WordPress is one of the most popular content management platforms available today. In a group of six websites, there would be a high probability that one of those would be powered by WordPress. When you consider the fact that there are literally millions of websites on the internet, you realise that there would then be a whole lot of WordPress patrons. This guide will cover the basics of optimising in WordPress.
There are necessarily three default areas of WordPress you have to look into. The first one is to remove the “Hello World” and “Sample Page” templates. Before you get your site live, you need to remove these templates so that your users won’t be bothered by them. Users will think lowly of sites that can’t even remove these unnecessary stuff. You can even delete them from the trash to make your database less cluttered.
The second WordPress default you have to take care of is your default “uncategorized” category. Make sure that every post you create will be under its own category. This step is generally required for SEO as your posts are initially uncategorized and putting them in relevant categories helps search engines better understand them.
The third one is your Permalinks. The default Permalink settings are bad for SEO. You have to change your Permalinks to create a more understandable URL structure for search engines. Google guidelines indicate that the URL is a factor in search engine rankings.
Help Google Find You
Before your page is made available to show up in search engine results, your page first needs to be crawled and indexed by that search engine. Usually, indexing time varies, but it also means that your page still won’t be seen by searchers at the instant you make it live. If your posts usually depend on current events or breaking news, then this would be bad for you. Luckily, WordPress allows you to add some update services within the general settings page to help speed up this process. Make sure these four are on the list:
Static Home Page
The default setting in WordPress for your homepage is that it outputs your most recent posts. This is not normally a problem but it’s better to be safe than sorry. You can set your homepage to output a static page to prevent potential duplicate content issues and indexation issues.
Some themes may also have different settings for this and it’s worth studying the effects and ramifications of these different settings.
Custom Media Settings
WordPress has automated management settings for your media content. Your images’ thumbnails for example are generated automatically by the default settings of WordPress. Customising your images is a necessary step for SEO. Set your own dimensions for your images so as they are not too big and not too small.
As with all internet marketing, the most important aspect is testing. Continually test your settings and see the effects they have on overall traffic and/or conversions. You can use Google Analytics to track your data. Track user activities and find error 404 pages. Adjust your settings to account for the changes in your data.
There is even an extension for WordPress for Google Analytics. This makes it easier to get and study the data.
If you follow these simple steps, the SEO value of your WordPress site will be increased greatly.