Writing a blog post for WordPress can be quite daunting, especially if you don’t know the best practices for optimizing your content for search engine success.
With the right approach, however, you can ensure that your blog posts get the visibility they deserve by reaching the top of the search engine rankings.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the key SEO best practices when it comes to posting a blog on WordPress. From optimizing your titles and descriptions to implementing targeted keywords into your content so your content reaches its full potential online.
On-Page SEO Optimizations
A focus keyword is an important element of optimizing a blog article for search engines. It helps to ensure that the right people are finding your content, as well as giving structure and purpose to the writing process. Writing around a focus keyword means crafting content that answers the questions of readers looking online for specific topics or solutions. This can have direct impacts on pageviews, engagement, and overall success in terms of organic search engine rankings.
- Make sure the focus keyword for the blog post is not already being used on another blog post.
- Ensure the focus keyword has some search volume to help it generate organic traffic.
- Make sure the focus keyword is mentioned in the beginning of the content and throughout the post without overdoing it.
- Using variations of the focus keyword is always a good thing to do since not everyone searches the same thing.
Optimizing a blog post title is important because it is the initial element visitors see when searching online. It should be enticing and attention-grabbing, while also including the most relevant keywords to help draw in organic traffic from search engines.
Titles should be clear and include words that accurately represent the content for readers. This helps create more clicks as well as boost SEO rankings for posts.
- Make sure to include the focus keyword in the blog article title
- If you include a year, make sure it is worded in a way that would be easy to update the next year if it is an evergreen topic that make sense to update each year to keep the content relevant, unless it has to do with an event or something that is exclusive to the year mentioned vs content that can be updated yearly.
The structure of the content in a blog post is important because it helps readers better understand and absorb the information presented. Content should be organized logically and follow a logical flow.
Headings and subheadings should be used to clearly delineate each section, as this makes posts easier to scan. Including a table of contents allows readers to jump directly to specific sections, so it is also beneficial for longer posts.
Paragraphs should not be longer than 4-5 lines for readability.
Bulleting key facts, statistics, benefits, etc are always a best practice for readability but as well as site crawling so search engines can decipher the content, its meaning, the readability, and the authoritativeness of the content when it comes to serving the content based on a given query.
Ensure there is only 1 H1 heading (most sites are setup to have the title of the blog post itself be the H1).
All subsequent headings should be structured based on the subheadings and if they have any subordinate headings.
As an example:
Pro-tip: if your blog template does not include a Table of Content, add one. This helps with readability, user experience, and greatly appeals to search engines (as the content is easier to crawl by search engine bots).
Optimizing a featured image for a blog post is important because it will be one of the first elements that viewers see when landing on the page. High-quality visuals can pique interest, and make people more likely to read and share the content. Additionally, featured images provide an opportunity to employ additional SEO tactics such as including the focus keyword in the title or description of the asset. This can help draw more organic search engine traffic.
- Make sure to add a featured image
- The image title should be relevant to what the image is about
- Use the focus keyword as the alt text
- The dimensions of the featured image is optimal at 1200 x 628 pixels
- The featured image should not be a png and should be compressed in size to minimize it from affecting the page loading speed. Optimal size should be between ~70-100kb (using a simple tool such as Tinypng makes image optimization quick and easy)
Images used throughout the content should also be compressed and a jpg or WebP file type over a png unless it is a logo or some sort of graphic that needs the background to be transparent. The dimensions should be somewhere around 900px W by 600px H. For a blog post the size does not need to be any bigger than that and that size will allow for an optimal compression ratio.
Optimizing a blog post permalink is important because it can help visitors find the content they are looking for as well as improve SEO ranking. A keyword-rich URL is easier to read and understand, while also allowing search engine algorithms to detect relevant content around a specific topic.
Permalinks should be kept short and sweet, while also including the keyword phrase. This helps the post appear higher in search engine rankings and ensures that visitors clicking on links can identify exactly what they are viewing.
- The permalink should contain the focus keyword, and if it includes other words, try to word it so the focus keyword is closest to the beginning.
