WordPress SEO: Laying A Solid Foundation For Your Blog’s SEO Strategy!

[As I mentioned a few days I’m starting a series on WordPress SEO. This is the first in the seriess.  I encourage you to signup for our free updates so that you do not miss this series. I bet you don’t want to. So let’s begin…]

I truly love the analogy of a building when it comes to building a blog.  Your blog as your online storefront must be built on the right foundation else every thing you will be in vain. For this reason I want to start this WordPress SEO series by discussing how you can lay a solid foundation for your blog’s Search Engine Optimization strategy.

But what has a foundation got to do with blogging, anyway?

Good question.

As a blogger it’s certain that you passionately believe that the search engines love blogs for various reasons. But unfortunately, WordPress blogs suck SEO-wise when used with the default settings! That is why I want to start this series discussing a few ways you can ensure that your optimization efforts produce the right results.

The Essence of Blog Search Engine Optimization

First, I think it is proper to take note of why you should optimize your wordpress blogs for the search engines.

For one, optimizing your blog for the search engines is one of the most important strategies you can employ to drive organic (free) traffic to your blog. As I’ve mentioned before, organic traffic is the crème de la crème of traffic because it’s natural and targeted. But before the search engines can send you organic traffic they will need to identify specific keyword phrases that are relevant to your blog.  And it’s SEO that will help you strategically put the relevant keywords phrases on your blog.

But as I’ve said wordpress seo sucks since they are not built to rank high on the search engines by default! They need a little “assistance” from you to do that! And so a little tweaking is needed to put your target keyword phrases in your blog’s home title and in every page.

I know you were expecting a lesson on keyword research and content creation snce we are talking about seo. Never worry, that will definitely come. But the truth is, that’s just part of the game. To ensure that the effort you put into your keyword research and content creation is not in vain you must first ensure that your wordpress blog is laid on the right SEO foundation. And that’s what we want to do in this article.

2 Simple But Powerful Steps To Fortifying Your WordPress Blog against SEO Leaks!

At the home-front there are some very simply tweaks you can apply as to ensure that your wordpress blog is maximized for the search engines. There are actually three basic things you’ll need to do here. These are:

1. Use A SEO WordPress Theme

Presently WordPress has over 1,400 free themes in its theme directory. Besides these, there are thousands of other paid themes. Unfortunately not all of these themes are optimized for the search engines. In fact many of them have too many codes that may not only slow down your blog but hamper the search engines crawling your blog correctly. This is not good for search engine optimization. So if you do not know much about optimizing your blog or you simply don’t want too much work optimizing your blog, the first thing you should do is to get a SEO wordpress theme for your blog. PrimePress is a free wordpress theme that you may want to consider if you are short on the cash and wants a free optimized wordpress theme.

However, if you want something more professional and that comes with more optimized features, then you may want to go for the Genesis WordPress theme [affiliate link ].  Genesis is a Framework theme which means it comes with child themes that empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Whether you’re a novice or advanced developer, Genesis will give you the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation for building any WordPress blog.

You may have heard many bloggers speak good of the Thesis theme but that’s if you love designer-filled tweaks. But if you’re not a designer but want something that can give you not only the right design but also the right search engine optimized features then Genesis is the right choice.

2. Optimize Your WordPress Default Settings

As mentioned earlier by default WordPress blogs are deficient when it comes to search engine optimization. For example the search engines do not like long url strings and in ranking websites/blogs they give more regard to websites/blogs that use their relevant keyword phrases in the url.  Unfortunately wordpress default settings violate these rules! To give your wordpress blog some goodwill in the sight of the search engines therefore you simply need to give it a little “touch up.”
Here are two things you should do:

a. Change The Default Permalinks:

WordPress actually have a simply way of overcoming the deficiency of not including, in each blog page, the relevant keyword phrase. To fix this:

Go to Settings >> Permalinks

Then *Select Custom Structure, and put

/%postname%/

Simply doing this is enough though some bloggers will advocate adding the categories like:

/%category%/%postname%/

 b. Include A Robot.Txt File

Another simple but very important seo tactic that wordpress, by default, has overlooked is the inclusion of a robot.txt file. The robot.txt file simply tells the search engines how to treat your blog, what parts to spider and what parts to index. Though it seems to be a simple thing, but it does help your blog’s rankings. So before you do anything about keyword research and creating your blog content, create a robot.txt file and upload it to your blog’s root directory. Even if your blog is already up and running but you have not uploaded a robot.txt file, you should do it right away.

To create a robot.txt file, right click anywhere on your desk top and create a new text document. Name this document robots.txt and enter the following inside it:

User-agent:*

Disallow:

Now upload it to the root directory of your blog so that it can be located at:

=> http://www.yourdomain.com/robots.txt

For more details about robot.txt files go to http://www.robotstxt.org

That’s about it for now. Of course, there are other things you need in order to structure your wordpress blog very well for the search engines but we will discuss those when we talk about how you can give your wordpress blog some unfair advantage with the search engines in our next article. Right now make sure you put these few tips into use.

