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…]

An Easy Way To Get the Contents of a Custom Field

If you do any hardcore WordPress coding, then you’re probably aware of Custom Fields and the unlimited possibilities they offer you as a WordPress designer or developer.  For instance, I use custom fields as a means of attaching a feature image and thumbnail to posts in my Proximity News Theme.

But, they can be a bit cumbersome to use throughout your theme because of the ridiculous amount of code that it takes just to pull the data out and display it. [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 – Indexing Control

OK, so you’ve got yourself an XML Sitemap, and you’ve told Google where to find your sitemap using Google Webmaster Tools.  So far, you’re well on your way to optimizing your WordPress site.

The next thing in your journey to the ultimate in WordPress SEO is telling the Search Engines what they need to index. [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…]

Premium or Freemium?

Quite a few months ago, I made a proposition to my readers. I put a call out for great designers, loyal to the idea of Open Source software, to contact me and collaborate on an idea that I thought would make many users in the WordPress community very happy.

Today, I want to put out a similar call for your input, and (in a roundabout way) give you more details about the upcoming project.

This idea of mine, which has been stewing since February, 2008, is very similar to the idea that my good friend Brian Gardner just announced over at his site.

So, I want to know from you, my loyal readers … what makes you lay down your hard earned cash when it comes to WordPress themes?

  • Is it the theme itself, features, innovation?
  • Is it the support that comes with a premium theme?
  • Is it the Documentation?
  • Is it the exclusivity (since popular free themes tend to be overused)?

I want to know! Premium themes are very popular right now … more so than they ever have been.  But there must be some reason we pay for a theme.  Are all premium themes really that much better than their free alternatives?

Second question, what if themes — good themes, great themes! — were available for free? Would you be inclined to send the author a “thank you donation”? Would you be willing to pay for support, documentation, tutorials, add-ons, etc.? What about people you know?  Would they be willing to pay for the added support, or would they be perfectly happy with just downloading the theme and nothing else?

I want your feedback! Either reply here in the comments, or hit me up on twitter with an @nathanrice reply.


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…]