Search Engine Optimization techniques for WordPress

Making your blog (or web site) stand out on the web is hard work so how can a small business make the most out of their web site, gain free advertising on major search engines and increase their profile without having resorting to unethical means? Well for starters you could watch Matt Cutts talk about Google. Frankly I think few people in world understand the search engine giant better than Matt, so if you’re serious about making it to the front page of Google listen to him talk about fighting web spam. If you don’t have time to watch the whole thing, Lisa Barone did a great summary of it.

WordPress has a wonderful article published on their codex about optimizing web sites for search engine ranking, and Nathan Rice has written what I would call the easiest guide to WordPress SEO on the web.

Here’s what you have to keep in mind when optimizing WordPress based web sites for search engine spidering:

Keyword Density – Use rich keywords through your articles, pages and content. Keep in mind that keyword stuffing your pages will have a negative effect.

  • Meta Keywords – Using descriptive keywords and key phrases will help your business increase presence but again, be very careful. Search engines want to see keywords relative to your subject.
  • Meta Description – Try to use the same content as your Title tag or H1 as a description, the description is meant to be representative of your page content.
  • Optimized Titles – Use your title well. The title of your article should be displayed in H1 tags, within the Title tags and of course, the Meta Description. Your title should be descriptive but less than 64 characters.
  • Duplicate Content – Control your duplicate content. Remember that Google will penalize you for repeating content. By default, WordPress will duplicate any content you place in multiple categories so make sure you’ve used the proper Meta tags to control your content
  • Permalinks – By default WordPress wants to use ?p=12 as as your URL’s. Fix this under your Permalinks setting to ensure WordPress uses keyword rich slugs.
  • Google Web Master Tools – Most people don’t realize that Google actually provides tools for Web Masters to improve online placement. Learn them, use them.

Do you have any other resources for people looking to improve their placement with WordPress? Please let me know.

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