Higher search engine ranking means more traffic, more visitors and more sales. It does not take lots of effort although takes a bit of skills and knowledge to do things right.
Here are 7 tips I personally utilize for each and every portal I build. Some of these are specific to WordPress, some apply to any website. Consider it a must-have checklist.
- Use permalinks setting wisely.
Default setting for wordpress permalinks is not most search engine friendly. To fix it – login to WordPress dashboard, Settings->Permalinks->select (x) Custom structure and set permalinks like this:
This will make URL’s to your posts to include SEO friendly category name instead of id’s and numbers. Helps search engine to rank your posts for the proper keyword phrases.
- All-in-one SEO Pack plugin.
This plugin lets you customize titles, meta descriptions and tons of other meta-parameters of your pages and posts globally and separately. This is free “SEO workhorse” plugin that is a must for every wordpress blog. Just get it and use it:
- Google XML Sitemaps plugin. …or Google XML Sitemap Generator plugin -is an absolute necessity. It generates and re-generates sitemap for your site. Sitemap is a file (map) that helps search engines to know about all pages on your blog/website. This plugin also automatically notifies major search engines about sitemap updates that are happened on your portal. This in turn improves crawlability and helps you to achieve quicker indexing and higher ranking fast. Get it here:
PS: Don’t forget to use Google Webmaster’s tool to “validate” your site as well as include sitemap.xml into it.
[Ask me if you need to know more details -> contact]
- Use good XML/RPC Services to speed up crawling/indexing of your new pages and posts.
Goto admin dashboard, Settings->Writing and find “Update Services” window. WordPress 2.7 by default lists only 1 notification service there, but it helps to include a few more. Internet is full of recommendations about which service to include and some are getting over the board by listing dozens and dozens of these, thinking that the more the better. It is not true. I personally and programmatically validated all listed services in existence and selected only ones that were consistently working for me. Here they are, feel free to add them into “Update Service” box (after pingomatic):
- Use Redirection Plugin. John Godley created wonderfully simple, useful and powerful redirection plugin that makes it extremely easy to create redirections from old renamed pages to the new ones as well as to conceal affiliate links and do other useful stuff. Google don’t like 404 “not found” pages, so before changing page name – create redirection from it to existing page. It also supports regular expressions (if you’re really techie). Here it is:
- Do not abuse tag clouds.
Tag clouds looks cute and many webmaster love to include them for user-friendly navigation purposes but I’d recommend against it. They add lots of spammy looking keyword clusters on many (in many case all blog) pages and produce chunks of contents that look like duplicate pieces in the eyes of Google. Instead I suggest to tag each post and page separately and have these page-specific tags listings to be placed at the bottom of each page. Many themes do that by default and it is sufficient.
- Use Onlywire.com service to help promote your site.
Sign-up at onlywire.com – it’s a free service that helps to automate promotion of your site across many social bookmarking and tagging portals. It takes a while to initially set it up – but well worth it down the road. Install OnlyWire button on your browser and after you’ve created new page -click this “Save Page” button. OnlyWire then automatically make a postings across dozens of popular social portals without you doing much.
Just do it!