How to Use Tags for WordPress SEO

If you are a bit confused about SEO tags for WordPress, trust me, you are not alone!  A large chunk of our traffic on GET FOUND NOW comes from web users searching for information on how to use tags.

Many people confuse tags with keywords, which they are not. Tags offer site visitors another way to navigate content on your website via a tag cloud and quickly find topics of interest. Tags or labels are also very effective for SEO if you tag your posts correctly.

All content management systems like WordPress now use tags and most social networking sites like Facebook, YouTube and Myspace also use tags to identity videos, pictures, music, etc.

Tag Cloud Navigation

If you opt to display a tag cloud, which I highly recommend, tags organize content on your site by subject matter and are great for usability. Visitors like navigating around within tag clouds because they can quickly find topics of interest and save time.  When a user clicks on a tag, they are brought to a page of related posts, rather than having to wade through a multitude of posts or post archives to find related topics.

Although other SEO/WordPress pundits might not agree that tags are a popular site navigation tool, Get Found Now’s real time site stats beg to differ. We watch our tag cloud in action all day long!

Uniformity is Important for Tag Topic Authority and Usability

Uniformity is important with tags because the more posts you write under one tag, the more tag topic authority you build for SEO.  Tag pages that have tag SEO topic authority will eventually show up in the index.  However, if your not consistent, you’ll end up with a lot of useless tags that have zero topic authority as well as a messy tag cloud that will confuse your site visitors.

Tags are case sensitive, so make sure that ALL your tags are either upper case or lower case. You also want to get int0 the habit of choosing from the “most used tags” so that you build topic authority for those tags.  Let’s say, for example, that you write a post about foreclosures in North Carolina and tag your post “Foreclosures North Carolina.”  Down the road, you write a post and tag it North Carolina Foreclosures. You then write another post and tag it “foreclosures (lower case f) North Carolina.”

Well, what you’ve actually done is created three separate tag page feeds for the exact same topic and diluted your tag topic authority SEO. Not only that, when a visitor clicks on ”Foreclosures North Carolina“ within the tag cloud, only posts tagged in that exact way will show up on that tag page, even though you may have written 20 other great posts on the same topic, tagged in a slightly different manner.

Cleaning up Your Tags and Tag Cloud

If your tag cloud is messy and filled with a lot useless tags, I highly recommend that you take a step back and clean up your tags.  This may seem like a tedious task and waste of your valuable time, but the SEO and usability benefits will be worth the effort.

The tag cloud to the right (LAPropertySolutions.com) is a good example of how a tag cloud should look for usability and tag topic authority.

The owner of the site cleaned up her original tags and tag cloud with a tag plan based on post topics. New tags were created at one time under Post Tags/Add New Tags. Each post was then re-tagged using the “Choose from the most used tags feature” in edit mode.

Opening up Tags or Categories to the Search Engines

You want search engines to spider either category pages or tag pages, never both and you can choose what you allow the search engines to see in your XML Sitemap under ”Sitemap Content.”

All in One SEO Pack

Next, go to All in One Plugin Options and make sure “Use Noindex for Archives” and “Use Noindex for Categories” is checked and “Use Noindex for Posts” is unchecked.

When to Use Tags or Categories

If you publish 2 to 3 blog posts per week, open up tags to the search engines. If you write 1 to 4 blog posts per month, open up categories to the search engines. Again, choose one or the other.

If you choose to open up tags to the search engines, make sure your tag page displays a limited amount of characters per post (350-400 characters). rather than the entire post. Otherwise, the full post might be seen as duplicate content.

Setting WordPress for Tags

If you are blogging on a Genesis WordPress framework (highly recommended) or another updated version of WordPress, you can choose “Display Post Excerpts” in Archives under Theme Settings.  The content archives option will affect any blog listings page including:  archive, author, blog, category, search and tag pages.  If you are using an older version of WordPress, you can modify your archives.php or use an archive limit content plug in.

