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WordPress Search Engine Optimization - Second Edition

Book Description

A complete guide to dominating search engines with your WordPress site

About This Book

  • Everything you need to get your WordPress site to the top of search engines and bring thousands of new customers to your blog or business
  • Learn everything from keyword research and link building to customer conversions, in this complete guide
  • Packed with real-word examples to help get your site noticed on Google, Yahoo, and Bing

Who This Book Is For

This book is for anyone who runs any of the over 90,000,000 WordPress installations throughout the world. If you can login to your WordPress website, you can implement most of the tips in this book without any coding experience.

What You Will Learn

  • The elements that search engines use to rank websites—and how to optimize your site for premium placement
  • Harness social media sites to extend the reach of your site and gain more visitors
  • Discover the high-volume, high-value search phrases that customers use when searching for your products or services
  • Avoid dangerous black-hat optimization techniques and the people who advocate and purvey them
  • Build high-quality, high-value links from other websites to raise your rankings in search engines
  • Create optimized and engaging content that both search engines and readers will love
  • Avoid common SEO mistakes that can get your site penalized by search engines

In Detail

WordPress is a powerful platform for creating feature-rich and attractive websites but, with a little extra tweaking and effort, your WordPress site can dominate search engines and bring thousands of new customers to your business.

WordPress Search Engine Optimization will show you the secrets that professional SEO companies use to take websites to the top of search results. You'll take your WordPress site to the next level; you'll brush aside even the stiffest competition with the advanced tutorials in this book.

Style and approach

This is a practical, hands-on book based around sound SEO techniques specifically applied to WordPress. Each chapter starts with a brief overview of the important concepts then quickly moves into practical step-by-step actions you can take immediately. Throughout the book, you'll get clear instructions and detailed screenshots, so you can see exactly what to do each step of the way.

Downloading the example code for this book. You can download the example code files for all Packt books you have purchased from your account at http://www.PacktPub.com. If you purchased this book elsewhere, you can visit http://www.PacktPub.com/support and register to have the code file.

