In the terms of search engine optimization (hereinafter SEO), WordPress is a pretty optimized system. Despite this, there are still numerous tips that can be applied to this CMS in order to get a better search engine ranking. The purpose of this article is to give an overview of a few important WordPress SEO tips that can be applied easily and can yield excellent results.
The first thing every user should change after WordPress installation is the permalink structure. The default permalink setting gives the permalinks an “ugly” look, which is far from being SEO friendly and additionally, it doesn't good look from the visitors’ view. This “default” structure uses page IDs in order to generate the permalink. As a result, instead of www.example.com/services/, WordPress generates the permalink that is similar to www.example.com/?p=123. Therefore, search engine cannot extract any useful information from this, while visitors cannot be certain which page they are currently viewing.
In the WordPress admin area (Settings -> Permalinks), this setting should be changed into desired permalink form. Naturally, that form will depend on the type of the website, while the users can choose from one of the predefined settings or to create their own.
Installing SEO Plugins
The best way to handle META data of posts and pages is to install a SEO plugin. Thankfully, the WordPress development community has created several fantastic (and free) plugins. Some of the best plugins of this kind are All in One SEO Pack, Platinum SEO Pack, and Greg's High Performance SEO. If unsure which one to choose, do not hesitate consulting our article about Top 5 SEO Plugins for WordPress.
Headings and Breadcrumbs
While coding the theme, a developer should pay attention to a heading tag. Therefore, post and page titles should use <h1>. Furthermore, a blog title should use the <h1> tag on the home page, while on the other pages (such as single post page, category page, etc), the blog title should use either <h1>, <h2> or <h3> tags.
Breadcrumbs can be added either programmatically or with the help of some plugin, such as Breadcrumb NavXT. Breadcrumbs are not only useful to search engines (allowing them to determine the structure of a certain website more easily), but they are also very useful to website visitors, as they help them to navigate the website more easily.
The process of adding additional information to images (more specifically, adding the TITLE and TAG attributes) is something that users tend to “forget” frequently. This is not a good habit, though, since a website can benefit greatly (in the terms of SEO) if this information is entered. The best way is adding the both attributes manually, choosing them according to what each image represents. The other method is to use a plugin (such as SEO Friendly Images) that will automatically add these attributes to the images according the predefined options (post name, image name, etc).
Despite the fact that there are numerous WordPress SEO tips that can be examined further, tips described within this article can improve the SEO ranking significantly, while on the other hand, they do not require an expert WordPress knowledge and can be implemented by most WordPress users easily.