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How to Optimize Your WordPress Blog for Search Engines

You want people to find your WordPress blog, otherwise you wouldn’t be taking the time to write it. WordPress is equipped to create an environment that’s friendly to search engines, giving them easy navigation through your archives, categories, and pages. WordPress provides this environment with a clean code base, content that’s easily updated through the WordPress interface, and a solid navigation structure.

To extend search engine optimization (SEO) even further, you can tweak five elements of your WordPress posts, pages, and templates:

  • Custom permalinks: Use custom permalinks, rather than the default WordPress permalinks, to fill your post and page URLs with valuable keywords.

  • Posts and page titles: Create descriptive titles for your blog posts and pages to provide rich keywords in your site.

  • Text: Fill your blog posts and pages with keywords for search engines to find and index. Keeping your site updated with descriptive text and phrases helps the search engines find keywords to associate with your site.

  • Category names: Use descriptive names for the categories you create in WordPress to place great keywords right in the URL for those category pages, if you use custom permalinks.

  • Images and ALT tags: Place <ALT> tags in your images to further define and describe the images on your site. You can accomplish this task easily by using the description field in the WordPress image uploader.

Here are some additional strategies:

  • Plant keywords in your website: If you’re interested in a higher ranking for your site, use custom which is a way to insert keywords into the URLs of your posts and pages, letting search engines include those posts and pages in their databases of information on those topics.

  • Optimize your post titles for search engine success: Give your blog posts and pages titles that make sense and coordinate with the actual content being presented. If you’re doing a post on a certain topic, make sure that the title of the post contains at least one or two keywords about that particular topic. This practice gives the search engines even more ammunition to list your site in searches relevant to the topic of your post.

  • Write content with readers in mind: If your post is about a recipe for fried green tomatoes, for example, you need to add a keyword or phrase that you think people will use when they search for the topic. If you think people would use the phrase recipe for fried green tomatoes as a search term, you may want to include that phrase in the content and title of your post.

  • Create categories that attract search engines: The names you give the categories you create for your blog provide rich keywords that attract search engines like bees to honey. A few services — Technorati being one of the biggest — treat categories in WordPress like tags. These services use those categories to classify recent blog posts on any given topic. The names you give your categories in WordPress can serve as topic tags for Technorati and similar services.

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