Must Have WordPress SEO Plugins

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If you have a blog, chances are you use WordPress as a content management system. In this article we will review WordPress SEO plug-ins that help your posts and pages achieve higher search engine rankings.

If you’re not familiar with WordPress, the popular blogging software “started in 2003 with a single bit of code to enhance the typography of everyday writing, and with fewer users than you can count on your fingers and toes. Since then it has grown to be the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on hundreds of thousands of sites and seen by tens of millions of people every day,” according to its own web site.

WordPress currently has 4,245 plugins, 22,152,788 downloads, and counting.

Google Positioner

This plug-in lets you track search engine rankings on Google for your keyword list. After optimizing Titles, slugs, internal anchor text, related posts and strategically putting keyword combinations throughout content, you can start tracking performance.

The tool is designed for Google only, since it is the big daddy of search.

SEO Slugs

A slug is the URL of a post. For example: http://www.site.com/posts/this-is-the-slug. The SEO Slugs plug-in automatically removes unnecessary words like: a, the, in, on, etc from the slug in order to shorten it. Search engines in general do not count those words (known as the stop words).

For example, if you search for “parties at las vegas on Christmas” Google will remove “at”, “on” and only search for “parties las vegas Christmas”. You can see a shortened version of the search on the right hand side right after “Results 1 – 10 of about #…..”.

Whenever you write a post on WordPress, the title of the post becomes a slug. For instance, the title “Where to go on vacation during the summer” will generate: “where-to-go-on-vacation-during-the-summer”. If you have SEO Slug, it will automatically shorten the slug to: “where-go-vacation-during-summer.”

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How to Get More Traffic on WordPress

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Once you finally get your blog set up and make it look exactly like you want it to, the next thing that you want, unless your blog is a private journal, is people to read the blog. There are a lot of ways to gain traffic for your blog, and some of them work better than others. Below are some suggestions for what to do (and what not to do) to get more traffic to your WordPress blog.
1. Stumble Upon– Stumble is a website which installs a toolbar in your browser (don’t worry, there is no annoying advertising or spyware, or anything like that) which allows you to “stumble” through the internet. You click “Stumble” and you are taken to a website based on your interests and the suggestions of others. You have the choice to mark the page as a “Like” or a “Dislike”, or you can review it. If you list your blog on Stumble, you WILL get traffic. I suggest writing a very good blog post and submitting it to Stumble (by clicking “I Like It” while looking at the post) and also submitting your main blog page. Doing so got me about 500 hits within hours. Since then, I get a few hits from Stumble every day. Sometimes it’s just one or two, and sometimes it’s twenty. If your content is good, more people will click “I Like It” and you’ll get more traffic. Something important to note is that if you submit every page that you write to Stumble, or if you’re not submitting anything else, you will eventually get blocked from Stumble or your submissions will carry much less weight. I suggest only submitting the posts that you REALLY think Stumble users will appreciate.
2. Digg – Unless you have a lot of friends and contacts on Digg, don’t bother. Digg can easily skyrocket your post from 100 Diggs to 1000 Diggs, but it will almost never move you from 2 Diggs to 20, or from 20 to 100. I listed about ten blog posts on Digg, and I think I got a total of one hit. If you do have a lot of support on Digg, or if you feel that you can build it, it might be useful. However, building a presence takes a lot of time and effort, and it might be better spent just by promoting your blog.
3. Facebook and Myspace– list your blog’s webpage on Facebook and Myspace. Don’t spam, but stick it in your status message or on your profile. I’m barely active at all on either website, but I still get two or three hits a week from people who see the link in my profile and click it. If you are active, and if people view your profile frequently, you will get a lot more hits.
4. Use WordPress Tags and Categories appropriately– When I first started using wordpress, I organized my Categories based on things that I write. For example, I created the SILT category for “Stuff I Leanred Today”. It turns out that your personal Categories are tied to wordpress Categories in general. So if I post into my personal Category “Erin’s Political Views” it stays put, or gets put into Category – Erin’s Political Views, and no one ever finds it that way. If I instead list it under Politics, it gets hit by everyone looking at the Politics category, and can even get picked to be “Best in Category.” Tags work similarly, except that from what I can tell, there seem to be a lot more tags in use than Categories. I tend to get most of my hits, currently (with the exception of Stumble spikes) from wordpress Tags, and a few from Categories. Also, on the front page of WordPress.com are lists of Categories and Tag that are currently popular. Use this list when you’re not sure what to write about. The most popular tags are usually Politics, Life, Music, Photography, etc. “Personal”, somehow, is even a popular tag. I would think to add “life” to my journal-type blog posts, but I would never had thought to add “Personal” until I looked at that list. Check it frequently.
5. Yahoo Answers -If you have a speciality, and especially if your blog is focused on teaching people about specific things, Yahoo Answers can be a good place to advertise. When you answer a question (being thorough and helpful) list your website in the box for resources. People who like your answer will click the link to your blog for more information.
6. Be the reader you want. Go to other people’s wordpress, read and comment. Subscribe if you like what they write, and add them to their blogroll if you think that your readers will like it as well. Also, if you use other websites based on the things you discuss in your website (for example, I use Flickr and DeviantArt for photography) make friends there and list your website on your profile. Whenever you see ANY content online that you like, promote it just like you would promote your blog. Do it anonymously, or do it in a way that lets them know what you have done. Hopefully, they will do the same for you, but at the least, you know that you’ve given someone else the satisfaction of seeing new hits on their blog.
7. Consider your own habits– How do you find websites? Do you search google? Do friends IM them to you? Do you click links in people’s blogroll? However you find websites, try to make your own blog accessible in the same ways. You’ll be amazed at how many ways you can think of to bring traffic to your blog.
8. Signatures– In emails and on forums, add your blog url to your signature. If someone likes what you have to say (or if they really don’t like it) they may click on the link to find out more about you.
9. Don’t spam– spamming, just as posting a URL to your blog on a website’s comments sections or in an unrelated forum thread, doesn’t do you any good. Think about it. Have you EVER clicked on one of those links? You’re only wasting your time if you spam.
10. Interesting Titles and Opening Lines – frequently, readers won’t see your entire blog. They will see the titles of one or more blog posts, and maybe the first few lines. If the titles are boring, they probably won’t click to read more. You have to attract your reader from the start.
11. Submit to contests and blog-rating sites – there are a number of websites, such as Blog of the Day Award, that you can submit your blog to. I recently won a Blog of the Day Award, and I’m getting a lot of traffic from that. Don’t be afraid to submit your blog, what’s the worst that can happen? Also, don’t be afraid to ask a blogger that you respect to look at your blog and make suggestions. If they like what they see, they may link to you. If they don’t, their suggestions will hopefully help you make your blog better.
12. Make your RSS button accessible- having an easy-to-find RSS button means that readers who like what they see will be more likely to add you to RSS. If your RSS button is at the bottom of the page, or if you don’t have one, readers might not even consider adding you to RSS.

