WordPress SEO – A better search position

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Wordpress SEO

WordPress can easily be geared perfectly for SEO. The system is built to generate fast, modern, clean code that search engines love. Now with more plug-ins, WordPress can easily be geared for good SEO. We are not going to go through the general information you need to improve your search position with WordPress, there are plenty of posts here and elsewhere that cover that. This post is about the specific things that apply to WordPress, and we already assume you have done some research, targeting etc.

Check your theme:

On page optimisation is the most important thing you can do before you worry about link building etc. Not all themes are created equal, and you can easily be hampered by poorly put-together code. What you need to do is use an on-page “keyword checker”, like the one from SEO MOZ to see if your front page is meeting your goals. If it isn’t, there really is only so much you can do by changing the content of your front page , so you will have to get into the theme and get your hands dirty.

What you need to do is go into Appearance > Editor and open the header.php first. This is usually where the code for the  navigation bar and header will be kept. You need to skim down past the <head> code and get to the section that starts with <body>. If your code looks like this, then you are missing out;

<div id=”container”>
<div id=”header”>
<h1 class=”blog-title”><a href=”your-homepage”><img border=”0″ src=”logo img”></a></h1>
<span class=”tagline”></span>
<div id=”headertext”></div>
</div>
<div id=”wrapper”>
<div id=”navigation”>
<ul>
<?php if (is_page()) { $highlight = “page_item”; } else {$highlight = “page_item current_page_item”; } ?>
<ul>
<li class=”something”> Your navigation
</ul>
</div>
This is a very abridged version of what you might have in your header.php code, but it shows the basics of what is going on, and what you are missing out on. Here is the breakdown of a few other things you need in your header;
<a href=” link to your home page” title=”your name”><img src=”your logo” title=”your company name” alt=”your company name”></a>
<h1> your company name </h1>
You need to make sure your logo has a title, and that your company name is spelled out as a H1 tag.
Pick an SEO Plug in
There are two great SEO plugins, Platinum SEO and All in One SEO. They both have their benefits, but ultimately they do the same thing. When using one of these plug ins there are a few things you need to do;
  1. Make sure you have a different title tag and description for each page
  2. Don’t overuse your keywords in the title and description of your website
  3. Use action words in your description, and make it sound like an advertisement for your business
  4. If you are using tags and categories to group your posts, make sure you un-check the “nofollow” or “noindex” options

The Footer

Use your address + contact details in the footer

There is still a lot of speculation on how Google Maps work, but in the least for the benefit of your clients, you should use your physical address and contact details in the footer.

Put a link to the key pages of your website in the footer

Make sure you link to the key pages of your website from the footer. It gives you  a chance to reiterate the focus on the keywords that matter most to your website.

WordPress Speed

The speed of your website is worth checking, because it improves user interaction, and reduces the bounce rate if your website is fast. We have written a few posts on increasing wordpress speed, but here are a few quick things you can do;

  1. Install w3TC and walk through the options. Some of the recommendations you may not be able to do, but most of it is pretty good stuff.
  2. Always use optimised images in your website. Don’t scale your images down using HTML and CSS, just make sure the images you use are as they were uploaded.
  3. Use load impact to assess how long your website takes to load and what you can do to improve it.
  4. Use Google Libraries.
  5. Delete old revisions.

Put a contact box on the right

Though not strictly a SEO task, putting a contact box on the right, usually as a widget, with an easy to use form, and your contact number will improve your user interaction no end.

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