WordPress SEO: 10 Tips to Boost your Google Ranking

You spend countless hours tweaking your web pages and blog posts, but are you making them easy to find in Google, Bing, and the major search engines? In this post, we will discuss tools and best practices for optimizing your rankings. I use WordPress for our blog (here’s why), but the techniques discussed here works regardless of what blogging tool you use.

Tip 1 – WordPress SEO: Target a single keyword phrase

When creating a blog post, think of what the main focus of the article is. In this blog post, my focus phrase is “WordPress SEO” because by focusing on a single keyword phrase, I can optimize the content for that phrase and drive more targeted traffic.

Tip 2 – Include the keyword phrase in the blog title

Once you’ve decided on the keyword phrase, put that phrase in the title of your post and as close to the beginning of the title as possible. Notice in this post, my title is “WordPress SEO: 10 Tips to Boost your Google Ranking“, so the keyword phrase “WordPress SEO” is at the beginning of the title.

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Tip 3 – Include the keyword phrase in an early heading tag

Notice the first bolded section of this post “Tip 1 – WordPress SEO: Target a single keyword phrase” is created as an H2 (heading 2) and contains the word “WordPress SEO” close to the beginning of that H2 tag. When Google and other search engines crawl your post, it looks for important words (those that are used in the title, H1/H2/H3 header tags, and words that are used repeatedly throughout the post).

By finding a high-density word, it assumes that this word or phrase must be what the article is about and provides a better ranking.

Tip 4 – Bold your keyword phrase

Notice that I mention the word “WordPress SEO” several times during this blog. By bolding the word, the search engines figure it is an important word.

Tip 5 – Include a META description containing your keyword

In HTML, the meta description tag is shown when people find your blog posting in a search engine, it is the description it provides there. Here is an example of the tag:

<meta name=”description” content=”Use these tips to Improve your WordPress SEO and to boost your Google ranking for a specific keyword phrase. Yoast SEO for WordPress makes this much easier.”>

When creating the meta description:

  • Keep the description to 156 characters or less because that’s the maximum characters shown by search engines.
  • Include your keyword phrase in the description, as close to the beginning as possible.
  • Use as much of the 156 characters as possible to target your keyword phrase and explain your blog post.
  • Be sure your description sounds like a normal sentence, don’t just put your keyword phrase into the text over and over in a nonsensical manner.

Related Post: Success stories for driving more blog visits

Tip 6 – Include images in your blog post

Images inside your post get indexed by search engines, so put as many images in your blog post as is feasible. You will notice at the end of this blog post, I put in several images that show how to use Yoast SEO.

When you include an image, name the image something that includes your keyword and use the IMG ALT tag to describe your image and include your keyword phrase there, here is an example:

<img src=“WordPress-SEO-Yoast-General-Settings.gif” alt=“Wordpess SEO – How to use the General Settings tab in Yoast SEO”>

Tip 7 – Include Facebook Sharing

Include the ability for users to share your blog post via Facebook. When doing this, include a strong Facebook image, title, and description; each of those should have your keyword phrase included.

Facebook Image:
If you include a Facebook and Twitter image for your post, it will generate more reads. According to Buffer Social, including a photo in your tweets increases retweets by 35%.

I normally put together a special image for this (440×220 is the optimal size), here is an example for this post:

Wordpress SEO Boost Google Rankings

Facebook title example:
How to use Yoast SEO for WordPress SEO to boost your Google rank.

Facebook description example:
WordPress SEO is an important consideration if you would like to increase your Google ranking for a specific blog post or web page. This article explains best practices for implementing WordPress SEO.

Tip 8 – Include Twitter Sharing

Similar to the Facebook sharing tip, do the same for Twitter. With Twitter, make your title and description shorter, as you only have 144 characters to work with (less when you include an image). Also, use one or more tags to improve Twitter SEO.

Twitter Image:
Use the same one as Facebook.

Twitter title example:
WordPress SEO: Boost rankings

Twitter description example:
Techniques for boosting #Wordpress #SEO

Related Post: Success stories for driving more blog visits

Tip 9 – Use Yoast SEO for WordPress SEO

All of the things mentioned in this article can be done with or without WordPress. However, using WordPress can make your life easier because it provides lots of plugins to make maintaining your site a breeze.

If you are using WordPress and are hosting the site, consider using the Yoast SEO plugin. With this plugin, you can easily make your blog post SEO friendly. Download the Yoast SEO plugin (it’s free) and install it using these instructions.

