Here are some tips for WordPress search engine optimisation that take just a few minutes to set up.
Although WordPress springs perfectly-formed out of the box, the software is not fully search engine optimised and needs some tweaking to help pages to the top of rankings.
Provide an XML sitemap
Well, when we say ‘an XML sitemap’ in some cases it’s two!
Sitemaps tell search engines where website pages are lurking among the nooks and crannies of your website and whether to crawl them or not. Every web site should have a sitemap, but websites optimised for Google News should have a second sitemap just for the news stories.
TIP – Try WordPress SEO by Yoast. This plugin tests your SEO as you go and generates an XML sitemap at the same time
Use categories and tags
Never leave your posts slouching in the ‘uncategorized’ section of your blog. Categories and posts are really important for WordPress search engine optimisation.
They are the website equivalent of a book’s contents and index. Categories should sum up the topics of each section, while the tags are the index or keywords.
This post is categorised as ‘search engine optimisation’ and the tags are ‘sitemap’, ‘canonical url’, ‘wordpress’ and ‘Google+’
TIP: Change the default category in your web site WordPress settings to ‘Latest news’
Blast out canonical URLs
Web programming is a precise science and leaving options open for search engines can mean the pages you want to rank are sometimes missed over.
The term canonicalising URLS solves this – and although it sounds complicated, it’s a breeze when set up and simply means pointing search engines at the most important pages.
To do this:
- Go to the general settings page in the WordPress dashboard and point the WordPress address and site address at your home page
- Go to Google Webmaster Tools and input the same URL
- Let your XML sitemap define canonical URLS for each page and post
Verify Google + authorship
Every Google search page that incorporates a profile photo of the author is an example of Google+ authorship.
Testers claim going through the Google+ author verification process can increases click through rates by at least 56%. In simple terms, this means more click throughs from the same traffic.