So, you want to start a blog, and make sure it gets noticed by google? It’s actually easier than you think, and you can do it absolutely free. I’ll show you how to install wordpress and tweak it for good SEO, so it gets picked up by google, and you start getting more traffic to your blog!
The first step of course, is to make sure you have the right software on your website. WordPress requires php and mysql to run. Here are the exact requirements for running WordPress on your site. This article isn’t about installing WordPress itself, but optimizing it, so if you need more information on how to install wordpress, go here.
Initially, you want to configure a few options for best results. The first, and most important step, is your link structure. You want it to be SEO friendly. Go to your permalinks section:
Settings -> Permalinks
The way I have mine setup is by category, then post title. Like this:
The way I do this, is by selecting “Custom Structure” in my permalink settings, and entering this:
This changes all my links on the site to specify a category folder, then the name of the post. You can also do other things, like put the date in your post, or any custom information you like. Here is a list of different tags you can use for permalinks.
The most important part of this is to get something that’s user friendly, and search engine friendly. You want to do this from the very start.
The next step: RPC Pings
Settings -> Writing -> Update Services
In the writing section, if you scroll down the bottom, you’ll see “update services”. These are the different sites that will be contacted when you update. See my huge RPC Ping list and grab that list and paste it into the box. Click Save.
This is an important step to keep other sites updated when you post. This will really come in handy as your site gets larger, and these services start monitoring you. I have seen posts I’ve made come up on google alerts that same day for this very reason.
Install some Plugins
The first plugin I highly recommend is the All in One SEO plugin. This WordPress plugin is crucial for your success.
- Automatically optimizes your titles for search engines
- Generates META tags automatically
- Avoids the typical duplicate content found on Wordpress blogs
- For Wordpress 2.7 you don’t even have to look at the options, it works out-of-the-box. Just install.
- You can override any title and set any META description and any META keywords you want.
- You can fine-tune everything
- Backward-Compatibility with many other plugins, like Auto Meta, Ultimate Tag Warrior and others.
To install it, you’ll need to download the file, unzip it, and upload it to your /wp-content/plugins folder. Then, in the control panel under plugins, find the All in One SEO plugin and press “activate”.
From here, you’ll want to configure a few options. Go to Settings -> All in One SEO pack
Fill out your title, description and keywords fields and they will populate your posts with the appropriate meta tags. The default settings are fine, but you can adjust everything as you see fit. This makes a difference when fine tuning your search results.
Get the Google XML Sitemaps Plugin.
Download the Google XML Sitemaps plugin here and install it in the same way you did the SEO pack. This plugin is crucial, as you are able to build Google sitemaps and submit them to Google, which notifies them of changes and additions to your site. Don’t skip this one!
If you don’t have a Google Sitemap setup, click here.
Once this is all said and done, start adding content!!! This package put together will increase your chances of getting spidered in Google, and getting good results. Content is king! Keep adding useful, interesting content and you’re on your way to search engine success! Good luck!