A Cheat Sheet for Optimizing Your WordPress Blog for Search Engines… Without Cheating

wordpress

SEO is one of the best ways to get a constant stream of traffic to your website. See, viral content can get a blast of visitors to your website, but that traffic will decline quickly. What is truly important is the traffic that you generate after the viral peak.

That’s where SEO comes in. The thing is, it only works if you are doing SEO the right way on your blogincluding getting all of the essential WordPress settings correct.

This handy guide will walk you through what settings you need to pay attention to and what you need to do on your WordPress blog to get more search engine traffic.

Setting the site title and meta description

Everything starts with a keyword-rich title and meta description for your blog.

A good formula for creating a title tag is picking something short, keyword rich and catchy. For example, a blog targeting stock market investors might use the title tag “The Million Dollar Portfolio – Daily Stock Picks.”

In the example above, you’ll notice that the first part is very enticing, the second part is more keyword rich than the first half, and the overall title tag is short.

The same is true for the description. It should be catchy, keyword rich and short…but not as short as the title tag. A good rule of thumb is that if your meta description has 20 words or so, you’re fine.

The Motley Fool site’s description promises to give you the latest investing information that is easy to find:

the motley fool

The only issue with their description is that it doesn’t contain enough keywords and is too short.

Now that you understand titles and descriptions, let’s get into how you can set them up. Because you are running a WordPress blog, the easiest approach is for you to install the SEO for WordPress plugin by Yoast.

yoast plugin

With this plugin, you can easily set up a title tag and meta description on your blog. As for your blog posts pages, the title and description will automatically be set based on the title of your blog post and the content within the first paragraph. You can manually edit these settings, but there really isn’t much need.

If your title tag isn’t showing up correctly, it’s probably because it is conflicting with your blog theme. If this is the case, EvolvingSEO provides a good tutorial on how to fix some common problems between a blog theme and the SEO WordPress plugin.

Creating the best permalink structure

Next, let’s decide how your links are going to look. The permalink describes the structure of your URL. While there are tons of variations from which you can choose, it really comes down to just three choices:

  • yourdomain.com/post-name/
  • yourdomain.com/2012/6/26/post-name/
  • yourdomain.com/post-name/POSTID

Some people argue that the first example is the best choice. The reasons for this are:

  1. Words are separated by a hyphen and not underscore.
  2. It allows you to tweak the “post-name” to include keywords for SEO purposes, which is actually true for all of them.
  3. Removing the date allows you to present your content as if it were fresh. In other words, if you wrote a post a year ago and somebody landed on it today, they would get the sense that it was new and relevant.
  4. Turns long post titles into easily memorized and shared links. That’s important from a social share standpoint.

Sites that use such permalink structure for this very reason include Copyblogger and Social Triggers.

Some choose a variation on the above theme but include the PostID and the entire post title. This is what Search Engine Land does. For example:

http://searchengineland.com/the-domino-effect-of-links-relationships-125270

Why do they do it this way? Two reasons. The first is that the longer URL allows for more keyword opportunities. There is no penalty for your URL being long as long as it is separated by hyphens.

The other reason is that one of the technical requirements to have a multi-author blog indexed in Google News is for it to have a unique number. You can use Google News site map to get around this, however.

This is why if you searched for that particular Search Engine Land article, you would see this in your search:

sel news

The long URL with the number is rendered as a link. Plus, it’s showing up in the “News” section versus regular search listings.

Now, if you are looking for sheer performance, then in my experience /%post_id% is the permalink to go with. But as you can see, that’s not the least bit SEO friendly.

If you want to change your permalink structure, it’s easy to do. Just go to “Tools > Permalinks”:

seo permalinks

The “Custom Structure” will have to be used to get the post name and ID structure you wish.

By the way, WordPress will do the work of redirecting via 301 from the old to new URLs. Warning: this may mess up your search engine traffic for a bit.

