10 Important Tips to Optimize WordPress for Search Engines

Wordpress Seo Tips

Wordpress Seo Tips

There is a wide concept in publisher’s mind that using wordpress means getting maximum traffic from search engines because wordpress is a very good CMS which hardly requires Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Well this concept is not as correct as it sounds. WordPress also requires some optimization to get max out of search engines. For this purpose i made a list of 10 Important Changes which should be a part of your wordpress blog.

1. Use a sitemap generator and generate XML sitemaps like twice a week.

2. Use an Ideal Robot.txt File which do the following:

Points to the sitemap in first line.
Disallow unnecessary pages, folders so search engines get to your content instead of wasting time and getting less important stuff.
Here is a sample : http://www.designzzz.com/robots.txt

3. Using rel=”nofollow” Attribute in outgoing or less important links.

This Attribute tells the search engine bots not to follow the specific link or do not share that page’s Rank with this link. This is a very important tip , you can control your site’s SEO and Page rank by just using proper nofollow attributes. Here is a post i wrote earlier which can show you how to control your page rank and seo by using nofollow. Ok, the Less Important links includes links like Read more.. , Click here etc. This can be done by editing the template files easily.
Some plugins which we use in Wordpess blogs requires a must nofollow and we never thought about that.  Here is a very cool example. You are using the easy retweet plugin and Retweet buttons are shown on start of every post even on your homepage. Lets say you have 10 posts blocks on your homepage and have 10 retweet buttons on it link to twitter.com !!! that means there are ten outgoing links, you are sharing your site’s page rank and getting lesser visibility in search engine. it can be nofollow from its settings.

4. Proper URL and Title Structure

It is the most important part which we neglect while publishing a post. Lets take a simple example. I am about ot publish a post lets say.
10 Awesome Graphics Designs and Digital Artworks  the URL would be :

www.yoursite.com/category/10-awesome-graphics-designs-and-digital-artworks
Seems pretty much alright, right? Well..here u miss about 30% of your visibility!!
A simple reason using STOP WORDS in title and URL are the worst idea u can think up of. !! AND is a stop word. About the url why make it so long using extra stuff in it like the word 10 , and etc. Trust me no one will search for your content in search engines with these words 10 graphics design.  If they look for that they will search graphics designs etc.
So get rid of 10 , and from your URL. Here is how they should be:

  • Title: 10 Awesome Graphics Designs n Digital Artworks
  • URL: www.yoursite.com/category/awesome-graphics-designs-digital-artworks/

Makes sense? well i don’t even use the category name in the URL structure to make it smaller and more powerful!

5. Using Keywords and Meta Description:

Ok, i have noticed that most of the bloggers use very tiny keywords. Well, guys small get a habit of using long tail keywords,because with them u get traffic for life time. Lets take the example of that above title post. keywords/tags which bloggers normally select are: graphics, design, digital, artworks. Why don’t you spice them up a bit to get even more traffic?  If i would do it , I would use these keywords:

Graphics, Design, Digital Artworks, Graphic Designs, Digital Graphics.

I actually spread the same keywords with order and words variation!!

About meta description keep it below 160 characters and add your keywords in it as well as possible like each keyword should be mentioned at least once.

6. Automatic SEO Plugin for WordPress

Well, I have used several plugins to test which one is good and the only plugin which satisfied me is Headspace2 SEO. I Recommend it.

7. On post page title of post should be written in Heading 1 (H1). and its very important to use your keywords in h2, h3 and h4 if possible.

8. Title and ALT Attribute in Links:

Ok, this is an important part which none of us actually look at. Title and alt attributes in links plays an important role in telling search bots that what this link or image is about.
Title and alt attributes are written like this if you are unaware of it:

  • <a href=”link…” title=”keyword name or what it is about”>Keyword</a>
  • <img src=”path to image” alt=”what image is about” />

My site gets 10% of its traffic from Google image search!! Because I use proper alt attribute.
Consider this example!! Like the graphics design post we discussed above. Your post consists of 10 Images. That means not much text to get good ranking and visibility in search engines. So why not use alt attribute in an optimized way!! in 10 images add alt tags with picture name + keyword/tag.

For example, the image name is abcd. i will add the alt attribute as alt=”abcd design” or abcd graphics etc.  That means in 10 places on your page’s source code your keywords are used! I think you get my point.

