seo wordpress-top-10-search-engine-optimization-tips

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Seo wordpress-top-10-search-engine-optimization-tips


  • 1. WebSetNet Webmaster Blog SEO for WordPress Top 10 Search Engine Optimization Tips One of the reasons [your-domain] has become so popular is the availability of beautifully designed free and premium themes that work out of the box for just about anything you have in mind. Combine that with the huge number of extremely useful plugins [NC] available for [your- domain], and you have a powerful [NC] that can create wonders for your online endeavours. But then, you have heard your friendly neighbourhood Spiderman say that with great power comes great responsibly. You may have the best looking WordPress based website but what good is it if people dont get to see it? I am talking of Search Engine Optimization here. Now, dont get me wrong- WordPress, by default, does a great job of optimizing your website for search engines- well, almost. It comes very well optimized out of the box, but there is always that little extra you can do to optimize your sites even better. And with every other website around you running on WordPress, that extra something you do can always make a big difference in the long run. So, without much ado, heres a list of the top 10 WordPress SEO tips that I feel every webmaster should implement on their site for a better shot at the search engine rankings. 1. Modify your Permalinks for a better URL structure This is the first thing that you should do right after installing any WordPress website- modify the permalinks to create better, user-friendly (and by extension, search engine friendly ) URLs. The default URL structure that WordPress provides is plain evil. Thankfully, WordPress also provides a number of different options for setting up your URLs via permalinks. 1 / 14

2. WebSetNet Webmaster Blog This is how the some of the default URLs in WordPress might look like before modifying the permalinks: URLs for posts: URLs for pages: URLs for categories: Obviously, this is not how you want these URLs to look like. They dont make any sense to humans and if they had to pass around these URLs to someone, there is always that possibility of getting it wrong. Permalinks to the rescue then. There are a number of different options that you can choose to make your URLs look pretty (readable). The best of the lot, however, is the Post name structure, which is what I recommend using for the best Search Engine friendly URLs. This setting generates URLs that look like this: This is the setting that Market Tantra, and for that matter most other top blogs out there, prefer. If you are looking for more control and organization for your posts/pages, you can opt for a custom structure and use something like this: 2 / 14 3. WebSetNet Webmaster Blog The above setting will append the category name to the URLs- useful if you have a lot of content that you would like to organize better within their own categories. The URL might look something like this: Personally, most of my posts end up being a part of more than one category and hence I prefer the /%postname%/ (the Post name setting) as opposed to having categories included in the URLs. Note: If you have been using WordPress for some length of time with the default URL structure and the sites pages are already indexed in this format with the Search Engines, all is not lost yet. I still recommend turning on the permalinks settings. This WILL change the URL structure but then you can use a 301 redirection to redirect the previous URLs with bad formatting to those newly formatted. 2. Pick a Preferred Domain Most websites can be accessed via two URLs. One with the www in it, and one without. So for example, Market Tantra can potentially be accessedd via: or However, if you type in the latter (the one without www in it) you will notice it gets redirected to the former URL (with the www in it). In this case, the first URL is my preferred domain. From an SEO point of view, its advisable to pick any one of the two possible domain formats and stick with it. This is what I have done for this site, by opting to have the www version as my choice of preferred domain. Anywhere that I need to promote my website, I use this domain format. You can also set a preferred domain in your Google Webmaster Tools dashboard (recommended). Now, if you have been working with WordPress websites you have probably noticed that WordPress automatically redirects your website visitors to your preferred domain. Or so it seems! 3 / 14 4. WebSetNet Webmaster Blog You see, theres a catch- WordPress has an in-built setting for redirecting site traffic to the preferred version but it uses a 302-redirect. A 302-redirect is a temporary redirect which essentially tells Search Engines that both versions of the domain are available and should be indexed. This causes the Search Engine crawlers/bots to index two versions of the same site resulting in duplicate content issues as well as unpredictable behaviour when it comes to serving these pages in response to search queries. By ensuring you present Search Engines with only one of the domains you also ensure linking consistency and get full link-juice To illustrate this with an example: Let us assume you have a website with both the www and non-www version indexed. If 10 external websites link to the www version while another 10 of them link to the non-www version you end up with two different pages that are getting link juice from just 10 sites each. On the other hand, if the redirect is in place, you end up with the link-juice from all 20 websites flowing into just one page which means a more optimized page. It is therefore recommended that you use a 301-redirect which is a permanent redirect, something that Search Engines recommend. One way this can be achieved is by editing the .htaccess file on your server by including the following lines of code. You can access this file by connecting to your server via an FTP client. The file is usually located at the root of your server. # Begin 301 RewriteEngine On RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www.[your-domain].com [NC] RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.[your-domain].com/$1 [L,R=301] Note: Make sure to replace the your-domain with the actual domain name. What the above line of code will do is redirect to Note 2: Also remember that above lines of code for the .htaccess redirect will work only on Linux based servers with the Apache Mod-Rewrite module enabled. For more information on your setup, please contact your web host. Note 3 and a Warning: Messing up with the .htaccess could have potentially serious consequences for your website. Please be careful while making any changes to this file. If you are doing it for the first time, read up adequately on the matter, or better, have someone guide 4 / 14 5. WebSetNet Webmaster Blog you through it. Some themes and plugins allow you to edit the .htaccess files directly from within the WordPress dashboard. Read the theme/plugin documentation carefully to see if this is the case for your website. 3. Google Authorship Implementation Google Authorship is a way for you to link your Google+ profile to the content that you put down on your website pages. One big advantage of implementing authorship, up until now, was that Google displayed a photo of the author next to the result on SERPs: Although the photo feature has now been taken away (read more about it here: Google+ authorship update), it still makes a lot of sense to set up Google authorship for your website/blog. Heres why: It helps make your content stand out: Although not as much as before, since the author photos were taken out, it still shows the author name in search results. It remains to be seen how this change has affected the overall CTRs for search results. It creates an emotional connect with the searcher: This also gets impacted since the searcher does not see the author photos anymore, but having your name display in SERPs does give you an edge. It helps establish credibility: This is a reason alone to setup authorship since it works as sort of a proof that Google considers you a reputable author. It also helps protect your content from scrapers and other copy-cats. It helps increase the number of followers you have in Google Plus: The name that appears in search results links directly to your Google Plus profile, which searchers can click on to visit your page and connect with you. 5 / 14 6. WebSetNet Webmaster Blog There are two ways you can set up a Google Plus authorship for your WordPress website, the manual way and plugin way. Read about these methods here- How To Set Up Google Plus Authorship. 4. SEO-Friendly WordPress Themes And Plugins As mentioned before, WordPress comes with several built-in features that make it optimized for search engines. However, you need to reassess if the themes or plugins that you use affect your websites SEO in a favourable or an adverse manner. Some things to consider (specific to SEO) before picking a specific theme or plugin for your WordPress based site: Responsive Layout: mobile-first is the mantra that you should live by, as far as your website is concerned. One of the most important things that you can do to improve your websites performance is making it mobile-friendly. Theres nothing better than having a website that performs well across the spectrum of mobile devices and screen sizes, ranging from smartphones to tablets. This warrants a careful approach while picking a custom theme for you WordPress site. A lot of old (and even some new) themes are non-responsive which can negatively impact your SEO. Also watch out for any plugins that may