The WordPress SEO Guide

Using WordPress for your content management system is not only smart it’s recommended by most SEO Experts.  In order to rank well today in Google you need to have a blog and a powerful way to manage that content.  WordPress is close to prefect out of the box but there are still things you need to do.

If you are adding a new blog it is recommended to add the blog as a subfolder and not as a subdomain.  A subdomain is considered a new domain and will not carry the weight of your existing page.  Nor will you give your website the added bonus of links and content pages if you use a subdomain.

seo logo 266x176 The Wordpress SEO GuideSubdomain: blog.domain.com

Subfolder: domain.com/blog/  (preferred method)

Tags & Categories

Once you have your blog installed and are ready to go you need to think about duplicate content and how you can prevent that.  The biggest problem with WordPress is the categories and tags it allows you to create.

Tags

If you have a large website with thousands of pages of content most of the time tags will help improve your SEO.  This creates additional pages that have keywords as titles.  The problem is when you have a smaller blog and not enough articles it creates pages with almost identical content.  Duplicate content is bad for SEO and will actually hurt your ranking potential in Google.

Categories

The same thing that happens with tags also happens with category pages.  Category pages can be near identical to tag created pages and can harm your SEO efforts.

To help solve these issues I recommend to all my clients to use the All in One SEO Pack.  This is a powerful plugin that has many features with the most useful is the ability to “no-index” tags or categories.  It is highly (do it) recommended you install this plugin and set up your blog to not allow search engines to index your tag pages.  This feature alone will solve most of your on-site SEO issues with WordPress.

Tip: When you categorize your blog post remember not to select too many categories for each blog post.  I always recommend one category.  If you start selecting several categories for each post then you run the risk of creating more duplicate content.   [Read more...]

Top 10: Web Analytics Platforms You Should Know

I was invited to speak at the College Media Association conference in New York City by my good friend Colin Donohue.  The CMA is similar to any other professional media consortium, but focuses exclusively on college and university media organizations.

This year, I was asked to speak about the importance of web analytics platforms.  One of my sessions featured my Top 10 web analytics platforms that I believe everyone should know.

The Top 10 Web Analytics Platforms are in no particular order.  Also, it is important to note that I do not think that you should use all of them.  Instead, you should pick your favorites, and go with it.  But make sure you know a little about all of them.

Screen shot 2012 03 18 at 3.34.48 PM 150x135 Top 10: Web Analytics Platforms You Should Know#1 – Google Analytics

google.com/analytics

Shockingly obvious, yes.  However, the analytics beginner may not fully appreciate the power of this platform since it is ubiquitous to the industry.  This fall, we saw GA release realtime analytics (finally!).  Realtime analysis makes the platform more appealing to “newsroom” style publishers.

Screen shot 2012 03 18 at 3.47.01 PM 150x93 Top 10: Web Analytics Platforms You Should Know#2 – GetClicky

getclicky.com

Still my favorite all around analytics platform.  I’ve used it for years, and it has never let me down.  GetClicky has offered realtime analytics since virtually day one.  The platform has continued to evolve including rich extensions such as an app for iPhone and iPad.  For “newsroom” applications, they have released a big screen mode that basically takes over the full screen of your machine with realtime site traffic.  Also has a robust solution for advertising and marketing tracking with no-fuss reporting.   [Read more...]

Your Blog Traffic Blueprint – Part Two

In the last post I explained a number of different ways you could get your blog optimized for traffic and then methods in which you could drive traffic through the use of backlinking.  The good thing about a lot of backlinking methods is that not only do they help your blog to be recognized as important by search engines like Google; many of the methods drive traffic directly to your blog because of the insightful content you are providing.

In this post I am going to lay out a blueprint for you that you can follow step-by-step and then in later posts I will give you more details on how to actually set up each of these methods to maximize their impact on your traffic stats.

  1. Do the preparation steps in the previous blog post.
  2. Write five articles related to your niche – this is not as hard as it seems – you can simply rewrite your blog posts to create unique articles.
  3. Use Camtasia Free software and PowerPoint presentation slides to create videos out of your article content – don’t mind being in front of the camera?  Then use that, but you want to create five videos based on your five articles and you will need five PowerPoint presentation slide shows for traffic generation as well.
  4. Create an audio file of all five of your articles.  If your article content is quite short just make one audio file including the information in all five articles.

Okay so at this point you will have five articles, five videos, five PowerPoint presentation slide shows, and at least one audio file.  All of these files will contain backlinks to your site and if you can include a call to action (without sounding spammy) in the content as well all the better.  Now you have to get these out on the net.

The Articles

Your articles are going to provide a hub for the rest of your traffic efforts.  Firstly you want to submit them to Ezinearticles.com.  Unless you are a premium member this is going to take a few days for the articles to be approved.  You are also going to submit your articles to the following sites:

But wait until your articles have been approved on Ezinearticles.com first – EZA does not like duplicate content.  Don’t forget to ping your article links (the actual link of the page your article is on) as well as Stumble it, Twitter it and put the link up on Facebook.

Next you want to find some graphics to go with your article content and then head over to Squidoo.com and set up five lenses using your article content and the pictures you have collected.  Each article will make an individual lens.  If you have not made a Squidoo Lens before then check out the help tutorials they have on their site which are very good or courses by people like Tiffany Dow or the PotPieGirl.  Again once you have your lenses finished then ping them and use your social media links to put the word out about them.

