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Monday, August 28, 2006

WordPress and SEO

There is a big bunch of resources on optimizing your blog for search engines. I have tried to collect the best tips and plugins in this article.

These tips won’t flood your blog with visitors - no SEO tips will. Use these tips to improve your site, and fight for a lot of backlinks and visitors by writing quality content and putting a lot of work into it. It has never been easy to run a website, and it for sure isn’t getting easier.


Use a permalink structure and be sure that the post title is in it. In the WordPress administration go to Options>Permalinks and select a permalink structure, or make your own. I use /%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%/ on this site.

Page titles

The title tag should show the title of the current post or page you are currently visitng. Eg. this page will have the title »WordPress and SEO | The undersigned«. In your themes header.php file you can do this by making sure that the title tag looks like this: (title)(?php wp_title(‘ ‘); ?)(?php if(wp_title(‘ ‘, false)) { ?) | (?php } ?)(?php bloginfo(‘name’); ?)(/title)


Search engines weigh headers (h1, h2, h3 …) higher than other content (p, li …), so it is important that you write good titles that also contains keywords that matches the content. The best thing is to only have 1-2 h1 tags on each page, eg. the blog title and newest blog post.

Alt tags

Use alt tags for your images, and be sure that they match what the image shows - this helps google image search and other image search engines.


The internet is evolving, and in this process tags is the next »big thing« - using tags makes sure to keep a lot of cross-linking from posts to posts, which eventually will let search engines dig deeper into your site.

Ultimate Tag Warrior

Related posts

If you read an article on this site, you will notice the recent posts list in the end of each article. This also helps search engines digging deeper into your site.

Related posts.

Landing sites

When visitors is referred to your site from a search engine, they are definitely looking for something specific - often they just roughly check the page they land on and then closes the window if what they are looking for isn’t there. Why not help them by showing them related posts to their search on your blog.

Landing sites 1.1.

Google sitemaps

Google has a feature for webmasters, called Sitemaps. This helps google index your site, and lets you weigh what content on your site, you find most important.

Google Sitemaps Generator.

Pinging aggregators

Use the feed feature! Set up your WordPress to ping a list of aggregators automatically in Options>Writing. A great list of ping services can be found here.

Valid markup

Be sure that your your site validates, this might not be the most critical point from a SEO point of view, but it might weigh some.

Avoid this

Google says you should avoid this:

  • Avoid hidden text or hidden links.
  • Don’t employ cloaking or sneaky redirects.
  • Don’t send automated queries to Google.
  • Don’t load pages with irrelevant words.
  • Don’t create pages that install viruses, trojans, or other badware.
  • Don’t create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.
  • Avoid “doorway” pages created just for search engines, or other “cookie cutter” approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content.
  • Tricks intended to improve search engine rankings.

Get backlinks

Write to your friends, to other bloggers, and trade links with them. Get a linking-network established, and make sure that some people link back to your site, using your blogs title or primary keywords as anchor-text. Amount of links and especially links from quality sites, helps you being placed better in search engines search results. When writing an article, be sure to link back to your sources (if these are blogs, in most cases, a trackback link to your blog will be shown on their site). Be sure to link to your blog in forum signatures, mail signatures etc. as well.

Update your blog

Be sure to keep your blog updated - no one visits a dead site. Eventually you can let post your daily bookmarked links to your blog - this helps making your site look active.

How to automatically post daily links.

Stick with it

Stick with the same domain name, blog title, permalink structure etc.

Write quality content

Write quality content, it is the most important. Write quality content that people want to read. Stick to a few topics, and write mainly about those. Quality content might bring you to and as well.

Involve the reader

Encourage your visitors to comment on your posts and join the discussion. Involve the reader by writing to them. »You should«, »We could« and less using »I have«, »I did« etc.


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