Eliminating duplicate URLs

The Panda update woke a lot of people up in some pretty obvious ways. All that shallow content was suddenly not as good at getting top rankings as it used to be.

Naturally, the advice was to write high-quality content. If you were already doing that, then Panda probably didn’t spank you too harshly. However, some people were slapped hard and had a tough time figuring out why.

In some cases, it came down to dropdown menus in the navigation links. Google was indexing these dropdown menus and assigning menu parameters in the URLs, which lead to duplicate content. In fact, almost every page could be duplicated, so a site with 300 pages could now have 600.

If that has happened to you, here is how to fix it in two steps:

  1. Replace all the dropdown menus with links. It’s a quick and easy fix.
  2. Add canonical tags - Your canonical pages are those pages that you want to appear at the top of the searches above necessary duplicate pages (like category or date archive). The canonical tag tells Google which ones you want to appear. You might use canonical tags for other reasons:
    • When you create printer-friendly pages. These will have a different URL.
    • When you have employed dynamic pages or query strings in the URL to establish which one is the original one.
    • Someone steals your content.
    • Products are displayed on one page in alphabetical order while on another page they are listed by price.

You can use the following free tools to check for duplicate content:

Here are the Google queries you’ll want to use (as suggested by EvolvingSEO):

  • site:mydomain.com/blog – check for blog indexation
  • site:mydomain.com/category – check for category indexation (unless you’ve stripped from folder structure)
  • site:mydomain.com/tag – check to see what tags are indexed
  • site:mydomain.com/author – check to see if author archives are indexed
  • site:mydomain.com/2012 – check to see what dated achieves from 2012 are indexed
  • site:mydomain.com/ inrul:page – check for subpages being indexed

No-indexing duplicate pages

For the most part, if you have duplicate pages in your blog because of author, date-driven, category, tag or monthly archived pages, Google’s guidelines say not to worry about it. They’ll be able to tell when duplicate pages are the best ones to show in the search engines.

However, I recommend no-indexing them anyway. You are better off being safe than sorry when it comes to serving up the correct page for a search results page.

  • Use the Meta Robots plugin from Yoast – You can no-index duplicates pretty quickly and have them out of the index in about three weeks.
  • Use Webmaster Tools to speed up the process of getting the pages stuck in the index out. In Webmaster Tools, click on “Optimization > Remove URLs” and just enter the URLs you want removed.
  • Fetch URLs that aren’t shifting with “fetch as Google.” Once they are found, submit them to index, so Google can crawl them again and erase them from the index.

What, why and how to use the nofollow attribute

If you are new to the world of SEO, the nofollow attribute is a command that tells search engines not to crawl particular pages. It originally blocked bots from crawling links going away from a particular page and looked like this:

<meta name=”robots” content=”nofollow” />

In other words, it was a page-level attribute.

To give webmasters more control over specific links that use the nofollow attribute, the rel attribute was created. Here’s an example:

<a href=”Subscribe.php” rel=”nofollow”>Subscribe</a>

Google drops these links from its web maps even though those pages will still appear in its indexes (given the fact that other external sites are linking to that page). They can also show up in the index if they are on your sitemap.

  • How to use nofollow - Use nofollow on content you don’t trust, e.g., user comments or paid inks. Also use it when prioritizing which links should be crawled. Since search bots can’t subscribe to your email newsletter or RSS feed, you would nofollow these links.
  • Pay attention to site’s architecture - It’s important to remember that creating SEO-friendly URLs and easy navigation to begin with will be far more effective than going on a nofollow witch hunt.

Speeding up your blog

There is an inverse correlation between how fast your blog loads and how much traffic you are going to get. The faster your blog loads, the more search engine traffic you will get. The slower it loads, the less search engine traffic you will get.

There are two main ways to speed up your blog:

  1. The first is to get a good host. The better your web host, the more likely things will load fast.
  2. The second way to speed up your blog is through the W3 Total Cache plugin. Once you install it, it will automatically fine-tune your blog code so that your blog loads faster.

