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!
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.
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.