Blogging is a favorite pastime for many. You can write blogs about any topic you are passionate about, whether it’s sports, medicine, or fashion. The possibilities are endless, and several platforms, such as WordPress, offer you a chance to blog about your interests.
Sometimes, your blog may take time to get a dedicated readers base. You may have fantastic blogging skills, but your potential readers need to access your blog. You can use SEO techniques to boost web traffic on your blog and make it visible to more audiences. Search engine optimization not only unlocks a vast audience but also allows you to monetize your blog. Here is how you can optimize your blog with SEO.
What Is Search Engine Optimization?
SEO refers to improving your website in a way that’s optimized for search engine algorithms. When a user searches for a query in a search engine, there are several possible websites that a search engine can show. Its algorithm ranks the potential websites to determine their position on the search engine results pages (SERPs). The most relevant pages are on the first page. SEO techniques use the algorithm’s requirements to make your web page ranks higher.
Check Your WordPress Visibility Settings
Before you proceed with SEO techniques, you must ensure that WordPress lets your blog appear in search engine searches. Most people do not want their unfinished blog to appear in Google searches, as it is a work in progress. However, you may forget to turn on your search engine visibility again. Go to the reading section of settings in your WordPress dashboard. Ensure that the checkbox ‘discourage search engines from indexing this website’ is not ticked. If it is, no subsequent SEO technique will work.
Change Your Permalinks
Your permalink is the permanent URL of your blog post. By default, your WordPress blog post URL will include several question marks and numbers. Such URLs do not tell the reader anything meaningful about your blog contents, and search engines lower the ranking of pages with URLs like these. Changing your permalink to include keywords about your blog improves user experience. It also tells the search engines that your page has the answer to relevant search queries.
Fortunately, you can change your permalink on WordPress. Go to your WordPress dashboard, select ‘settings,’ and then ‘permalinks.’ Make a custom permalink for your blogs. You can also set the ‘post name’ option to put your post’s title in the URL. Changing your permalinks is an easy SEO optimization strategy.
Use Tags and Categories
WordPress allows you to sort your blogs into tags and categories. Doing so makes it easier for users to navigate your website, as they can filter relevant information. It also improves your SEO as search engines understand how your website is structured.
Use the relevant tags and categories for your blogs. Use tags to describe the common keywords one may use when searching for your post. Use categories to classify your blog post in broader groups. For example, a blog post titled ‘Best Vacation Spots in the US’ may use the vacation spots as tags, and ‘United States,’ ‘Vacation’, and ‘Traveling’ can be the categories.
You can manage your tags by going to your WordPress dashboard and clicking ‘posts’ and ‘tags.’ Likewise, you can manage your categories by going to your dashboard under ‘settings’ and ‘Writing.’ You will see all your current categories here and can make a new one.
Create an XML Sitemap
An XML sitemap is a file of code your web server hosts that contains the essential information for search engines to find and evaluate your content. It includes every page available on your website. XML sitemaps help search engines index and crawl your website, and you must manually curate one. They give information to a search engine about media and text on your website.
Creating an XML sitemap is extensive work that requires a lot of coding knowledge and prowess. Most people outsource this job to SEO companies that create XML sitemaps. Some companies offer a condensed SEO strategy framework, like the SEO Sprint framework, which your blog can use.
Create Good Linking
Internal and external linking is the key to a sound SEO blogging strategy. Your blog will have many posts related to each other. You must use hyperlinks to direct users to other relevant posts when you write your blog. You can also add external links to reputable third-party sources, such as scientific articles.
Good internal and external linking helps your reader explore a topic in detail and guides them to your other blog posts. Search engines factor in your domain authority when ranking your website, and a robust linking structure improves it.
A successful blog requires media and graphic content in addition to text. Consider adding images and videos whenever relevant. Search engines value media-intensive websites more than plain-text pages. Use attractive WordPress themes that compliment your videos and photos to improve your blog aesthetic.
When adding images, consider optimizing them by adding alt text. The alt text is a description of your image. By adding alt text, you make your website more accessible. Visually impaired individuals who use a screen reader cannot see any pictures. However, by using alt text, they can understand the context, as their screen reader will read that description instead of the image. Alt text not only makes your content more accessible, but it also optimizes it for search engines. Search engines rank pages that use alt text higher.
SSL refers to a secure socket layer. It is an emerging security technology that encrypts the data transfer between the user’s browser and the host web server, ensuring that the user’s information remains secure. SSL encryption improves your user experience and SEO. Search engines prefer encrypted and secure websites over unsecured ones, so if your website is SSL encrypted, it is more likely to be more visible in Google search results.
Search engine optimization is a growing need for businesses and bloggers. It ensures you get your message across to more audiences and market your blog. If you host a blog on WordPress, you must know how to increase its visibility. You can use SEO strategies specific to WordPress, such as custom permalinks and categories, to boost your blog. Consider hiring SEO services for in-depth optimization of your blog.