Well that should be enough to keep you going for the moment.  In the next post I will explain more things you can do with your articles and also where to post the other content that I had you create.

Your Blog Traffic Blueprint – Part One

Generating traffic to your blog is something a lot of bloggers have trouble with.  But if you use the traffic blueprint I have outlined below then you will have swarms of traffic hitting your site every time you write a new post.

Setting the Groundwork

Getting prepared for traffic to your site is something that you should be thinking off from the moment you install WordPress on your new domain.  Before you start generating traffic you want to make sure that you have installed all of the plug-ins outlined in our previous post here [Link to 5 Essential Plug-ins You Blog Must have].  To keep Google happy your site will need to have a Privacy Policy page, a Terms and Conditions Page and a Contact page at the very least.  You should also make sure that you have a minimum of three blog posts on your blog, with more scheduled or planned before you put this traffic plan into place.  Ideally you should aim for one new blog post for your blog daily for about a month, and then at least three times a week thereafter so that your blog always has good fresh content coming in.

Setting Up Backlinks

If you are not familiar with SEO then it is unlikely that you have come across the term “Backlinks” before but these are a vital part of your blogging success.  In a nutshell backlinks are links on other sites that point back to your blog, or a specific blog post.  The more backlinks your blog has the more valuable it is considered by Google and other search engines.  So you need to set up a system to start generating backlinks as quickly as you can.

Warning: There are a lot of companies online that claim they can get you hundreds or even thousands of backlinks for the price of a cup of coffee – Do not use these methods.  They are considered spam and can get your blog banned from Google permanently if you use these “Black Hat” methods.

Your pinging will already be creating backlinks for you but you can go a lot further with this.   Just some of the methods you can use include

  • Putting articles on article directory sites like Ezinearticles and GoArticles
  • Putting up videos on YouTube and other video sites (TubeMogul is good for this)
  • Creating audio files and placing them on sites like iTunes
  • Blog commenting on other blogs in your niche
  • Forum posting on relevant forums in your niche
  • Posting an ebook of your content on free ebook sites like Free-ebooks.net
  • Setting up related pages on Squidoo.com and HubPages
  • RSS feeds
  • Social Media sites like Twitter, Facebook and StumbleUpon

Now before you go thinking that this could be a lot of work, remember that you can outsource a lot of these tasks and as we will show you in the next blog post – a lot of these ideas come from recycling and repackaging content you have already created.  See you on the next post.

Read Part Two

Using the Ping List to Increase Your Blog Exposure

Many new blog owners don’t know what a ping is, let alone how to use this quiet little function to increase traffic to their blogs.  Put simply a “ping” is an automatic notification of new and updated content to sites that collect RSS feeds for their own subscribers.  By pinging these sites you create backlinks for your blog and you have the chance to increase your organic (that means free) traffic figures.

To utilize this function in your WP blog you need to go to “Settings” in your admin panel and click on “Writing” in the drop down menu that comes up.

writing 480x295 Using the Ping List to Increase Your Blog Exposure

This will bring you up a page like the one above.  You need to scroll down this page until you find…

pinglist 480x223 Using the Ping List to Increase Your Blog Exposure

You won’t have anything in this block when you install your new blog – you have to find a ping list to copy and paste into it.  To help you here are ten you can include by simply copying the links below and pasting them into that box: [Read more...]

When all else fails, do something crazy.

I was running by ShoeMoney tonight when I saw this great clip.  A guy actually built a site that lets people shoot paintballs at him live over the Internet.  Real paintballs…not some goofy cyber paintballs.

To promote his site, he got dressed up in one of Shoe’s t-shirts and had friends fire some live rounds at him point blank.

Naturally, Shoe had to post that on his site.  Honestly, who wouldn’t post a video of a guy taking a dozen paintballs to the chest at pointblank range just to get your attention.  Go check out the video on Shoe’s site.

“Best of the Web” Goes Local

botw Best of the Web Goes Local

If you’ve ever tried to get your site listed in Best of the Web, you know it requires a bit of effort and often a peice of change.

Well, BOTW just launched a local version of their directory, called BOTW Local.  The basic listing is free, so you might as well sign up for it.

It allows searchers to locate businesses based on geography.  So if you offer a local product or service, this is the answer to the broader national directory.

Oh, and there’s always BOTW Blogs too.  But that will run you $50 once the 60 day trial is up.

So sign up today…can’t hurt.

Increase Sociability WordPress Plugin Trial Run

I was browsing ShoeMoney today, and I saw a post about a new (or maybe just newer) plugin called Increase Sociability.

I had seen it in action before on the front end of a different website, but didn’t know that was what I was seeing.

Basically, the idea is to plop a special line of text at the top of your blog post when a user comes to your site through Digg, Stumble, etc.  The plugin knows when people came to your site from one of the social voting sites, and it knows which one.  It then, for example, will remind the Digg user to digg your post.

However, users that just browse your site the good old fashioned way won’t see anything.

The idea is to give the reader just a little reminder to give you a vote.  As a result, you should get more social votes.

So, I’m going to test it on a few other sites and see how it goes.