- Do NOT include dates, numbers, or symbols. for example ‘@#$%^&*’ (avoid words such as the, to, and, etc)
- Do not make it too long, try to keep it to the fewest words possible
SEO Meta Optimizations
SEO meta information, such as a page title tag and meta description, is important because it helps search engines identify relevant content. The title tag should be concise yet accurate and include the main keyword phrase for the post.
The meta description should also be descriptive and engaging to draw in readers. This helps improve organic search visibility for posts, leading to more clicks and higher ranking on search engine results pages.
SEO Page Title
- Make sure the title is not over ~60 characters
- Include the focus keyword in this title
- Make the title is engaging and desirable to click on – like a strong CTA
- This could be to appeal to someone looking for information, ready to make a transaction or someone looking up information on a given brand or company
- It should be as relevant to the topic of blog article as possible
SEO Meta Description
- Make sure the description is not over ~160 characters
- It should include the focus keyword and a brief highlight description as to what the reader will get out of the article
Interlinking is important when it comes to SEO because it helps search engines better understand the relationship between web pages. It also assists readers in navigating a website by providing relevant links to related content. Additionally, interlinking can help boost rankings and improve the overall user experience as it encourages visitors to explore a website further.
- Do not interlink the focus keyword to a different page
- For example if your focus keyword is best pizza in NY, you would NOT use that as an anchor text to link to a different page or outbound link.
- Every blog post should be interlinked to another blog article that has some relevant content.
- Adding interlinks to the blog post you are creating with your focus keyword, variations of, as well semantically related keywords is best.
- The blog post itself should have at least 3 interlinks to get started with
- It is also a good practice to ensure your blog posts have at least one interlink to a relevant service or product that the site has a page for
Outbound linking to resources is important when it comes to SEO because it helps search engines better understand the context of a webpage. It also assists readers in finding additional resources related to the topic being discussed. Additionally, outbound links can help boost rankings and improve the overall user experience by adding value and credibility.
- Outbound linking to a reputable resource or as a source of information covered in an article is a good practice (try to limit outbound links to 2-3, unless the article is well over 1500+words and the outbound links are adding value or are required in terms our the sources/statistics/data, etc that is used or mentioned.
- Ensure the first link on the post is not to an outbound link, it is best to make the first link on the post an internal link
Adding calls to action (CTAs) to a blog article is valuable because it helps drive engagement and encourages readers to take the desired action. It can also help boost rankings by directing visitors to other webpages. Additionally, CTAs are useful for tracking the success of a webpage and gathering analytical data.
- Including a relevant CTA either midway or in the closing is always a good practice. This allows the reader, if they are searching for a solution, a product, etc. to easily access them vs needing to dig around the site to find a relevant solution, etc.
- If the blog posts do not have a template with a sidebar that includes evergreen CTAs or quick links, creating a few graphics to be used throughout the blog is always a good option as well. They would link to a given product, service or contact page.
Optimizing your blog posts for SEO is critical if you want to generate more website traffic and grow your online presence. By following the best practices we’ve outlined in this article, you can ensure that your WordPress blog posts are optimized for search engines, making it easier for potential readers to find your content and engage with it.
Remember that attracting readers to your blog goes beyond aesthetics and good content creation. It requires that you understand how to rank well in search engine results pages (SERPs). Hence, optimizing your blog posts should be a major aspect of your content marketing strategy.
Be sure to focus on creating high-quality, original content that provides value to your readers. Use keywords strategically and optimize your meta descriptions, titles, headers, images, alt tags, and internal links to increase your chances of ranking highly on SERPs. Make your blog posts visually appealing and easy to scan to improve the user experience.
Finally, be patient, and keep producing quality content consistently. SEO optimization is a continuous process of analyzing and adjusting your content to make it more appealing to both search engines and your audience.
With our best practices guide, you now have the tools you need to create search engine-friendly content that will rank well and drive traffic to your site. So go forth, create, optimize, and conquer — or get in touch with us, and we’ll do the heavy lifting for you.