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8 Effective SEO Techniques Every WordPress Blogger Should Use

There’s no doubt that social media has become the marketing medium of choice for the new, seasoned and tech savvy blogger. Personally, I can attest to the fact that there are strong relationships that are built through the effective use of social media and tons of readers at sites like Twitter and Facebook to woo to our blogs.

At the same time we should never forget the power of effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and the driving force it holds for the casual and professional blogger. It has become super easy to do through some excellent features and plugins for WordPress and its mastery can easily become second nature for the everyday blogger.

Let’s look at a few SEO techniques that can put your blog on the search engine map including some that most bloggers tend to ignore.

1. Effective Navigation Setup

Always ensure that your navigation links are properly structured and placed on your blog. Navigation links need to be relevant to the content they represent, should never be broken or point to pages that have no content. A crowded and poorly structured site navigation gets you nowhere with your readers and search engine crawlers.

2. Appropriate Tags For Images

Images play an important role in enhancing the look and feel of our blogs and can better capture the attention of our readers more than plain text alone. Images should be used sparingly and when used they need to be of reasonable sizes in terms of (kb) and should have title tags that describe the content they represent. Its very important to use titles that have a strong relation with the supporting post’s content.

3. Maintaining A Working Sitemap

A sitemap helps search engine crawlers to effectively identify pages and posts that should be indexed and made accessible to visitors through search engines. It is basically a file named sitemap.xml which is usually located within your blog’s root directory. The Google XML Sitemaps plugin will help you to easily create and update your sitemap when changes are made to your blog and it also notifies google and bing about the changes. This will significantly increase your site’s crawl rate.

4. Awesome WordPress SEO Plugins

SEO techniques like customizing post titles, description and keywords can be quite a huge task to do when using a bare WordPress theme. The free SEO plugin All In One SEO Pack can make the task 100 times easier and when installed presents options to easily optimize your blog posts and pages.

5. Using Pretty Permalinks

Your blog should never have URLs that look like this: www.yourdomain.com/?pageid=21, just like humans, search engine crawlers do not recognize this type of information and is thus useless. Customizing pretty permalinks in WordPress will allow you to use URLs like: www.yourdomain.com/great-post, which are 100% recognizable and will contain keywords for your posts that will make them easier to be found in search engines.

To change your permalinks go to Settings in your WordPress dashboard, then select Permalinks. Select the custom structure field and enter, /%postname%/ and click Save Changes. This will create a permalink structure of www.yourdomain.com/postname/ which is the most search engine friendly URL structure for your blog. In the case where you have been blogging for a while and would like to make the change, it is very important to use the Permalink Migration plugin to prevent your links from breaking and losing pagerank.

6. Internal Linking To Related Articles

Linking to other related posts within your blog will help to direct search engine crawlers to other pages of your site and also provide an opportunity to enforce what those pages are about. This will also encourage readers to click through to other pages in your blog which is always a good thing. Appropriate link titles should be used to describe what the pages are about.

If you wish to automate this process you can use the SEO Smart Links plugin that will automatically link keywords and phrases in your posts and comments with related posts, pages, categories and tags within your blog.

7. Usage Of Valid XHTML Mark-up

A poorly coded site can lead to crawlers completely abandoning your blog depending on how bad your site’s markup really is. Bad markup can stop a crawler in its track because it may not understand what your site’s code is really doing. Use the W3C Validator to get an idea of the status of your blog’s code and it will also show you what needs to be corrected.

8. Improve Your Blog’s Loading Times

Google now uses your site’s loading time as a factor for determining authority and placement in search results. The reason for this ties with their ultimate goal of providing the best user experience through search and a slow loading blog can scare readers away. To reduce your blog’s load times, ensure that you use a trusted and reliable web host, install the caching plugin, W3 Total Cache, use only necessary plugins and widgets and use a moderate amount of images on your blog.

Conclusion & Discussion

Some say that SEO is a dying art, but the fact remains that there are billions of searches being executed around the world by persons who are looking for the right information online. Ensure that you are ready for this audience by practicing the basics of SEO outlined.

