Advanced SEO Tips for your WordPress Blog

Posted by on Dec 16, 2013 in Wordpress and Blogging Tips | 0 comments

Throughout the years there have been many changes to Google’s algorithm and fewer SEO criteria stay the same. One of them is the power of WordPress! It is still a powerful way to rank high on Google. It’s also probably one of the best platforms to use because it is already optimized and you don’t have to spend time doing this. But only by installing WordPress don’t expect to be immediately ranked high on Google. Instead expect SEO to be a lot easier for you. Now, to make your blog even more powerful, there are several changes you can implement. And fortunately, they can be done easily.

WordPress Installation

One common mistake people make is they create a site and then install WordPress in their sub directory, such as www.mysite.com/blog. If you are sure that you want to create your site without WordPress and create only a blog, then doing so may help but you will probably hurt your blog’s chances of a high rank. This is because all of your posts and pages in your blog will be seen on Google below the third level or it could be ranked even less. Such examples will look like: www.mysite.com/blog/post. So the best way is to install WordPress directly to your site. There are many themes to choose from to make your WordPress blog look like the site you desire.

Changes to your WordPress

As I said before most things on WordPress are already optimized, so you won’t have to spend a lot of time making changes. Here are some things I’d suggest you do change.

  • Go to “Setting” and then click “General”. There you’ll see your WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL). From here you can change how Google will index your site. If you use mysite.com there, these structures your site and your page will be shown this way. But you can change these to www.mysites.com. That way Google will index you with www. The key is to be consistent and use only urls with www or without www. It wouldn’t be good to use a link with www on one page and then not www for the next.
  • Go to “Settings” and then click “Writing” and check under “Update services”. There you can add pings. You’ll then see http://rpc.pingomatic.com/. WordPress will use all on this list to ping once you publish a new post. If you want you can list more here.
  • Go to “Setting” and then click “Permalinks”. This will be a very important change to make. This is how your url will look. I’d suggest you use this: http://www.mysite.com/sample-post/. That way you can choose your keywords in the url for all of your posts. Keep in mind that this will give you a better chance for a high rank. For example, let’s say you want to rank for “make money online”. It is better to change the permalink to: http://www.mysite.com/make-money-online than it to: http://www.mysite.com/how-to-make-money-online. Keywords that are after the url looks much more important for Google.

There are more changes that you can make. I’d suggest you to spend some time to make your blog the way you like it, but what I mentioned is enough for SEO.

What Plugins to Use

A great thing about WordPress is that it allows you to use any kind of plugins, and there are a ton of them. Most of them can be found for free. Here are some of the most important to use for SEO.

  • SEO All in One. This is a great plugin that will help you with your SEO. The most important thing about this is that it allows you to change your title tag. As you may know, there are four important factors for all pages – the title tag, name of the file, link from the main menu and H1 tag. WordPress won’t allow you to change all of these. If you know SEO, you probably know that these things don’t have to be the same. Having these the same may not look natural to Google (which can hurt your ranking). Some bloggers don’t change them, but it is your choice. SEO All in One gives you the ability to do this, but it doesn’t mean you have to do that for all your posts. Once the plugin is installed, you’ll start to see areas below your posts where you can add a title tag, meta keyword and meta description. Go to SEO All in One and click on “General Settings”. There you’ll see many options that you can choose to change. If you don’t know exactly what you’re doing, it’s best not to change them.

    Also, you might prefer to install Yoast plugin. It is free and has more options, but if you are not advanced in SEO, I’d suggest you stick with All in One.

  • Sociable. This is a great plugin that will add sociable buttons under your posts. Keep in mind that Google now counts the number of social likes your posts have as a ranking factor. By placing these buttons you can get more votes. Also when people click these, you can get more free traffic from these social sites.
  • W3 Total Cache. This is a great plugin that will help you increase the speed of your site. Google uses the speed of your site as a ranking factor.
  • Google Sitemap. What you want is a plugin that will generate your sitemap automatically and update it when you add new post to your blog and ping Google. If you already have Yoast installed, it will do this for you so you won’t have to install this one.
  • On-Page optimization

    Here are the most important factors that Google checks to rank your posts:

    – Title tag
    – Name in the main menu
    – Name of the file
    – H1 tag
    – Meta keywords
    – Meta description
    – WordPress tags

    Many SEO specialists will suggest to make the first four different, in order to make your post look more natural. For example if you make a page about “make money online”, you can do something like this:

    Title : How to Make Money Online
    Name: Make Money Online
    File: Money
    H1 Tag: How to Make Money Online

    This will allow your post to look more natural to Google, though some bloggers prefer to make these things the same; make these changes only if you want. Here’s how to do so.