If you want your blog to load faster, you shouldn’t just pick one of the options above. You should do both of them.

SEO for WordPress Plugin

As I mentioned above, the SEO for WordPress plugin will help solve your meta and title tag needs. But what I didn’t talk about is all of the other things it does.

From cleaning up your messy code to creating XML sitemaps for search engines, it takes care of all the house keeping you normally would have to do manually.

Here is a quick run down of the features in the plugin:

Conclusion

WordPress is a great tool for bloggers and website managers. While there are some great alternatives to WordPress, it is still the most common and reliable one out there. So, it’s important that you get the SEO settings right.

Take some time to evaluate your settings to make sure you are maximizing their potential for both you and your clients. If you’re not, then you are leaving some traffic, and money, on the table.

How else could you optimize your WordPress blog?

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Comments

  1. This is a nice guide for SEO. I’ve tried using WordPress and it has a lot of great positive aspects, but I like to have complete control over the design of my sites to change things with a few lines of code or a few clicks.

    Plus I’ve read somewhere that a custom site might be better than using WordPress themes for SEO because it leaves some type of footprint and in a way Google sees it as not original since there could be hundreds of others using the same theme. Is that a myth or could it be somewhat true?

  2. After the recent panda update my rankings went down considerably and now I am hoping to get my previous rankings back. The above mentioned plugin looks promising and hopefully as you mentioned will definitely help in SEO.

  3. Neil, very good post. I sent this on to several people to read. Simple overview of some of the most basic SEO features that are easily setup using wordpress. Overall I still like wordpress compared to other platforms because the simplicity it offers for customization and seo.

  4. Excellente information Neil!

    All wordpress plugins and themes are not good, It is better to do a research before use any plugin o any theme.

    Thanks!

  5. Nice list, I’d add WP Super Cache does the job as well for speeding up a site. One can also add Better WordPress Minify to minify CSS and JS files improving further on speed.

  6. Not sure how helpful it is, but I recorded myself setting up a website on WP, sped it up and added some tunes. The video starts with me actually setting up email and the hosting as well.

    It’s about 30 minutes in length and includes just about everything I would have done at the time of the recording to impact SEO.

    Here’s the URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mM6_cjaTwDU&hd=1

    Hope it’s helpful. Keep up the great work Neil!

  7. A great post, as always – have been debating which permalink setting to use for a while!

  8. You asked “How else could you optimize your WordPress blog?”

    My blog homepage lists the most 10 recent articles, and all had individual social sharing counts and buttons. When I removed them (so the media buttons only showed on the post page), the homepage load time dramatically decreased! All those Javascripts calls were slowing things way down. And the faster the site loads, the better from both a SEO and user experience perspective.

    Neil – Where do you host your WordPress blog?

  9. Great list of plugins – but a couple I am getting more and more “turned on” by are
    WP Customer Reviews
    (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-customer-reviews/)

    And one you have here – Hello Bar (hellobar.com)

  10. Neil,

    We actually setup a client so that based on the Category the URL was appended with unique ID number for the reason you suggest, inclusion in Google News. This leaves the rest of his URLs much more human friendly and shorter.

    You state, “Two reasons. The first is that the longer URL allows for more keyword opportunities. ” The proposition seems to be to extend the length of the URL by adding a unique ID.

    First that adds no keywords. So, no SEO benefit there.
    Second the author can edit each permalink to remove stop words, add keywords or make it more relevant than the post title in some other way.

    So, the only SEO advantage I can see for adding a unique identifier is inclusion in Google News, which is good in itself, but the required change in permalink structure has no benefit beyond that, that I can see.

    In addition, I think that FeedBurner is still a good SEO move and provide portability of RSS subscribers.

