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Optimizing WordPress posts to heighten SEO

With its relatively short learning curve and user-friendly interface, the WordPress content management system (CMS) has become an invaluable tool for hands-on marketers in the small business space. The most important factor for driving engagement and conversions via WordPress is the ability to compose relevant and helpful blog posts and articles, based on a solid keyword strategy, with clear calls-to-action in appropriate places.

In addition, a number of WordPress plugins are readily available to help optimize the SEO quotient for the content your company posts. Take the Yoast SEO plugin for instance. This plugin enables you to access a number of key SEO settings and tags. This enables you to enhance the search-engine appeal and rankings of your content, while also providing clarity for the page visitor.  Here are some specific examples:

Optimize H1 tags for better findability.

By default, the title or headline of a post is used as the H1 tag for search engines to select pages with relevant content to the search at hand. While the title and H1 tag should be similar, however, they do not need to be identical. You may choose to be a little freer with the language in a title for stylistic purposes — while altering the corresponding H1 tag to build in additional keywords that relate to the page’s overall message.

Leverage meta descriptions for all they’re worth.

As is the case with H1 tags, meta descriptions relate both to search engines and the end-user who is deciding which pages to visit based on the results. If you don’t enter a meta description, Google will generally grab the first 156 characters from your page to compose a meta description. It’s much better to write an engaging and enticing meta description, in natural language, to describe what your post is about. This gives you the chance to sum up the gist of your message in a succinct and meaningful way.

Tweak URL slugs to be more descriptive.

When you create a post, WordPress will add the (often long) title of your post to the URL for that page. However, you can edit the URL slug to be more succinct and telegraphic, while incorporating a keyword or two that may be not be present in the title. As a result, the post URL becomes more easily readable by visitors and more effective for SEO.

Add alt tags to make images findable.

This is a step that many blog contributors skip. The fact is, the entry of a succinct and accurate alt tag for the photo of your post creates another opportunity for your post to be found. The idea here is to simply describe the photo, while including any keywords that may be appropriate.

Include relevant links to pages on your website.

Another way to get more engagement and impact from your blogposts is the inclusion of internal links to relevant pages or other posts on your site. Most SEO experts agree that about 3 or 4 links per post is a good number to have. Whether in the body of the post or in a “related posts” type section of your post template, these hyperlinks serve a dual SEO purpose:

  • The presence of internal links in your post signals search engines that there is additional important content on your site, which is also topically related to the post being indexed.
  • These internal links provide additional value to site visitors by pointing them to additional pages they are likely to be interested in. Through thoughtful internal linking on your posts, you have the opportunity to increase engagement in the moment — while leaving them with a positive impression of the helpfulness and value of your site in general.

Interested to learn more about Wordpress, Yoast and how these tools can improve your site's SEO?  Contact us

Neptune Web is a full-service Boston-area interactive web and digital marketing agency with expertise in Website Design, Web Development, Digital Marketing Strategy and Execution.

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