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Search Engine Optimization on your WordPress Website

Improving your website’s rankings in Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) is accomplished by applying recognized Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques. Placing high in a list of results returned by a search engine like Google, Bing, or Yahoo is vital to improving your website’s view statistics. The goal of SEO is to make sure that your site ranks as high as possible for the keywords you expect people will use in a search statement.

WordPress is equipped to create an environment that’s friendly to search engines, giving them easy navigation through your archives, categories, and pages. You can tweak five elements of your WordPress posts, pages, and templates to maximize your SEO.

Custom permalinks for SEO

Use custom permalinks, rather than the default WordPress permalinks, to fill your post and page URLs with valuable keywords. By using custom permalinks, you automatically 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.

When you're looking at the default permalink for any page, you see a URL that looks something like this:

http://yourdomain.com/?page_id=2

This URL contains no keywords of worth. If you change to a custom permalink structure, your post URLs automatically include the titles of your posts and pages to provide keywords, A custom permalink may appear in this format:

http://yourdomain.com/the-page-title 

Optimizing posts and page titles

Create descriptive titles for your blog posts and pages to provide rich keywords in your site. When used properly, WordPress custom permalinks give the search engines a triple keyword play:

  • Keywords exist in your page title.

  • Keywords exist in your page URL.

  • Keywords exist in the content of your page.

Keywords in blog text

Fill your blog posts and pages with keywords for search engines to find and index.

When search engines visit your site to crawl through your content, they don’t see how nicely designed it is. They look for words that they grab to include in their databases. Make sure that your posts and pages use the words and phrases that you want to include in search engine.    

Category names for search engine optimization

Use descriptive names for the categories you create in WordPress to place great keywords right in the URL for those category pages.

Links to your WordPress categories become keyword tools within your site to help the search engines and ultimately, search engine users find the content. Using custom permalinks gives you category page URLs that look something like this:

http://yourdomain.com/category/Category_Name

Images and Alt tags in optimized blog content

Place tags in your images to further define and describe the images on your site. You can accomplish this task by using the Alternate Text field in the WordPress image uploader.

When you use the WordPress image uploader to include an image in your post or page, you're given a Description text box in which you can enter a description of the image. This text automatically becomes the tag.

Search engines harvest those tags as keywords. The WordPress image uploader gives you an easy way to include those tags without worrying about inserting them into the image code yourself. Just fill out the Description text box before you upload and add the image to your post.

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