Once you make the commitment to blog on a regular basis, take
the next step to ensure all of your hard work is rewarded: Focus
on the search engine optimization (SEO) aspects of your blog.
Whether your intent is to communicate information to existing
customers or to build relationships with new prospects, a shared
goal should be attracting as many targeted visitors as possible
from search engines.
In my opinion, the content or articles that you write for your
WordPress blog (or any blog, for that matter) is the most important
part of your SEO efforts. Write content for humans
first — your visitors — never just for search engines. The
way I see it; if you are lucky enough that a poorly-written article
generates search engine rankings, and therefore visitors,
but those visitors leave immediately because the blog post
was written exclusively for search engines, what good has
come of it? In all likelihood you have done more damage
with indecipherable content than reaped rewards with a high
ranking. Always think of your visitors and readers first and
the search engines a very distant last place. In this era of sharing
content through social media sites and other venues, useful,
well-written content will rank highly on its own merit.
WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms
on the Internet largely because of its thousands of
available plugins — a handful of which are built to aid in
SEO. Along with writing superb content, consider these
five very useful plugins for your blog. They can all be
found at WordPress.org/extend or in your WordPress
1. All in One SEO Pack
One of the best plugins and with nearly five million downloads,
also an industry standard. This plugin will allow you
to write custom meta information for all your posts and
pages. This should be one of the very first plug-ins you install
when starting a WordPress blog.
2. Contextual Related Posts
This plugin will display a series of related blog posts at the
end of each published post by seeking those with relevant
tags. This not only helps with internal link building but
the user experience is also enhanced. Readers now have
the potential to stick around longer and read other areas
of your website.
3. SEO Smart Links
Interlinking your posts is a great way to strengthen the SEO
elements of your WordPress website. SEO Smart Links will
interlink your posts and pages as you write and publish
them. This is a great little tool that can have a major impact
on your blog’s search engine rankings.
Nothing will kill your SEO efforts faster than losing all of
that informative content. This tool will e-mail a file of your
entire database whenever you want — so if something
should happen and things go downhill you can quickly get
everything back up and running as soon as possible.
5. Google XML Sitemaps
When you add new posts and pages to your website every
day, you want to let Google know about your sitemap
changes. This plugin will update your sitemap automatically
as you build onto your website. Google will then quickly
index new content as it becomes available.
Successful SEO starts with producing top-quality content
but it doesn’t stop there — it is an ongoing process incorporating
many different strategies. And while other,
proven tactics (such as link building) must not be ignored,
WordPress users can take advantage of these plugins to get
a head-start with a successful SEO campaign.
About the Author: Nick Stamoulis is the President and Founder of the full service
SEO and SEM company, Brick Marketing. Stamoulis also writes
daily in his SEO blog the Search Engine Optimization Journal.