The Wordpress SEO Guide

The acronym SEO shaped label on price tag

Using Wordpress for your content management system is not only smart it’s recommended by most SEO Experts.  In order to rank well today in Google you need to have a blog and a powerful way to manage that content.  Wordpress is close to prefect out of the box but there are still things you need to do. If you are adding a new blog it is recommended to add the blog as a subfolder and not as a subdomain.  A subdomain is considered a new domain and will not carry the weight of your existing page.  Nor will you give your website the added bonus of links and content pages if you use a subdomain.

Subdomain: blog.domain.com

Subfolder: domain.com/blog/  (preferred method)

Tags & Categories

Once you have your blog installed and are ready to go you need to think about duplicate content and how you can prevent that.  The biggest problem with Wordpress is the categories and tags it allows you to create.

Tags

If you have a large website with thousands of pages of content most of the time tags will help improve your SEO.  This creates additional pages that have keywords as titles.  The problem is when you have a smaller blog and not enough articles it creates pages with almost identical content.  Duplicate content is bad for SEO and will actually hurt your ranking potential in Google.

Categories

The same thing that happens with tags also happens with category pages.  Category pages can be near identical to tag created pages and can harm your SEO efforts.

To help solve these issues I recommend to all my clients to use the All in One SEO Pack.  This is a powerful plugin that has many features with the most useful is the ability to “no-index” tags or categories.  It is highly (do it) recommended you install this plugin and set up your blog to not allow search engines to index your tag pages.  This feature alone will solve most of your on-site SEO issues with Wordpress.

Tip: When you categorize your blog post remember not to select too many categories for each blog post.  I always recommend one category.  If you start selecting several categories for each post then you run the risk of creating more duplicate content.  

Social Media

How is social media important to SEO of Wordpress?  In today’s Google algorithm it is estimated that 7-15% of the weight comes from social media signals.   This is why it’s important to help promote your blog post via social media websites.

Social Media Plugins

Before we tell you what websites work the best it’s important you install the right social sharing buttons so readers of your blog can easily share your content.  Again, there are many out there but one of our favorites is Social Discussions

Off-Page Optimization

Your off-page optimization should consist of two main factors.  The first is getting as many shares on social media websites as you can.  Tweet your articles, post them on Facebook and hope your followers like the content and share it.  It helps to ask them to share it as well. Although Google says they aren’t currently using the data from Google+ I still recommend to start embracing it now.  There will come a time in the near future when they start using the data.

Depending on the content of the article you might consider submitting it to the following social sharing networks:

Reddit

BizSugar

Blokube

Business Exchange

Digg

What’s great about sharing on the websites is if the article gets popular it will draw in more social shares and even gain some links.  It’s not uncommon for a popular article to receive 15-200 natural links.

The next is manual link building.  If you are new to link building I wrote a long write-up about Google SEO which mainly covers link building.  This is the step where you contact bloggers and see if they might use your blog post as a citation in their blogs.  Another good strategy is to reach out to other bloggers within your niche and see if they need content written for their blogs.  Maintaining a blog is hard work and most bloggers welcome guest to write quality articles as it takes some workload off of them.