Live: Pumping Up WordPress For SEO

Oct 7, 2009 - 12:40 pm 2 by
Filed Under SMX East 2009

Below is live coverage of the Pumping Up WordPress For SEO from the SMX East 2009 conference.

This coverage is provided by Sheara Wilensky of Promediacorp.

We are using a live blogging tool to provide the real time coverage, please excuse any typos. You can also interact with us and while we are live blogging, so feel free to ask us questions as we blog. We will publish the archive below after the session is completed.

Pumping Up WordPress For SEO(10/07/2009) 
12:41 Sheara Wilensky:  

Pumping Up WordPress For SEO – WordPress is an incredibly popular blogging platform and CMS system. This session shows you how to quickly tune WordPress with plugins and settings to get the most out of technical SEO. Programmed by Jane & Robot.

Moderator: Vanessa Fox, Contributing Editor, Search Engine Land


Jon Henshaw, Co-Creator & Product Manager, Raven Internet Marketing Tools
Rae Hoffman, Owner, Sugarrae Internet Consulting
Jordan Kasteler, Co-Founder, Search & Social
12:50 Sheara Wilensky:  Vanessa: So how many of you use Wordpress now? (hands raised)
12:50 Sheara Wilensky:  How many are not?
12:50 Sheara Wilensky:  We have some great speakers!
12:51 Sheara Wilensky:  There are a lot of things you can do for Wordpress, plugins, etc. that we are going to talk to you about.
12:52 Sheara Wilensky:  Jordan: First thing I want to talk about, before you install Wordpress, create a robot.txt file to block some stuff out you dont want crawled.

