WordPress SEO Best Practices

Last Updated on May 16, 2024 by 81 Comments

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WordPress SEO Best Practices
Blog / Tips & Tricks / WordPress SEO Best Practices

In the past five years, Google has changed the meaning of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) — and boy did she bring down the hammer!

All those loopholes and black-hat methods were not only throw to the side, but they also received huge punishments including loss of ranking and even being banned from Google — ouch.

Since the initial Google Panda update, web owners and SEO specialists alike have been scrambling to figure out just what Google wants from them in terms of white-hat (good) SEO practices. If you’re running a WordPress-based site or you are about to set one up but are wondering how to go about doing things correctly from an SEO standpoint, you’re not the first to scratch your head about it.

WordPress SEO isn’t all that hard, but it can seem that way as there are a lot of things you can (and likely should) do on the checklist.

Getting Started With Search Engine Optimization

Ranking well in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) is something most of us want, and we when do we want it? The general feeling: the sooner the better.

Let’s just be clear about something though:

There is no fast way to do this. There are no loopholes, no back alleys, and no corners to cut for better, faster ranking. Anyone who tries to find and use them, will eventually see the Google guillotine (pardon my french *wink*).

Thankfully, all the best SEO practices for WordPress are easy to implement and look like they will be holding steady for years to come.

Ready to learn what they are? Let’s dive in.

Use SEO Optimized WordPress Themes & Plugins

In that past few years, many WordPress theme authors have stepped up to the plate to create themes that are SEO optimized. What does that mean? Basically, it’s two main things: code and speed.

The most important of these is the code of the theme. Clean code means that the author took the time to make sure that the theme was up to par with the latest SEO best practices to ensure that the theme was built with a structure that Google Bots like. Some important factors to consider are:

  • Correct use of the canonical URL meta tag.
  • Proper use of heading and meta title tags.
  • A clean structure that uses proper and valid HTML.
  • Open graph meta tag integration to enhance social media sharing

Speed is a little bit harder to pin down in a WordPress theme. Why? Well, a theme itself can load fast, but once you add plugins and other elements to a page or site, that can quickly change. Thankfully, there are ways to boost the speed at which a theme/page loads (I’ll touch on this a bit later), but a good theme for SEO purposes should be lightweight as it is and that has all to do with the code.

If you are looking for a fast WordPress theme, then look no further than our very of Divi Theme. Divi is fast, super fast! That’s thanks to its anti-bloat framework and dynamic assets system that strips away unused resources and keeps your website running optimally.

Setup Pretty Permalinks

A Permalink is the structure your URLs produce when you publish a new page or post. WordPress has a default setting for this, but you shouldn’t use it. I repeat — DO NOT use it.

Skip the Default permalinks in WordPress

That scrambled looking mess of a permalink (pictured above) tells you nothing about what your page or post will be about. If you can’t read it or understand it, then neither will Google or any other search engine for that matter.

Thankfully, WordPress makes it easy to choose a new permalink structure that will produce what is known as Pretty Permalinks — a fancy phrase meaning SEO friendly links. Not sure what that looks like?

Here are a few examples:

Bad Permalink: www.yoursite.com/?p=3423 (Default Option in WP)

Pretty Permalink: www.yoursite.com/this-is-easy-to-read (Post Name Option in WP)

or This: www.yoursite.com/2015/02/this-is-easy-to-read-too (Month and Name Option in WP)

Not sure which one of the 6 options to use? Check out this post about Permalinks on the Elegant Themes blog.

Changing the Permalink structure on a new WordPress install is easy, but use caution before you change it on a site that has blog content on it already. Changing the structure on a long running site can lead to a mess of broken links so do a bit of research before just up and changing it.

SEO Tips For The Post Editor in WordPress

Producing “High Quality” Written Content

SEO Tips: Wring high quality content

Photo by Author BrAt82 via Shutterstock

What is the most used SEO tactic used for better ranking?

It is creating written content.

Chances are a large percentage of the content you’re going to produce on your site will be written and in the form of blog posts. However, Google isn’t going to reward you for writing a whole bunch of keyword-stuffed posts and calling it good — nope, sorry.

