A great way to continue receiving traffic from your old WordPress posts is to ensure they are search engine friendly. When your posts get older, for the most part, only search engines bring traffic to them. In this article I will share some tips of how to write SEO optimized articles. These will help you better rank your articles in search engines.
I have been maintaining a number of blogs and I keep several article writers who constantly work to provide new and quality content for them. Sometimes quality suffers as a result of ignorance or lack of knowledge, but let us get back to the main point. In terms of search engine ranking, each blog post is like an individual page. This means that it is possible to optimize each post/article for specific keywords in a search engine. There are, however, certain things you should keep in mind when doing so and we will be focusing on them in this article.
Post and Meta title
One of the most important things you would need to understand is the difference between post title and post meta title.
Post title is the title of your post the reader sees. Post meta title, on the other hand, is what a search engine sees and displays in search results. It is always considered a good practice to have your target keyword in both a post and a meta title. Your post title usually uses an H1 tag and it contains your keyword. Also, remember that your post title should be no more than 66 characters in length.
Post meta keywords
We often tend to ignore this part and we shouldn’t. From the traffic and ranking point of view, every post you write is very important. This is because Google sees each of your blog posts as an individual webpage, which allows you to rank every post for specific keywords. One such example is when we write a post having the title “Best iPhone RSS reader application”. It may contain a lot of keywords, such as pulse, RSS reader, iPhone application, iPhone app, etc.
Because of the fact that these keywords are too generic, they are not the best choice for ranking your post. Do you think that you should use keywords such as “iPhone app” and “iPhone application” to rank for keywords?
You can do this in a better way by thinking about what keywords a person will most likely use to discover your post with a search engine. He may, for example, enter the following combination of words when searching: “Best RSS reader application for iPhone” or “RSS reader iPhone app”.
Out of the aforementioned 2 search terms, the first one is easier to rank as it employs long tail keywords. This will make it easier for readers to discover your post.
Using a tool like Traffic Travis or other keyword research tool, allows you to determine the competition for particular keywords and observe the monthly searches. This helps you choose the right keywords with the aim to use them in the title of your post, and for your meta keywords and post description.
Now that you have both post title and keywords in your post, when you create a new post, keywords should be mentioned within the body of the post. This is important for how the Google sees your post. The engine will examine your meta keywords and try to discover the same keywords in the body of the post. If these are not featured in the post, this might create a bad impression of a keyword-spammed post or a false one.
Alt attributes for images
We often tend to ignore this these. Although we search the web to find the perfect images for our post, we often forget to optimize them for keywords. The majority of images use names such as image123.jpg, while it is a much better idea to use relevant images.
WordPress provides a great plugin called SEO Friendly Image which allows you to use the name of images as alt attributes. This will help you increase the traffic to your blog as people who use Google Image Search will be able to discover your post more easily. If you don’t want to use this plugin, you can always add an alternative text manually when you upload a particular image. Using keywords in image anchor text will positively impact your SEO, and I have seen it myself. Try to use keywords in at least one alt text of an image.
Anchor text and interlinking
It is always a good idea to create links to old posts whenever we create a new one. This will allow users to discover older publications and force search engines to crawl old blog posts once more. Whenever you try to interlink, use the anchor text technique. Whenever you link to an old post from your blog, WordPress allows you to add a title and a link. You should fill in both the title of the post and the primary keywords of the post you would want to create a link to.
There is also a plugin under the name of WordPress Insights that allows users to interlink quicker.
Permalink structure and the removal of stop words
We usually use many stop words when we create a new post title. You can read about what stop words are and read though a list of such words here. Try to remove these from your permalink by editing it via your WordPress dashboard.
One important thing to remember here is never to change the permalink structure of your blog post after it is published.
Some use the post styling feature of Thesis to style blog posts. Although it is a good feature, it doesn’t negate the necessity of one of SEO’s important aspect – the use of proper H1,H2,H3 and so on tags. By default, the title of a post uses H1 tags in any SEO-optimized themes. It makes it logical to use H2 and then H3 headings for any subsequent subheadings.
The use of proper heading tags is very effective in a SEO campaign, especially when you produce a long post. Also, according to the SEO community, you should strive to use your keywords in most H1, H2, H3 and so on tags.
We tend to make a lot of mistakes because we are humans, but learning from these mistakes helps us write SEO-optimized articles of much higher quality.