5 Ways to SEO your Wordpress Blog

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5 Ways to SEO your Wordpress Blog

Wordpress is free, easy to use and highly customizable. It’s no wonder it’s the first choice for most bloggers. It amazes me how many bloggers are falling into the wordpress trap–using out of the box Wordpress settings kills your SEO. Find out how to fix it.

Update: We’ve made our own SEO’d wordpress adsense theme!

SEO Plugin

First things first, customize those titles, meta descriptions and keywords. All in one SEO pack is a simple to use plugin that allows you to customize this for every page and your forum home. This plugin makes search engine optimization easy.

Every post you create will have a box at the bottom where you can enter the relevant information. This will easily help you leapfrog your way to the top page rankings.

All in one seo plugin

Changing those h1 tags

Wordpress theme designers really love the h1,h2,h3 tags. They have a default margin about them, so it requires one less line of CSS to configure a certain h tag to look a certain way. The result is pages and pages of blogs with h1 headers that make absolutely no sense.

The default Wordpress theme actually does a decent job of keeping h1 tags in check, but most custom themes have little regard for SEO. Go into Presentation–>Main Index Template and search for h1.

There should be no h1 tags here. If there is one and it looks like

<h1 class=”storytitle”><a href=”<?php the_permalink() ?>” rel=”bookmark”><?php the_title(); ?></a></h1>

change it to

<h2 class=”storytitle”><a href=”<?php the_permalink() ?>” rel=”bookmark”><?php the_title(); ?></a></h2>

Sidebar h2 tags

The biggest killer of about every wordpress blog is that each sidebar is filled with erroneous <h2> tags. The problem here is that search engines start thinking that terms like “Links” and “Popular Articles” are relevant to everyone of your articles. You can see this in my home cash course review article.

  • Edit your stylesheet

Open up your stylesheet by going to your admin dashboard–>presentation–>stylesheet. Add ,menu wherever you see h2.

  • If you’re using widgets

Open up wp-includes/widgets.php and search for:

‘before_title’ => ‘<h2 class=”widgettitle”>’,
‘after_title’ => ‘</h2>’,

Change this to

‘before_title’ => ‘<menu>’,
‘after_title’ => ‘</menu>’,

You may need to add a <br /> or two after </h2> if the spacing is off.

  • Without widgets

Using the old school sidebar actually makes this easier. Just search for h2 in sidebar.php and replace it with menu.

Voila! Now you’ve got a site without all the uneccesary h2 tags!

Adding h1 tags to single posts

This is really less dramatic of a change. All we’re going to do here is make sure each single post page has one and only one h1 tag. Go to Presentation–>Single Post

<h2><a href=”<?php echo get_permalink() ?>” rel=”bookmark” title=”Permanent Link: <?php the_title(); ?>”><?php the_title(); ?></a></h2>

should be changed to

<h1><a href=”<?php echo get_permalink() ?>” rel=”bookmark” title=”Permanent Link: <?php the_title(); ?>”><?php the_title(); ?></a></h1>

Have less links and more nofollows

The more links you have, the more you’re splitting up your pagerank. Additionally, more links confuses visitors and makes it just about certain that you’re not going to get any clicks on your important links.

  • Disable the Archive by Date - It takes up space and pagerank and rarely gets any clicks
  • Add rel=”nofollow” to your affiliate links - Help keep that Pagerank at home

That’s it folks. 5 ways to optimize your wordpress blog and watch your search engine rankings rise.
If you’re new to search engine optimization then you might want to read some of my posts on millionaire league review links for more information.

  1. [...] read the SEO for WordPress Blogs and it’s a good beginners guide. I wrote a more advanced wordpress seo guide if your readers are [...]

    Pingback by New White Paper Released- SEO for Wordpress Blogs — February 19, 2008 @ 8:35 am
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  3. Nice, piece. I was just doing some of these things, and stumbled on this post because I was reading your post on the comparison of advertising options (what’s the date on that one by the way)?

    But yeah, All in one SEO is very powerful but you’ve got to be attentive. That global keyword setting can override your post keywords and this can have terrible results I learned.

    Comment by Dave from Welcome Back Rosenthal — March 11, 2008 @ 2:42 am
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  5. very good idea!

    Comment by Loveblogearn — April 8, 2008 @ 3:28 am
  6. [...] around that time I decided to SEO my wordpress theme. When I took my theme down to play around with it, I forgot to add the entrecard widget to the new [...]

  7. I use widgets for my wordpress blog so I changed:

    ‘before_title’ => ‘’,
    ‘after_title’ => ‘’,


    ‘before_title’ => ‘’,
    ‘after_title’ => ‘’,

    I’ve also edited my style sheet. However, h2 tags still appear on my blog posts. What else should I do?

    Comment by nic — May 21, 2008 @ 8:08 am
  8. Nic,

    Did you upload the new widgets.php and overwrite the old one?

    Also, try it in a different browser and see if it works (sometimes the cache hasn’t cleared on your browser).

    Comment by Honest Ed — May 21, 2008 @ 9:06 am
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  10. how to: Disable the Archive by Date - It takes up space and pagerank and rarely gets any clicks

    you seem to have fogotten to spoonfed us on the how to do it…

    Comment by Get It From Boy! — June 22, 2008 @ 11:14 am
  11. @ Get it from boy.

    Here comes the spoon: I meant just removing it from the sidebar.

    To do this: design–>widgets and remove it.

    Comment by Honest Ed — June 22, 2008 @ 9:35 pm
  12. [...] all about. First off, if you’re running a wordpress blog, you can read my article on how to seo wordpress for your theme and/or blog. I’ll give you some time to read that quick list [...]

    Pingback by Basic search engine optimization | Basic SEO — July 30, 2008 @ 9:49 am
  13. Great tips! Thanks for the help!

    Comment by Josh — August 19, 2008 @ 2:32 pm
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    Comment by srinivas — September 29, 2008 @ 11:49 pm
  15. Hi MJ

    Nice post though I feel beginners can do a great deal more in Wordpress to get more optimisation. It’s something I’ve covered in my own SEO for Wordpress blog post. Your readers may find it useful.


    Many thanks.

    Comment by How To Solutions — November 16, 2008 @ 11:33 am
  16. thank you so much for share your knowledge with us,…….once again thank you.

    Comment by Ashvin — January 16, 2009 @ 4:37 am
  17. nice ideas to maintain a blog , useful post..
    Thank you and keep sharing new things..

    Comment by seo indore — March 27, 2009 @ 5:58 am
  18. Really memorable and unforgettable moments are captured in this blog.

    Comment by Houston search engine optimization — May 15, 2009 @ 11:13 pm

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