I often like to refer to Google as a proper Lady. Why? Well, since Content is King (as you’ll often hear people say), then Google is the SEO Queen because she sets the rules for everyone, including King Content. As you would hope of any good ruler, Google isn’t swayed by a having her ears tickled by people trying to get into her good graces by seeming to follow the rules but who cheat the system to get what they want.

She no longer tolerates that kind of treatment for her or her subjects (users) and brought down the gavel back with the Google Panda update and all updates thus far. If you want to get on Queen Google’s good side then you still have to play by her rules without being fake. How do you do that?

It’s rather simple: Write high-quality content that appeals to people.

This term “high-quality” though, tends to bring on some confusing still. What does High-Quality actually mean? Here are some ways to help you define it.

High-quality written content is:

  • Unique. Duplicate content is a big no-no. Google doesn’t like content thieves and she’ll punish you if she catches you using it — and she will catch you if you use it. If you want to quote a source, then that is something else, but stealing full posts or trying to re-word the article here and there to publish it as your own is never okay. Obviously, you can write about the same topics that others write about (there is a ton of other sites who have written on this topic of SEO), but just don’t steal other’s work. Write the topic from your unique perspective and opinion and you’ll be one step closer to creating something that is one 0f a kind.
  • Helpful. How-To articles, tutorials, informative list posts, sharing lessons you’ve learned about something, and posts of this nature are great because they help your audience learn or help solve a problem. If you can create posts that inform, educate and help, then your content will be of the higher quality you’re hoping for.
  • Shareable. High-quality now also includes being something that people want to share with others. This is sort of an art, but shareable content isn’t a single type of post. Rags to riches stories, posts that are funny and personable, and topics that follow the Unique and Helpful rules above are things that people love to share.

To help you with writing content, here are some questions you should consider before you even begin writing a post on your blog or create a new page:

  • Is this topic something that relates to your site, and will it be a topic that your audience wants to know about? If not or you’re not sure, then don’t write about it.
  • Who are you writing it for? Some bloggers like to write only what they want to write about and give little thought to what others want to read. If you’re not writing it for your site’s unique audience, then don’t write it.
  • Is the content going to be helpful or solve a problem? Content that helps to solve an issue for your viewers, or that teaches them something that they are looking to learn is considered helpful and they’ll gobble it right up. If you can judge for yourself that your post will offer this to your audience then go for it!

There is quite a bit more that you can do to really step up your game as a blogger. If you want to learn how to master the art of creating this type of high-quality, sharable content that Google and viewers will thank and reward you for, then learn from the masters themselves:

The minds behind these four blogs have taken the art of blogging to a level that we should all aspire to. You’ll learn more than enough on how to create amazing content from these blogs so if you’re willing to learn, this is the place to start.

Produce Unique and Shareable Content

There is absolutely nothing more important than creating unique, helpful, shareable content on your site, but this goes beyond just good written content. Don’t get me wrong — written content is extremely important (I mean, duh!), but it’s only part of the puzzle.

Unique, helpful and shareable content can include the following:

  • Unique Pictures | Adding images to your posts that directly relate to your topic at hand not only help keep your audience’s attention, but it is good for SEO (more on this in a bit) and help make your post sharable. For example, if someone wants to add your post to Pinterest, what is the first thing that Pinterest wants? A picture. If you don’t use pictures in your post, then you lose out on the chance of a potentially great social share. It’s important to note that there is a reason I used the phrase Unique Pictures for this bullet point. Google wants uniqueness in everything, including the photo aspect of a post — plus they help separate your posts from others with similar topics. If you can use your own photos or create them instead of using widely distributed stock photos, then you are giving Google what she wants.
  • Infographics | Who doesn’t love a great and helpful Infographic? When done correctly, these have a way of getting your content shared and linked to like no other. This kind of content is awesome because you create something amazingly unique and shareable.
  • High-Quality Videos and Informative Podcasts | Do these have a play in SEO? Yes, they do. Videos and Podcasts are both great ways to create unique content that is easy to share and that create buzz around you and your site.

