SEO Recommendations for WordPress

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A brief overview of how to configure your WordPress blog for maximum SEO potential, including defining your categories, installing SEO-friendly plugins, enabling SEO-friendly permalinks, and other …

A brief overview of how to configure your WordPress blog for maximum SEO potential, including defining your categories, installing SEO-friendly plugins, enabling SEO-friendly permalinks, and other tips.

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  • Thanks! I didn't spend much time on graphics, this was really just an internal presentation, but feel free to download it and spruce it up for your uses :)
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  • Nice presentation. If you won't mind I just would like to suggest that you use more pictures than words. That will make your presentation more interesting.
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Transcript

  • 1. SEO for WordPress A quick overview…
  • 2. WordPress Overview
    • SEO for WordPress is no different than typical SEO for any other CMS – keyword research, link building, etc.
    • WordPress can be designed to look NOTHING like a blog, although the vast majority of WordPress blogs all have a similar look and feel – a sidebar with a blogroll and other media, then posts in the middle & a header and footer.
  • 3.
    • Many clients likely use WP for their blogs, and some may even use them for microsites or even their corporate site
    • The main advantages of WP as a platform:
      • Free & Open Sourced – Easy & cheap to implement
      • Over 10,000 Free Plug-Ins designed to add just about any functionality you can dream of
      • Extremely easy to use – easy for anyone to add a blog post, update content, etc.
      • Millions of themes so that very little design work is necessary to make your blog or website look how you want it to
      • Users are also familiar with this layout too, so it’s user friendly
      • It IS SEO friendly, and even e-commerce friendly to an extent
      • Mobile friendly with many plug-ins to generate mobile friendly site
      • Social Media friendly with smooth integration to Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • 4. SEO Tips for WordPress
    • Choose the right theme
    • Use keyword research to define your categories & post titles
    • Setup Permalinks (keyword rich URLs)
    • Speed up load times
    • Optimize internal linking
    • Add plugins to help control SEO elements
    • Add keyword rich static & dynamic content
  • 5. Choose the Right Theme
    • For most clients, this decision has already been made without your input, and the theme they based their blog off of is probably very customized anyway.
    • What to look for in a theme – same as traditional SEO
      • No JavaScript or Flash Navigation
      • Minimal Flash in general, or at least room for plenty of HTML content
      • Something that will load quickly
      • Something that matches the corporate site’s identify and image
  • 6. Define your Categories Wisely
    • Category Pages organize your content – use keyword research to define your category pages - these category pages often rank well given the amount of rich & relevant content, and having strong categories will help guide content creation as well.
    • You can also setup Category Descriptions which are static content describing the Category at the top of the page…
  • 7. Setup Permalinks (URL Structure)
    • The default URL structure for WP is to give each post a number and have the URL structure for posts be www.domain.com/?p=123
    • You can define these to be anything you want. If you did your keyword research for categories, then a structure of www.domain.com/category/postname should have plenty of keywords
  • 8. Use keywords in your post titles
    • SEO friendly copywriting for blog posts is identical to SEO friendly copywriting for Press Releases:
      • Use Keywords in the Post Title
      • Use Keywords in first 1-2 sentences
      • Write naturally but include keywords where possible
      • Use internal linking to appropriate product pages
      • Free of grammar & spelling mistakes, although it can be more casual than a press release
      • Ideally between 300-800 words, broken into easy to read and short paragraphs
      • Images & infographics should be relevant and contain relevant alt text and file names
  • 9. Speed it up!
    • There are plenty of plug-ins and tricks to speed-up WordPress – WP isn’t necessarily a slow platform, but it can be quickly & easily optimized to load quicker
      • WP Minify – combines and compresses JS and CSS files
      • WP Super Cache – caches WP’s PHP files and stores them in a static HTML file without needing to execute any PHP commands
      • Reduce external HTTP calls – any plugin, widget or ad that calls to external site should be evaluated – any images or media hosted on external sites should be hosted internally where possible
      • Compress Images
      • Remove unnecessary plug-ins
      • Use “More” tag to cut-off long or media-rich posts
      • Use a tool like Y-Slow or Google’s Page Speed plugin to find other reasons why you may be loading slow – chances are, there’s an plug-in for that.
  • 10. Optimize Internal Linking
    • Possibly WordPress’s greatest SEO Strength
      • Top Posts Plugin – displays “top” posts in sidebar for extra internal link juice
      • Contextual Related Posts – automatically adds links to related posts at bottom of each post
      • Linked/Link to Post – automatically adds internal links within your post defined by keywords – more internal links to products, other posts, etc.
      • Category & Tag pages – basically link directories to posts sorted by relevance & theme
      • Yoast Breadcrumbs – inserts breadcrumb navigation
      • Header & Footer Links
      • Sidebar Links
      • Very Easy to add links 
  • 11. SEO Plugins
    • All in One SEO Pack Plugin
      • Allows you to EASILY over-write Page Title (usually = Post title), Meta Description, Meta Keywords and more for posts & homepage
    • Redirection Plugin
      • Allows you to easily setup 301 redirects
    • XML Sitemaps Plugin
      • Automatically generates, updates & sends XML sitempas to major engines
    • SEO Pagination
      • Helps deeper pages get indexed by replacing Previous/Next links with individual links to each page:
  • 12. Add Static & Dynamic Content
    • Static Content:
      • Add a static welcome message in the sidebar with SEO friendly copy to greet visitors & add keyword density, since the post contents are always changing
      • Add static text in your footer with keywords you are optimizing for as well.
    • Dynamic Content:
      • Find plug-ins that pull in relevant content by keyword so there is always fresh content for spiders to see
      • Examples:
        • Twitter Feeds
        • Alltop Feeds
        • RSS Feeds
        • Facebook Page Feeds
        • Other Aggregators & Feeds
  • 13. Questions?