Why are there all these features in the WordPress post editor?
Keep reading to find out why and how to use them.
Writing an optimized Post
When using long-tail or compound keywords, agreement in post title, url, copy, headings, tags, and image meta information is helpful to boost the power of the targeted keywords.
- assign the post to a category
- give it a featured image
- assign tags to it
- Fill out the meta data for each image assigned to the post, with keyword reinforcement in mind
- Place a read-more tag in post content or write an excerpt for display on the site in post lists.
Title and url
These should agree. Both can be edited in the WordPress editor. The title is in the top field (1), and the url is edited in the “slug” field just below the title (2).
The slug will work without connector words (such as indefinite articles), but the main keywords should agree. The slug connectors may be stripped by the post editor (depending on settings elsewhere in the site admin, particularly Yoast SEO).
Titles and urls can be separator-delimited. This proven device works well to enable the same title and post to be served for all of its terms. Example:
Foreclosure | Bankruptcy | Loan Modification | Collection Defense | Attorney, Lawyer in Somerville, NJ.
This same title can come up for all of its terms (depending on factors such as competition and Google’s algorithm-du-jour)
Here’s an example of a post written following these principles. It’s also useful in case you need any help with WordPress!:
SEO writing once required exact reiteration of the title in the first paragraph. Reinforcement is still a good idea, but synonyms will also work well. It’s not necessary to reiterate the title if the keywords are reinforced in headings or in image tags.
Headings are applied in the WordPress post editor (3).
Headings follow outline hierarchy. The page title is always an h1 in WordPress, so start with h2 for main topics, h3 for subtopics, etc.
Headings can be pulled from the keywords between the delimiters in the title, becoming the skeleton of the post outline.
Assign a category to all posts. (4) This enables their redeployment in archives, category loops or landing pages elsewhere in the site.
Tags are applied to posts in the post editor (5), and can also be brought into the post via the image in the image’s “Alt” tag field. Intended for screen readers, image alt tags are intended to provide a verbal description of the image. (9)
I’ve seen content from post Alt tags pulled into Search Engine Result Page snippets (the content under the page title in search results), even when an alternative description has been provided. Google will sometimes construct its own snippets, even when one has been provided.
Your site’s theme can be set up to use post excerpts in the post loop (on a site blog or front page) or on category archive landing pages. You will probably need them.
Excerpts can be created in one of 3 ways:
- Use the read-more tag in the post editor (8)
- Scroll down the editing page until you see the excerpt field (7) and write an excerpt of up to 50 words.
- Define a content limit (word count) controlling display in your archive pages. Done via your theme settings, this is used wherever you have a “loop” (collection of blog posts), such as archive or blog pages.
If you can’t see the excerpt field in the post editor, you can turn it on using the hidden Screen Options, which appear when you click that term in the upper right corner of the post editor window. (It is turned off by default in WordPress!)
Copy doesn’t have to be long. Longer posts may get more shares, which lead to more linkbacks (good for SEO), but for general purposes, long is not necessary. The objective is to get meaningful content published in support of post titles pointing to useful information.