Little-Known WordPress SEO Tips

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So you’ve installed WordPress, uploaded some SEO plugins and added keyword-rich content. What’s the next SEO step? Tweaking WordPress, making it work more efficiently and getting ahead of your competitors all at once. Check out our little-known tips…

Stop Google seeing months and days as keywords for your site

This is a surprisingly common problem, although many people aren’t aware they even have it. Sign up/log into Google’s Webmaster Tools and check out the top keywords list. If you’re seeing months of the year in that list, then it’s time to get rid of them. Even if you aren’t following a specific keyword strategy, it’s a good idea to minimise the date keywords that show up because, as a general rule, they are of no real value.

Tips for getting rid of date keywords:

  • Check your theme to see if each comment’s date is a link; if so, change it to just text.
  • Removing any bolding and H title tags from date terms (both within your entries and your comments).
  • Avoid using months and other date-related terms in your post titles, categories and tags.
  • Review your blog archive presentation. If you’re displaying a large list of links in months on every page of your site, think about an alternative solution for showing archives – perhaps just as a simple link ‘Archives’ through to your links that just appears on the homepage.
  • Try displaying your dates entirely in numerical form – but be aware that this may confuse international visitors.

Optimise your page titles

Again, duplicate content can be an issue here, particularly if you use the Post Title, Site Name structure which is so common with WordPress installations. All in One SEO Pack gives you the option to name your page titles accordingly, but you should also ensure that you use a variety of different keywords for best results.

It’s worth checking in Webmaster Tools, as if Google sees your site as having problematic page titles then it will be clearly flagged. You can also:

  • Manually write page titles to make sure they’re unique
  • Limit the length of titles, choosing the most important keywords
  • Avoid the temptation to keyword-stuff – remember that a page title is one of the main factors in a searcher deciding your page is relevant to them and use phrases that make sense rather than just lists of words
  • Support page titles with relevant content on the page, and include all the keywords you used in your title

Optimise your tags

Tags can be useful for both visitors and SEO as long as you use them carefully and consistently.

  • Make sure you have tags for all the keywords and phrases you want to target.
  • Try to restrict the number of tags you have – particularly if you display a tag cloud on your website – to narrow your focus.
  • Review your tags on a regular basis, and remove any which are unused or unsuccessful.
  • Check that you don’t unintentionally have any topic tags repeated due to plurals (e.g. ‘blog’ and ‘blogs’).

Increase the speed of your WordPress website

Since April 2010, Google has also started taking into account the speed of your website for search rankings. Improve your website’s speed by:

  • Using WP Super Cache to reduce the server’s workload.
  • Keeping your database optimised with Yoast’s Optimize DB plugin.
  • Reviewing your theme’s code, condensing where possible.
  • Make sure any images you use are optimised for the web.
  • Deleting anything you stop using, including images, themes and plugins. (Be careful though – make regular backups and think twice before deleting a well-ranked page).
  • Amalgamating all your theme’s CSS into one file, and all your JavaScript into another to reduce web server requests.
  • Going through your site thoroughly and removing the old lines of code, images and other bits and pieces that deleted themes and plugins may have left behind.

You can track how fast your pages perform using Webmaster Tools and Firefox’s Page Speed Plugin.

Avoid duplicate content being indexed

Once you factor in tags, categories and archives for a single post, that’s already several pages with duplicate content. To prevent this, you can use the nofollow attribute on internal links to categories, tags and your archives. Find out more with WP Hacks’s article: Is your WordPress blog wasting Google’s time?

Guest author Jonathan Brealey is a director and co-founder of Heart Internet web hosting (heartinternet.co.uk), one of the UK’s leading hosting companies. You can also share your hosting tips and guestblog here.

This is a guest article and represents opinions of the guest author

20 comments on “Little-Known WordPress SEO Tips

  1. Harsh Agrawal says:

    Jonathan wondering what do you suggest? keeping tag as noindex or doindex?
    I usually prefer keeping tags and categories as noindex but dofollow..

    • Jonathan says:

      An interesting question. If internal links are an important part of your strategy then noindex, dofollow could have some benefits theoretically – though I’ve never personally tried that approach. Something for me to think about, thanks.

  2. Agent WordPress says:

    Although I keep my categories and tag archives noindex and nofollow, I think its ok to keep them dofollow. Jonathan, what do you think about it?

    • Jonathan says:

      Interestingly, I did read a post by Matt Cutts which suggested leaving them dofollow, although general SEO opinion is to keep them nofollow.

      I think it’s definitely down to the individual and the site in question. As always, SEO is about testing, testing and retesting, and what we can learn from that.

  3. Athul Jayaram says:

    Nice post. I am following almost everything you said. Keep up the good job

  4. Mithun John Jacob says:

    Removing dates from posts reduces the usability(from a reader’s POV).

    Don’t always think from a SEO’s perspective.

    • Jonathan says:

      Good tip Mithun. The other advice I gave should hopefully remove the date problem, but removing dates altogether should definitely be done with caution.

  5. sabahat says:

    good site its very help full,,,

  6. vicky says:

    good article good info…

  7. Saket says:

    I have a quite different question in my mind. I have heard that tags should be of a particular HTML tag like H3. Wondering If its true or not?

  8. sms2life says:

    good article for new comers

  9. Jackson Rubem says:

    Very good article. I especially liked more the topic “Optimise your tags”. I did not know that.

  10. Namit Gupta says:

    SEO is always confusing for me. I am learning about it from quiet some time, but still confused on many things. The main problem with SEO is, there is no definite guide available, its all about experiments and experiences.

    Nice Article. You mentioned some very useful tips. Thanks. :-)

  11. Daryl says:

    Great post, learned some tips, thanks!

  12. Ismael Wieland says:

    Hi I just dropped by and desirable to say you to have a Merry Christmas. Let all your wishes accomplish come true for you and your home and lets hope the next year be prosperous for all us. Merry Christmas

  13. eTipsLibrary says:

    It is better to keep the categories, tags etc. noindex but dofollow

  14. Trivedi Jay says:

    Hey perfect guide to increase WordPress Website SEO.

    Thanks for sharing :) Have a nice life

    and keep sharing :)

  15. david says:

    Good information i love reading your site articles

  16. MoviesBoxoffice says:

    Nice points to follow for better seo. Little little things matters a lot for the seo of the blog or a site. Thanks for sharing the points and i will definitely follow them.

  17. Akash Gurnani says:

    Yoast SEO is best plugin for doing all things you mentioned above.

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