SEO for WordPress

WordPress is one of the most popular blogging applications available, and better still it’s free. There are a variety of themes and widgets available to provide both impressive visuals functionality and appeal to your blog. No doubt many of the blogs you view on a daily basis use wordpress, so that give you at least some idea of how powerful and seful the software is.

Many bloggers post daily and accumulate hundreds if not thousands of pages of unique of content. This being the case it makes sense ensure that SEO techniques take centre stage. WordPress is by default pretty well optimised for search engines like google but you can take further steps to ensure that you get the most out of efforts:

Plugins

All in One SEO Pack – This plugin automatically optimises page titles for search engines and also generates META tags. It’s possible to override the auto title and META tags should you need to do so. A real time saver and great SEO.

Internal Link Building v2 – A handy little plugin which allows you to assign keywords to given URLS in the admin panel. This allows you to give users the opportunity to click through to various article of relevance. More importantly though, as set keywords over various blog posts link through to the same page it increases your chance of ranking well in search engines for that keyword (or key phrase).

Tips

Appreciate your users – If someone comments on a blog post, then reply to them. Building visitor rust is a core component of operating a successful blog. Perhaps consider thanking people after they leave their first comment. This can be achieved through use of a comment redirect plugin.

Image Optimisation – Guve consideration to how you name image files and also add appropriate ‘alt’ text to the images. There are programs to add the page title as the alt tag for each message, but I would advise you to be more specific than that in your approach. Done correcty and this can defeinitely bring extra traffic your way.

Permalink Options – By default posts will contain an ugly post id featuring equals signs and question marks. This certainly doesn’t help you with you SEO efforts. Instead you should login and go to ‘Settings >Permalinks’  and under ‘common settings’ select ‘Custom Structure. In this box enter /%postname%/. This will result in the URL being based on the post title, which for search engine optimisation purposes is certainly preferable.

I hope these tips are of use to you. Feel free to add any of your own to the comments section.

Five SEO Tips

A quick fire list of five tips that will help you get off to a good start with SEO:

1) Update Frequently

Not all sites require regular updates, but it is important to update your site as often as possible. If it’s not a traditional daily update style site, then why not think of adding industry news or a blog? Google and co are very fond of web properties that are current, and frown upon stagnant sites.

2) Reduce duplicate content

If you have an article site, make sure that you dont run a mirror, sister site or sub domain with the same or very similiar content. Google penalises duplicate content and as such  there is nothing to be gained from reproducing it elsewhere. The same applies to underhand activities like ripping off other peoples content. It will be noticed and you may well be penalised for it.

3) Location…location…location

If you run a site aimed at a regional audience, then your aim should be to appeal first and foremost to that very audience. For a UK targetted site for instance, you can better achieve this aim by hosting your site and domain within  the UK, primarily exchanging links with sites from the UK, getting featured in UK articles etc. Do all you can to make your web property ‘the go to place’ for visitors from the geographical area you are targetting.

4) Don’t be anti social

Tthere are so very many social networking sites and services that it’s no longer really an option to shut yourself off from them and just slog away in an attempt to improve your popularity. You need to help your content become viral on sites like digg.com , inform people of updates or musings on twitter.com , get your friends on facebook talking about a new service you’re offering and so on. It all helps and the backlinks will help too.

5) Spot Trends

If you become successful in a niche it’s all too easy to be so satisfied with what you’ve achieved that you make no effort to improve. Big mistake. There will always be competitors on your tail just waiting for you to ease off the gas. The net is fast moving, and if you miss a trick, by the time you’re back paying attention you’ve lost valuable time, which in turn can translate to customers, website ranking and reputation in general. Stay focussed, keep an eye on your competitors and any new developments in your line of business.

Getting Indexed By Google – and beyond

So you’ve created a killer site, but nobody knows about it. Not an ideal situation I’m sure you’ll agree. Search engines such as google give extra weight to sites and pages that have been indexed for a while, and you’re bound to be sandboxed initially, so do not hesitate in getting your site indexed. There are a number of ways to go about getting indexed:

1) Google Submit

Add your site URL to google submit and it will be crawled at some point in the near future. There is no set time period so it could be week, but “better late than never”.

2) Submit Articles

Some respected sites let you submit useful articles from your site. This is a good way of getting your content indexed by major search engines. It also may gain you a few backlinks if your article is in any way insightful or interesting.

3) Webmaster Forums

A number of forums apply “nofollow” code to all user posted links. This essentially means that google will not follow the URL you post and as a result it will not count as a backlink. Some forums however do not add “nofollow” so if your contribution is valid then itt may well count as a useful link.

Be helpful, be positive, share knowledge and stay on topic.  This way you’ll develop a good reputation and possibly again some useful tips yourself.

4) Blog Directories

If you run a blog there are a few blog directories for you to submit your site to.

5) Optimise robots.txt file

Optimising the robots file will ensure which robots you allow to crawl your site, an which directories if any you do not want to be indexed. I would advise that you create a robots.txt file wih the following code (unless you have special requirements):

User-Agent: *

Allow: /

and place it within your top level directory. This will ensure that all spiders are able to crawl your site without issue. Robots can also be used wihin site meta tags on individual pages

 

Important

In spreading the word about your site, the quality of your content be in essense be tested. If you’re writing boring articles, or have dead links, then it’s unlikely that you’ll experience much growth as a result of your prmotional efforts. Do not use stolen or duplicate content as google will recognise this and may penalise your site.