Optimizing WordPress for Search Engines

March 6, 2010BlogLeave a reply

Besides its stellar performance as a Content Management System, WordPress also excels in guiding search engine crawlers through your website. It does so through its systematic organization of your website pages, webpage categories and related posts. In this way, your website is able to gain visibility on the web. To make the most of this, more and more webmasters have been looking into ways to optimize their websites for search engines.

Known as Search Engine Optimization (or SEO), the process is one where you attempt to improve the visibility of your website in search results without paid advertising. By getting your website to rank higher in a search listing, your website will be able to receive higher traffic. To maximize traffic to your website, you may like to try the following tips:

Optimize Blog Titles

By default, WordPress feeds the title of the blog to search engine crawlers before the actual post title. Ensure your blog title concisely reflects your blog content. Usually, most search engines display only about 50–60 characters of your entire title tag. Hence, always ensure that you mention the blog title prior to other titles. Make use of the “All in One SEO” plugin for the best title format.

Rewrite URLs with Permalinks

Setting descriptive URLs can boost SEO for your website. Permalinks make what your webpages, archives and posts are about obvious immediately. Therefore, by changing the default WordPress URLs, URLs to your posts and pages become more readable and generate more traffic. Always remember that URLs matter when indexing your webpages.

Use Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs play an important role in website navigation. By using keywords, page titles and post titles, breadcrumbs help your visitors make sense of their navigation history. In terms of SEO, breadcrumbs make it easy for search engines to understand your website structure.


Using Good Quality Content

When a search engine enters your site, it ignores the CSS styles used to create the page display. Search engines never evaluate your site for aesthetics; rather, they focus on the words used in site content. Hence, to improve the ranking of your website in search results, try as much as possible to create content that includes keywords related to the type of information you are providing.

Link to Related Posts

Finding links from related posts is another method deployed by search engines to determine the relevance of your website in a search. You can use plugins for finding posts related to yours to help in your SEO strategy.

Generate an XML Sitemap

An XML sitemap is an overall listing of all the posts and pages of the website. The sitemap helps search engine crawlers view the readable structure of your WordPress website. You can do so simply by installing WordPress plugins designed for this.

Avoid Duplicate Content with robots.txt

In the WordPress system it is very likely to find duplicate content due to multiple pages such as tag, category and author pages. This can be avoided by directing search engines not to crawl duplicate content in the robots.txt file.

(Do note, however, that by preventing search engines from accessing certain pages through your robots.txt, you may still end up with a lower search result ranking. This is especially true when other websites link to the page you have blocked; search engines directed to the blocked page from other websites will only be able to see a blank page instead of your duplicate content. As such, don’t tinker with the robots.txt unless you are 100% sure what you are doing with it.)

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