Have you been asked to upload an article, also known as a blog post, that you have written to a WordPress site that uses the SEO Plugin Yoast? To make it rank effectively in search engines follow the below steps:
- Add Title – You have come up with a great title for your article. However make sure the title is around 60 characters or less. If yours is longer try to shorten it.
- Slugs – Next importance is to look at the slug. The slug is the part of a URL which identifies a particular page on a website in an easy to read form. It is the part of the URL that explains the page’s content. For example, the URL is https://smallbiz-resources.com/ethical-marketing/, and the slug simply is ‘ethical-marketing’. Slugs should contain your keyword / focus keyword phrase. Keep them 2 to 5 words and all lowercase. The entire URL should be no more than 120 characters. Ideally keep it around 75 characters. Also make sure you use dashes (-) not underscores (_). Please note once you click Publish do not change the slug, unless you do it with caution. By redirecting the old URL to the new URL.
- Add the Body of Your Article to WordPress.
- Upload Images – Make sure the image size is optimized for your WordPress Theme and is the right size. Also make sure the file names help search engine rankings. Avoid naming images with generic wording, or ambiguous letters or numbers. For example if you are writing an article about “WordPress Plugins” and the image for the article is named IMAGE7.jpg this be poorly named a better practice would be naming the image wordpress-plugins.jpg. Always use lowercase and dashes when naming an image file. Do not use underscores or uppercase lettering.
- Alt Text – If you uploaded images to your article, each image needs to have their Alt Text filled out. The best practice for adding Alt Text is to use your keyword / focus keyword phrase. Alt Text should be 125 characters or less. If you have more then one image make sure each image has a different Alt Text wording. To fill the Alt Text look to the right of the screen when uploading the image for the highlighted section below:
- Title Tag – The title tag helps google and others understand what the article and or post is about. In the photo below the red highlighted area shows where and why the title tag is important. It is the first thing people see when your article/post comes up in searches. It should be written to want to make people click to read more. It also should always contain your keyword / key phrase and be no more than 70 characters.
Adding or editing the Title Tag can be done in Yoast. To do this in Yoast the Title Tag is called SEO Title. You can find it by clicking “Edit Snippet” in the Yoast SEO section which you will find below where you add the body of the article.
When you click on “Edit Snippet” it will show something like the below. This is where you fill in the SEO Title.The great thing about Yoast SEO plugin it will help you see the optimal length with the text showing as orange if it is too short, green if it is an ideal length and red if it is too long.
Note if you see any wording, or purple oval items with words like the image below. Simply delete the purple oval items and add your own SEO Title
- Meta Description – The meta descriptions are also important for search and users to understand what they are going to learn by clicking on the link. They are the extra copy under the Title tag when you search for something. See the image below in the red box. Make sure the content is no more than 320 characters, is unique and has the keyword phrase in it.
To fill in the meta description it will be in the same area as you filled out the SEO Title in Yoast SEO section. Like the SEO Title it will also show orange if too short, green if it is the ideal length and red if it is too long.
- Categories -choose only one category for your article to be listed in. Choosing more than one can cause your articles to get duplicate content penalties.
- Tags – choose only 3 to 5 relevant tags for your article. Make sure there are other articles or the near future there will be on the tag topic. When making tags avoid singular puralizations just add one or the other. Example “SEO Contractor” and “SEO Contractors” don’t add both just add one. Avoid diluting the tags too much.
By doing the above correctly your article and the website will have a better chance of ranking well on search engines. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to get clarification.
Key Steps to Optimize a WordPress Blog Post for Search Engines was a wonderful read. For the first time I was able to “see” how SEO actually worked with WordPress and my site. Thank you.