What You Need to Know about SEO before Launch a WordPress Blog

W ordPress is one of the most widely-used CMSs in the world. As of early 2014, WordPress reported more than 74 million websites on the pl...

WordPress is one of the most widely-used CMSs in the world. As of early 2014, WordPress reported more than 74 million websites on the platform. Nearly half of Technorati’s top 100 blogs are WordPress blogs.
In the time that it took you to read the above paragraph, 60 new WordPress posts were published.
Needless to say, there’s a lot of WordPress activity.
Many believe that using WordPress automatically gives them good SEO. As the belief goes, all you need to do is start a WordPress site, and your SEO will take care of itself.


It doesn’t work that way. If you’re on the cusp of launching a new WordPress site, here’s the WordPress SEO guide you need to look on before launching the site. My goal in this article is to provide several overarching strategies (rather than a technical how-to) that will improve your search potential.”

It doesn’t work that way. If you’re on the cusp of launching a new WordPress site, here’s the WordPress SEO guide you need to look on before launching the site. My goal in this article is to provide several overarching strategies (rather than a technical how-to) that will improve your search potential.”

1. WordPress is not an automatic SEO solution

First, let me reiterate the fact that WordPress is not an SEO silver bullet. The value of WordPress for SEO is that it is simple and intuitive. The platform doesn’t require a lot of coding, nor a ton of difficult customization. As such, it can be easy to get up-and-running with great search optimized functionality.
Another benefit of WordPress is its technical beauty. Obviously, the technical wonders of Wordpress are only as good as the theme you’re using. Generally speaking, however, most themes use sound technical structure, eliminate unnecessary code, and are mobile friendly.

That being said, WordPress doesn’t automatically do SEO for you. Here are a few examples.
Out of the box, WordPress has the potential to be slow. Load time is a significant search factor. Since WordPress does not automatically provide caching, users must install their own caching functionality. Plugins like WpSuper cache and W3 total cache allow for faster site loading.

WordPress’s permalink settings are not optimized. You should change your permalinks in order to make them search friendly. The default permalink (http://example.com/?p=N) is not the way to go. You’ll need to adjust your permalinks to something human-readable, and therefore more search friendly.

Warning: If you are an existing WordPress user, you should not simply change your permalinks. This will change all your existing URLs, thus causing 404s. Here’s what happened to one user when they decided to “optimize” existing permalinks:

By default, WordPress creates external links by opening them in the same window. If a user opens a link on your page, they navigate off your page and onto the new page or website. In other words, you may have just lost a reader, user, or customer.
WordPress does not automatically create XML sitemaps. Creating a sitemap is an integral part of optimizing for search.
To sum up, WordPress doesn’t make your SEO happen. So, what does make your SEO happen? Your theme?

2. Your theme is not automatically SEO friendly.

One of the best things about WordPress is the huge variety of themes to choose from. Within minutes, you can make your website look stunning. All it takes is a theme. And one of the best parts? A lot of the themes are free.
But what about SEO? A lot of themes claim to be “search optimized.” This claim is borderline false. The only way to make a website fully search optimized is to create high-quality content for your target users.
Just because a theme says it’s search optimized does not mean it is. Here are several things that you should look for in a WordPress theme:

  • Speed. As mentioned above, speed is a critical factor for search success. Focus on finding a quick-loading theme.
  • Lightweight code. One sign of an amateur theme is bloated code. Extraneous coding or coding mistakes can slow a site down and reduce its SEO capabilities. Find a trusted theme with streamlined code, even if you have to pay for such a theme.
  • HTML5. Most new themes are developed in HTML5, which is best for SEO. Some themes feature multiple H1 tags on a page, which I do not recommend..
  • Responsive. With Google’s mobile algorithm, it’s essential that your site be mobile optimized. A good theme will have built-in responsive capabilities.
  • Schema markup. Considering the growing importance of Schema.org data, it’s best to use a theme that supports schema input.
Many WordPress experts and SEO professionals prefer StudioPress’s Genesis Framework, because it features optimal SEO performance and functionality.

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