Creating a WordPress post is the most elementary thing you can do in WordPress, but also needs to be mastered so that you can tailor your post to augment your SEO efforts rather than harm yourself.
This tutorial assumes that you have All In One SEO Pack ( or something like WordPress SEO by Yoast) installed on your WordPress installation, as it is perhaps the single most important plugin you can add to your site, helping you to put together all the essential information for each post so that search engines have no trouble understanding what your post is about.
Add New Post
To write a post, you will first need to get to the right screen – once you log in to WordPress, you can either select the “Add New” button from under the Posts menu, as shown above, or you can select the New Post button from the top-right of the screen.
The post title is an essential element of your post and requires that you put some effort in to ensure that you’re facilitating would-be visitors to arrive at your site.
Your post title should always be less than 60 characters. This is because search engines generally only provide enough room to show 60 characters, so anything over that is pointless, as people typically won’t see it.
You also need to craft your title so that it is both fully descriptive and enticing to your readers. When it pops up in search engine results, you want to ensure that people click on your result over anyone else’s.
You also need to think about your post’s keywords (see below) and get the most vital ones into your post title, which will help search engines get a good handle on what your site is really about. If you’re writing a post about how to write a WordPress post (such as this one), you want to be sure to at least have the words WordPress and Post in the title – the nearer to the beginning of the sentence, the better.
One final thing is to capitalise every word except small words like the, a, of, and, the and to, to emphasise the important words in your title.
The text portion of your post goes in the large box, just below the title. Obviously, I can’t tell you how to write your post, but there are a few tips to bear in mind that will make you more successful, engaging and noticeable.
You should bear your keywords in mind when you write your post – remember what the topic is and don’t stray from it. Now more than ever, people have less and less time for every activity, so be sure to be concise. Incorporate your keywords into your post frequently – not for the sake of it, but where it lends itself to do so, then add them in. This is known as keyword density and is above the scope of this tutorial, but is something you can research if you want to go further.
Now that you’ve got all your content written down, you’re going to want to format it, to make it look good, provide interactivity and put the finishing touches on your on-page SEO.
The formatting toolbar should look like the one above. If you haven’t played with your editor too much, the chances are that you might only have one row of buttons. To fix this, you need to show the “Kitchen Sink” by selecting button A, which will bring up a second row of buttons. If it looks nothing like this, you might be in HTML editor. Switch to the Visual editor by hitting the Visual button at the top right of the editor window.
Bold / Italic / Underline
To stylise some text by either bolding, underlining or italicising, simply select the text and hit either the Bold, Italic, or Underline button (buttons 1, 2 and 11 respectively)as you would in a word processor. Adding some of these elements to key parts of your text, help to highlight them to your readers.
Bulleted List / Numbered List
To create a concise set of points, or a set of numbered steps for your readers to follow, you can create a list. To start a bulleted list, hit button 3 and hit enter whenever you want a new bullet. Numbered lists (using button 4) work in the same manner. To end the list and continue writing, hit Enter twice.
You can either left align, right align, justify or center your text or images by selecting the text or images and clicking on buttons 5, 6, 7 & 12.
Any good blog will have links to other associated articles, both internally (your own writings) and externally (articles by others). The best way to link text is to create the link using text that connects it to the destination. For example, to link to a post titled “My Top Blogging Tips”, you might use text like “these blogging tips” in a sentence and create the link from there, rather than “great blogging tips on this article I found. Click here” and using “Click here” as the link text, which is unrelated to the destination.
To create a link, highlight the text and press button 8 and enter the destination URL where it says Link URL. You’ll be well served to also enter a title which describes the destination. If the destination is perhaps not somewhere that you want your blog to be associated with, for fear of being seen unfavorably by Google, then you will need to use a little HTML and add a rel=”nofollow” attribute to your href. (HTML can be added manually by entering the HTML editor, rather than the Visual editor).
To remove a link, select it and hit button 9.