    If you have a very large site, like a news site, most XML Site maps top out at 50,000 URLs, based on Google’s specifications. However there is a way out. us the BWP Google XML Sitemaps plugin. It breaks down larger sites and creates a site map of sitemaps. It also has a tab for configuring News Sitemaps – that’s powerful. Plus it is a very lightweight plugin, not overly demanding server resources.

    And although not WordPress specific, a good CDN will address a boatload of page load speed issues for you in on feel swoop, in addition to security and spam protection benefits. See CloudFlare.com

    • Thanks Jim,

      I appreciate the feedback as well as your additional input.

    • Hey, this comment alone has lots of golden nugget!

      For speed performance, i also use CloudFlare and WPSmush.it wordpress plugin. What WPSmush.it does is to ‘smush’ your image, removing the unnecessary data from your image and making it smaller in size.

      And yeah Neil, i also use WordPress SEO by Yoast! I think that plugin is the best SEO plugin ever. A lot better than All in one SEO pack or Platinum SEO. So i’m glad you mentioning it instead of other plugin.

      Perhaps, you should make post about WordPress security. This is really important because nasty hacker can bring your site down from search result instantly if you don’t have proper security for your site.

      Or do you already have post about that and somehow i missed it?

  11. Actually neil is a marvelous energy blogs like us .he is kevvu keka

  12. Hi Neil,
    Just a curiosity to know, Which SEO plugin is you using?

  13. It’s a good list Neil,

    I didn’t find anything I’m not doing but your list gave me a very useful validation that I’m on the right track at least!

    many thanks,
    Alan

  14. It should be noted that permalink customization is only possible on self-hosted WP sites, *not* available to WP.com sites.

  15. This will be especially helpful for business owners who manage their own website/blogs. I’ve seen too many sites with duplicate or no customized elements because they just update and forget the optimization.

  16. Thanks so much! I am running wordpress site now, so I will definitely take this info.

  17. Thank you, Neil. A generous and easily understood article on SEO. You’re right about your first point – quality content. I think Google’s updates to its algorithm are great in that they weed out sites that waste people’s time. Thanks again!

  18. not to forget the social buttons as they contribute to the SEO too.

  19. WP Super Cache and SEO Yoast are my two must have plugins for any site.

    Great post

  20. Hi Neil,

    Great post. I use Yoast SEO for wordpress which after trying a few SEO plug-ins I think is the best. For anyone new to WordPress and SEO it can be a bit of a minefield but your post explains it very well.
    All the best
    Roger

  21. Really great info Neil, Thanks. What would you suggest for Joomla websites? MOst of my sites are in Joomla and I’m using Acesef to help with SEF urls etc but it’s so hard in Joomla compared to WordPress. Any tips on Joomla websites?

  22. Very useful information, Neil! This is a great way for WordPress site owners to get a boost (hopefully) in organic traffic. I will be sharing this with our followers right away.

  23. Certainly wordpress has been grown very rapidly and doing SEO with the ways you have described above will certainly get the site to increase the traffic and its been really worthy content you have provided I was struggling at the start to know about yoast and from here learnt few new things about it.

    Thanks for providing great knowledge!

  24. Neil thankyou for this post. I have yoast installed and use it to change meta description and titles etc but a lot of the other tips you have give me give bit more insight on how to use it to its full potential. Cheers

  25. Here’s another “gotcha” lurking within WordPress – be very careful with how you structure your Adsense plugin within WordPress. If you allow the plug-in to run too much stuff above the fold, Google will slap you with a ranking penalty.

    I walked into this trap on one of my other sites – a technical blog – where I was one of the first people to start posting solid material about a niche framework in Python. Google ranked several of the articles quite highly (top 10 SERPS, solely with on page SEO, since I did minimal off page work for that topic).

    Added Adsense, 3 panels per page – thought I had done a good job of spacing it through the article…. and got slapped back to position 40 – 50 for the target searches. Turned the ads off & was restored to my former place within a few days.