That’s my story on how to use tags for WordPress. Hope it helps!!

 

CREDITS
(Disclaimer: We do not carry credit for this post nor any of the photographs; we are simply sharing information, you may not otherwise see, in accordance with the copyright laws and under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License of the USA)

Original Post by Get Found Now

WordPress Plugins by YOAST

WordPress Plugins

WordPress.org is powerful on its own, but its functionality can be extended using WordPress plugins. Yoast offers several WordPress plugins to optimize your WordPress SEO, track its performance and tweak the minor usability issues power users sometimes encounter.

Essential Plugins

If you only want to pick two of the free WordPress plugins from this site, pick these two, they’ve both proven to be best in class and will help you take your blog to the next level.

Google Analytics for WordPress

Functionality Plugins

Some things should have just been built in in WordPress, these plugins make it look almost like it is.

Enhanced WordPress contact form plugin

Yoast Breadcrumbs

FriendConnect commenting plugin

Simple Taxonomies

Analytics and Metrics Plugins

Want to know what’s going on on your blog? Install one or more of these plugins and gain yourself the deepest insights!

Google Analytics for WordPress

Blog Metrics

adCenter Analytics for WordPress

From RSS?

SEO & Affiliate Plugins

WordPress is superbly optimized by itself, for a content management system, but it can still use a few free WordPress plugins here and there to get it to the absolute top.

WordPress SEO Plugin

Meta Robots WordPress plugin

RSS Footer

Permalink Redirect WordPress Plugin

Amazon Auto Affiliate Linker

Canonical URL’s for WordPress

Social Media Plugins

If you’re the kind of person who is social or shares his content elsewhere as well, these plugins might come in handy!

TweetBacks for WordPress

Upcoming for WordPress

SlideShare WordPress plugin

CrunchBase Widget

More useful WordPress info

Be sure to check out my info on WordPress SEO and WordPress hosting while you’re looking around this site, and if you’re looking to hire a developer, have a look at my WordPress consulting services!

Fixes and Tweaks

While WordPress is a wonderful system, you’ll sometimes want to tweak a couple of things here and there, these plugins are here to help.

Blog Icons

Search Suggest

Minimum Comment Length WordPress Plugin

Comment Redirect

Email commenters

Users to CSV WordPress plugin

Hide Tag Input

Plugin Downloads

Optimize DB

RSS Shortcode

CREDITS
(Disclaimer: We do not carry credit for this post nor any of the photographs; we are simply sharing information, you may not otherwise see, in accordance with the copyright laws and under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License of the USA)

Original Post by Yoast

Link Building 101

Most people understand by now that links have a very real influence on rankings in search engines. How it works and in which ways a link can influence your ranking is often unclear though, resulting in many myths. This link building 101 tries to explain the basics of link building and to refute some of the myths around it.

How does a link help your site?

A link to your site “helps” in four ways:

  • It adds value to the “receiving page”, allowing it to improve its visibility in the search engines.
  • It adds value to the entire receiving domain, allowing each page on that domain to improve its rank ever so slightly.
  • The text of the link is an indication to the search engine of the topic of the website and more specifically the receiving page.
  • People click on links, resulting in so called “direct traffic”.

The value of a link for the receiving page is determined in part by the topic of the page the link is on. A link from a page that has the same topic as the receiving page is of far more value than a link from a page about an entirely different topic.

On top of that, a link from within an article is worth way more than a link from a sidebar or a footer. Furthermore the more links there are on a page, the less each individual link is worth.

So what makes a good link?

Imagine, you’re working on a link building campaign and you get to choose where to place a link and what page to point it at. You’ll have to consider the following questions:

  • How strong is the site / page that’s going to link out?
  • Which receiving pages on my site make most sense as far as topic is concerned?
  • Which page of this set of sensible pages would deliver the best ROI when it’s ranking?
  • Which page is most sensible for the visitor of the linking page, clicking on the link?