Once it is installed, write your first blog post, then scroll to the bottom of your post, you will notice the Yoast SEO General Settings panel. From here, you can specify the focus keyword, SEO Title, and SEO Description:

Wordpress SEO Yoast SEO General Settings

Notice how I filled in all of the information described in this blog post. Once you’ve done this, click the Social tab of the Yoast SEO panel:

Wordpress SEO Yoast SEO Social Settings

Finally, you can check how well you did by clicking the Page Analysis tab within Yoast SEO.

Wordpress SEO Yoast SEO Page Analysis

Overall, it gives me a good SEO ranking for this page. However, notice the first warning “the slug for this page is a bit long, consider shortening it”. The “slug” is simply the file name for the post. In my case, WordPress made the filename the same as the blog’s title (wordpress-SEO-10-tips-to-boost-your-google-ranking) so I tapped the edit button and renamed it to “wordpress-seo-tips-for-google”:

Editing the Slug for WordPress SEO

Tip 10 – Market your blog post to drive more traffic

Until a couple of months ago, I would post a blog and wait for the traffic to roll in. I certainly did not break any readership records with this approach so I started researching ways to increase readership of my blog posts. By following the tips below, I increased my average blog reads by 5 times once I started implementing these techniques, here is a graph to prove it:

Blog readership increased 5 times

Publicizing your Blog Post

Once you post your blog, do these things to publicize it:

  1. Social Sharing – Post the blog post to your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and Pinterest) — be sure to include an image with your post to gain a 35% increase in retweets.
  2. Viral Sharing – Use ViralContentBuzz.com to allow others to retweet your blog post in return for retweeting blog posts that would be of interest to your readers.
  3. StumbleUpon – Post your page to Stumble Upon so that others can stumble onto it, here is an example of one I’ve posted.
  4. Blog Spot – Post your blog post to BlogSpot, here is an example of how I this for a prior post.
  5. Tumblr – Post your blog to Tumblr, here  is an example.
  6. Medium – Post your blog to Medium, here is an example, Try to find a publication with related articles and ask the editor if they will post your articles.
  7. Google Plus – A Google Plus posting tends to get better rankings with the Google search engine because they are owned by the same company, so be sure to post a link to your blog post there several times within the week of publishing it so that you can drive more organic traffic. Here are some example posts I’ve created there.
  8. Find Related WordPress Blogs – Now that you have your keyword phrase, find other people’s blogs that compliment yours. You can find this with this URL: http://www.Wordpress.com/tags/[tagname], here is an example: http://www.wordpress.com/tags/seo. This will bring up a list of blogs that posted about SEO. I read the posts and LIKE the ones I find interesting. If appropriate, I will also add a comment to their blog that tells them why I liked their blog post and tell them I have a blog that expands on SEO and provide a link to my blog post within the comment. By LIKING the post, the author will most likely check out your blog. By posting a comment with a link to your blog, the author’s readers may check out your blog post.
  9. Find Recent Posts via Google – Similar to the finding related WordPress blogs, you can do the same with Google. Search Google for a specific keyword (WordPress SEO in this case). Once it lists the sites targeting this keyword phrase, show only the ones posted in the last week so that you are finding recent posts:Use Google to Find Related Sites for WordPress SEO

    Once you filter the list, look at each article that catches your interest, like their article, and comment (with a link to your blog post) if appropriate.

Conclusion

By following the tips in this article, you will begin ranking higher in Google and will drive more readers to your website or blog. By driving more traffic to your blog, your Alexa ranking will increase and it will snowball into more people finding your blog.

Related Post: Success stories for driving more blog visits

P.S. Can I ask a Favor?
Leave a comment and let me know tips you’ve found to increase the number of readers to your blog or website.

About this Blog

Steve and his wife built a software company, sold it and retired early. Steve enjoys blogging about lifestyle freedom, financial independence, and technology. If you like this blog, subscribe here to get an email each time he posts.

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21 thoughts on “WordPress SEO: 10 Tips to Boost your Google Ranking

  1. TheMoneyMine

    Hey Steve – those are cool tips, I’ve started looking into SEO only a couple months ago and I’d say that it’s difficult to see if it does work or if I’m doing it right (even if Yoast says “Good”).
    Length of the article helps too. I found that anything in the 1200-1800 words range works well.
    But definitely more marketing would help and I’ll have to check those publicize links (medium, stumbleupon, …).
    TheMoneyMine recently posted…You don’t Get What You Deserve, You Get What You NegotiateMy Profile

    Reply
  2. Namee

    Very informative post..

    Thanks For sharing it… I also use ViralContentBuzz.com to share my blog post and its really very good for social sharing. I want to add that reddit. & Linkedin will also give very good traffic.

    Reply
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  5. Geri O'Neill

    I’m new to this so your articles are very helpful. I appreciate them. Aside from VCB, I have been giving copromote a try. Question: With crowdfire, do the followers they find automatically follow you as they do on social quant?

    Reply
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