Thursday, April 01, 2010

SEO Checklist for Wordpress Blogs

You’re killing two birds with one stone. SEO begins with keyword research.  You need to understand what people are searching for when they are looking for your solution to their problem.  When people search, whether in the search engines or social media, they use keywords across the board.  So, when you optimize your blog posts for search engines, you are also optimizing for all locations they can search and possibly find your content.
You’re automating SEO when people share or link to your content. Because you’ve taken the time to include SEO best practices (short title with keyword rich text, etc), you end up automating good optimization when people share or link to your content.  This means people end up building great anchor text links automatically.  Which means you get better rankings and people who search (whether in search engines or elsewhere) actually find you more often.

SEO  Checklist
  1. Create your editorial calendar by the month, typically with a monthly or weekly theme related to your marketing objectives.  For instance, if you plan ahead for a launch, you’d develop your editorial calendar around the marketing of your launch.
  2. Based on your monthly editorial calendar, break your content ideas into topic areas. For instance, if you were selling an SEO Copywriting course, your topic areas could be SEO best practices, Copywriting 101, Advanced Copywriting, etc.
  3. From the rough editorial calendar you’ve developed above, determine what you are going to post about and when. Be sure to make a conscious effort to always have at least 1 series per month, posts that take on a natural consequential order, and leave room for time-sensitive posts or viral/fun posts each week.
  4. Take each post idea in your editorial calendar from step 3 and do keyword research, find out what people are searching for specific to what you’re writing about. Remember, you are not your audience.  What you “think” your audience is searching for may not be reality.  What you find will help you determine what to post, how to break up your content, etc.  Choose 1 or 2 keywords (no more) for each post for focus.  We like to use SEO Book’s Keyword Tracker.
Post your content. This is the juicy SEO part.  Even if you’re a newbie or non-techie, applying SEO best practices to your blogging activities is simple.  Consistent effort on this will dramatically increase your overall SEO results across most of your online marketing efforts, including social media.  Well worth the effort.
  • Use your keyword(s) in your post title. From left to right, the closer to the left your keyword is, the greater value it is given for SEO.
  • Make your title short and enticing. 5-8 words and attention grabbing is best.
  • Create an SEO friendly permalink. Hopefully you’re using custom permalinks in Wordpress.  If not, don’t.  If so, make it your title minus the fluff words (and, the, if, etc) with dashes (not underscores) between each word.
  • Use your keyword(s) as tags. Use no more than 2 tags per post.  Use your tags as file folders for your content topics.  Don’t spam tags for all your posts.
  • Use the ONE (most) relevant category for your post. Your categories are the file cabinets or general topics/niches of your blog.
  • Use your keyword(s) in your first and last paragraph, or a restatement of your title. As well, make sure to use your keyword(s) throughout your copy when applicable.
  • Bold your keyword(s) and relevant statements/words throughout copy. Format for SEO (bold/emphasize) the first and last instances or reasonably throughout your copy.
  • Use H tags (in Wordpress, use Heading 2 and Heading 3 under “Format” drop-down) as sub-headings with keyword(s) in each. Keep H tag sub-headings short and use them to break up your content and make it easy to scan.  Just like your title, use your keyword(s) closest to the left (first position).
  • Use your keyword(s) in the ALT text of every image on the post. ALT text is entered when you insert an image.  Make sure you use a descriptive, short sentence similar to your title that includes your keyword(s).
  • Link to relevant content, if applicable. Using SEO friendly plugins like Insights or Apture, create internal links (within your blog to relevant content) and external links (relevant sources outside of your blog) links, with your keyword(s) as part of the anchor text in the link.
  • Enter your SEO MetaData. Copy your post title as your Meta Title.  Write a 160 characters or less keyword rich description of the post.  Your Meta Keywords are optional, search engines no longer use them for ranking (if you’re in a highly competitive niche your competitors will use them).  You’ll want to checkout All-In-One-SEO plugin for great SEO options including Meta Data.

  • General SEO Tips

    Always remember to write for SEO and your readers. If you optimize and get found, it really doesn’t matter if you are not educating, entertaining and empowering your reader.  Don’t shoot yourself in the foot.
    SEO Copywriting is only 1/3 of results. SEO Copywriting is considered part of your on-page factors.  You also need to take into account off-page factors and more.  It takes the whole kit-n-kaboodle to be successful.
    Don’t go overboard on the formatting part of SEO (bolding, etc). Bold or emphasize the first few or first and last instances of your keywords/statements in each post, no more.  Use keywords in your H tags (H2, H3) if it makes sense and is still easy for your user to read your content.
    Make sure you’re using an SEO optimized theme for your Wordpress blog. Coding and accessibility are VERY IMPORTANT for your SEO efforts.  All WebSuccessDiva network sites are built on the DIY Thesis Theme.  You can not find a better theme.  A-list blogger Chris Brogan, Google’s Matt Cutts, tech mega-star Robert Scoble, and search guru Danny Sullivan all use Thesis!  If you’re serious about SEO, you need to check out the Thesis Theme.
    Check out SEO tools that will help you maintain consistency and save you time. We had an opportunity to check out SEO Scribe, a great tool that easily integrates into Wordpress to make SEO Copywriting an almost automatic process.  SEO Scribe is super affordable and a great tool for bloggers



  1. hello sir.. i am just started learning seo.. i was looking for some guidance about seo.. suddenly i got your blog .. ya its really amazing .. contains lots of information

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  2. Using Wordpress as your CMS can give lot of options in Search Engine Optimization. You can utilize different SEO plugins to incorporate in a Wordpress-powered blogs. My personal favorite is All-in-One-SEO pack.

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  3. I agree with Alex, Wordpress-powered blogs are easy to customize and can rank well in search engines if optimized well.

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