I have been designing custom WordPress themes for a while now and it has become the platform website/blog of choice with business people all over. I tutor my clients once I’ve built their site/blog and explain the platform to get them going.
It has come to my attention that there are many people out there who have technical issues or are confused about some of the functionality, so I’ve built a top ten WordPress tips list. If you have other questions about issues I haven’t covered or need help just give me a call.
Let’s Talk WordPress Functionality & SEO Performance
Tip #1: Titles to posts or pages that are SEO friendly. Many times bloggers will just name their post or page something generic, like, Frogs and Toads. The first issue is it’s too generic and doesn’t sort the post properly. The second issue is the “and” which isn’t needed and dilutes the SEO value. Now if the title had been “Frogs Toads Across Texas” this would help sort the post.
Tip #2: Photographs within posts/pages. You must name your photos properly or use “Alt Text” for the photos. Do not name your photos with empty spaces between the words. Ex: “Frogs in New Jersey.jpg.” The web does not understand an empty space and will put a %20 everywhere where there is an empty space, so your photo name would be “Frogs%20in%20New%20Jersey.jpg.” (This applies to page titles as well on manually built websites in html.)
Tip #3: Do not copy and paste text from somewhere else without editing it first, or it brings with it all sorts of foreign tags. Use a text editor to remove unwanted code, or use the icon within WordPress for pasting from “Microsoft Word” which will help remove unwanted code.
Tip #4: Embedding keywords and adding selective keywords. Keywords should be embedded within your page’s content as well as added to the keyword area. The search engines read your content and give weight to certain words and phrases, and the more of these they find the better you place. How to find the best keywords? I suggest loading Google Analytics code into your site and then tracking the keywords used to find you. Google also offers a free keyword search tool with Adwords.
Tip #5: Install the SEO Plugin. There is a great plugin you can install to your WordPress blog called the “All in One SEO Pack.” With this plugin, you can do all sorts of things such as add keywords, descriptions, menus and more.
Tip #6: Keep your first opening page to under 3 recent posts. If you check you google analytics regularly, you’ll never know which posts visitors are reading if they’re only on your first opening page. This will also make your bounce rate go up because people will be reading and never need to click anywhere else before leaving. If you have a sidebar and have recent posts and catagories listed, then visitors can move around and you will be able to track with greater detail which posts are read more than others, so you know more about what your readers are looking for.
Tip #7: What to do about switching from html to visual viewing. I know that when you’re writing in either of these modes, it may change a bit if you’re going back and forth between these two modes. I suggest saving your draft as you go along, and write the whole post in one of these two, try not to keep switching back and forth. You can also write up your post in “Word” and once finished, paste into WordPress but use the “W” icon so it comes in cleanly.
Tip #8: Remember that WordPress can be used for a static site as well as a blog. Many of the websites I’ve built recently are using the WordPress CMS so they can update or edit their pages and they aren’t blogging at all. We just develop the pages section instead. There are also sites that have both and this way the site and the blog are one, at the same address, using the same design. This is a wonderful and cost effective way to build a new site. You can even install a shopping cart and have an e-commerce solution.
Tip #9: If you want something different, don’t just buy a ready-made theme, ask a designer to create something custom for you. The cost won’t be that much more and your site will look professional as well as original.
Tip #10: Content must stay the course. If you have built a nitche for yourself, make sure that your posts stay on topic. Sometimes bloggers move off topic and you’ll lose readers if you stray to far. They’re reading because they like what you’re saying, so keep giving them more of wht they ask for. Make sure your keywords added to a post help describe the post and what might draw readers.
Bonus #11: Be sure to adjust the settings (under appearance) for the number of posts read, that an administrator must approve a comment, and the naming of your posts for titles, not page numbers.