There are literally hundreds of ways to promote your blog. Some of them are absolutely worth your time, and others aren’t. Some take only seconds to set up (such as an email signature) and others will take hours of work (such as building community on Digg). Decide what is worth it to you, and, above all, produce quality content on a regular basis. Granted, you can write stuff just for you, such as my Journal posts, but make sure that you are also posting things that readers who don’t know you will be interested in.
If you’d like me to take a look at your blog, feel free to post the URL in the comments. I’m thinking of adding a “Blog/Website of the Week” sort of post, if there’s enough interest.

Getting More Views and Traffic

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If you feel like you’re not getting the amount of traffic to your blog that you’d like, there are a few things you can do to try bring a few more folks to your blog. Here’s a quick summary.

Bug your real-life friends

Almost everybody has 10-20 friends and family members they can coerce into reading their blog. Send them reminder emails when you update, talk to them about it when you meet in person, just generally encourage it as a new form of communication between you guys. Often having a really small audience of people you care about is better than having a million visitors and not knowing any of them.

Read and comment on other blogs

Use a search engine like Sphere to find the people who care about the same stuff you do. Then subscribe to their blog using a RSS reader like Bloglines and get to know them a bit. When you see an article that interests you click through to their site and leave a comment with your thoughts.

Link to other blogs

Just like you love getting links, so do other folks. (Remember, blogging is all about people.) When you link to another blogger or blog entry they’ll often find your blog through their stats, Technorati, or a pingback and come to see what you had to say. If you’re interesting, they may even subscribe to you and leave comments just like we suggested you do above.

Let people know about your entries

If you have a blog entry that you wrote with someone in mind, feel free to drop them a short email with a link to it. WARNING: This only works if used very sparingly, maybe once a month per blogger. Remember, you don’t want to annoy anyone or seem like spam.

Use appropriate tags

Attach appropriate categories and tags to your entries and people may find your blog through those. Be careful not to use too many tags though — between 5 and 10 tags (or categories or both) is a good number. The more tags you use, the less likely your post will be featured in the WordPress.com tag listings.