    Go to posts and then click “Add new”. First you’ll see “enter title here”. This is not your title tag. This is your H1 tag. And if you don’t make any changes, all of these elements will be the same.

    If you want to change the name of the file, click “Permalink”, and then click “Edit”. By clicking this you can change the name of your post. What you enter here will be shown in the url. For example if you enter “post”, then your url of that post will be changed to: http://www.mysite.com/post. The title tag, meta keyword and meta descriptions can all be changed under every post by using SEO All in One.

    If you want to change the link to the main menu you can go to “Appearance” and then “Widgets” and then click on “Add a text module”. That will create a menu in your blog. There you can manually add your links with the changed anchor text.

    At the right you’ll see “tags”. There you can add tags.

    Tips to Optimize your Content

    No matter what you change in WordPress you won’t be ranked if you don’t have quality content. The most important factor in Google’s algorithm is the content quality. Google wants their search results to have to best, most relevant content to appear at the top. They use an advanced algorithm to measure the quality of a site’s content. Here are several of the most important things you have to know if you want to rank high on Google.

  • Don’t create duplicate or snip content. Google penalizes for duplicate content. If you try using software to rewrite articles, Google will be able to detect them. Recently they have developed more advanced algorithms that can penalize sites for snipped articles. So it’s important to create original content.
  • Don’t overdo your keyword density. Your keywords density has to be less than 3% of your total word count. If you pass this limit, Google will detect this and think that you are trying to manipulate their algorithm and may penalize your site. Many people still believe that repeating more keywords than allowed will give them higher rankings, but this is not true. Also, spread your keywords naturally throughout your text, but try to increase it slightly at the beginning.
  • Use long tail keywords as your main SEO strategy. If you’re familiar with SEO, you probably know that niches which receive a lot of traffic are highly competitive and ranking for similar terms is not an easy task. A good way would be to rank for long tail keywords. These keywords are much easier to rank for than main keywords. There are also many advantages, such as: long tail keywords are targeted and easier and faster to rank for; these usually don’t get a lot of traffic, but if you target a lot of them, you’ll be making much more money; you can rank them faster. The key is to optimize all of your posts for different types of keywords.

    Allow me give you an example of one of my last projects. A client wanted me to rank his company for the keywords paid surveys. I explained to him that this is too competitive and will be very difficult, time consuming and expensive for him. Instead, I suggested to create several pages on his site and to optimize them for a variety of keywords. For example one was optimized for legitimate surveys, where I suggested targeting other similar keywords that I knew had traffic through the use of Google Suggestion Tool. These were keywords such as legitimate paid surveys, legitimate surveys for money, surveys legit that pay and so on. Next page can be done for keywords like surveys review and so on. By doing so you’ll be able to easily implement many more keywords, which will increase traffic to your page.

  • Update your blog regularly. This can be very time consuming, which is one of the main problems bloggers will encounter. Fortunately there are several things you can do. Concentrate on quality instead of quantity. Believe me, to rank high you won’t have to update your blog daily. There are blogs that rank high and update weekly or even less. Create posts that are interesting, informative and have more than 700 words. Keep in mind that after the last Google algorithm, called Hummingbird, was implemented, Google has started to add more value to posts with 1000 or more words. Make longer and higher quality posts. This helps your page ranking more than by updating daily with low quality content.

    Again the quality of your posts is important. Google try to find the best sites and give them the highest rankings. You might ask – How do they do this? Google will never show exactly how this is done, but there are some important factors we know.

  • The number of social votes your site gets. These social votes have started to play a more important role in Google’s algorithm these days. Try to stimulate people to click these buttons. You can just ask them to do that at the end of your posts, or say something like “hey vote for me and you’ll get a free products”, for example.
  • The average time people spend on your site. Google believes the more time people spend on your site, the higher the quality your site contains. If people leave your site immediately, it will looks that site probably contains low quality content.
  • The links your site has. This is one of the main ranking factors. If you have quality content, more people will be willing to link to your site. You also will get more links if you start to create them manually because people like to link to quality content.
  • I started to make money online with paid surveys. After a while I saw that there are far better ways to make money online and I joined the SEO game. For several years I’ve been doing SEO with much success. I practice only white hat SEO tactics. If you’re interested, here’s a blog I created about online surveys, where anyone can make money easily. Please vote for this article. If you have any questions, ask me. I’ll be happy to help.

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