Semantic markup is a way of breaking posts up into sections. By way of example, I have broken this post up into many sections, giving each one a title. The major sections (such as Add New Post and Content) have been marked up as h3 and the minor sections (such as Alignment and Hyperlinks) have been marked up as h4. This is a good way of letting search engines know in general what your article is about, as you’ve told it about the important components.
Headings h1 and h2 are typically used elsewhere on the page, such as the blog/post title and tagline and should not be used within a post. Instead, start at h3 and work your way down for less and less important headings.
To do this, just highlight the section title and select Heading 3, or Heading 4 etc. from button 10. The styling of this text is set by your theme’s CSS file (no need for bold or making it larger).
To add an image, hit button 13, which will bring up a new window. Before you upload an image, you should try and rename the image to something descriptive, as it can help earn you visitors from image search engines. You can either upload an image from your computer, or import one from an URL. The process is fairly self explanatory, but once you have uploaded an image, you are presented with the window to the right.
The important things to make sure you do are to change the title of the image to something descriptive and to add some alt text, so that if the image doesn’t load, the alt text is displayed. Images without alt text is something to avoid at all costs. If you would like to display a caption below the image, insert some text in the caption field.
Further down the page, you will see options for deciding which size you want the image to appear (the thumbnail, medium and large sizes are set in your Media Settings) and how to align it. There is also an option for where you want the image to link to. You may want to link it to the larger version of the image, somewhere else entirely, or you may not want it to link anywhere. Hit the button which best suits your wants, or manually enter the URL where you want it to link to.
When you’ve set all your options, you can hit Insert Into Post. If your theme supports it, you can also hit the “Set Featured Image” button. You can also change a few more option images, such as borders or padding, by highlighting the image once you’ve already inserted it into the post body and hitting the image button that comes up over the image. You can delete the image by hitting the “no entry” button.
Categories help to organise your post content. The panel on the right of the post editor enables you to select which category (or categories) you want to add the post to. You can also use this panel to add a new category on the spot if the category doesn’t already exist.
Tags are a group of keywords which you would associate with the post. They don’t have much bearing on SEO, but are helpful for linking similar posts together. For example, I might tag any post where I’ve mentioned a plugin with the tag “plugin”, which I can then link to, so that readers can find other posts which have also been tagged with “plugin”.
All In One SEO Pack
The All In One SEO Pack panel has three fields which need to be completely for every post you write. The title should already be taken care of, as you filled it out further up the page. Simply copy it to the to the Title field.
The description field should be tactically written – it is the text that people will see below the title of your post on search engine results, describing the post a little more. For the same reasons that your post title should be kept to less than 60 characters, your description should be kept to less than 160 characters, so that your full description can be displayed. The same kind of techniques for completing your title apply to your description – using keywords and being concise and descriptive.
The keywords field should be filled with 4 or 5 phrases of 2-4 words, which are the phrases which, when searched for in search engines, you would hope to have your post displayed as one of the results. As an example, the keywords that I have listed for this post are “create wordpress post, wordpress post tutorial, all in one seo, wordpress post seo, format wordpress post”. Note how each phrase is separated by a comma. Despite me mentioning this last (just because it is the last thing on the page), it is something that you should think about early on and incorporate your keywords throughout your post.
Some themes use excerpts to display a little description of what your post is about when displayed with groups of posts, such as on the front page. You can copy the description that you wrote for All In One SEO Pack if you like, or you can elaborate a little.
Lastly, WordPress already does a good job of providing SEO-friendly URLs, but you can give yourself the edge by modifying the slug to suit your article.
The slug is the part of the URL that comes after your domain name. You can tweak it by removing any unnecessary words and leaving just the keywords in there. One reason for doing this is for shortening your URL, which is more likely to be displayed in full in search results and also helps Google to understand what’s in your post just by reading your URL.
So how easy was this to follow? Are there other common editing functions you use that I haven’t covered here? Is there something else you would like me to cover? I’d like this to be a comprehensive guide, both for my clients and for my visitors, so feedback is much appreciated!