WANTED: Your Top WordPress SEO Tips

Greetings all

After spending the last few weeks providing SEO coaching to small businesses here in New Zealand, I realized that many of them are relying more and more on WordPress-based web sites for their business.

Now I don’t have a problem with this at all – I’m a huge fan of WordPress and so are search engines. It’s really easy to use the blogging platform to build a decent looking, search engine friendly web site. But where people are coming unstuck is in how to optimize their WordPress site when they were previously used to dealing with raw HTML code.

I have started a little checklist for WordPress users, just to remind them of the key SEO tweaks they can make to their blog pages and posts to ensure they are as visible in search engines as possible. I hope to publish the checklist here and also make it available to Search Engine College students as a downloadable PDF.

Here’s where you guys come in. I know many of you use WP on a daily basis and are also busy optimizing your sites for Google and other search engines. I would LOVE for you to share your best tip on how to optimize WP sites so I can add it to the checklist.

Unless you wish to remain anonymous, all tips used will be acknowledged via name and link in the finished document.

Got your tip ready? Please add it in the comments on this post. Thanks so much!

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Q and A: Is it possible to SEO a WordPress site?

Question

Hi Kalena

I had a big discussion last night with my husband and my son-in-law who has done some work on my husband’s web site.

Jason (my son-in-law) has used WordPress for the site. There are currently about 79 pages on the site. In our conversation I was pretty adamant that I wanted to be able to SEO all the pages. I don’t want to rely on WordPress and it’s blog meta tags to get ranked.

Shouldn’t we be better served by a web building program than a blog program like WordPress? I understand that WordPress has an all singing all dancing SEO plug in but is that really the best option?

I know that you use WordPress for your blog. And it seems the right thing to do. But do you also use it for your main site? Any advice you may give me would be most appreciated.

Thanks so much.

Vicki

Hi Vicki

Actually, sites built with WordPress are perfect for SEO purposes. We are actually thinking of switching our Search Engine College site over to WordPress because of the SEO benefits including deep indexing, cross linking, tagging, filenaming and various SEO plugins that pretty much make other CMS packages obsolete.

You and your son in law should have no trouble optimizing your husband’s WordPress site and hopefully achieving some good ranks and traffic as a result. There are a number of fantastic SEO plugins for WordPress and people are raving about how SEO friendly the WordPress Thesis theme is so you might want to check it out.

You might also want to my review my favorite WordPress plugins. Add to that list the SEO Smart Links plugin and you should be set.

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Like to learn more about SEO? Download my free SEO lesson. No catch!

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Q and A: How do I get a job as a Search Engine Optimizer?

QuestionDear Kalena

I have just turned 40 & am looking for a new career having previously been in sales management. I am interested in finding out how I would go about getting a position within a company as a S.E.O. and what qualifications are currently internationally recognized within the industry. Any advice would be appreciated.

Second question: is a blog type website such as a WordPress site better for optimization than the typical site a web designer would build?

Mark

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Dear Mark

1) There’s no reason why you can’t start a new career as a Search Engine Optimizer, heck I’ve written an article called 11 Reasons Why You Should Consider a Job in Search Engine Marketing. BUT, (and this is a big BUT), it takes more than theoretical knowledge and qualifications to be a good SEO.

There are plenty of online and offline training options for learning Search Engine Optimization, including the SEO courses we offer at Search Engine College. But they need to be paired with practical, in the trenches experience before you really understand how to optimize a web site successfully.

I attended a powerful presentation by Nat Torkington at Webstock last week about how to have successful failures and I would say that failures are a MUST for anyone in SEO. It’s only when you fail to get a page ranked highly in search engines and then tweak it to out-rank your competitors that you really grok SEO.

Regarding SEO qualifications, you should be aware that the search industry does not have an official accreditation body and therefore no standardized certification levels. At Search Engine College, we consistently check our lesson methodologies against the guidelines set down by the search engines themselves and I believe many of the other training institutions do the same.  We also set quite strict performance benchmarks for tutor-graded assignments and assessment items before allowing our students to gain certification.

As a result, we believe SEO / SEM certification has become increasingly recognized by employers in the search industry and we’ve had students tell us that having our specific certification has given them an edge over other applicants when applying for jobs.

2) In answer to your second question, any web site can be designed and optimized well enough to be search engine friendly, but yes WordPress blogs do seem to be indexed by Google very quickly and ranked well so you can feel comfortable building and optimizing a site using WordPress. It’s so much more than a blogging platform! Just make sure you download WordPress to your own domain and don’t build your site as a hosted blog on WordPress.com

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My Favorite WordPress Plugins for 2008

I’ve had a couple of people ask me which WordPress plugins I use these days and the answer is that I have a couple of staples and the others I mix up on a regular basis depending on their usefulness or my mood.

I’m putting together a more detailed article about these soon, but in the meantime, here is a list of my favorite WordPress plugins that I’ve used on a regular basis in 2008:

I’ll do a more in-depth post soon describing the features of each, but for now, it’s Friday night and ice-cream and raspberries are beckoning.

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Q and A: What are your favorite WordPress plugins?

QuestionDear Kalena…

What are your favorite WordPress plugins, especially those used for SEO?

Anne

Hi Anne

I use a lot of plugins for WordPress, but the four I can’t live without would have to be:

To learn more about these, view my video answer below:

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