I’ve nearly completed an optimized version of a a web art project related to the Schroedinger’s Cat Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson. Missed a few things when I uploaded it on about the 25th. I took a free course on digital marketing and SEO recently from Louisville Public Library. A couple of things of note for WordPress are the image alt-texts, which are technically required for correct HTML, but they will also appear for people with images turned off and for the vision or reading impaired using screen reader web browsers. These affect SEO, image SEO especially. And so do the filenames, which I’m not yet sure is equivalent to the image title setting in wordpress. The ‘slug’ setting under More Options also changes the URL for the page, and that helps too, especially the more pages you apply it to I guess. One of the things the instructor mentioned particularly mentioned was the use of the Yoast plugin which, used on the blog at Psychic Fugue Studio, has now made me show up in search engines when you put my name in, although I need to redo some of that work now.
For static pages, on the web art project I noted, I read this document recommended by the course. I change things minimally visible to the users, there as well as the Yoast plugin elsewhere. titles and filenames, alt texts and page descriptions. I think the excerpt setting in wordpress corresponds to page description, and that is what will show up on search engines for the post, otherwise the engine will pick something according to relevant search terms from your text. Traffic at Psychic Fugue Studio roughly tripled which could be a much bigger leap in real people, if the previous number reflected mostly bots.
You cannot add plugins to your WordPress.com sites on the free tier, of course. But you can change your slugs, descriptions, and alt texts! Not to forget the categories and tags, of course, but that I think affects mostly people searching WordPress.com or your blog.