WordPress has great Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) capabilities. All you need to do is follow a few simple steps and your site will be on it’s way up the rankings.
1. Set Up Permalinks
Setting up permalinks in WordPress means that your links are far better for both users and search engines.
Instead of domainname.co.uk/?p=123 your page will have a link name based on the page/post title, e.g. domainname.co.uk/search-engine-marketing. This is far easier to read and remember and as it contains relevant keywords to do with your page content helps your search engine ranking.
Permalinks are set up via the admin area menu under settings > Permalinks. I’d recommend using a Custom Structure like /%category%/%postname%/.
2. Install SEO Plugins
There are numerous SEO plugins that you can add to WordPress to help with your SEO. A couple I’d recommend are:
Google XML Sitemaps: This automatically creates your sitemap.xml file and regularly re-submits it to Google to keep your site well indexed.
All in One SEO Pack: This is probably the most popular SEO plugin and has a lot of features, including the ability to refine your Meta data for each post/page.
3. Use Optimised Titles
The Page/Post title is not only utilised in both the Permalink and the Meta Title of the page, but is also the <h1> heading on a single page/post, and <h2> or <h3> headings elsewhere. All of these are important elements for search engines, so a good descriptive Title, utilising keywords for searching, is vital when optimising a WordPress page/post for search engines.
4. Add Image Alt Tags
One thing users often forget when uploading an image is to give it a relevant Title (as opposed to just accepting the image name) and Alternative (Alt) Text. Search engines use these text elements as part of their analysis of page content (as they obviously can’t see the content of the image) so it’s important to ensure that they are completed accurately. Do though ensure what you enter is an accurate description of the image, and not just a comma seperated list of keywords, as that isn’t acceptable usage.