Notice a theme here? Unique and high-quality content means that it is both helpful to your viewers and shareable (this could even be a free download or a product like a plugin or e-book). Google is all about serving up the best UNIQUE content to its users and it will take cues from how viewers interact on your site to help gauge things.

Do they come to your site and then quickly leave? Do they tweet out your post or use another social media platform to spread the word about you? If so, how many people do it and how often? How many people return to your site? Do your viewers stick around and read more than one post? Do others in similar niches link to your site?

Google watches all this and more and keeps tabs on these types of things to see if your site is worth the rewards of ranking well.

Use The Correct Heading Tags

Using your Heading Tags correctly is one step in the right direction when it comes to good SEO practices. However, if you’re new to SEO, then you may not realize that there is a chance that you have been using your Heading Tags incorrectly.

Your Heading Tags are available for use in your Editor and you can choose from Heading 1 through Heading 6, but which ones should you use and when?

The H1 tag should always be used to house the title of your page; a title that accurately represents the content of your page. Often times this is the title of your post, and often times it’s the same title used in your title meta tag. It’s important that the H1 is clear and informative. When someone lands on your page, they should know exactly what your post is about and they should be enticed to continue reading.

After you use that single H1 tag in or for your post, you will want to use the Heading 2 tag for additional headings and then Heading 3-4 to create Sub-headings that relate to your headings.

Optimize Your Photos

Did you know the images you use in your posts can be optimized for SEO? Yup, they sure can! It’s pretty simple to optimize them.

When you add a picture to your post, you have these areas to add details about the photo:

  • Title
  • Caption
  • Alt
  • Description

The most important area you want to focus on, is it the Alt Area. Bots that crawl your web page don’t actually see the photo that your human viewers do. However, they do see the Alt text that you enter. Therefore, be sure to write something that directly relates to the photo and post. Alt tags are also required for valid HTML.

While you’re at it, you should also make sure that the picture size isn’t ginormous. For instance, if the photo you uploaded was 2,000 pixels wide, but your post only lets you use a space of 600 pixels wide to fill the space in your blog, then you should resize the picture to be that wide or smaller. This will ensure that it doesn’t take your page a long time to load due to an unnecessarily large picture file trying to load from your server in a browser.

Want to optimize your photos even more? Try to use a plugin like the Smush.it plugin by WPMU Dev. It can compress your images even more without losing size or quality when displayed. This helps lead to even faster loading speeds — booyah!

Use Links and Anchor Text Correctly

Adding links to posts is something that many people do, but there are ways to optimize your SEO efforts with regards to links.

  1. Link To Your Own Site | Interlinking posts to other content on your site is something that you should always try to incorporate in your posts when applicable. Of course, this should only be done when it’s natural and improves the quality of the post by giving your readers additional and relevant information. Never link solely for the purpose of linking, and as a general rule, never add something to your page solely for the purpose of SEO that does not improve the experience for your readers. Interlinking can improve your bounce rate and also help search engines crawl your site.
  2. Link Out To High Authority Sites | Outbound links can be just as important as the links coming into your site. By linking out to sites that are in good standing with Google who provides valuable content or products, you also provide something helpful to your viewers. When you link out to another website ,be sure that it’s a trustworthy source of information. Linking to low quality or spammy websites can hurt your reputation in the eyes of Google.
  3. Anchor Text Is Important Too | Creating a link that contains only the keyword you are targeting, isn’t a bad thing all in itself, but doing that over and over again with the same keyword in a post is. Google has been taking a closer look at how anchor text is used and since it can be abused, there are good things you can do and things you shouldn’t when creating a link out. To learn more about what Anchor Text is and how to use, then be sure to check out this post on Moz.

Google also looks at link relevancy, so if your link doesn’t fit or won’t offer anything helpful to your audience, then you should probably skip putting it in your post.

Using Keywords? Great! Keyword Stuffing? Uh, No.

