Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important part for any website whether it’s a new website or old. Making your website SEO optimized from very first day can help you rank well on search results in the future. If you are planning to start a new blog, focus on SEO from very first day when you install your blog CMS.
Today I am going to tell how to do SEO for new WordPress blog setup. This will sure help new blogs in the future as they can rank better on search results and they may not have to do a lot of SEO stuffs in future.
As most of the blogs runs on WordPress I am also focusing just on WordPress, but these SEO strategies can be applied on any website or CMS.
I am not going to talk about WordPress installation, and I assume you can install WordPress if not then you can find plenty of WordPress installation tutorials online.
Let’s start optimizing new WordPress blog for better SEO.
Your website or the blog may have plenty of different pages and URL of those pages is permalink. By default in WordPress URL of other pages or post are little ugly like http://www.earningguys.com/?p=123 which tells nothing about that page.
For SEO, it’s better having focused or targeted keyword in your URL something like http://www.earningguys.com/seo/best-online-seo-tools/. You can see keywords in URL and WordPress gives flexibility to optimize your URL.
From WordPress Admin panel -> Settings -> permalinks you can choose how you want to show your URLs. WordPress gives plenty of options for URL like post date and name, month and name, or just post name.
I prefer only “Post Name” URL because this includes keywords of post and are short compare to other formats.
You can also make changes in URL while publishing the post. You can optimize your URL as per your requirements.
WordPress SEO Plugin
I will recommend installing WordPress SEO by Yoast which is best free WordPress SEO plugin. This plugin will help you to optimize your blog for SEO and how search engine will see your blog.
Search engines hate duplicate content, and if your website is showing duplicate content to search engine then your website will not rank well on search results. You may be wondering when you don’t copy content how search engine will find duplicate content on your website.
Most of the time your own content is shown as duplicate content to search engine. Now look it as this way, you published a new blog post in category xyz and added some tags for that post say 4 tags. Normally your entire blog is indexed by search engine like your first page, blog post, categories, articles listed in a particular tag, author posts etc.
Now your same article will be shown in xyz category, in four different tags, author post, and as individual page. Now search engine will look it as duplicate content as the same content is showing on different pages.
To avoid this confuse it is better telling the search engine only index pages and post from your blog and WordPress SEO plugin will help you to do this task. From WordPress SEO plugin, you can choose which pages you want to be indexed and which not.
We suggest this setting: Noindex subpages of archives from General menu of WordPress SEO Plugin settings, Noindex categories, Noindex Tags from Taxonomies tab and Noindex Author Archives and Noindex Date Archives from Other tab.
By this setting Search engine will not index subpages like Page 1, page 2 etc, will not index categories like http://www.yourdomain.com/category/abc/, will not index tag pages like http://www.yourdomain.com/tag/xyz/, will not index author page like http://www.yourdomain.com/author/buddy/, and not date wise archives. By this only pages and post on your blog will be index and for that you want to rank.
Please note: Every SEO’s or blog owners have different SEO strategies so please check other sources before applying these settings.
On-Page SEO: WordPress SEO plugin will also help you to optimize on-page SEO. This plugin adds SEO Meta field after the ‘add new post section’. You have to enter focus keyword, Post or Page Title, Description data, and it will calculate that your page is optimized for given keyword or not. From Page Analysis Tab, one can check suggestion and the page are optimized for focused keyword or not. After seeing page analysis, you can make changes on that page to make it search engine optimized.
Search engine specially Google looks for Website speed, and if your website speed is slow then you may not rank well on search results. Google want to give a better experience to visitors, and if your website is slow then how long visitors will wait and what will be the impression on the visitor. That’s why search engine also check your website speed. You should build your website or blog which can open fast and give visitors a great experience on your website.
To make your website or blog to open fast the first step is to choose your web hosting provider wisely. If your web hosting is not fast, then how you can expect your website will run fast. There are many great hosting providers which offer great hosting experience. Search them carefully and choose a provider who offers a great solution.
Second, you can improve your blog load time by caching your website. By caching web page, some common files like CSS, images are copied at a temporary location, and whenever visitors request a page these files are used by this few requests are sent to the server and these files can be used again and again if visitors visit different pages of that website. This improves website load time and gives visitor fast surfing experience.
How to cache WordPress blog: W3 Total Cache is a free WordPress plugin which caches website and improve load time of WordPress based website or blog. This plugin is simple to install and implement, it can improve your blog performance up to 10x. You can also use CDN (Content Delivery Network) service with this plugin which can further improve your website speed.
Most of the popular search engine offers to submit your website Sitemap which tells how many pages are on a website and which pages to index. If you can create a sitemap and submit them to search engine, they will quickly index pages on your website. For blogs creating sitemap is not one day job, blogger writes new article frequently and adding those pages in sitemap can be tricky.
With Google XML Sitemaps plugin creating sitemap job becomes very easy. This plugin creates sitemap of the entire website and every time a new blog post or page is created it adds those pages in sitemap automatically and pings search engines about changes. Website owner doesn’t need to do anything manually. You can easily configure this plugin as per your requirement.
Website or Blog Layout
When Google rolled out Page layout algorithm, many website was impacted by this new algorithm. After this update website owner started to look website layout seriously. This algorithm was not about beautiful layout but how easy a website is to navigate and to find main content.
Google also look for above the fold advertisement, if your website contains lots of ads above the fold it may harm your search ranking.
What Google expect from a website: Don’t worry, just simple guidelines, website should be easy to navigate like easy to find and use of menu bar, above the fold content means visitors should find content immediately he or she lands on your webpage they don’t need to scroll your webpage to find main content.
When you build your blog choose a theme which offers all these requirements, like easy navigation and above the fold content. Finding or creating such themes is not difficult so choose your theme carefully.
There are many more things a webmaster should do on regular bases like adding your website on search engine’s webmaster tools, write unique and quality article regularly, don’t build spam backlinks, regularly check broken link on your website etc.
Building SEO friendly website or blog is not difficult, and can be easily built using some tools and plugins. The best tip for building search engine optimized blog will be, regularly read search engine guidelines and suggestions by search engines itself which will help you to build a website or blog which search engine will love.