Thursday, 4 November 2010

WordPress SEO - What You Need To Know

Is WordPress SEO any different to any other type of website? Well the basic aspects of SEO are the same everywhere:

Make sure that the search engines understand the relevance of your content (on page SEO - what you say about yourself)
Get other sites, preferably authoritative ones, to link to you with the correct anchor text (Off page SEO - what others say about you).

It has been said that the search engines like blogs but I don't believe that they have any advantage other than that they tend to be updated more frequently than static websites, which the search engines do like to see.

A standard installation of WordPress itself needs some tweaks to make it more search engine friendly and much more control can be gained by using a Wordpress SEO friendly Theme and installing WordPress SEO plugins.

Basic Tweaks to Out Of Box Installation
Having installed WordPress you should address the following to improve WordPress SEO:

Enter the site name deciding whether or not to use "www". It is a good idea to set this name up in Google Webmaster Tools as well.
Configure the Permalink settings so that the page/post title (and hence keyword) appears in the URL.
Consider use of pages for key content and whether to allow comments (which can upset your SEO).
Consider how to treat comments. Will you "nofollow" the links or go the other way and use a plugin like CommentLuv.

WordPress SEO Plugins
Plugins can be used to add extra functionality including:

Shortening page/post URLs - URLs can be edited automatically to remove unnecessary words.
Making it easy to add a meta description of the site and each page/post.
Making it east to add meta keywords for the site and each page/post.
Changing the format of the titles.
Preventing indexing of duplicate content which is inherent in the WordPress structure.
Controlling external links using the "nofollow" tag.* Adding internal links to related content automatically.
Ensuring images are search engine friendly.
Controlling Tags.
Caching to speed up page loading (make sure you use a good web hosting service).
Automatically generating a site map.

The above all help a bit to maximise WordPress SEO but it is important to emphasise that the most important thing you can do is to ensure that the content is properly search engine optimised. One way to do this is to use a WordPress SEO plugin that checks your content and tells you want needs to be changed.

I use the SEOPressor WordPress SEO Plugin to do this and I like it particularly because of the time it saves me. You simply have to follow its recommendations. Click Here to learn more.
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