Not laying this foundation for your wordpress blog will only make your seo efforts appear like someone attempting to chop down a tree with a blunt cutlass! :)

So over to you: Have you done anything to correct your wordpress blog’s default settings? Do you know any reason why the wordpress team have continued to use these default settings even when they know that they are not good for the search engines?

 

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Chadrack is a freelance web content writer who helps clients drive growth through customer acquisition. He specializes in writing marketing content that delivers tangible marketing results for SMBs and enterprise bloggers. He is the author of "The Wordsmith's Guest Blogging Manifesto" - a special report on how to boost your brand awareness, drive more traffic and grow your business fast leveraging the audiences of a-list bloggers. Click here to download FREE!

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23 Responses to “WordPress SEO: Laying A Solid Foundation For Your Blog’s SEO Strategy!”

  1. waterpearls

    Jul 21. 2011

    Hi Chadrack,
    Your posts are always very informative.Thanks for sharing wordpress seo strategy.This post is very helpful for me.

    • Chadrack

      Jul 22. 2011

      @waterpearls,

      I appreciate your comment. I simply want to make these series as informative and simple as possible so that everyone can really benefit with them. Watch out for the second part. There is so much juicy content there that you’ll simply love it!

  2. airan

    Jul 21. 2011

    At first, i must admit that i don’t know much about SEO… but being a blogger, i have learned that understanding SEO could be a great advantage for me. Thank you so much for sharing this information. It’s a good thing that i have understood what is the real role of SEO to bloggers like me..

    • Chadrack

      Jul 22. 2011

      @airan,

      Ok, airan, all of us were sometime in that shoe. Learning is something that we are doing every day and I’m glad that you’ve learnt something here. Well, it does appear you’re visiting for the first time. I hope you sign up for our free updates as not to miss any of the subsequent series. We’re just beginning this journey! :)

      All the same welcome and thanks for adding your voice to the conversation.

  3. Adrienne

    Jul 21. 2011

    Hi Chadrack,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you my friend for explaining this. I have so many people tell me how important it is for your blog but they only give you bits and pieces of information so I never get the entire picture.

    I am using the Thesis theme along with the All in One SEO Pack plug-in. I appreciate you explaining about the category permalink, I had the other one set up correctly but not that one and the robot.txt file. Done and done my friend.

    I will be really looking forward to your next posts where you’ll dive in more and share with us how we can get our blogs noticed. Again, thank you SO much for sharing this with us. I for one am very grateful.

    Adrienne

    • Chadrack

      Jul 22. 2011

      @Adrienne,

      it great to hear this from you Adrienne. Frankly there is so much everyone wants us to do but most times we never know why. When I set out to write this series this was one of the things in mind. Like I said in opening post, considering the fact that so many people have written about this subject it would be unneccessary to do any post on it again. But, I’m glad that there is so much more that I can still offer.

      To every strategy and tactic there is a science and there is an art. The science tells you what you should do but the art tells you how to do it! What I want to do in these series is to tell you what to do, how to do it and why you should do it.

      The next post is on using the right WordPress seo plugins. Watch out for it. And don’t forget to join our other readers by adding us to your RSS Reader. Ok, just want to say that because I’m sure this your first time of commenting here. Will love to know how you feel about the other articles.

      Thanks for the good words.

      • Adrienne

        Jul 22. 2011

        @Chadrack, I did subscribe to your RSS feed because there’s no way I’m missing the rest of your series. Thank you for sharing this with us and for taking the time to put these together. I’m excited that you will be sharing with us what to do, how to do it and why you should do it. That’s SO important, especially to someone like me that just doesn’t understand ALL of this. Some, just not all like you said.

        Thanks again Chadrack, I really appreciate you!

        Adrienne

        • Chadrack

          Jul 25. 2011

          @Adrienne,

          Okay, the next entry is tomorrow, hope you find it interesting also. And thanks for the good words.

  4. Hi Chadrak! You have a wonderful post! Recently i searched some post and i found not interesting. Thank you for sharing your ideas about Blog Search engine optimization! It helped me a lot. Thank you so much! I can’t wait to read another very good post again.

    • Chadrack

      Jul 26. 2011

      @Divine,

      There is so much about search engine optimization on the web. What I’m trying to do is make it a little down to earth! I’m not a technical person and I believe not all of us are. So let’s pull out the technical mumbo jumbo and get ourselves some ranking on the search engines, or is that not what we want? :)

  5. Desi

    Aug 01. 2011

    Hi Chadrack,

    Thanks for the useful seo information, necessarily apply to my blog

  6. You have a wonderful post! Recently i searched some post and i found not interesting. Thank you for sharing your ideas about Blog Search engine optimization! It helped me a lot. Thank you so much! I can’t wait to read another very good post again

    • Chadrack

      Aug 11. 2011

      @Nicholas Scott,

      It’s my pleasure. And talking about any good post, the series is still on and you can read the follow-up articles!

  7. Blogs Search Engine Optimization is one of the great strategies in getting traffic to your site, I agree all the information above it is truly important to have SEO. Thanks Chadrack for sharing this good information!

    • Chadrack

      Sep 22. 2011

      @Victoria,

      It’s my pleasure Victoria and thanks for the comment.

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