Last updated: March 12th, 2015
Various estimates and sources put the number of WordPress sites on the internet, as a percentage of all websites, between 12% and 17%. Many people choose to use WordPress, either on the site itself or as a CMS within an external hosting plan, because of its legendary ease of use and the speed with which even a novice can get started with putting a website together.
However, you’re going to need more than the basics to make your WordPress site an SEO powerhouse.
Here are some great ideas to help you get started improving your site SEO.
Take Out DefaultsLicense: Royalty Free or iStock
Leave default ‘freebies’ and guides, like ‘Hello World’ and ‘Sample Page,’ in there when you’re constructing your site. As soon as you’re ready to go live, or even before then if you’re happy with the layout and visual settings of your site, it is time to get rid of them.
You might even consider using a content plug-in so you’re not just sticking to what WordPress have decided works for a particular theme or layout. Think about the category that most of your blogs or articles will fall under, too, and get rid of the dreadful ‘Uncategorized’ category. How are you going to enjoy powerful SEO if you have uncategorized posts? How will visitors know what to expect?
Most of these points are housekeeping more than SEO-centric, but the category will make a huge difference.
For whatever reason, the default permalinks setting within WordPress isn’t efficient for SEO, nor do Google advise you follow them, which means you’ll need to update it yourself. Change it so that your URL’s are all http://www.yourwebsitename.com/your-post-name.
Some like to split their posts by categories, which might help users with navigation, but if you only have a small site, keeping the URL’s as short and sharp as possible is better for SEO.
Use Update Services
Every webmaster has experienced the frustration of uploading new content and then feeling like they have a long wait before it is indexed by Google. Thankfully, WordPress have a whole host of update services that you can use that ensure your new content is indexed as soon as possible, rather than six months later when it isn’t actually relevant to anyone.
Faster indexing is especially important if your site is talking about current affairs, or you’re using it alongside your social media, for example, to build a reputation for being the first with breaking news.
Use Google Analytics
If your WordPress site is only a few pages in size, then using Google Webmaster Tools might seem a bit much. Instead, look to use Google Analytics, as this will give you a lot of excellent ‘top line’ information and help you to begin to understand how your website is working for you.
Your best option is to use the ‘Analytics for WordPress’ plug-in; it is the most efficient and effective way of tracking website data, and takes away the risk of you inputting incorrect code which then corrupts the rest of your site.
SEO for WordPress
Following these tips alone won’t rocket you to the top of the search rankings, but you’ll certainly see a difference by making these small and easy tweaks to the way your site looks and operates.
About Author: Robert is a technology expert with a passion for SEO. Robert works with a lot of clients searching for excellent web hosting to use alongside WordPress and other CMS platforms, and currently recommends a JaguarPC hosting service as one of the leading industry options.