WordPress SEO Guide

February 23, 2012 - by Andy · Filed Under Make Money Blogging, SEO Leave a Comment 
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    How to Optimise your WordPress Blog for SEO

    Most of my visitors will be using WordPress in one form or another, either as a CMS or as a blogging platform. Either way, out of the box WordPress is much better than other CMS software for on-page optimization.

    That being said, there are a number of quick tweaks one can do to further optimize WordPress for the search engines. Let’s begin.

    Permalinks

    Permalinks are another word for the URL of the post. So for example, as a default WordPress uses the permalinks structure of sitename.com/?p=23  – The optimal structure for the URL of a page would be sitename.com/post-name/ – To make these changes you have to do the following:

    –       From inside the WordPress admin panel, scroll to the bottom of the sidebar and select: Settings » Permalinks.

    –       Once on this page, check the “custom structure” checkbox and enter /%postname%/ and click save changes.

    –       Once you have done this you will have to make your .htaccess file writable in your FTP client. Check out this article on WordPress permalinks if you are confused about any step listed above.

    Install the All in One SEO Pack

    The All in One SEO Pack is one of the most popular free WordPress plugins of all time and does a pretty great job of making your pages more search engine friendly.  Installing the plugin is super easy, all you have to do is upload the plugin to your /wp-content/plugins/ directory and activate it from the “plugins“ page. This is located in your admin panel, click on “plugins” from the sidebar.

    Features of the All in One SEO Packinclude:

    –       Custom title tags for all posts and pages.

    –       Edit Meta description of any post or page.

    –       Canonical URL’s.

    After you have installed the plugin you can easily update the options in accordance with our on-page optimization guidelines.

    Remove Links from the Footer

    In the footer of the default WordPress theme it says “Proudly powered by WordPress”. You will want to remove this link, to do this you will have to edit the “footer” template. To get to the footer template take the following route from the sidebar of the admin panel. Appearance » Editor » Footer – After doing this, remove the link from the HTML code. Again, the file needs to be writable in order to do this.

    Likewise, the sidebar of your site usually contains a link to the login page of your WordPress admin panel. You can remove this link easily by editing the “widgets” options. In order to get to the widgets panel, take the following route from within the WordPress admin panel. Appearance » Widgets.

    Install a Pagination Plugin

    I like using the free WordPress SEO Pager plugin. This plugin allows you to have numbered pagination at the bottom of your category pages.

    The pagination plugin helps your internal linking structure and makes sure an equal amount of link juice gets passed to the older content pages on your site. With the default WordPress pagination you would have to click “Next page” at the bottom of every page to reach deeper in to the site. The problem with this is that content linked from page 10 is 10 clicks away from the main category page. With a pagination plugin it will link to all the numbered category pages at the bottom of each page. IE listed like – Page:  1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10.

    Install a Related Posts Plugin

    I use Efficient Related Posts. The plugin places related posts at the bottom of each post on your WordPress blog. This improves your internal linking structure and makes it easier for Google to find and index all of your content. Basically, it helps provide “link juice” to all of the posts on your site and is just all round good for your SEO.

    Say you have a massive blog with thousands of posts; the oldest posts are generally very deep in the site structure and are hard to find. Let’s say you post a semi related post and it appears on the front-page, if you have related posts enabled, the search engines will be able to get to that post at the back of your site quickly.

    Incidentally this is also good for users too. Wouldn’t your visitors be interested in reading that related post anyway? I think so.

    Get Pingback Optimizer

    Pingback Optimizer is the only premium WordPress plugin I currently use. What Pingback Optimizer does is it tracks all of the links coming in to your blog (They are listed as pingbacks in your WordPress control panel) and It then automatically places those links in to RSS feeds in groups of 20. Pingback Optimizer then submits all of these feeds to RSS directories and pings the URLS.

    This increases the indexation rate of your backlinks and makes sure Google finds and counts all of your links. If you are not building many links this plugin will not have a huge effect, but when you are building links in the thousands each week, you will start to see a dramatic effect and see more SEO rankings boosts for the work you put in. I cannot speak highly enough of this plugin, for a onetime fee of $47 you need Pingback Optimizer. If you follow my backlinking method mentioned later in this book, it will supercharge your results.

    Congratulations, you now have a search engine optimized WordPress site!

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