WordPress Sites and Optimisation

WordPress is a widely used platform for blogging and social media. If you didn’t know that you do now. What you may not know is how to optimise wordpress out of the box and optimise it for the search engines.

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Rankability has produced a list of tips and optimisation steps to guide you through some of the issues:-

1)  Be careful about using too many sidebar plugins especially Ajax  as these cannot be read by the search engines and too many external objects aswell as images should be kept down to a minimum to avoid slow page load times – a certaintly to put people off from staying on your site.

2) If you know a little about CSS Style sheets and PHP, it is better to modify the existing templates to say insert an image instead of using a wordpress plugin to do the same job within your sidebars.

3) If you are submitting news articles make sure you use the Google new sitemap plugin.  This will publish your news articles instantly to the Google news feed and your articles will appear on Google within minutes.

4) Quite often a lot of the themes use H3 headers as the default for the ‘Title’ Post. Ideally you need to change the title post to H1, as this is the most important meta data to the search engines. This can be easily changed to a H1 or H2 header by editing the relevant part of the  CSS style sheet that controls the Post page (Single.php). Remember also to highlight in bold or H2/H3 the important keywords to optimise your article. These keywords should also be in your meta description tag.

Similarly the template that controls the pages on your wordpress site (page.php) normally uses H2/H3 headers as the page title. Especially if you are using a page as your home page with the over ride setting, this needs to be highlighted to the Search Engines as important, and should be with out doubt  changed to a H1 header. Remember this is your home page and the title tag should be consistent with the H1 header text.

5) As you may know, the most important meta tag is the ‘Title’  followed by the ‘description’ tag. Keywords are less important now a days and are not even read by the Google spiders. One of the most invaluable plugins for WordPress is the new  Platinum SEO Pack plugin (just updated from the All In One SEO plugin) that gives you full over ride control over all meta tags for pages and posts.   Use this to configure your metatags for every page and post and you will see the results in your SERP’s.

6) Use Firefox firebug plugin to find your way around the PHP code within your theme and to find out the CSS controls for your headings and text, so you can change them easily from the stylesheets.

7) If using a theme that has mini posts built into it on the homep age, avoid replicating article content with the recent post plugins in the sidebar.

8)  Don’t include important keywords in your images or logo’s. Try and use transparent images controlled from the CSS stylesheet and overlay the text over the images.  Otherwise you will miss an opportunity to tell the seaarch engines what your site is about.  Remember content is King!

9) Ensure that the ‘no follow’ attribute is used on post comments.  This will prevent bloggers /web masters from leaving posts with keyword anchor text in order to generate link equity to their web site from yours.

10) Not really an SEO tip but if you’re wanting to do some clever things with displaying/hiding  pages on your wordpress blog, use GD Pages Navigator from GD WordPress.  It’s a superb plugin and streaks ahead of any other pages plugin!

11) Use the sociable plugin to promote social book marking of your pages and articles. This will help with generating good links back to your web site which will improve your

12)  There is a knack to writing articles that are interesting,  have that magentism but that are also optimised for keywords and anchor text.  Don’t insert the same hyper links more than once.  Use varied anchor text linking back to different pages on your  site or your external site.

There are plenty of sources on the web of how to write killer blog articles.

13) Internal linking – One of the most important aspects that is missed from on page SEO techniques. Think of your pages as seperate little  sites with in themselves and focus on linking to your most important sub pages with the relevant keyword anchor text.