We stumbled across this video presentation made by Matt Cutts, Google’s Anti-Web Spam Guru, at last year’s WordCamp San Francisco. There are some really helpful tips on the video we would like to share. The video shows many, many ways that WordPress can increase your website’s overall search engine optimization.
A few quotes directly from Google’s Matt Cutts:
“WordPress is a fantastic piece of software.”
“WordPress automatically solves a ton of SEO issues.”
“WordPress takes care of 80-90% of the mechanics of Search Engine Optimization.”
Tips for making the most out of WordPress
Now that you’ve watched the entire presentation, you now know how you can extend the power of WordPress to attain your search engine goals. Update and post often with quality, relevant content to your audience. Choose a niche and stick with it and most importantly — simply love what you write.
Gain a reputation
- Provide useful information
- Do original research and reporting
- Give great information and tips that can’t be found elsewhere
- Find a creative niche
- Live blog an event
- Make List (“5 Best Widgets That Will Save Your Life”)
- Create Controversy
- Connect with People via Twitter, Facebook
- Fight Comment Spam – WordPress has built in Akismet (requires a WordPress.com API Key) or Cookies for Comments which gives real users a cookie before allowing comments.
- Solid Redirects – Force either www. or non-www via WP htaccess Control
Enable descriptive postname permalinks:
http://www.example.com/?p=123 vs. http://www.example.com/engaging-post-about-wordpress/
Use keywords in url: example.com/my-keywords/
- Dashes are best
- Next best is underscore
- No spaces is worst
The default “postname” permalink will use your page or post title. Change tenses of certain words in your permalink to compensate for other possible search queries or keywords.
Use Descriptive categories – “Search Engine Optimization” is better than “Cool News”
Utilize Heading Tags – Divide your text into sections and focus on keywords.
Show related posts – Engages users to continue to browse some of your similar content.
Use Google Analytics – Update your top posts often and consider writing similar posts.
Use Google Webmaster Tools – Check for strong incoming links and reduce possible 404s (Page Not Found) errors.
Finally, keep your WordPress installation up-to-date. This will patch security holes and both reduce spam and potential hacks.