Definitive Sticky Posts Guide for WordPress 2.7

As the blogosphere is abuzz about all the cool new features in WordPress 2.7, I’ve seen very few (if any) good posts on the new Sticky Posts feature that will allow you to take any story, or stories, you’ve published and place them at the top of your homepage without editing the timestamp.  This new feature will allow you to take posts that you’re especially proud of and display them for all the world to see for as long as you want.

But for many theme and plugin developers, and even users who may want to do a little DIY theme hacking, there is very little documentation for getting the feature set up to do the things you want it to.  That’s where this guide comes in. [Read more...]

Ultimate Guide to WordPress SEO – META Keywords

Up until this point in the WordPress SEO series, I’ve been very confident in the power of the methods I’ve outlined.  I really don’t believe a plugin should control your TITLE, I do believe you can increase search engine click-throughs by using the META description tag, and I do believe that Heading structure and hierarchy are important for keyword ranking.

But what I’m about to share today doesn’t have any solid metrics, and I’m not convinced it will help you at all.  I do personally use this method on this blog, and I haven’t noticed any negative effects on my rankings, but there are some people who do believe that META Keywords should never be used, given their dark history.

So, implement this at your own risk.  (By the way, Proximity News Theme users can turn this feature off in the theme options panel under the Search Engine Optimization section) [Read more...]

Ultimate Guide to WordPress SEO – META Descriptions

One of the tricks to WordPress SEO is understanding that it’s not all about rankings.  Sure, high rankings for your target keywords are awesome, and they definitely produce great returns, but lower rankings aren’t bad all the time either. If we think about a search engine results page (SERP) as a billboard for our content, then sure, position matters, but so does the content of our billboard.

And that’s exactly what we can do using the META description tag.  We can actually control what gets displayed in our little spot of SERP real estate, therefore utilizing a tremendous opportunity to convert that space into traffic. [Read more...]

Ultimate Guide to WordPress SEO – Optimized Heading Tags

Last year I read an article at Chris Pearson’s website that absolutely changed the way I looked at markup standards and WordPress SEO. Seriously, up until that point, I was convinced that SEO was a bunch of garbage for blackhat guys who were looking to game the system and cheat the rest of us. But after reading that article, I came away with a new perspective — Your markup is not simply a method for adding structure to style, but was the primary method search engines used to parse your content.

That day, I stopped using H2 in the sidebars of blog. I stopped using H1 for my blog’s title (and the blogs I would have the privilege of developing). And that’s what we’re going to cover in this post — how you can do the exact same thing! [Read more...]

Ultimate Guide to WordPress SEO – Optimized Titles

Arguably, one of the most important elements of a website from an SEO perspective is what comes between the <title></title> tags in the header of your page. Take a look at any search result page in Google and you’re probably looking at a list of websites with big blue links … and the text of those links is none other than the text Google found between the <title></title> tags when crawling the page.

So, this next post in our WordPress SEO series will cover how to control what gets displayed in that section of our site, and thus not only controlling what the Search Engines display as the title of our post/page in results pages, but also leveraging a powerful tool for ranking for those keywords we’re targeting. [Read more...]

Ultimate Guide to WordPress SEO – Keyword-Rich Permalinks

WordPress.org describes permalinks as “the permanent URLs to your individual weblog posts, as well as categories and other lists of weblog postings.”

But permalinks themselves won’t help if you haven’t optimized them.  Understanding the role your permalinks play in your WordPress SEO starts with understanding the methods for permalink optimization.  Keyword-rich permalinks, along with the other ingredients in this series, will help search engines determine the kind of content in your posts/pages, and rank them accordingly. [Read more...]

Ultimate Guide to WordPress SEO – Google Webmaster Tools

In my last post in this WordPress SEO series, we covered how to use the XML-Sitemaps plugin so you could generate a sitemap for your WordPress site.  Today, we’re going to cover the best way to get Google to recognize that sitemap and start crawling your site! [Read more...]

Ultimate Guide to WordPress SEO – Google Sitemaps

Several Weeks ago, I decided to take on the subject of WordPress SEO.  In my experience, setting up your WordPress installation for maximum search engine exposure hasn’t been terribly difficult, but I know that to many people, the task can seem overwhelming.

Today, I want to begin this series of posts by introducing you to the concept of using a Sitemap to give Google a “roadmap” to your blog. [Read more...]

WordPress SEO – The Ultimate Guide to WordPress Theme Search Engine Optimization

The WordPress Codex says that “WordPress, straight out of the box, comes ready to embrace search engines“.  Well, that may be true … to a certain degree, but there is more than enough work that you’ll need to do after you’ve installed WordPress in order to get it playing nicely with Google (and other search engines).

What most people don’t realize is that, while Google does love WordPress, it’s WordPress THEMES that actually interface with search engines … not WordPress itself.

So, that means that a WordPress theme could very well be hurting your rankings in the search engines … not helping! [Read more...]

Creating a “Blog Page” — With Paging

If there was one question I get asked the most about WordPress themes, it’s this one: how do I make a custom static homepage at the root of my blog’s address (e.g. http://example.com/) and have my blog posts go into a /blog section (http://example.com/blog)?

WordPress is becoming more and more usable as a Content Management System, so naturally the question comes up.

But they don’t want to abandon the idea of a blog either. Blogs can be an integral part of a business website, and it makes sense that businesses and individuals would want the site and the blog managed from the same WordPress installation. [Read more...]