WordPress SEO Pre-Launch Checklist

Every website that hopes to compete in the search engines needs a strategic on-site SEO plan. Luckily with the WordPress platform, it is easy to get a properly search engine optimized website up and running quickly. This article will be a simple WordPress SEO checklist with explanations of some of the things you should ensure you have implemented on your site before launching it to the online world.

One of the great features of WordPress is the availability and ease of use of plug-ins that allow you to customize any WordPress site to your specifications. There are several great SEO plug-ins that will allow you to optimize your site easily and quickly. The two best and most common are All-in-SEO and Platinum SEO. They allow you to customize many aspects of your website and thus make it more optimized. You can find these plugins by clicking on Plugins, then Add New and then searching for them.

The first thing you will want to do is change the permalink structure of WordPress. The default setting creates a URL for every new page and post with the structure of: www.domain.com/?p=123, which is not optimized at all. You want to click “Custom Structure” and then input: /%postname%/. This will give any new page or post the URL www.domain.com/posttitle/ and since your post titles will be keyword researched and optimized this is the structure you want.

Another aspect of SEO that many webmasters overlook is the privacy page. Google wants websites with high rankings to have privacy policies so their visitors are safe. So, in order to get high rankings, you are going to give Google what it wants. Use the Easy Privacy Policy plug in to quickly create a privacy policy that you link to in your footer. Also, in your footer, you want a description of your website and the copyright symbol followed by your URL.

The All-In-One SEO Pack allows you to set your Home Title, Home Keywords, and Home Description. These will be your meta description, meta keywords, and your title. While some people argue about their efficacy, you still want to insert the proper information in these fields.

  • Do Check: Optimize your WordPress Blog for SEO with All in One SEO Plugin

Under General settings be sure to set your Site Title and a keyword filled site description. Also, ensure that your Website title is a link back to your home page. You want as many internal links as possible.

Be sure that the alt text and the title text for any picture on your site is a keyword that you want to rank for. You can also use these as internal links so they if someone clicked on your picture they would be returned to the home page.

While this is not WordPress specific making sure all content has the proper keyword density, appropriate bolding of keywords and search engine optimized titles is essential for SEO success.

Be sure that your navigation bar, if you have one, and you should, has a link to all your important pages including your Home page. This is another way of receiving more internal back links.

Use the Karailiev’s sitemap plug in to generate a sitemap of your website that you can submit to the major search engines using Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Webmaster Tools and Yahoo Site Explorer.

A WordPress site is like any other site in the things that need to be optimized for search engines. The WordPress platform just makes it simpler and quicker, which allows you to get a properly optimized website on the internet faster.

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