Do you have any tips and tricks that you would like to add? How has traffic from search engines helped the development and growth of your blog? Please leave a comment below, we would love to hear from you.

Categories: Blogging Tips, WordPress Plugins, WordPress Tips
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This post was written by . You can visit the for a short bio, more posts, and other information about the author.

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Comments

  1. Dev | Technshare ) says: 6/14/2010

    Hey Rob,

    Another awesome post :). Those are awesome tips man. I think i’m already following all this.
    Thanks for sharing this great Post.
    Can’t wait to see your post on my blog.

    ~Dev

    Reply

  2. Ben ) says: 6/14/2010

    Great article, currently using the same for permalinks, I think this was by accident in fairness not by SEO knowledge! Really useful info though for newbs like myself am quick pressing this for sure, thanks for taking the time to let others know. Appreciated!

    Reply

    • Robyn from Sam's Web Guide ) says: 6/19/2010

      Glad you found it useful Ben. Using good permalinks was a great choice regardless of how you stumbled upon it.

      Thanks for reading.

      Reply

  3. Xander says: 6/15/2010

    Pretty permalinks starting with %postname% or %category% are great for SEO but if your blog grows it will increase load times. You need to slip some numbers in there somewhere to avoid this. Get it right the first time–it sucks to find this out after hundreds of posts.

    Reply

    • Robyn from Sam's Web Guide ) says: 6/19/2010

      That’s quite new to me Xander. I’ve never heard of blogs having issues with loading times because of those particular permalinks. Is this something you experienced?

      Reply

  4. Neuro SEO ) says: 6/15/2010

    All In One SEO Pack always work in optimizing the wordpress blog. Social bookmarking buttons also help a lot.

    Reply

  5. DeVed Infoteck says: 6/16/2010

    I found in this Article images play an important role in enhancing and very effective use of Social media and tons reader of this site

    Reply

  6. Chris Chong says: 6/16/2010

    Your number 1 on the list is so true. I couldn’t agree with you more

    Reply

  7. Tom Shivers says: 6/16/2010

    I agree: “a slow loading blog can scare readers away”
    I disagree: “Google now uses your site’s loading time as a factor for determining authority and placement in search results.”
    Caffeine is about Google’s internal processes for indexing, or not indexing the web. In some rare cases, you might find that a faster load time improves rank, but relevance always trumps it. You would do better to focus more on providing engaging content than worrying about load time, but I agree a slow load time can cause a poor visitor experience.

    Reply

    • Robyn from Sam's Web Guide ) says: 6/19/2010

      Thanks for sharing Tom.

      I completely agree that relevant content does weigh greater in google search results. However, site speed should not be ignored and basic techniques should be in place to avoid a sluggish experience. Slow websites can be the result of poor code that search engines may have a problem interpreting. So if a blogger can improve this then they should leave no stone unturned.

      Reply

  8. Eric ) says: 6/16/2010

    Great info. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  9. Jamaipanese ) says: 6/17/2010

    awesome list of tips

    Reply

  10. Atlanta Internet Marketing says: 6/18/2010

    The blog was absolutely fantastic! Lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need!b Keep ‘em coming… you all do such a great job at such Concepts… can’t tell you how much I, for one appreciate all you do!

    Reply

  11. Jason Hein says: 6/20/2010

    Awesome list! I am still new to the SEO business and these tips are really helpful. Thanks for sharing this post. If you get the chance, feel free to visit my site.

    Reply

  12. Riyaz ) says: 6/21/2010

    Thanks for sharing your ideas. I am going to try out the SEO Smart Links plugin on my blog. looks interesting.

    Reply

  13. Bambang Sugiarto ) says: 6/28/2010

    Nice post robyn…
    by the way, I just modified the Google Analytics plugin for WordPress and added the new asynchronous tracking method… Please review my post about Asynchronous Google Analytics plugin for WordPress at http://www.minilibra.com/wordpress/plugins/analytics.html

    Cheers
    Bambang Sugiarto

    Reply

  14. Web Design Miami says: 7/5/2010

    wordpress is definitely a very powerful platform but I have heard that an html site ranks better than wordpress or php. Is this true?