Blog often

Blogs that have more frequent and regular posting schedules seem to develop an audience quicker.

Have a passionate voice, be controversial

Blogging has traditionally been about strong voices, people enjoying reading folks who have strong opinions and back them up. A little controversy never hurt either.

Relax, it takes time

Even if you do all of the above religiously, you probably won’t develop a huge following overnight. Like anything worth doing, building a good audience takes time. Many of the bloggers you probably admire have been at it for at least a year. Stick with it, and don’t get discouraged by a slow start, everyone starts slow.

Size doesn’t matter

Finally, remember that it’s not the size of your audience, it’s how much you care about them and they care about you.

Article Courtsey: Support.Wordpress.Com

10 Ways To Optimize WordPress For More Traffic

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WordPress is a fantastic blogging platform, I love using it! But if you are using a fresh WordPress install you’ll probably not get much in the way of traffic. Luckily WordPress is super easy to optimize. Here’s a short tutorial on how you can take a standard WordPress blog and optimize it to get more traffic from search engines.

1. Page Titles

    One of the most important things you can do, if not the most important, is optimizing your page titles. Search engines need to know what your post is about, so if you are writing about the “New Cool Gadget From CompanyX” then you should give your post a title such as ” Reviewing The New CompanyX Cool Gadget”. Try and avoid time specific page title’s as people will not click throgh as frequently from a search engine result page if they feel that your post is out of date.

    To change your title you need to go to your Admin panel, then Presentation > Theme Editor and pick your current theme.

    2. Keywords In Content

    Using keywords in your post title is important, but you also need to use keywords throughout your post. Concentrate on the first paragraph then use variations of your main keyword throughout the rest of your post. For eaxamle, while you may be posting about ‘blue widgets’ why not talk about ‘red widgets’ and ‘green widgets’?

    3. Permalink Structure

    Firstly, my advice is that you setup your blog in the root directory because search spiders can be slow to spider content located several directories deep. A lot of bloggers will arrange their permalink structure by date to look something link http://www.myblog.com/11/07/2006/postname.php. I would strongly advise that you change your permalink structure to something much more simple like http://www.myblog.com/category/post-title.php or just http://www.myblog.com/postname.php.

    To change your permalink structure you need to quickly login to your WordPress admin panel, then go to Options > Permalinks. Choose custom. To create a permalink structure like http://www.myblog.com/category/postname.php you need to enter the following code:

    /%category%/%postname%/

    4. Header Tags

    The header tags are used when assigning a title, typically within a post. These title tags are have a numerical value associated with them that also indicates their importance, ie. < h1 > is used for your most important header, < h2 > would be used for a sub title etc. Place the same keywords as used in your post title in the < h1 > tag then use variations of your keywords in < h2 > / < h3 tags for optimum effect.

    5. Related Posts

    When a person visits your blog you want then to stay for as long as you can. One of the best ways to keep visitors interested is to show them other content on your blog that may be related to the post they are currently reading. The easiest way to do this is with the ‘Related Posts‘ plugin. Upload using your FTP client into the wp-content > plug-in folder, then login to your WordPress admin panel and activate the plug-in from the ‘Plug-in’ page.

    6. Use Sitemaps

    To get the most traffic from search engines like Google it is best to get as many of your pages indexed as possible. Make it easier by installing the Google Sitemaps plug-in. Upload into wp-content > plug-in via FTP and then activate from the Plug-in page. This will then create an XML file that Googlebot can spider and then find all your content. You’ll need a Sitemaps account though where you can register your new Sitemap.

    7. Keep It Fresh

    Search engines love fresh content. So when you are posting regularly you will find that Googlebot / Slurp / MSNbot will come round more often to spider your fresh content. One tip I would suggest is to use the timed post feature to release posts that you have prepared for the future. This comes in particularly handy when you are off on holiday somewhere without any internet access. To set a date and time for a release date, click on ‘Post Timestamp’ and select your date and time.

    8. Make It Unique

    Keep your content unique, otherwise you are running the risk of penalization for duplicate content. Although it can be tempting to just copy and paste someone elses content or use a syndicated article, you will not benefit from it.

    9. Build Backlinks

    To get more traffic you need back links. Ideally other blogs will like what you write and link to you, but if you are just starting out and need a little exposure then submit your blog to one of the many blog directories. Other ways to get back links is via commenting on other blogs and using trackbacks.

