SEO For WordPress Session with Jordan Kasteler – Search & Social, Rick Turoczy – Silicon Florist, and David Wallace – SearchRank. Moderated by Scott Hendison. These blogging pros discuss different tools and plugins that can be used to optimize your blog for Search Engines, but also maintain a social media friendly blogging platform. The Q& A section discusses the scalability of WordPress for a web site’s blog.
Utah SEO – Jordan Kasteler
Use a robots.txt file to ensure that your site is crawled and the pages that you don’t want crawled wont be crawled.
Evaluate your template for usability and clean the code up. Rename images, rename the directories and file names if needed. Also delete any extra code that doesn’t do what you’re looking for.
Code Optimization – Rearrange the Title of your blog post structure and ad in H1 tags if they currently don’t exist.
Duplicate Content – Use the new canonical URL tag for your blog posts.
Permalinks – Change your permalinks for each blog post, a good structure is to use your title as the URL or use a category.
Pagination – Moving from one page to another, there are some plugins that you can use to establish a clean pagination structure.
Cleaning up your categories – it’s easy to add descriptions within a category, by adding some PHP code.
No-Following blog posts – Using the “more” feature (use the “Add link attribute” plugin) you can ensure that you have a good anchor text structure.
Custom 404 pages – creating custom 404 pages can mean that you will capture “dead” traffic.
User Generated Content – very important for your blog. Enticing comments by using a “DoFollow” link is good, but you may be spammed.
Internal Linking – very important! Add internal links for blog posts that have received many external links. The “Most
Popular” blog post plug is a great way to build internal linking.
Security – Use your HTACCESS file to add more security.
David Wallace – Co-Founder at SearchRank – WordPress Plugins
Title Tags & META Tags – Allin One SEO Pack: automatically creates META description tags. Creates meta tags from the excerpts section. This plugin will solve the duplicate content issues.
Social Bookmarking – ShareThis: Great tool for social bookmarking and allowing people to email your content. This is highly customizable and you can choose which networks to include.
Twitter – Twitter Tools: automatically broadcasts content to your Twitter account. Easily sharable content on different Twitter accounts.
Mobile – WordPress Mobile Edition: really clean content rewriter for mobile phones.
Comments – By default WP adds a No-Follow, but it makes sense to add a “Do Follow” plugin because it creates a community. The plugin SubscribeToComments is a great tool to entice people to come back to your website. Comment Spam Protection plugins are excellent in cutting down blog spam – the “Math Sum” plugins work well!
Sitemaps – Sitemap Generator Plugin for WordPress: Categoy page excluding and multiple page level functionality, comment counts, and permalinks tools. Google XML Sitemap Generator for WordPress: Great plugin to ping google with new pages, and calculates priority, then pings the different search engines.
Slugs – SEO Slugs: Removes “stop words” such as “a” or “the” – this plugin gives you a great keyword rich URL.
Additional Plugins – Avatars, Category Order, Meta Robots.
Rick Turoczy – Silicon Florist – Barebones SEO for WordPress
Get involved with a “Word Camp” in your local area to learn about some of the new WordPress tools and offerings. Dont just think about WordPress as a blogging platform, start to think about it as a Content Management System (CMS) – your site can have the benefit for the WordPress optimization.
Q& A –
Why should I block my Archive Categories?
David: If your category pages show pages in entirety, then you would need to block category pages. If you use Excepts as blog posts on the category pages, then you have nothing to worry about.
Tactics that bring more spam to your website – what about Akismet?
David: I don’t use Akismet because it doesn’t catch most of the spam. Adding the Math Captcha will take care of the problem.
How can you use all of the plugins without slowing down your blog?
David: Using plugins that are essential to your blog will keep things cleaned up, don’t over do it.
Rick: From a client perspective, reduce “plugin bloat” by keeping administrative rights to yourself so that plugins don’t overtake your blog.
For the SEO Pluin – how do you choose keywords?
David: Adding excerpts will do fine and accomplish what you’re looking to do.
For the ShareThis Plugin – is that more effective than targeting specific sites?
Josh – It depends on your content, if digg is your community, then a digg button should be placed.
Using WordPress as a CMS – when should you move into a real CMS?
Rick – if you begin to string several solutions together – move to something like Drupal or Expression Engine.
Scott Fish is the Director of SEO at EngineWorks, located in Portland, Oregon.