Ever wanted your WordPress blog on page one of the search engine page? Of course, who doesn’t. In this article we will take a closer look at the following areas for Optimizing WordPress Blogs for the Search Engines:
* How to avoid duplicate content.
* How to structure the blog correctly.
* How to increase the load and page speed.
* How to have the best Meta tags and other code.
* How to use the best URL structure.
* Create backlinks automatically.
In this article we will examine 2: How to avoid duplicate content and How to use the best URL structure. If you want to do all 6 above, there is a hyperlink at the end of the article to a video which will take you through them methodically.
How to use the best URL structure.
The default WordPress URL looks like this: yourblog.com/?p=154
This tells the search engines nothing at all about your your page, however, if your page looked like this “yourblog.com/mlm-companies-reviewed” the page would rank much higher for the keywords in the page title. Before making any changes to your permalinks, however, be careful as changing them without taking the following action first will lose your bookmarks, existing rankings and backlinks.
So here is what you must do initially: Go to your plugins area in WordPress and search for “Redirection” in the Add Plugins function. Add and install a plugin called Redirection by John Godley. Activate the plugin, now any changes you make to old permalinks will be automatically redirected so all stays the same as far as User and searches are concerned.
Now go and change your permalinks in the Settings -> permalinks section to the following structure /%postname% in custom structure.
The Slug is the %postname% part of the URL generated for your post, so in our case it will be yourblog/Slug-is-here
The slug is generated from the title you give your post, which is good because the title contains your keywords. The problem is, that it will contain other words that are not necessary for the search engines. So for example if your post was called “What do you need to do teach your dog to sing” would result in yourblog.com/What-do-you-need-to-do-teach-your-dog-to-sing whereas what is really important is yourblog.com/teach-your-dog-to-sing. So that would be a better URL, and you can do it manually every time. However, you can automate it by installing a plugin called SEO Slugs. This will automatically remove common words like: and, at etc.
How to avoid duplicate content
WordPress is configured to create duplicate content and unless you make some changes it will happen on your blog too. This is something to avoid as the search engines do not like duplicate content. If you want a full explanation then watch the video link at the bottom of the blog post. In order to solve the problem you can do the following: Go to Tools? Redirection? Modules (Redirection is the plugin we installed earlier).
Click on modules and select to edit the WordPress, there change the setting so that your site is always searched for with or without WWW, but not both, there is a drop down box in the Canonical parameter. Choose the one you prefer, as otherwise your site may indexed twice and you will lose ranking. In the Strip index parameter, set it to Strip Index.
Archives, WordPress archives by several criteria, such as date, Author, Category and Tag. Turn off the ones that you do not need. Also, only the front page should show in full and all the rest should show excerpts. Here is how:
Search and install plugin Robots Meta by Joost de Valk. Then go to your settings page in WordPress and click on Robots Meta, scroll to the section “Prevent Indexing” and check the following boxes:
All admin pages
This will ensure that they do not show up in Google, avoiding duplication. If you know what you are doing and are using tags and categories, then do not check them. For most beginners though they should be clicked.
Then in the Archive Settings area Disable the author archives and Disable the date-based archives.