By default you will have the Wordpress template, so get rid of some stuff, some of the default links.
12:52 Sheara Wilensky:  I like to rename images, css classes, extraneous code to customize the template so search engines don't lower your quality score.
12:53 Sheara Wilensky:  In the header.php by default, theb blog name is first.
12:53 Sheara Wilensky:  There is a good meta robots plugin to control dupe content.
12:54 Sheara Wilensky:  Make as much static as possible when you are going through your code. Alot of code in WP is dynamic. If you can make some things HTML, not everything needs to be PHP, it will speed up the page loading.
12:55 Sheara Wilensky:  Another good plugin is Slug Trimmer, which will pull words from your URL structure such as a, the, of, etc.
12:56 Sheara Wilensky:  In your category area, fill out some category descriptions to get your categories ranking.
12:56 Sheara Wilensky:  Getting breadcrumbs into your blog is great for usability as well.
12:57 Sheara Wilensky:  You want to create a custom 404 page and monitor through Google Webmaster Central, and 301 redirect accordingly.
12:58 Sheara Wilensky:  Internal Linking - you can use plugins, there is a plugin for Popular Posts, Sticky Posts plugin, Insights Plugin is a cool one.
12:59 Sheara Wilensky:  External Links are important of course. After you publish a blog post, you can have WP ping all these services, you will get it crawled very quickly.
12:59 Sheara Wilensky:  Security is imp for SEO so noone hacks in, protect your WP-config file, password protect WP-admin directory.
1:00 Sheara Wilensky:  Update your admin to a unique user name bc that's default so will make it easier to hack.
1:00 Sheara Wilensky:  Worpress Firewall Plugin is a good plugin to use.
1:00 Sheara Wilensky:  Thanks!
1:01 Sheara Wilensky:  Next up is Jon Henshaw of Raven Internet Marketing Tools.
1:01 Sheara Wilensky: for some great tools.
1:02 Sheara Wilensky:  I like to run a lot of WP sites at once. Wordpress MU is nice, you can manage a lot of Google friendly sites in one interface.
1:03 Sheara Wilensky:  I also developed a hack to the WP config file a while back, what you can do is modify some code to allow you to have one install of WP with multiple domains.
1:04 Sheara Wilensky:  Don't use a bunch of cheap hosts if you are running a bunch of sites. Don't be slow and crappy.
1:05 Sheara Wilensky:  Scraper protection: A few weeks ago I was discussing the idea of making sure Google knows you are the original source of content, so you can use delayed RSS feeds, or also use links in your feeds so if your RSS is being scraped anyway, you can get some free links.
1:05 Sheara Wilensky:  Navigation Structure: All In One SEO Pack is the best plugin, definitely use it!
1:06 Sheara Wilensky:  Permalink structure: change it.
1:06 Sheara Wilensky:  Block archives - keep your site to it's core-nice focus.
1:06 Sheara Wilensky:  Headspace is a great Plugin as well for SEO.
1:07 Sheara Wilensky:  Make sure you look legitimate: have a TOS, privacy policy, public WHOIS, phone number, physical address.
1:08 Sheara Wilensky:  Frenemy Communication: Do you want to give Google your data? They don't just want to help you out, they have incentives. So it's up to you. I personally use GA and webmaster tools bc I don't have to hide things, but you may want to consider using something different.
1:09 Sheara Wilensky:  Header/Footer is another good plugin. Easily put in validation for GA and Webmaster tools.
1:09 Sheara Wilensky:  Google XML sitemap is another plugin.
1:09 Sheara Wilensky:  A lot of GA alternatives: WassUp, Woopra, Clicky, Mint
1:11 Sheara Wilensky:  Jordan mentioned Insights - excellent plugin! A big part of good SEO is developing content, so that will benefit you. Zemanta is anotherone, so is FeedWordpress, Paginated Comments will break out coments over multiple pages, give you unique page titles.
1:11 Sheara Wilensky:  Cross Linker, SEO Smart Links, Bayesian Top Title Learner is a very cool plugin to manage content.
1:12 Sheara Wilensky:  To manage affiliate links: skaDoogle, Link-A-Dink, Ninja Affiliate is the best but it costs money.
1:12 Sheara Wilensky:  Ongoing strategy for basic SEO: frequently post, it's ok to link to people, site maintenance (run a broken link checker).
1:12 Sheara Wilensky:  That's it, thank you.
1:13 Sheara Wilensky:  Next we are going to hear from SugarRae.
1:14 Sheara Wilensky:  Rae: I dont have my PPT up but you can find it on OutSpokenMedia's website tomorrow.
1:14 Sheara Wilensky:  Create your own URL shortener - instead of giving credit to TinyURL!
1:16 Sheara Wilensky:  How to do it: Link Shortcut Plugin: you can designate if the URL is a 301 or 302. Download, Install, Activate!
1:17 Sheara Wilensky:  But you also need to show your short URLs on the front end.
1:18 Sheara Wilensky:  The Thesis Theme: I am a big advocate of this theme. I do not own it, I have just been using it since the beginning, but it does cost money.
1:19 Sheara Wilensky:  Thesis is a very vanilla WP theme. No design. So what's so special about it? It's more of a framework than a theme. Say you want to add a third column, so you pick a new theme, then you have to edit each page all over again! So with Thesis, you just have to do it once. What's cool is you can update your design without redoing the entire template.
1:21 Sheara Wilensky:  The canonical URLs function is built into the Thesis theme. You can also change all feed links without touchig the code. It has flexible category layouts, you can make your blog look like less of a blog.
1:21 Sheara Wilensky:  It has strong on-page SEO abiliity.
1:21 Sheara Wilensky:  The point of the theme is that it eliminates the need for all the SEO plugins.
1:26 Sheara Wilensky:  The Thesis back end panel allows you to upload say 5 ads and it will rotate them out for you.
1:27 Sheara Wilensky:  You can also add database triggers to posts. Say you don't want to put ads in the face of your regular readers, but someone who finds you randomly on Google, you can serve them ads!
1:28 Sheara Wilensky:  Custom page template: you can specify different layouts for different pages if you are using WP for a real website and not a blog.
1:29 Sheara Wilensky:  If you guys have ever been to Gawker, you have seen the "featured posts" box, you can do that with very simple code.
1:30 Sheara Wilensky:  How to learn Hooks: go to my website
1:30 Sheara Wilensky:  I am not a programmer, I can just hack around WP.
1:30 Sheara Wilensky: has an ultimate Thesis tutorials list.
1:31 Sheara Wilensky:  If you want to have a blog that's better than everyone else and that's out of the box SEO'd, use the Thesis theme!
1:31 Sheara Wilensky:  Thank!
1:31 Sheara Wilensky:  Now 15 minutes left for Q&A.
1:32 Sheara Wilensky:  Quick side not from Jon - make sure you title your blog posts with KEYWORDS!
1:34 [Comment From dude]
what is the metarobots plugin?
1:34 Sheara Wilensky:  It allows you to add all the meta robots tags to your pages.
1:36 Sheara Wilensky:  Discussion about tags vs comments:
1:36 Sheara Wilensky:  I mean tags vs categories
1:36 Sheara Wilensky:  SugarRae uses Categories, so does Jon
1:46 [Comment From None]
Does google place more value on tags or categories? does it value tags at all?
1:46 Sheara Wilensky:   Anyone want to take this question?
1:47 Sheara Wilensky:  We are out of time.
1:47 Sheara Wilensky:  You can email any of the panelists for questions.
1:47 Sheara Wilensky:  Thank you!



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