Table of Contents

  1. WordPress Search Engine Optimization Second Edition
    1. Table of Contents
    2. WordPress Search Engine Optimization Second Edition
    3. Credits
    4. About the Author
    5. About the Reviewers
    6. www.PacktPub.com
      1. Support files, eBooks, discount offers, and more
        1. Why subscribe?
        2. Free access for Packt account holders
    7. Preface
      1. What this book covers
      2. What you need for this book
      3. Who this book is for
      4. Conventions
      5. Reader feedback
      6. Customer support
        1. Downloading the color images of this book
        2. Errata
        3. Piracy
    8. 1. Getting Started – SEO Basics
      1. Introducing SEO
      2. Improving your rank on all search engines
      3. Exploring the changing nature of search engines
      4. Understanding a search engine's inner workings
      5. Preparing the index
      6. Querying the index
      7. Exploring on-page search ranking factors
      8. Weighing search factors
      9. Understanding the search algorithm
      10. Ranking factor – body content
      11. Serious ranking power – title tags and meta tags
      12. Making perfect title tags
      13. Using heading tags (h1, h2, h3)
      14. Optimizing code quality and load speed
      15. Menus, internal navigation, and link structure
      16. Image filenames and alt tags
      17. Text attributes – bold, italics, and underline
      18. Ranking factor – high page count
      19. Fodder for search engines – fresh content
      20. Using the subtle power of outbound links
      21. Understanding off-page ranking factors
        1. Links are the power
        2. Creating natural links
      22. Avoiding over-optimization
      23. Converting visitors to customers – the third spoke of SEO
        1. Creating conversion-based websites
      24. Summary
    9. 2. Optimizing WordPress for SEO
      1. Setting goals for your business and website and getting inspiration
        1. Analyzing your audience
        2. Determining the goal of your website
        3. Following the leaders
        4. Gauging competition in the search market
      2. Knowing what WordPress already does for your SEO
        1. Understanding WordPress' economical architecture
        2. Building large sites quickly with WordPress
        3. Earning respect with search engines
        4. Leveraging WordPress' blogging capabilities
        5. Displaying RSS feeds
          1. Finding your RSS feed
          2. Promoting your RSS feed
        6. Automatically creating descriptive URLs with WordPress permalinks
      3. Creating reliable and text-based navigation
      4. Engaging visitors with built-in collaboration, contribution, and community building
        1. Employing user roles to get your team involved
        2. Improving ranking with user comments
        3. Using update services
      5. Understanding what WordPress doesn't do for your SEO
        1. Tackling duplicate content within WordPress
        2. Overcoming landing page customization limitations
        3. Understanding the limitations of page-by-page navigation
      6. Summary
    10. 3. Researching and Working with Keywords
      1. Building your site's foundation with keyword research
      2. Understanding relevance and the effect of short tail and long tail keywords
        1. Examining user intent through keywords
        2. Developing a powerful long tail search strategy
        3. Researching keyword search volume with online keyword tools
        4. Google's Adwords Keyword Planner
      3. Spotting keyword popularity patterns with Google Trends
        1. Keyword discovery with Google Suggest and Ubersuggest
      4. Identifying and developing your initial keyword profile
        1. Creating your keyword matrix
        2. Calculating relevance scores for keywords
        3. Gathering keywords – thinking about your customer's (imperfect) intent
      5. Building keyword lists with common qualifiers
      6. Employing the human touch in keyword research
        1. Analyzing customer's search behavior
        2. Building keyword lists with location names
      7. Learning how customers engage in local search
        1. Applying long tail theory to local search
        2. Building local pages the right way
        3. Following the people, following the money
        4. Tuning and honing your keyword list
      8. Prioritizing keywords
        1. Building first, second, and third tier keywords
        2. Accounting for seasonal trends
        3. Tuning your list – negative keywords
        4. Grouping keywords into families
        5. Finding new keywords
        6. Eyeing the competition
      9. Finding new keywords with Google AdWords
      10. Summary
    11. 4. Understanding Technical Optimization
      1. Choosing a keyword-rich domain name
      2. Buying/acquiring domain names
        1. Hyphens and extra characters in domain names
      3. Creating an effective WordPress permalink structure
      4. Highly customized permalinks
      5. Optimizing your Page/Post titles and title tags
        1. Page/Post title processing in WordPress
      6. Crafting title tags
      7. Creating perfectly-sized title tags
      8. Crafting Page/Post titles
      9. Optimizing meta tags
      10. Configuring WordPress to generate meta descriptions
      11. Best practices for meta descriptions
        1. Leveraging your meta descriptions to draw clicks
        2. Crafting meta descriptions
      12. A dead HTML element – meta keyword tags
      13. Optimizing your body content
        1. Best practices for optimizing body content
        2. Keyword density in body content
      14. Optimizing heading tags
      15. Optimizing WordPress templates
        1. Generating page headlines manually
      16. Improving rankings with optimized images
