5 Ways to Improve SEO with WordPress

I have been building websites with WordPress for about for a few years now, I started with v1.0 and have made my way up to the latest v2.7. I started with this blog, then branched out to blogs for clients, and eventually I started creating some sites in WP and using it more as a CMS than blog. I found that over time, WP has some great benefits for SEO if you set it up right. StamfordCTGuide is a local guide for the town I used to live in, it has over 300 pages (posts) of content. By setting up WP with the right plugins and using some other tricks of the trade, I was able to secure some pretty high search engine rankings (#3 for Stamford, CT in Google). I have also created great rankings for this blog as well as blogs for clients. The thing I have learned about SEO is that its like Black Magic, there is no one way to achieve it and everyone has their own ways. As I have figured out certain things along the way, I felt that it would be important to share them, I’m not guaranteeing that this will work for everyone.

Here are my recommendations:

Plugins/Settings

  • SEO Title Tag – This is a great plugin, some people prefer the All-In-One Seo Page, but I’ve had great success with this one in particular. Title tags are probably one of the most important pieces for SEO, that people can often overlook. I always make sure that I include the name of the site along with the title of the post/article/page. An Example: Use Twitter to Find Jobs – Jake Rutter – User Interface Designer, CSS/XHTML Developer SEO Title Tag allows you to setup defaults to pull in the post title and also append the blog name to each title tag. And the beauty is that, you can go a step further and overwrite each title tag from the SEO Title Tag Manage tab.
  • FeedBurner PluginFeedBurner is a fantastic service, if you don’t already have an account, you will need to set one up. FeedBurner is a service that takes your RSS feed and syndicates, tracks, standardizes your feed so that it can be easily picked up by many other sites/services. The company was purchased by Google in 2005, and since that acquisition it seems that it has helped with my Google rankings, although that could just be a coincidence. The best part of WordPress is that everything is RSS-able, you can RSS everything, by category, by date, etc. I have seen instances where I post something, an article to StamfordCTGuide and within about 2 hrs its in Google and getting decent traffic. By using the feedburner plugin, it gives you a direct route to Google.
  • Google Sitemaps – This particular Google Sitemaps plugin is a great tool for generating an XML Sitemap of your site, which you then feed to Google via their Webmaster Tools. The sitemap will inform google of which pages are necessary to be crawled throughout your site. If you would like to learn more about Google Sitemaps, Google it!
  • Permalinks – I setup permalinks within my wordpress install as “/category/postname.html” . I have been setting up installs of wordpress in this fashion for about 3 years and have always had great luck with SEO. Some people choose to add in a date, but I prefer to use category and postname, it seems to work best. You can find Permalinks by going to Settings > Permalinks in WordPress.
  • Title Tags – Title tags are what you see on the bar above the URL when you are on any given page. That is also what you are usually searching for, when you do a search in Google. It will rely on the title tags and the content of the page. So the title tags are pretty important. If you wanted to be found when users type in: stamford ct restaurants. Then you would create title tags that reflect what you would like to be found for. The best thing about title tags, is that it can be achieved through trial and error. Once you are in Google, you can tweak those and about every 2 weeks (sometimes quicker), Google will pickup the new version of your site and your rankings should change if you have made changes to the title tags.

Above are the 5 ways that you can improve your SEO via WordPress.