5 Easy Steps To Oodles Of Search Engine Traffic For Your WordPress Blog

In this post, I am going to list some of the most essential SEO tips and tweaks for WordPress that I’ve learned so far. This isn’t a full-blown SEO guide, but after applying these tweaks, you’ll notice a nice boost in your search engine traffic.

So let’s get started already!

Optimize page titles and permalinks

Normally, your post title also becomes the page title and post slug (permalink, post URL) for the post. While it’s certainly not bad for SEO, you can define custom page title and post slug for optimal results.

Changing a post’s title tag – For this tweak, you’ll need to install SEO Title Tag WordPress Plugin. SEO Title Tag lets you define custom page titles for your posts.

Once you activate SEO Title Tag, a new field with the label “Title Tag” will appear under your Post box on Write Post page. Here you can write a title that will appear in the browser’s title bar as well as in SERPs.

Changing the post slug – To change the post slug, enter custom text in the Post Slug panel (on the right side of write post area). For this post, for example, I’ve entered “wordpress-seo-tips-tweaks-hacks“.

Advantage of this hassle? You write post titles for maximum attraction for your regular readers and social media visitors. Since search engine users are generally not that savvy, you create page titles they can easily understand. Plus, you can enter different keywords in post titles, page titles, and post permalinks, making your post all the more likely to show up on the top of search results when a related search is made.

Optimize images

Images can open up a whole new stream of search engine visitors for your blog. I’ve wallpaper sites where 80% of my traffic comes from Google image search, and on Blogging Bits, I am already getting quite a few hits from Google images.

If you post a lot of images on your blog, optimizing your images for search engines can be a worthwhile effort.

Here is your image optimization checklist:

  • Enter your keywords in the alt tag. Alt tag lets search engine robots ‘see’ your image.
  • Enter a description in the title attribute.
  • Define width and height of your images.
  • Enter keywords in the image name. Example: “lg-lcd-monitor.jpg”.
  • If possible, place the image in a directory that also has your keywords. Example: “lcd-monitors/lg-lcd-monitor.jpg”

Here’s example code for an optimized image.

  1. <img src="lcd-monitors/lg-lcd-monitor.jpg" alt="Widescreen LG LCD monitor" title="A new widescreen LG LCD monitor" width=400 height=380 />

Optimize links

Links are one of the most important factors that determine your page’s value in a search engine’s eye. Knowing how you should link to internal and external pages will improve your rankings a lot.

Keep the following guidelines in mind when creating new links.

  • Place keywords in anchor text. (anchor text is the link text you click on)
  • Define the link target by placing appropriate keywords in the link’s tittle attribute.
  • When linking to popular sites that don’t need your link juice (e.g. Google, Youtube) or internal pages that you don’t want to rank high (e.g. Contact page) add “rel=”nofollow” to the links.

Add noindex to archives

To avoid duplicate content issues, use noindex for category, archives, and tags pages. A noindex meta-tag will prevent search engine crawlers from indexing these pages.

This can usually be achieved by adding the following line in the head section of your header.php file (Presentation> Theme Editor > Header).

  1. <?php if(is_archive()){ ?><meta name="robots" content="noindex"><?php } ?>

Thanks to Ryan Cladwell of Performancing for this handy code snippet.

Remove unnecessary links

If you have a more tag and a comments link on every post, and of course a post title, you have three different links pointing to the same page. This can affect your rankings negatively (again, because Google may think these links point to different pages).

To remove the “#more” text from your ‘Read More’ link, replace the following line in your wp-includes/post-template.php

  1. $output .= ' <a href="'. get_permalink()
  2. . "#more-$id\">$more_link_text</a>";

with

  1. $output .= ' <a href="'. get_permalink()
  2. ."\">$more_link_text</a>";

Removing comments link – To display comment count under each post on the home page as well as category pages, but without a hyperlink, replace the following line of code in your index.php file (Presentation > Theme Editor > Main Index Template)

  1. <?php comments_popup_link() ?>

with

  1. <?php comments_number() ?>

Removing hyperlink from post title on single post page – This one is easy. Go to Presentation > Theme Editor > Single Post and edit the following line of code:

  1. <a href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a>

to

  1. <?php the_title(); ?>

Redirecting permalinks – If you remove the trailing slash from your post’s permalink, you’ll still be able to access the page. This is not only bad for SEO (for reason already given) but it also lands you in trouble if your post gets heavily bookmarked at del.icio.us and your bookmarks are divided between two different URLs.

There should be a way to manually add a rule to your .htaccess file to redirect permalinks to a single location, but I much prefer Permanent Redirect WordPress Plugin for its ease of use.

Your tips?

Any SEO tips for WordPress you want to share with us?

Note: This post was written for blog writing contest at Daily Blog Tips.

130 comments so far and counting

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