We have arrived to the last part of this tutorial where we will get to learn about publication schedule and techniques of SEO in WordPress. In the first two parts, we learned some of the basics that were not related to search engine results. But a major part of this section is dedicated to optimization in WordPress. Finally at the end of this section (which also happens to be the end of this tutorial), there are some basic pro tips for blogging in WordPress.
Publishing and Scheduling your post
Save your posts as draft and publish or schedule them to publish at your own time.
A. Saving as a draft
Once you have written the content of your page, added image, feature image, inserted link etc. you can save them as drafts for future correction. WordPress saves your post as a draft, by default. You can see below the editing area that your posts are saved as draft at regular intervals of time.
This is an excellent feature for resuming the work on a post which you may have left unfinished. WordPress saves your draft automatically, but you can also save it manually by clicking on the Save Draft button in Publish box.
Preview button lets you view your pages as it would appear on your website. See how your post would look like in your website. By doing this, you can rectify your errors; add new elements that would enhance your content. Preview your post by clicking on the Preview button in publish box.
C. Draft Status
There are two different status of a post. They are Draft and Pending Review. The use of these statuses comes into play when you have a single/group of editors who will edit your post, prior to publication. The post may either go through a series of editors or it can be edited by a single person.
Draft means that the work of the concerned post is not yet completed and you do not want your editors to review them. Pending Review means that you have completed your work and you are asking your editors to review your work. You can find the drop down options box by clicking on the Edit button besides Status: Draft.
D. Draft Visibility
Draft visibility refers to the visibility of the post on your site. Three options are provided to you in visibility area:
i. Public: The post is public to the entire web world. Anybody with an access to internet can visit your site and see the post.
ii. Password protected: The content of your post is password protected. Site visitors can access your post content only if they have a password. Bloggers don’t make use of this option.
iii. Private: Basically, this option is for you and your team of editors to see your content. Not so popular option in the world of blogging.
The options are visible after clicking on the Edit button beside Visibility.
E. Schedule your publication
In WordPress, you avail a great facility of scheduling the publication of your posts. You can either publish your post immediately or you schedule it for publication at a future or a past date. The post will be published while you are in a vacation, may be or doing some other business. Click on the Edit button besides Publish immediately.
If you choose a future/past date, the tab would appear like this:
Get into SEO
A. Optimize Images In Blog Post
Images can be an important factor to improve your search engine ranking. After inserting images in your blog post, operate on them to make it search engine friendly. There are two ways with which you can make your images search engine friendly; using title and alternate text which are present in the settings of the image.
Search Engine spiders do not see your post images. They only read the text around your images and more importantly, alternate text to find the topic of the images. Alternate text is the text which is displayed when the images are not available in a browser. Search engines read the alternate text to get informed about the images. Use keywords in your alt text to increase your search engine rankings. Search engines mainly look for keywords in a site and it is a good practice to insert keywords in the alt text of an image.
Title text is the text which is displayed when a mouse hovers over that image. Titles are not as important as alt text.
B. Optimize your Blog/Article
Now that you have optimized your images, it’s time to optimize your article. There are a lot of things to be kept in mind while optimizing your article. So let’s get started with the process.
i. Meta Data: Optimizing Meta data is very important as search engines analyze and examine Meta data in detail.
Meta Data consists of three parts:
a. Meta Title: Meta title is the text which is shown as the title of a website in search engine results. Search engines examine Meta Title to get an idea of the content in a post. Add keywords in Meta title to rank high in search engine results.
b. Meta Keywords: Meta keywords or Meta keyword tags is a list of the most important words on your page. With these keywords, you give the search engines an idea of what your page is all about. This is a complete list of words that can describe your site. Separate each word with a comma. Do not repeat your words. The first letter of each word should be capitalized.
c. Meta Description: Meta Description tag increases the chances of your site getting clicked. Meta description appears below Meta title in search engine results. This is a complete summary of the content in your post.
