WordPress, the platform that Business Marketing Blog is built on, is one of the best foundations for any website. One of the main reasons why is because WordPress is just about as SEO friendly as a blog or website can be right out of the box. Of course, there are always things you can do to make your WordPress site even more SEO friendly, but as many WordPress webmasters will attest to, the essentials are already in place.
This opinion is not only ours or that of other WordPress website owners, but also that of Matt Cutts, head of the Google Web Spam team. Matt recently gave an extremely useful presentation on SEO for WordPress at WordCamp 2009 in San Francisco. His 50 minute presentation provided some great tips and advice on how to optimize a WordPress site. And, as any webmaster or search marketing professional knows, when Matt Cutts speaks, we listen.
If you have about an hour to dedicate to watching the video presentation from Matt at WordCamp, then grab a notepad and start watching….
If you are limited for time, have a short attention span, or like many of us, prefer the “cliff notes” version of most things, then this post is dedicated to summarizing and breaking down Matt’s presentation on SEO for WordPress.
Essential WordPress Plugins for SEO
As Matt agrees, WordPress does not need many additional plug-ins to make it SEO friendly. As a matter of fact, Matt says that you really only need the following three plug-ins:
Cookies for Comments - Blogs can and do tend to get quite a bit of spam, mainly through comments. This plug-in is very effective for stopping spam comments by simply adding a stylesheet to your blog’s html source code. When someone’s browser loads that stylesheet a cookie is left behind. If the user leaves a comment that cookie checked. If it doesn’t exist then the comment is marked as spam. DOWNLOAD THIS PLUG-IN
Enforce www. Preference – One of the most commonly overlooked things of website development is the canonical issue that exists with every domain name. There are two main variations of every domain name.
If this canonical issue is not fixed, then it is very likely that other websites will link to both versions and thus, dilute any link value passed to your website. This is a simple fix that should be done to every single website, including yours. DOWNLOAD THIS PLUG-IN.
WP Super Cache – To increase usability through fast loading of your WordPress site, having cached html versions of your web pages served up can create a better user experience for your visitors. This plug-in works by caching your site’s pages, compressing them and storing for quick loading. DOWNLOAD THIS PLUG-IN
TIP: If you are looking for one of the best WordPress solutions to make your blog even more SEO friendly, then we highly recommend that you look into the Thesis Theme created by DIYThemes, Inc. There is no better all inclusive option for WordPress so check it out!
How to Get Higher Rankings on Google
Matt Cutts does a fantastic job of simplifying what can be a very complex subject for many webmasters – how to get your website or blog to rank higher on Google. Matt stresses the following two components for those looking to help their site rank higher in Google:
The search engine algorithms put a lot of weight on relevancy as they want to make sure that they are always serving up the most relevant results to what their users searched for in the first place. Instead of trying to stuff in keywords into your website or regurgitating content from hundreds of other websites, Matt advises to ask yourself the following questions:
What do you love?
What are you really good at doing?
What do you really have to say?
Basically, talk and write about what you are truly interested in and good at doing and your audience will find you. The more specific and niche your website or blog is, the more likely that it will rank well in the search engines and also attract the type of customers, readers and visitors you want.
How to Be Relevant
Write often and write about something you care about.
As the search engines become more advanced, not only will they put weight on relevancy, but also on authority and credibility. Just as your website needs lots of really good, relevant content it also needs to build its reputation online by proving itself as a credible authority. Google pays a lot of attention to how many other websites are linking to yours as this shows them how “reputable” and “credible” your website its relevant content and keywords and phrases.
How to Be Reputable
Be Interesting. Update Often. Start Small and Specific.
There are many bits of great advice from Matt in his presentation, most of them a little more technical than most webmasters are likely accustomed to seeing. If you are interested in these more advanced, “power tips” as Matt calls them, then check out the video and/or leave us a comment or email and we will be happy to share.
To close out this post, and Matt’s presentation, we will leave you with this advice to help you get your website to rank higher in Google:
Avoid Shortcuts. If your website or blog is not ranking well yet, then you have a lot of work to do. Cutting corners will not help you and even worse, could get your website or blog penalized by the search engines. Put in the time, money and effort and your website will eventually pay you back.