    It is a balancing act of course – gotta have a revenue source somewhere in the equation…but still, watch the Adsense settings…. Google was serious about that penalty…

    • Sorry to jump in like this and I know it’s a bit off topic but I am curious about ‘the three panels per page’ idea you mentioned in your comment. Does three panels mean three text/image ads only or does it count the adsense link unit ads too. I use three text/image ads and three link unit ads and also a little bit of chitika :| . I know this is a bit wrong but will google penalize me for this? Should I only keep three ad panels in total (including adsense text, image ads, link units and chitika) or is it fine if I continue using it.

      Once again sorry Neil & Hanging Hyena but it scared the ‘you know what’ out of me.

    • Thanks for sharing your personal experience with everyone. It is important to understand what you are being penalized for and to then go back and correct it. I agree, it is a balancing act.

  26. Great stuff! Glad knowing those technicalities and subtleties of optimizing contents that are hosted on WordPress. Still wondering which one to go for.
    yourdomain.com/post-name/
    yourdomain.com/2012/6/26/post-name/
    yourdomain.com/post-name/POSTID

    What are the parameters on the basis of which we can determine which one is doing well. For example in my website http;//www.esmartwebinars.com I am using yourdomain.com/post-name/ this permalink. Is it worth it or I need to change it to the searchengineland way.

  27. For those with ‘existing blogs’ – how does one prevent Facebook likes etc from disappearing from posts once they’ve updated their permalink structure?

    Sh*t hits the fan when i suddenly add the %POST_ID% parameter.

  28. This was the first I’d heard about the drop down menu. My site got hit a bit by the last update, and I thought it was mainly because of the high bounce rate I had prior — which could still be true. But I redid the theme in hopes of improving that. Most of my high bounce did come from Google, though, so perhaps I might have other issues I haven’t discovered yet.

    Still, this was a great read. It gives several great ideas for setting up your site so that you can have good rankings, which is a good thing :D Thanks for sharing!

  29. suncity reviews :

    WordPress is one of the seo friendly platform and all the posts and meta tags, url can be easily done with wordpress plugins.

  30. And just wanted to remind fellow readers that if you are stuck, don’t hesitate to ask for help instead of stressing yourself for hours trying to do something that could be done with in minutes.

  31. Great refreshing post Neil!
    I’ll forward this checklist to my team!

    Thanks buddy

  32. Lengthy one but excellent too, Neil. Until now i did not use wordpress but i will definitely give a granular look by keeping this influential information in mind. Let me tell you that my site has been hitted by recent Google updates and i came to know one thing that whether the wordpress based websites have not been hitted by recent Google updates and this has created a doubt in my mind that the wordpress based websites are more lovable by Google. Is this true, Neil? Or Just a myth.

  33. These are perhaps the best tips I have read. I never knew what canonical tags were. Thank you for this piece of information.

  34. Great article and very useful but…

    I had the impression that you write mostly about intermediate level stuff with some expert tips that are harder to implement. This article is about fairly basic WP SEO, but very thorough and well writen.

    It’s just that I have very high expectations from Quicksprout, don’t get me wrong :)

  35. I agree with not putting dates in the permalinks, you want that content looking as ever-green fresh as possible!

  36. thanks, i also use yoast to get short url for category and use google rich snipphet

  37. Great list for checking to see if you have dotted your I’s and crossed the T’s of SEO. I do have a question. If you run Thesis do you need to then use the SEO for WordPress plugin?

    Cheers

  38. Nein, Can you please tell me if custom URL of my blog is good for SEO point of view ? here is the demo link:http://androidrays.com/206/which-smart-phones-will-get-jelly-bean-update-complete-list/

  39. Found great info and certainly this would help me as I am a newbie. Although I have 1 question. I did all the things I read but certainly am not able to leverage browser caching fully. I used pingdom to check my site and it looks pretty neat except few things but how can I cache my ads. Or, tell me if it is even something that I have to worry about or not?
    And also am not including an id number at the end of my post. Is it necessary or can I do away with it?
    Waiting for your reply.

