Customising WordPress to Enhance Ranking

Over 80% of WordPress sites rely on the basic settings used by WordPress when it is initially installed. By customizing the features you can set your site apart and above all of these sites with minimal effort and little technical know-how.
Optimise Titles for Each Post

The default setting for WordPress places the blog title in front of the title of the entry or post. An effective strategy to optimise your WordPress site is to put your blog post title first. This allows the search engine to easily identify content and return each post as a search result. 

Typically the title will include the keyword you want to rank for and this highlights that keyword. In addition it allows readers to easily determine the content of the page before they visit the site.

Correct Use of Meta Descriptions

WordPress will by default generate a Meta description for every blog. It does not however have any way of knowing what keyword you wish to be highlighted in a search. Use of the correct keywords in the Meta description will allow proper indexing by the search engines. Typing in a description in the Meta box will allow you to decide on the keywords and description as opposed to having WordPress guess at your intent. An accurate Meta description of each post will enhance visibility and ranking of not only your site but each and every post on your site.

Describe Photos to the Search Engine

Search engines cannot yet actually ‘see’  what an image is. If you do not tell them in the name and description of the image it cannot index it. Default image titles such ‘image127” have no value. By using the ‘alt’ and ‘title’ attributes in image descriptions and captions it will allow them to be indexed for search results. Use the keywords of the post in the description as well as identifying the image. Save images with short concise but descriptive names. Use a dash between each keyword of the name for easier reading by the search engines. As an example “CarPic12.jpg” is of little or no value but “Toyota-Camry.jpg” can drive traffic to your site. Very few bloggers utilize the attributes and this can easily set you apart from the masses when posting images.

Modify Page URLs

Have a meaningful title for each page and a keyword for that page in it. Customise the URL of each page so the page name comes before the site name. This will allow you to effectively optimise more keywords and have each page individually ranked in results.

Titles of Each Post

Each post should have a clear and concise title with a keyword for that post or page.  Do not spam the title with keywords for your entire site; use it as an opportunity to add optimisation to every post for more results and higher rankings in searches.

Categories

Categories are used to organise your content. If you are using Permalinks (can be turned on or off from the admin panel) the category names will appear in your URL. This is another opportunity for search engines to locate and rank your site in search results. Use care when selecting category names and use them drive results that could be missed from basic keyword optimisation in other areas and to add more keywords to your site. Use of multiple categories and sub-categories will maximise this potential and the search engines find it easier to index as well.

Use these simple steps outlined to set your site above 80% of the WordPress sites on the internet and get both higher rankings and more traffic as a result.
 
Guest Post by : Kira
Kira is a social media and marketing expert. She writes for The WebMarketing Group, a UK based SEO company that specialise in search engine and social media optimisation.