Lastly, we should talk about keywords. Keywords are still an important part of SEO because they help to define what they heck you’re writing about. Not only can you use them, but Google encourages the use of keywords. However, use them with caution.

Using the same keywords or very similar keywords in your post over and over again can be damaging. Can you imagine talking to someone who mentioned something over and over again? How annoying would that be?

Look at Keywords like salt: You should use them when needed, but only where they fit. And don’t go overboard or they will leave a bad taste in the mouth of your viewers.

Here are some guidelines for keyword usage in posts and pages:

  • Use Them Naturally. If it doesn’t flow naturally in the sentence, then don’t use that keyword there. Try a longer keyword that fits or skip it for something that works better. Remember: write for people and not for robots. Google is all about pleasing her users, who are human, so by making them happy you make her happy too.
  • Use Them In Titles and Headings. If it is natural and relevant, then by all means, use keywords in the title of your post and in the Heading your use. Again, DO NOT force this. If it fits, use it. If not, skip it.
  • In Your Photo Alt Description. This is a good place to use a keyword, just remember not to use the same keyword or description in multiple photos. Keep in mind that you don’t want to create duplicate content and even if you use different photos but the same keyword for the photos, the only thing the bots that crawl your site will see is the repetition of a keyword.
  • Meta-Descriptions. Use you main keyword that your post is focusing on in your meta-description to help solidify your post’s topic.

To emphasize the point again, only use keywords where they fit NATURALLY. This means that if they would fit in a sentence and flow like you’re talking to a human and it doesn’t sound stupid, then you’re probably good to go.

Top Tools To Use For WordPress SEO

There are other important factors to SEO in WordPress. For example, using Sitemaps and adding Meta-Descriptions to your site and posts is something everyone should do.

However, those and many other things that are good for SEO can be accomplished through the use of tools like WordPress plugins. Below is a list of some of the best options for helping your SEO efforts and explanations as to why they are helpful.

WordPress SEO by Yoast Plugin

WordPress SEO by Yoast Plugin

This plugin is great for many reasons. Not only does it help you focus on the keyword you are targeting, but it also gives you an area to enter meta-descriptions. It even has the option for generating an XML sitemap — a must-have! This is one of the best WordPress SEO plugins out there, but only if you use it correctly. If you’re not using it, or something of the like, then start today.

Get the WordPress SEO Plugin Here

Monarch Social Sharing Plugin


You content needs to be shareable, but you need to make it easy for your viewers to share it. The Monarch plugin by Elegant Themes its a great and easy tool to help you do just that. You can learn more about this tool by reading Nick’s post here on the blog.

Pick a Cache Plugin

Caching is great because it helps boost page speed — this is now a factor used in SEO. There are a few options out there for cache plugins for a WordPress powered site. Some host providers will provide caching, but some of the simpler options out there don’t do that.

If you’re not using one, then you should start to use on today. Be sure to take a look at Kevin’s posts for help in picking the right one for you:

Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network)

Content Delivery Networks boost page load speed by taking the pressure off of your server.There are plenty of options out there for choosing one that is right for your site.

Jetpack offers the Photon option that uses the WordPress.com CDN to help with page load speed. Siteground offer inexpensive WordPress Hosting packages which offer a ton of features including the use the CloudFlare CDN. And MaxCDN offers a CDN service with decent pricing depending on what you need.

Wrapping It Up

There are a ton of other tips and trick out there for with regards SEO, but these tips are some of the basic ones that you can use in your WordPress site.

If there is anything you want to take away from this post, it is this:

Create unique, helpful and shareable content for humans and not robots.

Google is based on serving this type of stuff up first, so this is where your focus needs to be. It’s a slow and steady climb to the top so don’t go searching for shortcuts around this. If you abide by Queen Google’s rules, she show you some love.

If you want to dive in and learn SEO from the masters, then be sure to take a look at these links:

Article Thumbnail by Author Sentavio / Shutterstock


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  1. Hi Ariel,
    excellent tips!
    Those are indeed points to consider each time we create a new blog post.
    If we learn to write for readers, while we optimize the content for search engines, we will be right on our way to build a lot of traffic!

