WordPress SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

January 7, 2010

WordPress Optimization

Post Optimization

Networking

Google Tools


WordPress Optimization


Installation

You will be able to optimize your blog for SEO if you pay for hosting, download and install WordPress. This will allow you to modify and customize it any way you need and keep traffic coming back to your blog. If you use a free blogging service and receive a URL for your blog similar to yourname.othercompany.com you will only be helping them (othercompany.com) bring more traffic to their site.

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Permalinks

A permalink is a URL to an individual blog post.

To obtain the best SEO for your blog posts follow the steps below.

  • 1) Log into WordPress
  • 2) Go to Settings -> Permalink
  • 3) Choose Custom Structure and enter /%category%/%postname%/ into the text input

This is an easy change that will yield high results. With this change your blog post URLs be human readable and include important keywords to be indexed by search engines.

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Metadata

Your page title and meta information should be unique every post/page. Using the code below will make the title on your WordPress blog: Post Name - Blog Name. It also important to have your RSS and pingback link in the header of your HTML document.

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Design

If you have knowledge of HTML and CSS you can optimize your site using <h> tags. <h1-6> or heading tags tell search engines how important that text and work similar to a table of contents. It is best to use <h1> for page names and <h2> or <h3> for post names. If you have having a theme created be sure the designer or design company incorporates SEO best practices.

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XML Sitemap Generator for WordPress - (WordPress plug-in)

The XML Sitemap Generator for WordPress creates and updates an XML sitemap for your entire site. You can choose content to include and exclude and it takes care of the search engine robots. Other features include a simple interface to assign frequencies and priorities to the home page, posts, static pages, categories, archives, tag and author pages.

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Post Optimization


Post Often

Search engines will watch your websites to see how often content is being updated. If you posts new content on a regular basis, search engines will crawl your site frequently to be sure they have the most recent information from your blog to display.

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Posting Images

When inserting an image the caption is just as important as the title. The caption is used for the alt or alternate text if the image does not exist or if someone is using a screen reader. By making this a quick description of the image search engines will index these words with the image.

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Using Links

Posting references back to previous posts will increase your number of internal links. Internal links are one of the ranking factors search engines use to determine placement. If you fill in the title when creating links, additional keywords will be indexed for the URL.

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Tags and Categories

Adding tags and organizing your posts into relevant categories can help SEO by placing more keywords on the page. If you have changed your permalinks following the steps above, the category will also be in every post URL increasing it's importance. Also under metadata there is an example of how you can use tags and categories to auto-populate your meta information. Properly tagging and categorizing posts will also make the search on your blog more effective so viewers can find what they are looking for.

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Respond to Comments

Responding to comments will not only add new content to your blog, but it will also keep viewers coming back and posting on your blog posts.

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Networking


Social Media

You can use social media tools like Share This or Add This that allow you to distribute your blog across many other websites. Allowing viewers to post your blogs on social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Stumble Upon and Digg to name a few) will allow you to expand your audience and message across many sites and markets.

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External Links

Links pointing back to your blog are important for page ranking and you will want as many links back to your blog as possible. You can do this by posting blogs on other sites and providing links back to older posts you have made, affiliate sites, social networking sites, having people blog about you or any other ways you can think to get your blog talked about on other sites. You can also submit your blog to dmoz.org and other blog directories to increase the number of links pointing back to your blog.

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Google Tools


Google Analytics

Google Analytics will provide metrics and statistics on the viewers visiting your blog. It will give you the number of pageviews, visitors, unique visitors, countries and much more information about your viewers. It is simple to sign up for an account and easy to install into WordPress. You will want to copy the code they provide into the /wp-content/themes/<yourtheme>/footer.php file of the theme you are using just before the </html> HTML tag.

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Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools will provide information about what searches viewers are preforming to find your blog, crawl rate, indexing statistics, and a lot of information regarding SEO. It is easy to sign up and verify your blog. You will have to copy the code they provide into the /wp-content/themes/<yourtheme>/header.php file of the theme you are using between the <head> and </head> HTML tags. You can also submit your sitemap generated by the XML Sitemap Generator for WordPress. It will be generated by default at http://www.sitename.com/sitemap.xml.

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Posted by Beau Durrant

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