wordpress logo blueYou love WordPress! It’s so easy to use with its intuitive control panel, offers a gazillion beautiful templates and depending on which options you choose; it’s even totally free! Don’t get too caught up in the love fest, though, because as amazing as WordPress is, you still have a lot of SEO work to do – the following tips will help you.

1. Never try to trick the search engines. This always backfires, sooner or later. Keep your tactics clean from the start and you have a good chance of establishing a positive relationship with Google; try the black hat route and you’re likely to have a lot of backlashes.

2. Avoid the use of flash. You don’t want to slow down the load times of your pages, and you don’t want to get off on the wrong foot with search engines: Flash is controversial, at best, with companies like Google having to build special files to deal with Flash in their browsers. Keep it simple, and avoid Flash in WordPress.

3. Name and tag your photos. Search engines can’t “see” photos, so you have to tell them the topic of all your pics. Use the alt and title tags, plus, use file names that tell search engines about the pics as you save them.

4. Use your permalinks correctly. The first four words after your WordPress.com name in a URL are crucial for SEO, so avoid using non-descriptive or random words.

5. Trade backlinks with other good sites. Your SEO will benefit enormously if you exchange links with other relevant sites, particularly ones in your niche or industry. Talk to other site owners and ask if you can link back to them, in exchange for them doing the same. This form of networking isn’t just useful for your rank; it’s cool for your personal connections!

6. Make a sitemap. Search engines LOVE sitemaps, thus, having one is an essential strategy for your SEO.

7. Show off your WordPress site on social media. Leave links on your various social media accounts pointing back to your site – announce new posts, contests or whatever you have going on.

8. Choose themes that don’t bring your SEO down. Even a beautiful theme may have too much code for the search engines to sift through. That’s why you want a responsive theme that works on all devices and loads quickly.

9. Continually promote your WordPress site. Many people make the mistake of building a site, thinking people will just show up. Doesn’t work that way and the search engines are only going to do so much for you, even if your site is tops. Promote it yourself at every turn.

10. Update regularly with amazing content. No matter what platform you use, you always want to keep your amazing content coming – and that’s one of the best SEO practices ever!

There’s so much to love about WordPress, but if you neglect your SEO, your efforts may be totally in vain. Employ these ten tips and you can’t go wrong