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Very Good stuff here, don’t forget to bookmark or save it, thanks my friend

  3. Amazing article Ariel! To be honest, I didn’t expect that you would include SEO tips. However, I am glad that you did!

  4. Awesome tips, also search engines nowadays try to show you that content that is strongly related to your particular query. Search engines uses LSI phrases and terms to identify what type of content a particular page has. Our chances of ranking increases by using LSI phrases and keywords in our content. I love to improve in SEO all the time especially when I see changes in my site´s rank. I will try to implement some of these tips.

  5. Interesting post, however, Currently i’m using Yoast SEO and SEo Processor, but which one is better ?

  6. Thanks your sharing about wordpress SEO. However, for permalinks, i hear your_url/post_name is the best, is it true ? how about /post_id/post_name ? which one better?

  7. Hi
    I am using SEO plugin by yoast and it works great 🙂

  8. thanks for your tips 🙂

  9. really useful post, I like complex ideas made simple and this post on seo does exactly that

  10. Totally agree content is king for SEO i am new to this field but i am learning

  11. Yes, I agree that great content is the most important. But would like add one thing.
    It is also important for which market you are writing such a content.
    Let’s say I am writing a perfect SEO and digital marketing content on Slovenian market (I come from Slovenia).
    I hardly believe I could get excellent rankings and visibility since all the great content about digital marketing is written in English (like yours). So, local marketeers are forced to find another way for content creation. Regards,

  12. Great Post! Thanks for useful insights.

    However, for start-up companies even if you follow all these things you mention on the article, it is still to hard to go to first pages. You are more likely to have a very low domain authority which is highly correlated to domain age.

    Do you have any suggestions on how to increase domain authority?

  13. thanks a lot! really helpful 😀

  14. Hi there, reading your post regarding best SEO tactics for 2015, I think considering semantics LSI keywords and creating topics to it’s correlation is becoming each day more important. For example, if I am targeting let’s say furniture (what I actually do on our small Slovenian market), I regulary check synonims and related kewords to this term in Keyword planner. And then wisely put them into post, specially those with high search volume and related to main keyword. Regards, Matija, Slovenia

  15. Good information. SEO is changing on a daily basis, but the stuff you covered here has been true forever and I suspect will continue to be correct for some time to come. Great Job Ariel!

  16. I’ve found a good WP optimized host with their own internal caching – like WPengine or Synthesis can be better than trying to use a plugin to do the same thing.

    10000x votes for Yoast though. Worth its weight in gold!!!

    • In my country (Romania, Europe), i use Simplenet (dedicated WordPress hosting). For international market is Blogrise (same company).

  17. Is free CDN & premium CND working same? because cloudflare offers free & max provide service at premium based.

  18. Very Nice helpful information for bloggers…Thanks to Share with us..

  19. Hi – I’m using the Yoast SEO plugin but on one page it says there are no images – but there. I have added an image with the ET page builder – and it’s def there – so why does Yoast say there are no images? Thanks

  20. Great SEO Practices. Very helpful for bloggers. I will give a try to SEO by yoast as I have heard a lot about that plugin.

  21. Great!!!!! Thanks for the tips. Am gonna use them for my blog and am really exited about the final results. 🙂

  22. Great SEO Practices. Very helpful for bloggers. I will give a try to SEO by yoast as I have heard a lot about that plugin.

    Will download it RIGHT AWAY! 😀

    • I have used All in one SEO and Yoast for two of my blogs. Per my experience, All in One SEO is performing compared to other SEO plugins. All in ONE SEO and YOAST works very well, bloggers can choose anyone of it.

  23. Thanks for the tips. It was highly helpful. Is it advisable to use the Rel=follow for Tags and categories. Hope it isn’t harmful in any way cos am using it for my site.

  24. Hi ariel, thank you for sharing seo themes wordpress, it was useful to use on my web and it was very nice.

  25. Awesome article brother i opted your each and every idea u can check my website
    http://www.iaspaper.in and let me know do i need to change anything else?
    Waiting for your replay
    Thank you.