        1. Inserting images and optimizing image properties in WordPress
        2. Setting image alignment and link settings
        3. Making speedy edits to image properties
        4. Manipulating image sizes to speed up website load times
      17. The ultimate WordPress robots.txt file
        1. Fighting bad bots with help from Wikipedia
      18. Optimizing with the XML Sitemaps plugin for WordPress
      19. SEO power tool – Google Webmasters
        1. Optimizing your site with Google Webmasters
      20. Summary
    12. 5. Creating Optimized and Engaging Content
      1. Engaging visitors with your content
        1. Thinking like a television chef
      2. Writing effective titles and headlines
      3. Transcending bland, keyword-rich titles
      4. Organizing your content with WordPress tags
      5. Creating keyword-aware content
      6. Keeping it natural
      7. Avoiding automated content plugins
      8. Writing for your audience
        1. Thinking about a searcher's intent
      9. Providing quality information
      10. Writing to get results
      11. Developing your writing style
      12. Narrative styles
      13. Structuring your content using taxonomy and hierarchy
        1. Using WordPress categories
      14. Managing your categories with plugins
        1. Advanced Category Excluder
        2. Multi Column Category List plugin
        3. My Category Order
        4. Fold Category List
      15. Hiring a writer
        1. Where to hire content writers
      16. Summary
    13. 6. Link Building
      1. Understanding the importance of backlinks
        1. The mathematics and operation of PageRank
          1. The PageRank damping factor
        2. PageRank is shared among outbound links
        3. Learning to discount PageRank
        4. Understanding trust as a ranking principle
          1. Understanding the importance of website category
      2. Distinguishing between dofollow and nofollow links
        1. Understanding nofollow links
        2. How to implement or identify a nofollow link
        3. Avoiding and identifying nofollow links
        4. The diminishing universe of followed links
        5. Making use of nofollow links
        6. PageRank – summary and conclusion
      3. Authority links – what they are and why you want them
      4. Link anchor text
        1. How anchor text appears in HTML code
        2. Site-wide links and footer links
        3. Repetitive links from common IP addresses
      5. How to measure your inbound links
        1. Measuring inbound links with Bing Webmaster
        2. Measuring inbound links with Google
        3. Measuring inbound links with online tools
      6. Securing links through link directories
        1. Building links with super directories – BOTW and DMOZ
        2. Building links with mid-tier general directories
        3. Building links with niche directories
        4. Building links with regional directories
        5. Building links with article submission sites and directories
      7. Building links with infographics
        1. Developing your infographic
        2. Promoting your infographic
          1. Understanding the quid pro quo of infographics
          2. Setting up your infographic home
          3. Including a Facebook-Ready Thumbnail
          4. Promoting your infographic by making it searchable
          5. Promoting through social media
          6. Promoting through infographic/visual graphic directories
          7. Using Specialized Searches to Find Bloggers and Webmasters
      8. Link building by commenting on blogs and forums
        1. Commenting on blogs
        2. Commenting for good, not for evil
      9. Building links through direct link requests
        1. Asking for links from the sites in your niche
        2. Telling webmasters why they should link to you
        3. Requesting links from vendors
        4. Reciprocal linking – is it dead?
        5. Building links by creating link bait
          1. Resource lists
          2. Sharing a humorous story or article
          3. Writing about current events
          4. Writing something controversial
          5. Interviewing an expert
          6. Giving something away
          7. Testing something
          8. Developing How-to Information
          9. Creating video content
          10. Creating quizzes
          11. Using a catchy title
        6. Examples of effective link bait
          1. Fashionista's 20 Most Influential Personal Style Bloggers
          2. Fast lane—the slide
      10. Summary
    14. 7. Using Social Media
      1. What is a search engine?
      2. Going viral with social media
        1. Learning to build your personal authority
          1. If your business has a map listing, Google+ activity is vital
          2. Make friends
          3. Post photos, then share
          4. Use Google Maps to get directions to your business
          5. Don't go crazy doing one thing
          6. Review lots of things
          7. Activity engenders activity
          8. There really is no bad activity, just have fun
          9. Favorite stuff/star stuff
      3. Using LinkedIn to promote your business or website
      4. Microblogging with Twitter for business
        1. Employing Twitter for your business
        2. How to get people to follow you on Twitter
        3. Using Twitterfeed to automatically update your followers of new blog posts
        4. Top tips for using Twitter for business
        5. Using Twitter to promote your business
      5. Using social bookmarking sites to promote your business
        1. Getting started with social bookmarking
      6. Choosing a social bookmarking site
        1. Beginning with social bookmarking sites
        2. Promoting your website through social bookmarking sites
          1. Timing is important
          2. Your ranking matters
          3. Submit a catchy headline or title
