WordPress SEO Tips

SEO is complicated, but if you’ve just built a WordPress website there are a few things you can do now to set yourself up for success. Here are three simple WordPress SEO tips to help you get started: 

1. Choose an SEO tool

There are several SEO plugins to choose from, but the important thing is that you actually choose. It’s easy to get caught up in content, but if you don’t have a solid foundation in place search engines, and users, might not even find it. An SEO plugin like Yoast is a great way to easily manage the basics of SEO without having to be an expert.

To install Yoast, simply visit https://yoast.com/wordpress/plugins/seo/ and download the plugin. Then navigate to Plugins -> Add New -> Upload Plugin

WordPress SEO Tips 1 - Add Plugins
From there, it’s easy to upload the downloaded file. Here are some quick Yoast configurations you should set as soon as you’ve installed the plugin:
  • Under Titles and Metas – Other – Go ahead and add the noodp tag site wide and no index subpages of archives. You can also add the noydir tag, but this isn’t important anymore.

WordPress SEO Tips - Add Meta Tags

  • Enable your XML sitemap by going to XML site maps and checking this box.

SEO Tips for WordPress - Update XML Sitemaps

2. Update your permalink settings.

Have you ever visited a blog and noticed the date of the post is in the URL you clicked? Your permalink settings is the place where you will control what your URLs look like. There are two ways you can do this:
  • Keep things simple: The easy way will place the name of your post right after your domain name. This will make your URLs clean, short and to the point.
  • A little more complicated: If you plan to organize your posts by category, I recommend updating your permalinks to feature the category in each URL. This way you’ll show a clear hierarchy to search engines and users will know the broad topics your post is covering.
  • Let me spell it out for you: So if I were to choose Post name, the URL to this blog would be: http://www.marketinglively.com/wordpress-SEO-tips/ but because I chose Custom Structure, the URL is http://www.marketinglively.com/wordpress/wordpress-seo-tips/

Tips for WordPress SEO - URL Parameters

3. Last but not least, avoid duplicate content.

WordPress was created for bloggers, so by default every post features information about the author, the category you choose, and the tags you add. WordPress aggregates blogs by author, category and tag and creates a page featuring all of the blogs that fall under each of those. Sounds great, right? Not so much… because this means your post lives in several places and search engines can see this as duplicate content.
To see this in action, take this page. The content on this page appears here, at http://www.marketinglively.com/wordpress/wordpress-seo-tips/ it appears on http://www.marketinglively.com/category/wordpress/ and http://www.marketinglively.com/tag/seo/ AND http://www.marketinglively.com/author/slively/ – that’s a lot of duplicated content….
This is how wordpress functions, and it can be great to give your users so many ways to organize your content. So, to keep everything working and to keep search engines from thinking this is low quality duplicate content, simply update your taxonomies in Yoast. You can do this by going to Titles & Metas -> Taxonomies -> and checking no index,follow for Categories and Tags.
SEO Tips for WordPress - More Meta Tags
That takes care of the Tag and Category pages, then to prevent that last author page from being tagged go to Archives -> Author Archives and check the noindex, follow box here, too.
WordPress SEO - NoIndex Archives
By following these three steps, you’ll help search engines find your pages, remove duplicate content and have everything in place to take your SEO to the next level.

Changing A Favicon in WordPress: An Easy Guide to Favicon Uploads

That browser tab image you noticed, it’s called a favicon. If you built your site using WordPress then chances are you’re not happy with yours. I know I’m not with happy with mine…

Favicon-Examples

That’s right – my favicon is a giant G. It’s a G because I used a genesis template in StudioPress to build my site, which was awesome, but came packaged with a pesky little favicon that has absolutely nothing to do with me (the letter G isn’t even in my name). We all know how important consistent branding is in marketing, and these little details matter.

When I set out to change a favicon for the first time all I found in the search results were long help threads and articles that assumed I had been building sites for years. They were too specific, too technical, or too outdated to help. So here it is, for those of you who want a simple and straightforward guide to change a favicon in WordPress.

1. Create the image. You’re not the next Picasso – keep it simple. Stick to your logo, initials, or a clear image that typically represents your brand. A nice square is all you need, and I created mine with Pixlr.

Favicon-Pixlr

2. Make it a fav.icon. There are a ton of generators that will help take your image from any file type to the correct .ico file with the proper dimensions for a favicon. I used this favicon generator. Just upload your image, and download the file. TIP – once you download the file put it somewhere relevant, you don’t want it to be lost in your downloads folder. Don’t change the name – it should always be favicon.ico.

3. Get your FTP on. If you have a way you access your FTP then great, but if the words FTP mean nothing to you, then use FileZilla. It’s SUPER simple to navigate, and with it you’ll have your new favicon up in no time. With an FTP you’re transferring files from your computer to your site (hence the name File Transfer Protocol).

4. Replace the old with the new. After you install FileZilla, connect to your site.

Connecting-to-Filezilla

In the left hand local side of FileZilla, have your favicon.ico ready to go. In the right hand side, find the favicon file on your site. It’s going to be under your WordPress theme file, and if you have a parent theme like Genesis it will be in two places. There will be one favicon.ico in your Genesis parent theme folder, and one your current website’s theme folder. It’s under images in both cases and should be easy to find.

Filezilla-Locate-Favicon

Once you have your favicon.ico files located, simply drag your version from the left, to your website on the right. You’ll want to overwrite the old file. AGAIN be sure to overwrite the favicon in both the Genesis parent image file (or whatever parent theme you’re using if you’re using one), and the image file in your current theme.

Overwrite-Old-Favicon

And there you have it! FileZilla is open source, so it might take a few hours for you to see the changes. If it take’s more than 24 hours, you probably didn’t replace the correct favicon.ico file. Just make sure you view all the favicon images in your theme and as long is it’s your logo – you should be good to go!