9. Avail WordPress ping facility to get max exposure and inbound links

Here is a list you might consider putting in your ping section in admin>settings>Writing:

http://bitacoras.net/ping

http://blog.goo.ne.jp/XMLRPC

http://blogmatcher.com/u.php

http://bulkfeeds.net/rpc

http://coreblog.org/ping/

http://mod-pubsub.org/kn_apps/blogchatt

http://ping.amagle.com/

http://ping.bitacoras.com

http://ping.bloggers.jp/rpc/

http://ping.feedburner.com

http://ping.weblogalot.com/rpc.php

http://rcs.datashed.net/RPC2/

http://rpc.pingomatic.com

http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping

http://rpc.weblogs.com/RPC2

http://www.bitacoles.net/ping.php

http://www.blogoole.com/ping/

http://www.blogshares.com/rpc.php

http://www.blogstreet.com/xrbin/xmlrpc.cgi

http://www.mod-pubsub.org/kn_apps/blogchatter/ping.php

http://xmlrpc.blogg.de

10. This might sound odd!! No follow Home Page !!

See this post for proper info about no-following homepage and why is it important.

Hope this helps! Maybe you have some more tips you would like to add? Feel free to write them in comments! Thanks and enjoy!

Ayaz Malik

I'm a coding geek, art lover, and a proud father. I'm running several online businesses; sometimes I take freelance projects to pay my coffee bills. I Blog at Designzzz here

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Comments

  1. says

    In the robots.txt file, why do you want to disallow the web-archiver bot (the last line in your sample robots.txt file)? I would think that you want to have it archived, so people can find older information that may have been lost (or so you can find old information that you may have accidentally deleted).

  2. michael says

    Thanks Ayaz this is fantastic I APPRECIATE your generosity this to will help
    me understand and use seo like much better. AWESOME DUDE !!!

  3. David says

    Thank you for sharing the above, I am setting up a new blog and searched out of Google and you where number one so you obviously have some good info. Thank you for the share and good luck all.
    David

  4. Baehr says

    You might wanna nix the last comment about nofollowing — the article you link to is really, really shoddy, and the advice applies only in one specific scenario (homepage optimized for keyword ‘home’) that can stem only from poor SEO management in the first place. Anyway, point is, it’s a really bad piece of advice, and its inclusion makes me not want to take other advice from you just in case you haven’t fully checked your sources.

  5. Yordan says

    Great tips! I learned things that I never knew before. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  6. Mike says

    What would you suggest be the best way to include links on other websites that you administer. For someone with a slightly limited budget, it is critical to have links pointing back to your site but regardless of your budget, aren’t there easy ways to do this without paying for links? When making links is there a convention that users should follow to achieve detection by search engines. I have seen many blog start-ups using a rel=follow by assuming it will help with SEO since the standard is rel=nofollow but I would be curious to know if including links in meta or in separate php files would be of any value. Excellent post, glad to see that you listed XML sitemaps as the #1, I think that this is a huge oversight for many websites.

  7. Doy says

    Nice tutorial . On my website, I have more than one sitemap file (one for wordpress and like nine for buddypress), is it advisable to add all the sitmaps or just the sitemap.xml for wordpress.

  8. says

    Wow this is the first post that i found interesting in the internet and is so helpful.
    thank you for sharing

  9. junaid says

    thanks for such a nyc article i am using all in one seo but i will give headspace2 a try :)

  10. Samiullah Khan says

    Really helpful tutorial for the one who just just cms sphere and want to promote his blogs; thanks keep tutorials like this coming 1ST WEB DESIGNER.

  11. dheaz says

    a very interesting article. new to my site seo please help to raise my page rank and get traffic visitors to my site .. thank you

  12. says

    Thank you for posting such clear and concise information. I really appreciate straight and to the point help that can immediately be implemented.

  13. Broadway says

    Great read, optimizing the wordpress blog can be tricky without the right tools, ive noticed that google has shifted ranking and pr to sites that run faster so optimizing and making a site or blog faster is more important then ever….great post will save.

  14. says

    Some excellent tips, nice article.

    I would recommend the SEO Platinum WP plugin, it’s a huge help to optimising a WP site for search engines. :)

  15. Jay says

    Great read, i just started my wordpress blog and needed the tips, thanks for the info.