  40. Hey Neil, Have you any idea for optimizing photo blogs like my blog http://www.jokezone.in, in which there are the ratio of text and HTML is very less?

    • Hey Jokezone,

      In your case you would try to optimize by boosting your link count. You can consider doing things like creating photo widgets to boost your back links.

  41. I love yoast. I run a couple blogs on different Themes (mainly Thesis), and I think Yoast has the best set up for creating rock start title tags and meta descrips!

  42. Hey Neil,

    This is an awesome beginning guides for SEO. No duplicates, focus on CTR and also focus on content. Content will always be king! good read.

  43. I have always been a post name type of SEO guy. It has always worked great for me. I guess there is no reason to fix something that isn’t broke. :]

  44. Reading this article made me realize that I still had so many things to fine tune inside in order to optimize more my site. I guess its work work work again. Will be back later…

  45. This is an extremely helpful guide. In particular, thank you for recommending the W3 Total Cache plugin, which has been very useful to some of our payment gateway clients and development partners.

    Keep up the good work!

    Kind regards,
    The eWAY Team

  46. hmm interesting, this would really helpmy wordpress blog, im going try this and see if it works for me:) thanks for the advice:)
    i will post back here and tell u how i did

  47. I think the Yoast plugin is not updated already. I am using it but the same descriptions does not show when I check the SERP.

  48. Just started using SEO by yoast plugin on my wordpress blog. Will definitely setup the meta robots plugin. Thanks for the ‘permalink structure’ advice. I never knew you could do that with wordpress.

    • Sounds good, glad you were able to learn something new and useful from this post.

    • Thanks Neil, this post has been of great help!

      While deploying the recommendations suggested by you for No-indexing of duplicate pages – I couldn’t find Meta Robots plugin from Yoast. Guess it has been plugged into the WordPress SEO.

  49. I stumbled on your site 15 minutes ago. Great stuff. You really seem to know what you are talking about. I heard about the W3 plugin but never got round to using it for some reason. Thanks for the reminder!

  50. Good tips and suggestion. The word press blog is really helpfull in SEO prospective. But I normally used joomla :-) hope we will get joomla SEO tips soon :-)

  51. Andrea The-English-Webmistress :

    Neil, this is a VERY clear outline of key optimisation techniques for the WP sites I build for my clients. I think I will forward copies of this blog post to those who argue and argue with me that ‘their way’ is far superior to the suggestions I give them.

    Thanks!

  52. I do like your SEO tips for WP, i could just suggest a “All In One SEO” plugin, i think that is the best SEO plugin for WordPress on the web.

  53. Cashceejay@ make money online :

    Am using All in one seo plugin and it is doing fine, although i messed up my permalink on a particular site and am still looking for the best way to change it without it affecting my ranking.
    It seems there is no single wordpress plugin that does that now?

  54. Thanks for these tips Neil – they have saved me a great deal of time as I’m a newbie on WordPress!
    Best,
    Rob

  55. Super useful. Seems like there are a million and one things to learn about SEO, then another million to learn about WordPress SEO. lol.

  56. Thanks, Neil. To rank, one needs to focus on keywords and search phrases. I agree – a good formula for creating a title tag is picking something short, keyword rich, and catchy.

  57. I was using All-in-One-SEO-Pack and after giving Yoast a try, I realized its possible to do a lot of SEO tweaks in one place and to get rid of some of the other related plugins at the same time.

    Thanks for the cheat sheet (without cheating)! :)

  58. Personally, I think this post about sums it all up pretty well. Google has never treated sites with Duplicate Content kindly and in that respect WordPress leaves a lot to be desired as just a straight forward blog on its own. Unfortunatly I’m finding that sometimes the free plugins out there can sometimes even add to the situation by exposing links that are not in the sitemap or theme of a WordPress powered blog so I’d have to say, be careful about what you use. Some things might seem like a really good idea but can burn you down the line if you don’t carefully monitor your WordPress Powered Sites performance.

