Basic On-page SEO Best Practices for new WordPress Blogs

learn SEO for wordpress image Well there is always a start for anyone. Be it a first day at your job or be it a first date. The rule also applies for blogging too. So if you are new blogger, welcome to this world of mystery & get drenched in the endless rain of resources, created & showered 24X7. Well as a starter we all possess a fresh desire for achieving success. Now if you are starting off reading great blogs on your niche, you must have come across the key-factors for a successful blog. Good Content being the primary target others are niche building, SEO(search engine optimization), social bookmarking…blah blah blah. I won’t start. Well I will rather help you out on how to learn SEO for your blog.

Optimizing the Title tags :

Well this is very important point to get started with. Most of the wordpress free themes don’t have it configured within it. Mostly all the pages have the same title tag, that is set for the home page of your blog.

<title>Your Blog Name – Your Tag line</title>

So, you have to tweak them to put the relevant title tags for the pages shown. That means if you are going to show a page that shows a post with title, SEO Best Practices, then the search engine optimized title tag should be,

<title>SEO Best Practices</title>

So how to do it ???

1. Login to your WP 2.8 account.

2. Go to Themes > Theme Editor.

3. Now select the file “header.php” for editing.

4. Find out the tag <title> within the <head>…</head> tags.

5. Now replace whatever is there within the <title>…</title> with the code below.

<?php if (is_home () ) { bloginfo(‘name’); } elseif ( is_category() ) { single_cat_title(); echo ” – “; bloginfo(‘name’); } elseif (is_single() || is_page() ) { single_post_title(); } elseif (is_search() ) { bloginfo(‘name’); echo ” search results: “; echo wp_specialchars($s); } else { wp_title(”,true); } ?>

6. Update the file now. You can also check detailed discussion on title tags in our post Optimizing the Title tags of your WordPress Blog template.

Implement the Proper Header Tags :

Well when a search bot sees your page it treats it like a text only version. So if you don’t assign the header tags properly the bot will simply get them all without knowing what is header & what is body. So you should optimize this too. Read this for a detailed discussion on header tags.

Setting Up the Permalinks Structure :

Most of the new WP blogs don’t really take care of this slow poison. If you don’t do it now, you’ll have to go through much pain later on & if ignored you’ll never get the search engine rank that you deserve. The default permalink structure for WP for a page with post title SEO Best Practices is

whereas a search engine friendly post URL for the same should be,

How to do this ??

1. Go to Settings > Permalinks

2. Now in the Common Settings part do the same as shown in the image below. For a more detailed discussion on how to change permalinks structure you may follow this tutorial by Satish. In case you have already posted some posts with the old permalink structure you need to change that using a server side Mod_rewrite feature which uses a file named .htaccess, which is placed in Blog root folder. I won’t discuss this assuming you are a newbie. Consult other specialists to do this or else you may try this plugin named Permalink Migration Plugin.

Meta Tags :

This is something that WP don’t do by default but you should do this if you wanna show off your blog posts to the search engine bots. All you need to do is install a plugin named All In One SEO Pack. You will get all the necessary information on our post – Take Maximum advantage of the All in One Seo Pack Plugin.

Provide Google Sitemap :

A sitemap is like the map direction to your house. It includes all the necessary information of the URL structure of all the pages for your blog. Though its true that it does not directly help you get higher search engine positions but it does make sure that your pages are quickly & efficiently indexed by search bots. You’ll need to download a plugin named Google Sitemaps Generator for WordPress that will generate a sitemap for you.

Setting up the Ping Service :

Well this is also something that doesn’t help you gain higher search ranks directly but increases the visibility of your posts to front end users(readers). WP has a inbuilt pinging service. But this is a bit slow as it does the pinging every time you post an entry to your blog thereby delaying the next editing or any other action especially if you do have a long list of sites to ping. But use this helpful plugin that sets the pinging in a waiting queue & does the pings after you are finished with your work. The plugin is named MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer. Now after setting it up for your blog add the following ping services in the place provided.

For more info about ping services you can read our post – 69 Useful Ping Services to Ping after you post

Image Optimization

Get The HTML Attributes Fixed

<img title=”seo best practices for wordpress blogs graphic” src=”” border=”0″ alt=”seo best practices graphic” longdesc=”seo.txt”/>

1. PROPER “alt” TAGS :

This tag describes the image to a search bot. The tag alt=”seo best practices for wordpress blogs graphic” in the code is shown if the image fails to load for any particular reason. Keywords can be inserted here to get the best results out of it.

2. FIXING “title” TAGS :

Now the tag title=”seo best practices graphic” is the text that is displayed if mouse is hovered over the image . As the title tag & alt tag are different & the text inside the quotes can also be different. You can use the title tag for the primary keyword & the alt tag for the secondary keyword or just the opposite. I have two different texts for them.

3. “longdesc” ATTRIBUTE :

This is somewhat rarely used tag in an image HTML. As is not that necessary for text-based sites(or blogs) showing images for demo only. But image-based sites(or blogs) this is a key tag. I’ve linked a file named seo.txt which holds description for the image. If you are not into coding, use the plugin SEO Friendly Images for WordPress which will do the job for you.

Utilizing File Attributes


File name can also be optimized with keywords. So if you are targeting “SEO for WordPress” then the filename seo-best-practices.jpg seems perfect for the image. But filenames like seo.jpg or seo_best_practices.jpg won’t do, as the first one lacks keywords & second one uses underscores(_) which is not good, use dashes(-) as separator.


Compressing images doesn’t help in search engine optimization. But it enables images for faster loading. Here are some free tools that I have used lately.
1. – It has got one WP plugin too.

2. Image Optimizer
AnvSoft Photo Manager 1.20
4. Love2Photo

Well that’s all that I think is the seo best practices that needs to be mentioned in this post. But if you feel there might be some others that need to be included feel free to contribute with your ideas in the comments. And if any of my suggestions needs any more explanations feel free to ask. Happy blogging !!!.

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