Best Practices for WordPress SEO

Guest Post by Simon Jones from On Page SEO Audit |

There are huge benefits to using WordPress not only as a blogging platform, but as a complete website solution and CMS. There are so many things that can go wrong within a WordPress install that can seriously jeopardize your ranking potential within all the major search engines. Here are some of my general guidelines for optimizing your WordPress install and avoiding any potential pitfalls along the way:

  • Configure your SEO Plugins properly – You will probably be using All in one SEO pack to take care of your basic wordpress SEO needs, take the time to go through it’s settings and make sure you have set it up correctly, there’s nothing worse than all your pages falling out of the index because you mis-configured your canonical settings!
  • Use no-index tags for your archive and tags pages – WordPress can generate hundreds of different views of your content through archive, tag and category links, although this is not exactly duplicate content, ideally you only want your content to be available on a single URL.
  • Disable any inactive, out of date, or unused plugins – Most plugins insert a lot of Javascript or inline CSS into your WordPress posts and pages. With the Caffeine update, Google now takes page loading time into its ranking algorithm, the last thing you want is bloated pages and slow loading / badly coded plugins slowing you down.
  • Tighten up your security! – Out of date WordPress sites are notorious for being hacked, this is absolute worst case scenario for your SEO efforts. Make sure your install stays up to date, your plugins stay up to date and use some kind of security plugin. (I’d highly recommend WP Security Scan)
  • Write unique descriptions – If you are using SEO plugins for WordPress, don’t let it use snippets for descriptions. Give your posts and pages unique and exciting description tags to not only help with SEO, but to increase potential click through rate also.

Following these simple steps will ensure your WordPress website has the best chance in the search engines. If you can look after your website, your website will look after you!

Simon is the owner of On Page SEO Audit, a website dedicated to providing affordable On page SEO solutions to small businesses.