The last question is often the one best to ask of yourself: link building delivers, if done well, better rankings and more direct traffic. You have to keep in mind though that in most cases those visitors coming to you directly from the other site will behave differently from people coming from the search engines. Say you get a link from a site aimed at elderly women, these people will behave drastically different from the diverse public you’ll get from the search engine when the page starts ranking. In your design of the page, you’ll have to account for both.

How strong a site and/or a page is, can be judged on several criteria, PageRank being one of them, though often not very accurate. MozRank is useful at times, but the most useful and sensible check often is the following: does the page that you want a link from, rank in the top 20, 30 or even 50 for terms related to the page you’d want it to link to? If the answer to that is yes, a link on that page is usually a good idea.

The anchor text

If you’ve decided which page you’re going to be linking to, the second question arises: which anchor text will you be using? The anchor text in itself influences two things:

  • The anchor text indicates to the search engine what the topic might be of the page the link points at and it can therefor help that receiving page rank for that term. If you want to rank for “WordPress SEO”, you’d want to have links to that page with anchor texts like “WordPress SEO”, “SEO for WordPress”, etc.
  • The anchor text also has an effect on how many people will be clicking on the link. While from the above bullet you might have gathered that “click here” is a horrible anchor text, as you probably don’t want to rank for it, it does tend to get clicked well and therefor gets you more visitors.

Of course, don’t overdo this. If all links, or a too large percentage of links to your site and / or page have the same anchor text, you’ll look like a spammer. So if you’re actively link building, vary your anchor text.

As you see, these are not trivial decisions, ones you have to make on a site by site and page by page basis. You don’t always have the luxury of controlling anchor text and to be honest, that’s a good thing; way too much sites out there would have a far over optimized “link profile” if they had such a level of control. Because you have to make these decisions on a site by site basis, buying a “backlink package”, something still far too common these days, is often a wrong decision.

Are there any rules about links?

There are two kinds of rules that influence SEO and thus link building. First of all, there are the rules of the search engines, with Google having said most about links. Then there’s the law about advertising, these laws differ per country but especially within the EU they tend to have the same “ring”.

What Google says about links and link building

In their article on link schemes Google gives some examples of links that can influence your ranking negatively. This deals with both links to and from your site (f.i.: don’t link to spam sites). They’re most clear about paid links though: they’re a violation of their guidelines and can lead to a ban of your website.

This isn’t to say that such links would have an immediate negative effect. In fact, in the short term they might even boost your rankings, as quite often Google has to take manual action to discount those links, as not in all cases Google see whether a link has been paid for or not. But, especially keeping in mind the recent debacles with JC Penney and Overstock.com, both of whom have been penalized by Google andpublicly scolded for their behavior by the press, this tactic is seldom worth while.

Google recently published an article on quality links on the Google Webmaster Blog, it’s worth reading to get their perspective.

The law about links

I’ve talked about the Dutch specifics in an article on Marketingfacts recently, which in trun goes back to an article on eConsultancy: if something is an ad, it has to be visibly (for the visitor) marked as such. A paid link could under these new rules be called an ad and would therefor have to be disclosed. I don’t see a court case just yet, but it’s a good thing to keep in mind.

Want to read more about link building?

Outside of this link building 101 a lot is being written about the topic and a large part of it is, excusez le mot, crap. Because of that I’d like to point you at some sources that I do consider worth while:

  • Wiep.net
    The blog of my fellow countryman Wiep Knol, an amicable guy and great link builder.
  • Eric Ward aka LinkMoses
    When I went to my first class in high school in ’94, this guy was already doing link building. His insights are therefor based on a treasure trove of experience.
  • LinkSpiel by Debra Mastaler
    She has more of a wider marketing approach to link building and is therefor very usable for each and everyone.