  26. i get a huge amount of inquiries and questions in my blog which i attempt to keep up with. naturally, i would like these submissions to be as seo friendly as possible. is there anything i can do to make sure these communications can benefit the site through the google bot? would appreciate your comments on this. thanks so much, peter

  27. Thanks a lot that was very helpful, looks like I will be giving yoast a try.

  28. Hi!

    Nice and very informative post. However, I’d like to ask if it is better use pages in menus or best to use categories instead? Which weight more both in SEO terms and user experience?

    – Drey

  29. Great stuff 🙂 according to me,web site loading speed should be faster that’s why my suggestion will be,buy hosting package according to your website requirement because visitor hate slow loading site also loading speed also part of google top rank. thanks again 🙂

    • I want to use this for my websites. I read your blog and Neil Pateil blog
      Is very clear and informative post. Tnx! :).

  30. This is one of the best post seo post i have read this year. my blog is new and how to make it rank has been giving me sleepless night. i havent been doing so many things right. Thanks for this post

  31. hi very powerful information thanks , it is very important to write content on our own, Google algorithms are now mainly based on content and links what we posting, thanks

  32. would it make sense to change the og locale to ZA for south africa instaed of US?

  33. Hi,

    I like that Elegant Themes do all these interesting blog posts but I do sometimes wonder if they have thought them through first as they often recommend things that their own themes don’t do or don’t do easily.

    For example you mention the importance of H1 and header tags generally. In most WordPress themes with normal text editing options you can specify whether you want the text to be paragraph, H1, H2 etc.

    However Divi uses modules and the text module looks completely different to the standard wordpress and does not seem to offer option to highlight text as header.

    I’ve looked online for a solution and noted someone else asked this question and got no reply.

    So Elegant Themes how do you apply some of the usual text formatting options we get in most regular WordPress themes to Divi?


  34. Its very important to take care about the Google algorithm updates. If we don’t go with the updates its quite difficult to rank a website now a days.

  35. Ariel you SMOKED this blog post….BAD ASS!!! This will enable me to explain SEO to my clients a lot clearer and keep emphasizing the importance of TIME when it comes to SEO as well. You ROCK!!! Thank You for this!!!!!

    • Thanks Andre! I’m glad you liked it 🙂

  36. SEO is a good technique to visible your site on search engines. Few things play an important role in SEO. LIKE
    On-Page and Off-Page SEO Optimization
    Promote article on Social networks
    Comment on other blogs
    Quality Content
    Update your Site twice a week
    AND Never Give Up…because Google like old domains..

  37. Great article but having great on page SEO and great content will not get you the rankings unless you promote your work. It still boils done to what niche relevant authority links you have coming into your site. If you have a great site hire a great writer (college grads are the best) and share your content on all social platforms.

  38. It try to explain to my clients that SEO takes time and effort and this article only reinforces that view. It frustrates me when I hear about business promising to get them on the first page of google instantly. This is a great article to refer them to. Thanks Ariel

  39. Great article Ariel, very informational with actionable tips. Changing the URL permalink is a give as it is also more user friendly.

  40. Very informative article. I’m using Divi to make a one page site. Are the strategies for a one page site different than any other type of site?

  41. Nicely done. You covered all the basics. I’m currently teaching a few junior members of my team and clients SEO and will be sending them here to make sure we didn’t miss anything.

  42. Be careful about infographics – not ADA friendly!

  43. Great job putting this all together, thanks!

    I would like to add a couple of additional sources that I found has helped me in the way of Landing Page Content.
    1 is a 45 minute video by Joel Klettke on how to write a Landing Page


    And there is a very thorough Landing Page Course by Unbounce on their site


    and it’s also on youtube


    Just thought I’d add my 2cents.

  44. Great post, sensible, accurate and not full of fluff. Love it. I would echo the sentiments of G+ Business page and of course content is king. I prefer ALL in One SEO for my clients as it does not have the scary traffic light signals. As long as people follow your great advice here, they will not go far wrong.

