There are other extensive guidelines out there, which contain more instructions. For those who want to enhance their site’s SEO but do not have the time, there are also plugins you can use. This includes Yoast’s SEO WordPress Plugin, as well as the All-In-One SEO Pack. These tools can do the SEO leg work for you, and help your website move up in search rankings.
This article originally appeared on http://www.learnmarketing.com.au/digital-marketing/some-seo-tips-to-drive-traffic-to-your-wordpress-site/