In WordPress, scroll down till the end to see the blanks of Meta title, Meta description and Meta keywords.
ii. Headings: You write headings for your readers to emphasize on a particular subject or a sub topic. But these headings are also read by search engines to understand the same. Headings refer to text under h1, h2….h6 tags. Search engines give priority to headings for finding keywords and to know what the page is about. H1 headings are most important for a search engine while H6 are the least. Normally h1/h2 heading is the title of your post and rest are used inside the content of your post.
iii. Use of keywords: Keywords are the most important factor in search engine optimization. Use keywords in your Meta title, Meta tags and headings; which is already in the first two points. There are a certain few places where you should use keywords.
a. Keywords in Content: Repeat and use your keywords throughout your content. Do not just throw it in your content, use it a manner such that it makes some sense in a sentence. The keyword density should be around 2-4%. Concentrate more on using keywords in the first paragraph. You can only see your keyword density, once you save your draft manually.
b. Keywords in Alt text of image: As said earlier, use keywords in alt text of an image.
c. Keywords in Title: Include keyword in the title of your post.
iv. Categories: Categories are a collection of things sharing a common attribute. In this case, the common attribute is your post. Let’s say your post is about “how to make money with blogs”. This post relates to blogging as well as business. So you need to check the box besides these categories. It is just a simple process of categorization of your post under different genres. They are used for broad grouping of post topics.
v. Tag Pages: WordPress tags are used to group related posts together. It helps the readers to quickly find the gist of the post. It also helps users to find posts in an easier way. Tags are similar to categories, but they are generally used to describe posts in more detail. The usage of tags in entirely optional.
vi. Related Posts: Every blogger wants to keep a visitor on his/her site for a long time. A splendid technique of doing this is to present related posts to engage readers. The content in these posts are related to what they are currently reading.
Be a Pro :Best Practices For Being a Pro
WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms available online. Here are some of the tips for you to write your posts in WordPress.
i. Practice Accessibility: Be compliant with web standards for accessibility and include ALT and TITLE descriptions on links and images to help the users.
ii. Use Paragraphs: No reader likes to read lengthy texts. Break your text into readable and scannable paragraphs.
iii. Use Headings: Disintegrate lengthy texts into sections by using headings in your post. Use them as small titles to signify a change of subject. By headings, I mean to use h1, h2…..h6 tags in HTML. By default, most WordPress themes use h1/h2 headings within the site. So you can use h3 to h6 headings within your post.
iv. Use HTML: Some prefer Visual Editor, while some prefer HTML. I would recommend you to use HTML to have control over different elements in your post such as boxes, headings etc. You may not use HTML while writing your post.
v. Proofread/ Spell Check: Always spell check and proof read your posts. There are some special spell check plugins in WordPress but they are not efficient. Even the Proofread button in Visual Editor is not perfect. Avoid mistakes and use a secondary filter of spell check and proof.
vi. Think before you post: Take a time to see what you have written, before hitting the publish button. Once you hit publish, the post will become public to the web world and also to the search engines and bringing the post back is a difficult task. When you are finally ready, share it.
vii. Write what you like: Do not force yourself into writing something that you don’t like. This unlikeness will reflect in the quality of your post. You might not have a particular theme for writing when you just start. Just focused and enjoy what you write.
viii. Write frequently: Write more frequently to make this your habit. But do not diminish the quality of content to increase your quantity. Maintain a perfect balance to give your readers what they want.
ix. Don’t alienate yourself: Write post for the world. All your site readers will not be from your part of the world. Make sure your post is made for people from all across the world.
x. Don’t hide your emotions: Let your emotions flow in to your blog. After all this is what a blog is all about. Make your readers feel your emotions and passion. This can be a strong connecting bridge between you and your readers. Do not hide your views, opinions, and thoughts.
xi. Consider your readers: Write your posts from a readers’ point of view. Think about them. Will you be able to write freely for them? How much should they know about you? Question and answer yourself before you start writing.
xii. Make use of comments: Comments are a great facility to interact with your readers. Make use of it to share ideas, get into discussions etc. Sometimes, there will be unwanted comments which you can always delete them from your comment list.
xiii. Worry about blog design later: Many people don’t take up blogging because they don’t come around to an appropriate web design. Blog design matters, but only up to an extent. Don’t stop yourself from writing because of blog design. Sooner or later, you will solve these problems with ease. But continue writing. Always remember, content is the king and people come to your blog only for your content.
xiv. Don’t play too safe: Readers hate braggers. Don’t show off your achievements. Readers are highly repelled by this. Talk about “real you”. Write about how you feel, your views, thoughts etc. Write something that makes people to follow you.
xv. Use Pictures and Videos: Use graphics, images, and videos in your blog to attract readers.
xvi. Keep writing: Do not stop writing content. If you are out of ideas, then find one from other people’s blog. Write about your friends, families, your dog, reviews etc. it can be anything.
xvii. Save your posts: Save your posts before you press the publish button. Do not take the chances of losing your post. Save it.
Hope that you have learned something from this tutorial. Feel free to pitch in your suggestions in comments section. And for all the bloggers in the world……Happy blogging!!!!