    On the duplicate content issue of copying a full blog post – both Yoast and All In One have a facility to highlight the original author. I have tested this extensively and not received any penalties or warnings within my Webmasters account. – as long as the author is credited and a link back to their SITE and not the original article, there is, in my opinion no duplicate penalties applied. Of course, if you steal a bunch of content, you will be found out soon enough so use the author attribution carefully and make sure the posts are relevant to your other content too.

    And as I have said above – I have a webmasters account – there is a raft of information that G want you to do and if you abide by their rules, you will surely get great SERPS. So, if you are not on Google Webmasters – get your account now, verify your site ownership, upload your sitemap(xls) and have fun!

    Ariel, err, you RULE 🙂

  45. Excellent article and helpful.

    I said this on one of your Facebook posts the other day, but the Elegant Themes blog has become an excellent resource for WP folks. I love the topics, the writing and the helpful info. Very well done.

    And I should say, I have two ‘go-to’ themes, DIVI and a similar modular-element theme, but seeing all the good content on this blog makes me reach for DIVI more and more often. One of the underrated-but-awesome things about it is that it is so small (less than one megabyte) to install on a server. You’d be surprised at how often that tips the scale in favor of DIVI over the other one.

  46. Great article thankyou! Glad to know I am on the right track with things.. I use Divi.. and SEO by Yoast…. easy to use 🙂 I love that google will reward content form the heart.. time for all that automated and copied content to melt away…. why spend all that time and energy cheating the system when yoiu can just be real and authentic!

  47. Some things never change and so is SEO, optimizing the images by adding the keywords in Alt tag, never over stuffing the content with the keywords and keeping things natural, these are some of the techniques which have survived through the years. Only difference is that, doing this in is word-press is very SEO friendly. But yes word-press themes are faster and hence easy to load.

  48. Nice write-up as always. Great overview and tips on to keep you sharp on SEO practices. Seems not much has changed compared to the 2014 guidelines though, which is a good thing because it would be a lot of work to get everything in order again 🙂

  49. Thanks for the solid tips.

    How about keyword tools? Any suggestions?

  50. Ariel rules the game with a home run! Great post, and thanks for the work that went into it.

  51. Thanks for your great summary and plain language explanations on best SEO practices. A question about alt text in photos. On our company website we include a lot of photos related to our services – horseback riding expeditions in Mongolia. Naturally, they are mainly about people riding horses on our tours and alt text will often include similar and/or same terms, for legitimate reasons. But, would this be considered keyword cramming and penalized by Google? Thanks.

  52. A great article! thank you! I have a question: what is the best practice in quoting an article? the website belongs to my deceased daughter, an international bestseller author. I would like to bring together all information about her life and her work including the past and recurring media reviews and articles in one place. If I just list the links to the sources, it would perform like a ping pong, the visitors don’t see any content on the site’s pages and they have to go to the link source and hopefully come back for the next ones. Can I copy the content of the article, with a link to the source? I am nor sure whether this would be considered by Google a duplication or even theft. Thanks for any advice,


    • I wouldn’t suggest it, unless it’s just a very small excerpt with a link back to the article.

      If you are going to aggregate entire articles, then I would suggest de-indexing those pages on your site to avoid the duplicate content penalty.

      • Thank you for your advice! It is more effective to create an excerpt based on my own analysis and interpretation, adding something from “heart”, than to copy contents from other sources.


  53. Hi when you say: “Want to optimize your photos even more?”, what about those larger screens that require larger pixels?

  54. I am so glad to see that more people are starting to understand that they need to create content that is real. Not cleverly modified, but just straight from the heart.

    Think about it. When do you find yourself reading a blog post all the way to the end? When you feel a personal connection.

    It doesn’t matter how long or short it is. As long as your readers can relate, that is what is important. The way you are writing for instance. 🙂

    And naturally, Google will reward that.

  55. Great article. The next one need to be about link building.

  56. Hi Ariel,
    One of the ‘nicest’ SEO post I’ve read in a long time. Believe me I’ve read a ton trying to stay updated.

