Optimizing your WordPress site for SEO usually requires a lot more work than just getting some SEO plugins…
Therefore, the first stage of making your site SEO-optimized is to focus on the things you do every day – publishing content, and making it as Google-friendly as possible.
Apart from the content itself, your titles are the second most important thing. Focus on using your keywords inside the titles, and placing them as close to the beginning of the title as possible.
When Google ranks your content it pays serious attention to what you say in the title. Google knows that the title is supposed to present the topic of the article in the most concise way possible.
Don’t forget to use the main keywords you’re targeting (in a given post) in the subheadings. WordPress allows you to set this in the default visual editor (image below).
If you want to rank for a given keyword, using this keyword inside your content will help a lot. But you can’t go overboard with it. A keyword density between 1% and 3% is enough. Anything above and the text starts to look unnatural.
Permalinks and Post Slugs
First of all, start by going to your settings and selecting the most optimal permalink setting, which is:
Such a structure lets you use keywords straight inside your URLs, which is yet another ranking factor for Google.
Once you do this, you’ll be able to set custom post slugs for your content. For each post you publish set its post slug to contain only the main keyword.
Example; for a post titled “How to Learn Guitar Chords in Just 4 Steps” the post slug could look like: “learn-guitar-chords.”
Internal Linking Structure
Link building is not only important when we’re talking backlinks (pointing back to your site from other sites), but also when we’re talking internal links.
Whenever you want to link to one of your other posts make sure to use the main keyword you want to rank this post for, or any of the supporting keywords (to get some variety).
Now what we’ve all been waiting for, right? You can’t really have an SEO-optimized site without plugins, everybody knows this. So here’s a set you should consider installing on your affiliate site:
All in One SEO Pack – one of the most popular SEO plugins. Lots of settings and highly customizable.
Google XML Sitemaps – lets you create Google-optimized sitemaps. Actually, it does this on its own, no supervision required.
Google Analytics for WordPress – a plugin created by Joost de Valk – a respected WordPress specialist. This plugin not only enables you to integrate your site with Google Analytics, but it also takes advantage of some of GA’s advanced tracking features.
Broken Link Checker – finds and helps you get rid of any broken links on your site. (Google openly admits that broken links can have an impact on your rankings.)
W3 Total Cache – the ultimate caching plugin. Makes your site load faster.
SEO Smart Links – automatically links keywords in your posts with corresponding posts and pages.
Redirection – lets you manage your 301 redirections with no hassle. (301 redirections can come handy when working with affiliate links.)
Just to summarize here; finding a good balance between plugins and best SEO practices is always the superior approach when trying to get your site ranked…