CREDITS
(Disclaimer: We do not carry credit for this post nor any of the photographs; we are simply sharing information, you may not otherwise see, in accordance with the copyright laws and under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License of the USA)

ORIGINAL POST BY YOAST

Simple SEO Mistakes

Here is a short list of the simple web things we must consider when and during and after website optimization and development:

A site FULL of flash – Sure flash looks great and can deliver a media experience that’s far more interesting than static HTML, but there’s one fundamental problem; Search engines still find it difficult to index websites made entirely out of flash aka your site could be invisible to the search engines. Options include embed some flash into your HTML website OR provide both a flash and HTML version of the pages.

A site FULL of images – apart from image optimization via naming the image file correctly and using alt tags, how else are you going to drive organic search traffic? You need raw text for the search engines to “read”.

Unique page titles for each and every page of your website, it frustrates me that I’m still finding great looking sites that use the SAME URL title across all pages. A page or URL title is designed to describe the topic of the page so use it – tell the reader what the page is about in the title.

Simple and correct formatting of page content – people, USE your heading tags

<h2>etc … and do it PROPERLY. I suggest ONE</h2>
<h1>per page! Follow the correct hierarchy for headings and sub headings!</h1>

<h2>etc … and do it PROPERLY. I suggest ONE</h2><h1>per page! Follow the correct hierarchy for headings and sub headings!</h1>

Frames – These are nothing but a pain in the bum. We don’t need them and they look UGLY! Not to mention that search engines have great difficulty indexing content with in a frame.

Do you have a shopping cart on your website? Think about this: A visitor is browsing through your website and see’s a great product for themselves, at the same time they want to share this great product with a friend – how are they going to copy and paste the URL for the product page if your website is using frames? (If your site is using frames the URL does not change when you navigate from page to page) Sure they can tell the user to go to www.yourshop.com but then they have to find the product .. people, we’re all lazy, make it easy for us and we will buy it!

Image based navigation – Images are used to click on to direct the user to another page, often in a site menu. This is not so bad though text navigation can be much more effective for search engine optimization. Keep it simple people!

The “Enter Now Page” – people PLEASE what is the point of having a “Enter Now Page”? (i.e. http://www.hospitalityadventures.com/ ) so when your visitors get to your site they have a choice of clicking another link to see what your all about also giving them the option of leaving because they decide “nah, I don’t want to enter actually, see ya”. {A SPLASH PAGE SHOULD ONLY BE USED WHEN YOU HAVE 2 OR MORE SITES TO LINK TOGETHER IN ONE AREA}

Long URL’s – people, make sure your URL / domain is not tooooooooo long. Keep the domain sort and sweet, it easy to remember and avoids typo’s thus loosing traffic etc.

Content? – As we all should know by now, content is KING. I’ve had many people asking why they’re not getting any traffic to their web site and how they can increase it. YOU NEED TO WRITE STUFF! Adding new fresh pages to a well structured website is a great way to attract the attention of the search engines, if they like it you, you get the traffic!

And finally the two click rule (I live and die by this simple rule) – From any page on your website you must be able to access any other page within the site within TWO CLICKS of your mouse button!

What about an example you ask? How’s about this one: https://www.robotcowboybydj.com.au/

-This website uses frames
-The navigation on the left hand side is image based (with no alt text)
-The domain “robotcowboybydj.com.au” could be shorter plus hard to remember
-URL’s lack any meaning e.g. https://www.robotcowboybydj.com.au/order_frame.html a better example could have been https://www.robotcowboybydj.com.au/order-form.html
-Each URL title is the same *ggggrrrr*

After my rant and in conclusion, I trust that these simple yet valuable points will prove beneficial, jogging the memory about the fundamentals of web architecture and search engine optimization.
All web elements such as flash, frames and glossy images are great, in moderation, if it’s search engine traffic you’re after often the simplest HTML way is the best, leave your twittering and social networking till last!

Original Full Article By Addme