SEO for WordPress

search engine optimization optimisation   organic search results

SEO for WordPress, but the same practices apply to every website.

I’ll try to be politically correct when discussing web searches and avoiding the g-word whenever possible. I’ll try and keep the illusion that web search is actually a competitive market. But when we say “web search” we really mean Google.


The first thing to change is your permalink structure. you’ll find this page under Settings/Permalinks
Change the “custom” setting to /%category%/%postname%/

This will change the path to your pages to the actual keywords rather than the default /?p= (unless you are optimizing for the keywords ?p). For example creating a page or post titled WordPress will produce a path (or slug as it’s referred to by WordPress) of If you place this page in a category, or under another page titled SEO you produce a path which would be the keywords for this course.

But it doesn’t end there, URL stopwords

A stop word is a word which most search engines ignore, typically common words which carry no inherent meaning themselves, examples Freely available stopword list, 400 odd words. A year or two back, Google offered a public release of theirs, it was 1 TB. If a search engine looked for pages with these words it would soon be overloaded. SEO Slugs is a free plugin which strips stop words from your slugs.

Also bear in mind you can Optimize your Titles for SEO. Search engines put more weight on the early words, so if your keywords are near the start of the page title you are more likely to rank well.
see this excellent article for more information.

Hidden elements

That’s your site structure as search engine friendly as you can get it, time to move on to the hidden parts specifically for search engines, you’ve all heard of meta data, descriptions and keywords specific to the page or section.

Until 2 weeks ago we used a few different free plugins for this task, all in one seo being the main. This is the easy way of adding the information and you can set it to automatically add the information based on the actual page/post/category. There is a free version as well
But with the release of the new version of Headspace we will be moving over to this. This includes all the other plugins you will need. There is full documentation on their site

Now you’ve reached the point of de-Wordpressing your WordPress site.

It sounds strange but we need to remove the pages you have created from the WordPress frame work and convert them to html. Not only is html more search engine friendly than any other format on the net, Google hold great sway with your websites speed. Google’s official stance is here basically they are saying if you have a slow site it will impact your site’s ranking and Google bots won’t visit your site as often, or look at as many pages. There are tools Google supplies to test your site here
I hope you’re not thinking we’re going to get to techie here free WordPress plugin which does it for you.

Now we can tell search engine all about your website and where all your pages are, with a sitemap.

A sitemap.xml is a site index for search engines. It’s one of the best ways to let search engines know about the pages on your site in detail

Previously, XML sitemap was important for Google only but now Yahoo! and MSN are also giving importance to it.
The importance of the sitemap.xml

Free WordPress sitemap.xml generator

Submit your sitemap to Google

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