  16. dila says

    It’s really timely to be stumbling upon this post when I have to rebuild my site again (silly of me for not making backups!).

    #1, #2 & #5 – checked!

    Will be studying this list religiously.

    Thank you for the list, Ayaz Malik

    Regards,
    Dila @ typingmaniac.net

  17. says

    Hi very nice article thanks ! But how do they call those white dummie people? I need to find them but can not find them ? Those white guys that are associated with rss and seo?

  18. Guille says

    Really interesting post. Sorry about my english, tanks you a lot about this exelent post. The SEO is really important, i make some changes in my blog now… :D
    nice blog.!

  19. Steven says

    Love the list of ping engines and the fact that you prefer headspace and not all in one seo pack.
    We are fewer and fewer users of this great plugin.
    I will go on reading about the nofollow home page. You’ve got me wondering.

  20. Matt says

    Your page rank theory is completely wrong! Google divides pagerank out on all links, follow and nofollow. for example, If you have a PR 10, 10 pages and 5 with no follow, the 5 pages that do pass pr will have 1 point each, not 2. All you are doing with no follow is “wasting” your pr rather than passing it. Your own pages do not benifit and you are not keeping page rank for yourself. Here is Matt Cutts, from Google, telling you so… http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/pagerank-sculpting/

    no follow is to be used only on things you may not trust… not everything.

  21. Delighted says

    Great advice on the Robot.txt, Best i have seen.. should explain if you use the XML map to disable Virtual Robot.txt ? regardless… EXCELLENT! thank you

  22. Surfers G says

    One of the best articles I have read so far on SEO and WordPress and I read them almost every other day or so for the last 3 years.. Fantastic Stuff, thank you.

  23. says

    Very useful article. I’m using All in One Seo plugin should I choose Headspace2 SEO? Which one is better? Thanks

    • says

      hiz, ok well both of the plugins are good and get the job done. As for me i prefer using headspace. no such comparison which differentiate them much from each other just that headspace makes things alot of automated.

    • says

      hey , yes. the thing is disalow/nofollow are to tell the search bots that these pages are not or less important in this website. in the example case. its my site’s robots.txt so i dont feel the contact and about page an important part of a design blog to be indexed in google search results. so instead of going and indexing it why not index useful pages.

  24. says

    ok as dainis suggested using google xml sitemaps yes its very good plugin but i personally use a stand alone sitemap generator software which generates sitemaps in xml, txt and html and automatically submits them to google, bing, yahoo etc. its of about 25$ but the price worths it.You can find it over here http://www.xml-sitemaps.com

  25. LUis Lopez says

    Excellent article, I agree with your ideas and that WP is really great CMS for SEO if you use it well, there are a lot of plugins to increase this, so let’s do all this tips.
    I’ll only add to the list, add also keywords to your images, and tittle tags.

  26. Gustavo Freitas says

    Parabéns,
    excelente artigo. muitas das dicas já utilizo, mas algumas não, vou colocar em prática,
    um abraço desde o Brasil.

  27. says

    excellent post – i have done 3/4 of these already i thoght they were set it and forget it – i need to get my seo up to scratch – its not that interesting –
    cheers

  28. Garrett says

    Nice list… but I disagree with using “rel=nofollow” – Its just a way for Google to tell if you’re “doing SEO”.

    • says

      ok as for this thing, now google support optimizing your pages for Search Engines if u will look in google blog.
      They have given new attribute to the nofollow , firstly it was for telling google dont index this page but now it means that share my current page’s Page Rank with the following link page.

      If u want to read more u can take a look at this article i wrote about nofollow when google updated its policy
      Nofollow link and the Truth

  29. says

    Thanks for this post, it contains some good tips. I agree with the comments made by others though. There were so many spelling and grammatical errors that some parts made very little sense.

  30. says

    I would like to say that it is not very difficult to optimize websites in search engines at all. Just follow all these clever tips and your success will be guaranteed.

  31. says

    All the sitemap generating plugins automatically update the sitemaps, so you don’t need to ever update them. Did you mean “submit” them to the SE’s? I wouldn’t recommend that, but instead just make sure your blog is pinging out to ping-o-matic every time to publish a new blog. Good tips though.