          4. Remember to choose an appropriate social bookmarking site for your business
          5. Remember that social bookmarking websites are communities
      7. Leveraging Facebook for a business or blog
        1. Using Facebook to promote a new or existing business or blog
        2. Utilizing the full potential of Facebook
        3. Using a Facebook business page to promote your business or blog
        4. Using a Facebook group to promote your business or blog
        5. Sharing content and connecting with others on Facebook – useful features and applications
          1. Joining groups
          2. Increasing your circle of friends
          3. Updating your status often
          4. Posting wall comments
          5. Adding an RSS feed to your page or profile
          6. Using Facebook Ads
          7. Linking your external website to Facebook
        6. Automating Facebook updates with NextScripts' Social Networks Auto-Poster
        7. Going viral with Facebook sharing plugins
      8. Encouraging sharing on Pinterest and photo sharing sites
      9. Encouraging Twitter posts and the Tweet This plugin
      10. Taking social media too far
      11. Promoting your business or blog with YouTube
        1. Using YouTube as a hosting and delivery platform
        2. Using video delivery alternatives to embedded YouTube videos
        3. Employing YouTube as a search engine
        4. Video success story – Will it Blend?
        5. Promoting products and services on YouTube
      12. Summary
    15. 8. Avoiding Black Hat Techniques
      1. Typical black hat techniques
        1. Hidden text on web pages
        2. Spider detection, cloaking, redirection, and doorway pages
        3. Linking to bad neighborhoods and link farms
      2. Google Webmaster Guidelines
        1. Google Webmaster Guidelines in a nutshell
        2. When Google detects violations of its guidelines
      3. Diagnosing a Google ranking ban, penalty, or filter
        1. Understanding a Google ban
        2. Diagnosing a total or partial ban
        3. PageRank adjustment/PageRank penalty
        4. Diagnosing a PageRank penalty
        5. The -950 ranking penalty
        6. How to diagnose a -950 ranking penalty
        7. The -30/-40 ranking penalty
        8. Diagnosing a -30/-40 penalty
        9. False positives that aren't penalties
      4. Clearing a Google penalty
        1. Abandoning your existing domain and starting over
        2. Cleaning your site and requesting reconsideration following a Google penalty
          1. Step 1 – Sign up and verify with Google Webmaster Tools
          2. Step 2 – Clean your site
          3. Step 3 – Requesting reconsideration
          4. Step 4 – Drafting the reconsideration message
          5. Step 5 – Wait
      5. Avoiding black hat techniques and purveyors who promote them
        1. The standard black hat scam – Link exchange
        2. The standard black hat scam – Website submission service
        3. The standard black hat scam – Offshore link building
        4. The standard black hat scam – Autoblogging
      6. Summary
    16. 9. Avoiding SEO Mistakes
      1. Pursuing the wrong keywords
      2. Poor internal anchor text
      3. Flash, JavaScript, image links, and other non-readable content
      4. Poor site architecture
        1. Expert site architecture with manual links and PageRank sculpting
      5. Over-optimization
        1. Over-optimizing of on-page factors – Guidelines
        2. Over-optimizing inbound links – Guidelines
      6. Jumping the gun and the sandbox
      7. Using free hosted domains
      8. Forgetting verification tools
      9. Ignoring local directory listings
        1. Always assigning as many categories as possible
        2. Getting reviews
        3. Uploading pictures to your local listings
        4. Completing all optional fields
        5. Making multiple entries for multiple locations
        6. Writing a compelling business description with keywords
        7. Paying for clicks when you rank organically
        8. Leaving stray pages in Google's index
        9. Failing to produce fresh new content
      10. Summary
    17. 10. Testing Your Site and Monitoring Your Progress
      1. Google Analytics
        1. Setting up Google Analytics for your website
      2. Using Google Analytics
        1. Understanding key analytics reports
        2. Setting up automated analytics reports
      3. Google Webmasters/Search Console
        1. Understanding your website's search queries
      4. Checking your website's code with a HTML Validator
      5. Checking your inbound link count with Bing Webmaster
      6. Monitoring ranking positions and movement with Rank Tracker
      7. Monitoring backlinks with Majestic SEO
      8. Summary
    18. A. WordPress SEO Plugins
      1. All in One SEO Pack
      2. Yoast SEO
      3. Gravity Forms Contact Form Mailer
      4. Contact Form 7
      5. Duplicate Post
      6. Broken Link Checker
      7. Google XML Sitemaps
      8. Akismet
      9. Wordfence
      10. WP Super Cache
      11. WPtouch
      12. WooCommerce
      13. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin
      14. FooBox HTML & Media Lightbox
    19. B. Other SEO Resources
      1. Online forums
        1. The Warrior Forum
        2. The Digital Point forum
        3. SEO Chat forums
      2. Google's tools for website owners
        1. Google AdSense
        2. Google AdWords
        3. Google Alerts
        4. Google Merchant Center
      3. Other helpful SEO tools
        1. Copyscape
        2. The Pingdom Site Speed Checker
        3. HubSpot's Website Grader
        4. Flippa
        5. SEOmoz/Moz
        6. Search Engine Journal
        7. Search Engine Roundtable
        8. ProBlogger
        9. WebProNews
        10. David Mihm's Local Search Ranking Factors
    20. Index