If you’re like most people, filling out forms isn’t your favorite pastime. No asterisk next to a given field? You’re likely to skip it. What’s more, even with the little red symbol you’ll probably type only the bare minimum needed to submit the form.
Chances are you don’t actively seek these forms and fields on websites either. That’s why you may be surprised to learn that on the back end of websites most forms are actually tools. Submit them and you could help boost your search engine ranking. Check out these five built-in WordPress SEO implements that’ll get you started.
1. Title Tags
There are two types of title tags to consider: the site title and individual post and page titles. The site title influences your overall website ranking. Many site owners simply stick to their brand name for this area—a common mistake. While it’s important to include your business name in this area, you also want to include the phrase or keywords you’d like to rank for.
The same is true for blog posts and page title tags. You don’t want to use an overly complicated or quirky headline; instead, you want something close to the phrase that helps search engines rank the individual post.
Access the main Site Title tag in the general settings section. You can add a post or page title by completing the field above the permalink text on a new or edited blog post or page.
2. Permalink Fields
Permalink fields automatically populate as a result of what’s typed into a blog post or page title field. Depending on your title, you may want to modify the auto permalink so more direct or specific to the keywords within your post. Select the “Edit” button next to the permalink address to modify the text.
Since categories can be easily replicated as a site menu, this tool will help make your site easier to crawl. They act as a sort of makeshift sitemap. Your site comes with one category my default. You’ll need to add more to take advantage of the feature.
Use the Categories widget to “Add a New Category” or select the box next to a preexisting category to classify a blog post or page.
4. Post and Page Tags
These simple labels not only influence SEO but make for an improved user experience, as well. Unlike categories, tags drill down even further to the core of your content. When it comes to SEO, tags will help search engines better analyze the keywords that matter to your site’s latest content. They also boost on-page optimization by allowing visitors to navigate easily.
Access and add tags on the backend of your site via the Tags widget featured within a new or edited blog post or page. Treat tags like keywords: keep them simple and consider which ones users might enter to find the given content.
5. Media Tags
Images and videos have individual settings of their own, as well. When you select the Add Media button above the WYSIWYG editor, you can choose media or upload a new media. Once you’ve designated an image or video, you’ll see the option to add Title, Alt Text, Caption, and Description. Be sure to complete these fields, as they are not required. They offer even more keyword opportunities.
Links and Text and Plugins, Oh My!
Once you’ve made use of the most basic WordPress SEO tools, it’s time to up your optimization game. WordPress SEO plugins offer even more control and functionality for complete content customization.
Consider Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin, for example. It allows not only SEO feature extensions for things such as XML sitemaps and breadcrumbs but offers robust keyword and ranking analysis, as well. But remember, you can’t benefit from these SEO add-ons unless you’ve first filled out the standard forms built-in to the WordPress backend.