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Optimizing Your Blog for Search Engines

There are many mysteries surrounding how search engine rankings work and what really boosts your Web site’s visibility when it comes to search engine listings, but most industry experts believe that all search engines love Web sites that are updated often. This is why blogs can be so successful at generating lots of Web traffic.

With the help of some basic settings, free plugins, and useful tips you can increase your ranking in most search engines. Below, in no particular order, you will find helpful information on optimizing your WordPress blog for search engines:

  • Permalinks: Every WordPress blog has the ability to display permanent links to each post in a variety of ways. By default WordPress uses web URLs which have question marks and lots of numbers in them, however WordPress offers a few alternative link structures to choose from, or you can even create your own custom link structure to suit your needs.

    The WestHost blog uses the Month and name setting, which will produce links such as http://www.westhost.com/blog/2008/08/post-title-goes-here/. Having a post with a title that matches relevant post content will be a big plus for Search Engine Optimization.

    This setting can be changed in your WordPress admin control panel. Simply click on Settings from the top right and then click on Permalinks from the sub menu that appears below. Once you select what link structure will work best for you, simply click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page.

  • All in One SEO Pack Plugin: This plugin is streamlined for some of the best practices for WordPress SEO. While it gives you many options the defaults reflect the settings the author recommends using.

    Some features:

    • Automatically optimizes your titles for search engines
    • Generates META tags automatically
    • Avoids the typical duplicate content found on WordPress blogs
    • You can override any title and set any META description and any META keywords you want.
    • You can fine-tune everything
    • Backward-Compatibility with many other plugins, like Auto Meta, Ultimate Tag Warrior and others.
    • And more!
  • Google XML Sitemaps Plugin: This plugin will create a Google sitemaps compliant XML-Sitemap of your WordPress blog. It supports all of the WordPress generated pages as well as custom ones. Every time you edit or create a post, your sitemap is updated and all major search engines that support the sitemap protocol, like Google, ASK.com, MSN Search and YAHOO, are notified about the update.
  • Link related posts: This one sounds simple enough, but many people forget to do this. If you are making a post that may have related info in past posts you’ve made, link to them. This isn’t just helpful to search engines, but to your site visitors as well. Many search engines will analyze what content you are linking to, and when it is a relevant post, it will help increase the credibility of your current post. For example, in this article we have discussed using WordPress plugins to help with search engine optimization, and only a few weeks ago we wrote a post on how to install WordPress plugins.

These are just a few ideas to help get started with optimizing your blog for search engines. As you can see, SEO on any Web site is a constant task, but all of these little things can really add up and pay off big when it comes to search engine rankings for your blog content.

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6 Comments

  1. Wordpress SEO Plugin
    Posted September 9, 2008 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    WordPress is a great blogging platform and getting it search engine optimized really isn’t a hard task. Using proper permalinks and robots.txt file to prevent duplicate content and a few other methods can really make a difference. The All in One SEO plugin is really the best bet.

  2. Kentli
    Posted September 29, 2008 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    I installed the “WordPress Automatic Upgrade” (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-automatic-upgrade/) plugin a while back and have to say it’s probably the one I rate the highest. It has made updating WordPress as well as the plugins an automatic, painless experience.

    You don’t even have to download the new files from WP for upload to your server – it does it all from disabling plugins to getting the new files, creating backups and all the other tasks.

    It works with themes and so far hasn’t messed up any of my own localizations or tweaks.

  3. Posted September 29, 2008 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    I installed the “Wordpress Automatic Upgrade” (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-automatic-upgrade/) plugin a while back and have to say it’s probably the one I rate the highest. It has made updating WordPress as well as the plugins an automatic, painless experience.

    You don’t even have to download the new files from WP for upload to your server – it does it all from disabling plugins to getting the new files, creating backups and all the other tasks.

    It works with themes and so far hasn’t messed up any of my own localizations or tweaks.

    I used to avoid upgrading for as long as possible out of fear of making a mistake. I would upgrade when I had a good few hours to waste in case I needed those hours to restore the old files. Nowadays I do the upgrade immediately, it only takes a few minutes, and I know I cannot mess up.

  4. Posted August 3, 2009 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Very interesting, thank you!

  5. Posted August 14, 2009 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Thanks for given great seo tips.

  6. Seo Firm
    Posted September 3, 2009 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Good job…. thanks for tips.

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