WordPress has always been the most preferred blogging platform and Content Management System on the internet. It does contain many out of the box features for making your website or blog easy for search engines to crawl and index. But there is a lot that can be improved too. This article explains a couple of the out of the box features and some more features which you can add using the help of plugins, to make your site truly SEO friendly for search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing.
On a fresh install of WordPress, you will notice that your Page URL’s or Permalinks look something like https://hostingxtreme.com/web/blog/support/?p=213452098346 which obscures the true content of the article or information contained on that page. Not only do Humans find it difficult to recall a page number or URL with a number in it, but even Search Engines detest these obscure URLs which are non-descriptive. Instead Search Engines will prefer to see something with a category and a name in it. Hence, WordPress allows you to setup Permalinks which will automatically change the URLs to a modified version of the article’s Title. So an article titled “How Auto Installers Enhance Your WordPress Experience” will have a URL like “https://hostingxtreme.com/web/blog/support/how-auto-installers-enhance-your-wordpress-experience/”.
This type of URL will be easily understandable by Search Engines and also contains the keywords which the author would like to promote. This allows Search Engines to retrieve that URL more easily and in a more systematic manner.
WordPress allows you to add a featured image in your article page or post, which can be used to identify your article and to give it a boost in image results. An article on Fire Extinguishers may have the picture of a Fire Extinguisher set as the Featured Image, so that in Image Searches, it will be given priority for those keywords.
You can also add your article to Categories and Tags. You can setup these categories and tages prior to writing the article and also add new categories and tags as you are writing the article. Adding a category for the pages and posts facilities the internal search engine and also external crawlers from understanding the structure of your website and the grouping of similar articles. This will allow the searcher to be presented with many suggestions based on the category selection of the article. The category may also influence the URL of the article, which may be rewritten to incorporate the category name as well.
Search engines cannot see an image. They can only read the textual content of your website. Which is why we have Captcha code’s on forms, to prevent automated submission of the form by software. When inserting an image from the media library, the Alt Tags and Image title is automatically picked up from the Image Name and Image Meta Information that maybe present. This allows your image to be easily searched and indexed by search engines so that the image search results will pop up your image when the associated keywords are searched. You can alter or modify the alt tags and title tags and also add a caption to the image, to make search engines easier to find.
For all the SEO optimization features that are not built-in to WordPress, you can always install plugins to do the job for you. XML Sitemaps generation is one such SEO feature which you must have, and can be easily created using a simple WordPress Plugin which is free. You can also tweak page URLs and customize them further using other plugins for that purpose. There are numerous plugins which help you to optimize your site for Search Engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, in a step-by-step manner. You could also try Plugins like All in One SEO Pack for WordPress and WordPress SEO by Yoast which are popular and recommended by the champions of the industry. Don’t forget that SEO is hard work and needs your time and patience to produce quality results.