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SEO Tips for WordPress Blogs

SEO Tips for WordPress BlogsSEO (Search Engine Optimization) is what drives traffic to your site. WordPress is a SEO-friendly platform, but you can easily make mistakes if you are not careful. What should you watch out for?

SEO Tips: What To Look For

Duplicate Information

Duplicate information can come about in two flavors. You can either have duplicate pages on your site, or you can duplicate page titles. Duplicate information is bad because it dilutes the value that search engines associate with each piece of information.

Duplicate pages come about by always assigning the same categories or tags to given topic. Such as tags you created for “iphone” and “ipad” and always used than when you talk about iOS from Apple. Some people are going to link to your tags for “iphone” while others link to “ipad”. If you had just one tag covering both then people would only be able to link to the one page. Having one valuable page is worth more than having two somewhat valuable pages. Additionally, Google applies a penalty for sites with a lot of duplicate content.

Before anyone brings it up, yes, you can also have duplicate content when the same page from is accessible in the following way:

  • www.example.com
  • example.com
  • example.com/index.php
  • www.example.com/index.php

But you can solve those SEO issues by permanent redirects, canonical tags, proper linking. Nor do they have much to do with WordPress, but are general points for SEO.

Duplicate Title Tags/Meta Descriptions

Duplicate Title tags are a special form of duplicate information. These can occur if your author, archive, category, or tag sections span multiple pages but do not include a qualifier such as “Page 2” in the URL. Duplicate title tags may result in content being caught in a search engine’s filter. I will provide instructions on how your WordPress theme can accomplish this in our next section.

Empty Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions may not apply to rankings any longer, but they are an important tool in SEO none the less. Meta description tags are the text is displayed below a link on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page), and it is also used by social media sites such as Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn when you share a page. It is relatively easy to assign a meta description in WordPress with plugins such as WordPress SEO by Yoast, but pages such as your tag results page. You can correct this with the following PHP code in the header.php at some point that is still within your <head> tags.

    if (is_tag()) {
        echo 'sprintf( __( ' %s' ), max( $paged, $page ) );
        } else {
            echo '1';
        }
        echo ' of posts tagged as \'' . single_tag_title( '', false ) . '\' from ';
        bloginfo('name');
        echo '" />';
    }

This will result in the meta description of Page [x] of posts tagged as ‘[tag]’ from [blog name]. Not the greatest description, but it’s something.

You could similar code on your author, category, etc. PHP files as well to lessen duplicate content issues for them. Again, as an example for the tag page:

Page = 2 || $page >= 2) {             echo sprintf( __( ‘ %s’, ‘sbb’ ), max( $paged, $page ) );         } else {             echo ‘1’;         }         echo ‘ of posts tagged as \” . single_tag_title( ”, false ) . ‘\’ from ‘;         bloginfo(‘name’);?>.

Long URLs / Long Titles

Search engines such as Google only display the first 70 characters from a title tag. Anything longer will have the an ellipsis (…) displayed on the SERP so it is best to keep things short so that users know the whole content.

Long URLs can become problematic for sharing on social media sites because they can get chopped off. Using a standard permalink structure like /[blog_date]/[page_title]/ that has a short enough title tag will mitigate this problem.

Too Many on Page Links

100 pages is the maximum amount links that you should have on a page. If you are displaying links to your categories and your tags on your archive/category/tag/author pages than you are likely to exceed this limit. Consider limiting those links to only appear on the blog entry page. Those links are relevant since the user could be interested in more information on the topic. It’s rare that a user will care about other links to that category when browsing the archive page, so why include it? Just include the links on pages where it is relevant.

I hope these SEO tips proved useful for you and see yourself climbing up the page on Google’s SERP.

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About

Brian is the Director of Development and Social Media for Brand Builder Websites where he oversees the development, strategy, and goals for our software development. He is also a huge fan of Android.
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