    There is just one extra tip I’d like to share – more for a business website instead of a blogs – and that is Google My Business.
    Implementing your points and a having a Good Google My Business (+Page) will help local searches tremendously.

    Get started here: https://www.google.com/business/


    • I couldn’t agree more Chook. I’ve had a lot of success with local SEO efforts when I have a Google Plus Page properly set up and connected to my sites’. If Local SEO is what you’re shooting for, then have a G+ page for your site is very important.

  57. Hi,

    Indeed so very true that you focus on good, unique and compelling content, which is (and should always be) the basis to be ranked high on Google”s SERP’s.

    I’m missing some ideas about navigation (breadcrumbs, main menu, ..) howewer.


  58. Ariel do you have a website?

    I did find you on FB just now & Twitter – just wondering about your WP design experience & creativity 🙂

    I have a concept for my site user experience that I’m not sure I can translate myself into a design 😉

    Would love to discuss.

    Have several themes but currently have Divi set up & ready to go.
    WP manual install done & theme set up by an experienced dev but she got a full time dream job as an employee just before we got started on the design as she moved to the U.S. from Canada for it :(((

  59. Great job!
    Sharing this with some of my clients that can’t understand why their site isn’t on page one of Google.

  60. That is quite an interesting post on WordPress SEO. The area most bloggers fail to look into when all effort seems fruitless is the theme.

    Lot of themes are available out there. Most are integrated with many features but the codes aren’t search engine friendly. They are poor when it comes to loading speed.

    Lot are involved in affirming or assessing if a theme is search engine friendly. You rightly mentioned “lightweigh”.

  61. Thanks so much for this detailed (even if as you infer it’s not the whole box & dice) it’s comprehensive enough for me to feel confident as I start getting my site up & running.

    This is an issue that’s been holding me back until now as I’ve found there’s just too much info out there for a beginner to make sense of. You’ve made it simple & easy to follow AND understand.

    Just wanted to give you a high five for making the effort!


    • Thank for the virtual high five, Lyn! 🙂 Feel free to reach out on Twitter anytime

  62. Any thoughts, suggestions on the Google penalties for not having a responsive or mobile optimized output page for mobile devices?

  63. It’s great to see you covering all aspects of base aspects of SEO for WordPress users. We run a print site based on WP, and we to have been fighting the speed issue for SEO purposes.

    We came across suggestions on WPengine and we have to say it boosted our speed is beyond what we were doing manually.

    That said we have used cloudflare before our site got chunky, and this also did a great job. As for on page SEO yoast is the most effective we have used for years.

    Anyway great post and think we will take a look at social plugin mentioned above.


  64. Very nice post,

    I would add connect your web site to Google Web Master Tools and learn how to use it.

    • Great tip, Memok. That is certainly one to add to that list :).

  65. Ariel,

    I could not agree more with everything you have said here. I just wanted to add that when you combine the tips above with divi it is a recipe for SEO success. 🙂


    • Adam,

      Interested to hear a little more about what else you used with Divi in terms of SEO. Are you using ‘WordPress SEO by Yoast’ plugin?

      I’m using Divi as a basis for all new sites I am building and really fully understand if Divi actually needs an SEO plugin or is it coded clean enough to bring on the result!

      Cheers for any info you could share here! Have a great day!!

    • whats divi??

  66. Great article. SEO takes time. Unfortunately, I do not have time to write content for clients. Most of the time I have to just take what they give me. I try to explain points you have made, but doesn’t seem to have much effect on most of them. I keep trying.

  67. Yaaaaaayyyy!

    More Blog posts! Who needs themes anyway!?!?!

  68. Way to go and knock one out of the park yet again guys. You’re making the rest of us look bad.

    I really like that you’ve covered all the bases here with practical and actionalble advice for fellow webmasters and developers. Thanks again.

    • I agree with Bronson, very easy read, thanks for all the tips, and your advice works, even on your own article I caught myself clicking out to the links you provided, returning to read the next point. Well done, any plans on writing an article that takes the next step after we implement these basics on our new word press site?

    • I’m glad you liked it 😀

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