Fine-tuning the SEO on your WordPress.com blog can be a fairly simple way to increase traffic by bringing in views from search engines. There are SEO plug-ins for WordPress available, but the best way to optimize your site is to do so manually with a few quick changes:
1. First, make sure that your blog’s privacy settings are opened to letting search engines crawl your blog. This can be done by going to your WordPress blog Dashboard > Settings > Privacy and select “I would like my site to be visible to everyone, including search engines (like Google, Bing, Technorati) and archivers.”
2. Next, optimize backlinks. Go to Dashboard > Settings > Discussions and select all options under “Default article settings.” This will allow linking to and within your blog and notify you when it happens. You should include periodic links to other blogs, outside webpages, and related posts of your own, and interact on other blogs and the outside community to encourage backlinking to your own blog.
3. Your blog header and tagline should contain keywords or phrases. If you are writing a blog about snowboarding, a title like “All About Snowboarding” or “My Adventures Snowboarding” will help you rank higher than “John Doe’s Blog.”
4. Any images you use should contain a keyword in the file name (i.e., snowboarding.jpg) and in the
tag. To change the alt tags of your images, switch to the HTML post editor in your dashboard. Find the image source, which should appear as something like:
When the file name and alt attributes are changed to contain keywords, it would appear as:
This will help your pictures show up in search engine image results for the specified keywords.
5. Use relevant categories for your posts, and add keyword tags (between five and ten is good). Although Google avoids crawling blog tags, relevant tags will help you be found through other search engines and through the WordPress tag search
6. Never use duplicate content, even if it is your own. This will get you dinged by search engines (especially Google) in a heartbeat.
7. Update your blog regularly. This keeps your content new and fresh, leading to more repeat visitors and more frequent crawls by search engine spiders. The major search engines get millions upon millions of pings every day for sites all across the web, so it is important to keep contributing to show up in results regularly.
8. Place keywords in your posts main text. Keywords should be relevant and occur naturally, otherwise search engines will write your content off as keyword-clogged filler without any real value.
9. Make sure that your pages load quickly. This means you shouldn’t overuse Flash in posts or widgets and make sure that the images you use are properly compressed for web viewing. Just like a full-fledged website, if your pages don’t load quickly then your bounce rate is going to be high.
10. Add buttons for social media sharing. You can connect your WordPress.com blog to social media sites you participate in by going to the Dashboard > Settings > Sharing. WordPress.com blogs can be linked to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yahoo! Updates, and Messenger Connect so that new posts are automatically shared on your accounts. You can also create buttons for readers to share your blog posts on major social networking platforms (or email/print posts). This will help generate quality backlinks and a social media presence on your blog.