WordPress is one of the most seo friendly publishing systems today, but to get the best results you still need to tinker with it a little bit!
So let’s see what steps you need to take to modify WordPress so it will turn into a true seo CMS:
1. Permalinks structure: the default structure is no good at all – although search engines have no problem in indexing pages that have urls with variables, it’s very clear that they prefer clean urls.
The best results I have seen are when permalinks structure is set to “%postname%”, and only that. This is something to keep in mind for any site you build, WordPress or any other CMS.
2. Related posts plugin ( tinyurl.com/262ao4 ): this is good for both your visitors and the search engines. It automatically finds related posts and displays them in a list – very useful when visitors arrive on a page looking for something and they get more info on the same subject.
3. Metatags plugin ( tinyurl.com/2fxota ): you simply can’t let the search engines handle the text your visitors see in the search engine result pages. You can influence your click-through rate very much just by handling this one aspect of your copy.
As for the search engine optimization aspect – the description metatag can move you up a spot or two when you are in the first 5 with small to medium competition. And it only takes a minute!
4. Sitemap Generator Plugin ( tinyurl.com/2zy4nx ): for a small site this wouldn’t be a problem, but when your page count goes over 50 indexing and maintaining a sitemap the old fashioned way just isn’t viable.
This plugin is actually more valuable because it creates both an XML sitemap (like those used by Google) and a normal, HTML sitemap for your visitors.
Some of its features include: support for multi-level categories and pages, category/page exclusion, permalink support, what order to list items in and many other options.
5. List of ping sites ( tinyurl.com/2ljwrb ): put this great list in the Options -> Writing -> Update Services box and every time you write a new post 56 sites will link to you. This is a great way to ensure a quick indexing of every post on your site and, given enough time, get quite a few backlinks with the text anchor you choose.
Some optimizers say that blog and ping doesn’t work anymore, but I do this everyday – it takes next to no time and the benefits are visible.
6. Technorati ( technorati.com ) is another easy way to make your WordPress blog known, especially to other bloggers. Still, its biggest benefit is categorizing and indexing your content.
Create an account, claim your blog and then fill in the details in the blog settings page: write up a good description and then in the “tags” section fill in the keywords that represent your blog. Try to fill all the boxes but don’t spam. If you grabbed the list from no. 5 you’ll have all your posts listed in Technorati, and you’re going to see the benefits really soon.
Apply these tips and soon you’ll be on your way to more traffic and better ranking!
Florin Costache is a Romanian webmaster that writes on search engine optimization (optimizare). He also provides Romanian site owners with top notch seo services (optimizare site)!