    Reply

  15. Kristina ) says: 7/9/2010

    Good blog! This blog really makes wordpress even more convenient for blogging. has anyone compared their page rank before and after changing perma links?

    Reply

  16. Daniel Sharkov ) says: 7/9/2010

    The sitemap is in my opinion the most crucial component. Without it getting indexed by the search engines becomes a tough task. Internal linking is definitely important as well. After adding some modifications on mines, just week after that, I noticed an increase in traffic.

    Reply

  17. Roger ) says: 7/17/2010

    Everything in this blog post is important. Permalinks is something many bloggers seem to overlook when starting, but it should be fixed sooner then later. Search engines will pick up content that is most relevant. That’s the importance of why permalinks should look pretty. I say all this as for my blogs have always appeared in search quickly due mainly to keyword permalinks.

    Reply

  18. Inetage ) says: 8/21/2010

    Its really wonderful posting and help to SEO strategy as well. Yeah site map help a lot to indexing the site. thanks keep it up…………..

    Reply

  19. Local Pay Per Click Management says: 8/25/2010

    Search Engine Marketing is very important for your local business and most small companies are starting to realize the importance of being on the first page of the search engines. I can see by your website that you have a vast understanding of internet marketing and I will let my readers know about your wonderful site.

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  20. what is blog says: 8/31/2010

    I think Platinum SEO pack is better then All in one seo though it provides automatic 301 redirection.

    Reply

  21. robiul hoque ) says: 9/24/2010

    great submit i have just changed my sites permalinks and written about the effective permalinks

    Reply

  22. billy says: 12/8/2010

    these guys are excellent at seo, they have some good techniques too. http://www.seo-quotes.com.au/

    Reply

  23. Jason Acidre ) says: 12/17/2010

    Regarding point #6, Yet another related post plugin works best, definitely helpful in structuring your internal links as well as in reducing bounce rates. Using sitewide links such as footer links pointing to important pages of your blog is also a plus, so that crawlers can easily access those pages.

    Reply

  24. Athar ) says: 12/18/2010

    Thx for this grear tips … And also let me know is comment posting is part of seo

    Reply

  25. deepsand says: 12/20/2010

    SEs don’t give a rat’s ass about navigation.

    Reply

  26. Prince Zermic says: 2/8/2011

    Internal linking also provides opportunity to spread strength from one page onto other weaker pages. Often the vast majority of external links point to only one or two of the major pages on a website. By placing internal links on these strong pages linking to other weaker pages will provide these weaker pages with a boost; thus increasing their likelihood to be picked up by search engines.

    Reply

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  29. Environment About ) says: 2/25/2011

    I have a problem. I purchased a premium wordpress theme that had a valid XHTML and CSS markup. But when I added some plugins, W3validator started showing errors and warning. How do I rectify this problem?

    Reply

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  39. Shalini says: 11/30/2011

    Thanks for Sharing !! for such a informative and effective SEO techniques. Article includes very necessary tips like how effective Navigation Setup is important, Maintaining a working Sitemap etc.
    Really useful information

    Reply

  40. edtassol says: 12/20/2011

    For SEO based website, wordpress is a powerfull opensource platform. A SEO should be always attentive to on page optimization beside of page optimization

    Reply

  41. nvinfotech says: 12/26/2011

    Great Techniques. Thanks for this…

    Reply

  42. deepsand says: 12/30/2011

    “A poorly coded site can lead to crawlers completely abandoning your blog depending on how bad your site’s markup really is. Bad markup can stop a crawler in its track because it may not understand what your site’s code is really doing.”

    It has to be really badly coded in order to be problematic for an SE’s indexing engine. (Crawlers,robots/spiders don’t read anything, they just fetch on command.)

    If the textual content can be properly rendered by a text only browser, an SE will have no trouble parsing it.

    Reply

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  45. Gaurang ) says: 2/5/2012

    Great advice. Especially for a WP newbie.

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    Very Informative post and very much effective SEO techniques. I would apply this to my websites. Thank You

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  48. Richard Jackson says: 6/18/2012

    Very attractive information for the WordPress seo techniques. Yes a sitemap can do lots of thing.

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