WordPress came into being in 2005. Now there are around 76.5 million blogs using WordPress providing a huge proving ground for blog optimization practices. During that time, WordPress has kept its framework updated to make blogging simple. Numerous guides, plugins, and WordPress applications are available to help you follow those best practices.
In this post, we present the best tips for optimizing your blog on WordPress along with some examples to show you how to implement them. Let’s get this party started!
1. Find Your Focus Keyword
Before you set fingers to keyboard to write your latest opus, you should do some research and prepare a couple of elements before you go to your WordPress blog platform.
A focus keyword (or phrase) is the term you hope people are using to look for your topic. You have several avenues to pursue in finding your focus keyword.
- Ask your sales people what prospects are asking and use those terms.
- Brainstorm with co-workers and friends. What term would you search if you were looking for information about your topic?
- Look at competitor sites and blogs for potential terms.
- Use a keyword tool to help you research.
A keyword tool can provide data about a potential keyword’s monthly average and search volume, and how much competition there is for that word. Furthermore, the tool can also suggest related keywords and their relevance to your topic.
Best Practice: Use long tail keywords. Most people don’t search using a single word; they typically enter a phrase designed to narrow the search results. Since the search engines place results containing the entire phrase at the top, those are the results that get clicks. You are more likely to grow your organic traffic with a long tail keyword:
Keyword: blog vs Long tail keyword: blogs on WordPress
If your target audience is looking for information on WordPress blogs, using this phrase will put you at the top of the search engine results.
Use your long tail keyword in the:
- Early in the body
- Meta description
Plugin Suggestion: Yoast SEO for WordPress helps you make sure you check off all your SEO optimization boxes for each post. Enter your keyword into the “Focus Keyword” section to start analyzing your post.
2. Keep It Short
Watch the length of your title tag, meta description, and URL slug (the part of the URL following the main address). You can edit all of these in the Yoast SEO Snippet Editor.
Best Practice: Monitor for search engine algorithm changes so you can follow the most current changes in how tags, titles, and other blog post parts are crawled and ranked in the major search engines.
The WordPress Yoast SEO plugin provides a handy box for your SEO title tag. If it makes sense, include your focus keyword followed by your website or brand name. Keep it within 50 to 60 characters. Anything longer will get cut off in the search engine result.
Note that we said “characters,” not words or letters. Spaces, underbars, and any other marking on your keyboard are considered characters that take up space in your title box.
SEO Title: Tips for Blogging on WordPress | WordPress Blogging Tips | Bonafide (67 characters)
Even though Google has stated that meta descriptions are not important to search engine rankings, including one, will still help people find you.
The meta description appears as part of the search engine result where users can see it. It also appears on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Keep the meta description within 70 to 156 characters. Anything more will be cut off.
Meta description: Learn the best method of optimizing your blog post on the WordPress platform.
Yoast SEO for WordPress allows you to edit the post URL if you want. The URL defaults to the title of the post, but that may not be the best option. In any case, keep the URL slug short, 50 to 80 characters total. Include your focus keyword if possible. Otherwise, make sure the slug shows the topic of the post.
URL Slug: tips-for-blogging-on-wordpress-optimize-posts.
If you are wondering how to determine how many characters you have, Google Docs has a neat option under Tools called Word Count. Click on it, and it will tell you how many pages, words, and characters your document has. It will also show you the number of characters minus the spaces if that is useful to you.
3. Write for the Humans
Ultimately, you should write for your human audience, not the search engines. Besides the fact that it is boring to read the same keyword phrase ten times in a 500-word post, the search engines will also penalize you for keyword stuffing.
Beyond that issue, you need to understand that people read differently online than they do when reading a print publication. In fact, they don’t really read, they scan. So make your post easily scannable for the person who only allows five minutes for reading a list of favorite blogs.
Have you seen entries that are primarily long blocks of text? How easy is it for your eyes to track from line to line? Or do you just ignore that post because you can’t focus?
- Break up your text with bulleted lists, headers, and short paragraphs.
- Keep paragraphs to three or four lines as it appears on the screen.
- Use bold, italic, and other formats to emphasize important words or phrases.
- Arrange a block quote to break up the left margin.
In conclusion! Blog post optimization doesn’t just apply to techniques to get your post to rank at the top of the search engine results page. It also applies to helping your “end user,” the person who for whom you wrote the post in the first place.
Blogs are big for business. Nearly 300,000 of the top one million websites in the world use WordPress. Furthermore, if you are launching your blog on WordPress, you are in good company; TechCrunch, Spotify, CNN, and Fortune.com use WordPress, among a great many other well-known and not-so-well-known companies.
In such a competitive market for eyeball share, you need to be sure you are doing everything possible to create and optimize blog posts that leverage every optimization best practice there is. Also, remember that search engine algorithms change constantly. Therefore, keep yourself up to date on how future changes impact your blogging practices so you can reach the top ranking and stay there.
Latest posts by Nicole Letendre (see all)
- Tips for Blogging on WordPress – How to Optimize Your Posts - August 28, 2017
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