    That’s my two cents worth about SEO,
    Rock On! Brian

  59. Hi,
    First of all thanks for posting such an article. I am a new comer to SEO field. and am just getting familiarized with the work and choices available in this field. Optimizing the search engine is a challenging job to do, but the information like that you have provided here, will help people to make it easy. The techniques for escaping from spam is also exciting. Thank you very much for sharing the information

  60. Do a good job in a blog is not so easy is the need for a lot of aspects. Thank you for your articles.

  61. I had a site it was getting 10k a day from google, then aug21st hit and i dropped to 5000 a day over night.. I thought perhaps it was unnatural links coming in. I spent the month cleaning site up a bit, removing links in that probably shouldnt be going in and added some nofollow on my affliate links out…. on sept 21 my site zipped up to 15k a day, was very happy, it lasted for 3 days then on the 4th it dropped down to 5k again and is holding steady… i miss my old traffic :(

  62. I will implement these on my wordpress blog. Thanks for sharing all this SEO info.

  63. Cool tips neil yeah…permalinks play a major role in getting you into google news..as per the new guidelines from matt cutts

  64. Great tips neil , i always do the basic seo before starting a new site….but u have listed so many things here that i didn’t know thanks :)

  65. Hey. I used your tips to optimize http://www.metal-head.org and it worked ! thanks a lot :)

  66. I come here after implementing some of your tips! And what an improvement on my SEO. Thank you!

  67. The tips you provided will be really helpful for a newbie blogger like me.

    Could you tell me if it’s good to allow google to index my blogs tags & categories?

  68. This article is really worthy for optimizing site … I also use WordPress seo plugin by yoast.

  69. Thought that installing YOAST plug is enough and it will do things itself. But customized it after reading this article.

  70. Many thanks for your helpful article Neil!

    In addition to your helpful advice, does optimizing post tags for SEO in Yoast help them get found better in search?

    1. The SEO Title?
    2. The SEO description?
    3. Use post tag or always index?
    4. Include in site map – auto detect or always include?

    Please give me a steer – many thanks :-)

    Mike C

  71. hey neil,
    a very very remarkable post. these are great and valuable tips .
    thank you for introducing us with the WordPress.

    Thanks.

    Matt

  72. You have shared very useful points, it will help me lot.Thank you for sharing great info.

  73. Fantastic article, Neil! You really covered the topic thoroughly, and it was great to read about every aspect

    Looking at your comment: “By the way, WordPress will do the work of redirecting via 301 from the old to new URLS. Warning: this may mess up your search engine traffic for a bit.” I’m wondering how long this lasts?

    A client of mine saw the drop when the URLs were changed a couple of months ago, but has not seen it go back up yet. Also, the blog posts seem to have dropped off Google results completely and are invisible unless a site: search is conducted.

    I will have to look into it a bit further and try to find out what’s going on. Thank you for your tips!

  74. ferrari contract :

    Wow, this article is fastidious, my sister is analyzing these things,
    so I am going to let know her.

  75. Thank you, Neil! This post is particularly helpful to me as I just recently added a blog to our site. You seem to be incredibly generous and happily willing to answer questions. I have a couple and will be immensely grateful if you can help me out.

    We use All in One SEO Pack and I am considering changing to Yoast after reading what you have to say about it. Do you have any warnings for making that change? Will it effect the titles and descriptions I currently have in place? Anything to watch our for?

    Thank you! I am looking forward to retreading this post and using it as a study guide.

    One more question- I have been searching to no avail on this one– on my SEOMoz.com weekly report I am getting warnings that some of the blog pages are missing descriptions but I can’t figure out how to find those pages in order to add descriptions. They look like the date archives- Example: http://www.fateyes.com/2012/10 and also author pages like: http://www.fateyes.com/author/GinaFiedel/

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