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!

So over the last several months, I’ve been developing a list of tips for bloggers that will help them embrace the natural flow of good SEO in the form of a well optimized theme.  This guide can’t guarantee you first page rankings, and certainly can’t get you quality links, but it will teach you every step you must take to ensure that you’re site is completely search engine optimized.

Posts in this Series

The following posts give a detailed explanation on how and where to modify your theme in order to optimize its search engine rankings:

  1. Generating a sitemap for Google
  2. Getting your site indexed by Google
  3. Getting Google to index and follow the right stuff
  4. Using Keyword-Rich Permalinks
  5. Optimizing your <title>
  6. Optimizing your header tags
  7. Using META descriptions
  8. Using META keywords
  9. Keyword Density
  10. Deep Linking

For those interested, I’ve already done all the heavy lifting in my newest theme Proximity News.  All the theme mods I’ll be discussing have already been implemented in Proximity News, so if you’re looking for a theme that’s ready to attract search engine traffic right out of the box, then why not go pick yourself up a copy of my latest WordPress news theme!

Ff you haven’t done so already, go ahead and subscribe to my RSS feed so you’ll get these tips like these delivered straight to your RSS reader!

Comments

  1. seo singapore says

    Hi Nathan, Great article. You mentioned wp not optimised or using wrong themes could hurt rankings. I couldnt agree more. Especially since they’re many wp plugin and theme developers who make themes for wp that dont have good knowledge of how Seo,rankings and usablility in wp apps tie in.

  2. SEM Company Pune says

    Google is known to ignore other features on a page except text. Therefore, it helps to use relevant text/keywords on a page generously. But be sure not to overdo it. Otherwise, it may tag your page as spam and give you low rankings.

  3. Todd Morris says

    Hi Nathan,

    Love the new theme … I’ve been trying to learn a bit more about SEO here lately. I’m looking forward to reading your series.

    Thanks,
    Todd

  4. Brian Lis says

    Hey Nathan,
    Found your corner of the net. Like the feel of this site and your proximity theme. Looks Great!

    I’ll check back from time to time. Have a safe flight.
    Brian

  5. Yo SEO says

    Hey Nathan,

    This is a great series of posts and anyone using WordPress really needs to read them all to get the most benefit.

    Many webmasters think that just using WordPress will boost their rankings and increase traffic, but by applying the simple SEO modifications that you have outlined for any Theme that they choose will make a much bigger difference!

  6. Trevor Watkinson says

    Hey Nathan,

    Great post! I’ve implemented all the changes you suggested in this series. I never even considered using keywords for the permalink. That’s pretty sharp man. Thanks for the help!

  7. guy says

    Sorry nathan, didn’t see you had a page specifically for that. Will head over and check that out..thanks again for the really great info.

  8. Adi says

    Hi Nathan,
    I just make a blog less than a month, just make 3 post. I try to search from Google with words/phrase from my articke title and found it in 1st page of google. Im not an SEO expert and found your blog very useful for me. I want to learn to keep the SERP. Do you think it is because of the theme I use ?

    Thanks
    Adi

  9. WordPress SEO says

    First, this is a great list of resources, and something every WordPress user who cares about search engine traffic should read. What I found particularly interesting is the point that it’s the theme that communicates with search engines, not core WP. Nice point. And if any blogger has ever changed themes and seen a change in search traffic (for better or worse), they know this first hand.

  10. SEO and Traffic Guide says

    Great post! i especially found it useful where you started. Most people that use search engines use only the ten top search results in the first page. Making it to the first page, more so to the top three is a barometer of a sites success in search engine optimization. You will get a higher ratio of probability in being clicked on when you rank high. The more traffic for your site, the more business you rake in.

    But, it is essential to grab a hold of that spot or make your ranking even better. As I aforementioned, each day is a new day for all e-commerce sites to make them selves rank higher using search engine optimization. It is imperative to make your site better and better everyday.

    So just what is search engine optimization and do you have to use it? The answer to why you have to use it is an easy one. You need search engine optimization to be number one, or maybe at least make your site income generating.

    Thanks for the tips!

  11. SEO and Traffic Guide says

    Great post! i especially found it useful where you started. Most people that use search engines use only the ten top search results in the first page. Making it to the first page, more so to the top three is a barometer of a sites success in search engine optimization. You will get a higher ratio of probability in being clicked on when you rank high. The more traffic for your site, the more business you rake in.

  12. Improve Search Engine Rankings says

    Nathan, thanks for the detailed post. I’ve been using Blogger for some time and finally woke up to WordPress. I know, don’t hold it against me. At least I finally made the leap.

    I was able to update meta tags on my last blog but couldn’t do many of the things you’re suggesting here. In particular, that other Blog site doesn’t let you add a sitemap or any customized pages for that matter. Thanks again!

  13. eJob says

    Hey, awesome series of posts and awesome blog. Im just starting out blogging and the seo tips could prove very valuable. thanks a bunch

  14. SEO says

    Great article. I rarely use WordPress, but your SEO information gave my good advice as to what I should look out for in a WP theme.

    Thanks.

    Paul R.

  15. Steve DeVries says

    Awesome post. I love WordPress and it’s really ideal for SEO projects. Using it as a CMS can make development for SEO a snap. Thanks for all the info!

  16. Madhu says

    Really useful article. I have been working on most of the SEO tips you have said but there are a couple I had no idea about. Thanks for that!

  17. UK SEO Consultant says

    Hi Nathan.

    Great series of posts.

    As an SEO consultant I was a bit late to get on the blog band wagon, but it didn’t take long to discover how powerful wordpress blogs are if the right steps are taken – the steps you’ve just described.

    Cheers

    Kev

  18. Tom Troughton says

    Hi Nathan,
    I just found your site. I appreciate your straight-forward manner in presenting information so that is easy to understand. I am going to refer friends to your site.
    Tom Troughton

  19. rizky says

    Thank’s for the great post. I will try the method. But do better in Google Search using our blogspot or WordPress?

  20. Green Power says

    Great Blog !! Site Bookmarked. I personally think the best way to create traffic is to create backlinks, to your site for a better Search Engine Ranking.

  21. lhoylhoy says

    I really would like to learn wp search engine optimization, I’m porting css/xhtml templates and I would like my clients have this value added services! nice job!

  22. Jan-Olov says

    Can I draw a lance for registering new sites with Google Local Business Centers? This has generated some great results here in Scandinavia.

  23. Michael says

    Fantastic series. I’ve been having difficulties with the new version of All in One SEO and your series has shown me how to replace it. Great job.

  24. Miller7 says

    Steve Harold: It looks like you are still using WordPress’ default URL structure. To get the post title to appear as keywords in the URL, enable permalinks via the WordPress Admin

  25. Miller7 says

    Thanks for the SEO tips. Google has been a hard nut to crack for me? Seo I really would like to learn wp search engine optimization

  26. KraL says

    But, it is essential to grab a hold of that spot or make your ranking even better. As I aforementioned, each day is a new day for all e-commerce sites to make them selves rank higher using search engine optimization. It is imperative to make your site better and better everyday