If you freak out every time you hear the term “search engine optimization” don’t worry. It’s not something you have to learn all at once. In fact, seasoned bloggers are constantly tweaking their blogs to make them rank better with the search engines, so it’s an ongoing process that continues for the life of your blog. To help you get started, here are three beginner WordPress SEO tips to make your blog more successful.
Update Your Keywords
When you first set up your blog you probably entered some keywords that help define your blog for the search engines. Typically, this is done somewhere on your blog’s dashboard in the Settings menu. If you haven’t done this, you need to do it now. If you have, it’s time to take a look and maybe freshen it up.
Keywords often go through changes or trends. For example, one person might call them thumb drives, another person calls them USB drives and someone else calls them portable drives. You should include all of these keywords in your description so no matter what someone calls them the search engines will know they can find the information on your blog.
You can quickly improve your search engine rankings by making a few structural changes on your blog. Your site’s load time is one of the key metrics Google uses to determine ranking. The following changes will help improve your load time:
Resize images: When you upload full-size images that are too large for your blog your blogging platform has to adjust the size internally. If you have a lot of images on your blog this can seriously affect your load time. Use an image editor to resize your images to the proper size before you upload them to your blog.
Minimize image use: Some blogs just naturally need a lot of images and that’s fine. But if your doesn’t, then delete those you don’t really need. Unless you’re posting screen shots for a How-To article the most you should need is one image per post, and sometimes that’s not even necessary.
Eliminate flash elements: Flash videos and images will seriously cut into your load time and they’re not visible on a lot of mobile devices, which is an important consideration these days.
Navigation: Are your sidebars free of clutter? Can your visitors easily see and read your navigation bar, and the various menus in your sidebar? Are you using keywords for titles and categories so the search engines can easily identify your content?
Internal linking structure: The search engines give high marks to sites that have a strong internal linking structure. Include deep links to relevant content on your blog to lead the search engines and keep visitors on your blog longer.
It’s also important to use some formatting within each blog post. This makes your content easier to read for both the search engines and y our visitors.
Use Sub-Headings: Use the H1 and H2 tags to highlight sub-headings. This larger font draws the reader’s eye and it indicates to the search engines that this is something important.
Keywords: Use a keyword in your title, headings and sub-headings.
Bullet Points/Numbered Lists: Bullet points and numbered lists also make it easier for your visitors to get your complete message and the search engines like it when you take care of your readers.
Bold/Italics: The search engines recognize that bold or italic fonts indicate something you want to highlight. However, use them sparingly. Too much and the search engines just think you’re being spammy, and it can make it difficult for the visitor to read your post.