WordPress is one of the most popular software to create a succesful website for it's user friendly GUI design and powerful plugins, more and more people even use wordpress for ecommerce solutions for enterprise business. So is wordpress good choice to promote your products? How could you optimize wordpress based websites? In this article I would like to share personal ideas for wordpress SEO.
Wordpress is absolutely right choice if you would like to reduce the time for website internal optimization because wordpress itself has very search engine friendly structure, plus many free to get seo plugins you can optimize your wordpress site easily.
How to optimize your wordpress site?
The website optimization is much the same, however wordpress has built in solutions for internal optimization. if we can make good use of the available technologies from wordpress, our website will rank high on search engine fastly. Here're the most popular methods for wordpress optimization.
Configure SEO permalinks for your wordpress site
In short words, the shorter your website address is the more seo friendly your website will be. For wordpress parmalinks configuration, please login to your wordpress admin > Settings > permalinks. Personally we recommend using "/%postname%/" through our experience. Here's screenshot about the configuration
Note, the permalinks may not working if you're under windows hosting server. please visit this wordpress permalinks configuration article for solutions.
Remove your wordpress category names
The wordpress "Category" is useless and has some negative effects to your wordpress SEO, webmasters always want to remove it from your website address. The best method to remove the "category" name is to enter a dot from the "category base" under "permalinks" section, once you saved the configuratinos the "category" will be disappeared.
Install google xml sitemap plugins to auto update your wordpress sitemap
Sitemap will help search engine to crawl your website smoothly, the wordpress "google xml sitemap" plugin will auto create the xml sitemap and update it instantly once there's new update on your website.
Configure proper 404 error page
Always configure 404 error page for your website no matter if it's wordpress or other cms based. Incase you change themes or website migration, it's possible to create some 404 errors. Instead of creating all kinds of "page not found" errors, you can design a customized 404 error page to guide the search engine and website visitors properly.
Install wordpress all in one seo pack
This is a MUST plugin for all wordpress website, you can set keywords, meta tags, description etc easily for each pages/posts. you can also let the plugin to auto generate the configurations based on your post content. screenshot as below
Another plugin called "SEO Yoast" which is highly recommended by seo professionals. It's 100% compatible with all in one seo and migration tool is available. From my personal testing, there're more configurable options like instant SERP preview, SEO analysis of your current article etc. It's highly recommended if you like to control the optimization as more as possible, especially you're doing SEO job on wordpress site.
Install wordpress related posts plugins
Related posts plugin will add your referring posts to the end of your article, it will help search engine to crawl all your pages and guide your website visitors to read more if they're interested in your posts.
Add google analytics to your wordpress site
Google analytics will help your website traffic analyzation for future improvement. Just sign up an account from google and generate the analytics code from google webmaster tool.
Set up seo images on your website
Although this is not so important comparing to other seo tips, it's always good to pay attention to small factors and optimize your site as more as you can. For example you're writing something about cooking and need to add a picture for explanation, you can name the picture as "cooking tips" etc to attract the search engine.
Always update your website regularly with fresh content
Make sure you update your website with fresh contents regularly to introduce google to crawl your website, Your website will be recognized as healthy in search engine's eyes.
Interact with your website visitors by commenting
Add questions or voting to your articles and communicate with your visitors efficiently.
Of course, there're many other options to optimize a wordpress site, feel free to share your ideas