    10. Go Social!

    Take advantage of social sites like Digg, Del.icio.us, Bebo and Myspace. One of the best ways to get your content out there and exposed is to install the ‘Sociable‘plugin. All you need to do is uploading into wp-content > plug-in then activate from the Plug-in page. Each post will now have a link to submit it to one of many social websites. I find that if a story gets picked up on one of these sites it can go viral … so install Sociable ASAP!

    Optimizing WordPress is quite simple, which is part of the reason why I enjoy using it so much. If you stick at it and keep going you will eventually build up traffic and reputation.

    If you are editing pages using the WordPress admin you will need to change permissions for the file. To do this, navigate to the file (probably in wp-content > themes). In Transmit for OS X, select the file and hit Command-I. For windows, right click the file and select Properties. Then change permissions to 666.

    If you are trying to install a plug-in that you have downloaded, please follow the instructions for them. Most require nothing more than uploading a file or folder into wp-content > plug-in, then activation from the Plug-in page.

    Article Courtsey: Boyd Creative.Net

    9 SEO Plug-in Every Word press Blog Should Have

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    Word press by default is pretty decent at letting search engines see what’s going on. But there are a whole bunch of other things that can be done to make your blog rank better. Fortunately there are plug-in available to help you get better rankings for your blog, so you don’t have to go digging into the code of your blog to get some results from search engines.

    I’m not going to explain the validity or effects of each of these SEO tactics in detail. There is more than enough of that on the Internet already if you want to do some research. I’ll mention briefly what the benefits of each plug-in is, and why you need it.

    1. All in One SEO Pack

    This allows you to set the basic SEO stuff for your blog. You need page titles, meta tags, keywords, and descriptions. This plug-in allows you to configure them for either your entire blog or on a post by post basis.

    2. Redirection

    From time to time you make changes on your blog. Sometimes these changes end up breaking your Permalink structure. This often happens when you make a change to an old post, or do an upgrade to Word press and make some changes to the permalinks. It’s very very common if you move your blog from one host to another.

    Basically what happens is that each post has a unique URL, called a permalink. When this changes, visitors who go to that blog post won’t find it. The redirection plug-in helps you fix these problems by redirecting the visitor to the new permalink. This reduces the amount of traffic you get to pages that don’t exist.

    3. Robots Meta

    By default search engines crawl and index ALL the pages on your blog. This isn’t ideal, because it creates duplicate content and you can get yourself punished by search engines without knowing it. What the Robots Meta plug-in allows you to do is tell the search engines which sections of your blog to crawl. This means that you’ll get more respect from search engines, and likely more traffic.

    4. SEO Smart Links

    One of the key issues with SEO is your internal linking structure. The more you link to a certain page on your blog, the more important it is to your overall content. Search engines treat your internal links as an indication of how well structured your site is. The problem with this is that if you had to manually go and create links to relevant and important posts you’ll spend hours and hours doing it.

    SEO Smart links allows you to specify a word, like ‘SEO’ and then link it to a post on your site. Then each time the word SEO appears on your site, it’s automatically turned into a link you specified.

    5. SEO Friendly Images

    Images also play an important role in your SEO strategy. So it’s important that you tag them correctly. SEO Friendly images allow you to do this, and save you hours and hours of work. If, like most bloggers you use images in your posts, then this plug-in is essential.

    6. Google Positioned

    It’s important to know your keywords. And this handy plugin allows you to track the keywords you’re getting searches for. It’s pointless selecting a few keywords, then writing some content for those keywords and hoping that the rest goes well. SEO is about being proactive and tracing what works and what doesn’t.

    7. Permalinks Moved Permanently

    A common mistake bloggers make is choosing the wrong permalink structure. When you start your blog you think you know which is best, and as time goes buy you want to change your permalink structure. The problem with changing your permalink structure is that your traffic will come to a standstill until your site is re-indexed, and that could take months.

    This plug-in is similar to redirect but is an easier and better way to manage permanent permalink changes.

    8. No follow Case by Case

    The no follow attribute over the last year or two has had a fairly large impact on the blogosphere. All comments in Word press by default are no follow links. This means that no Page Rank (PR) is being given via the link. This plug-in changes that and makes comment links valuable again. There are a number of reasons you would want to give away link juice. It’s often used to attract people and encourage them to comment. It can be very useful for new blogs who need some exposure.

    9. SEO Slugs

    Stop words are ignored by search engines. So most of your post titles have them in, but they are meaningless to search engines. So when you have a post title like this: “What You Can Do Immediately For Higher Rankings” you have a permalink like this: ‘/what-you-can-do-immediately-for-higher-rankings’ but what you really want is for your permalink to look like this: /immediately-higher-rankings.

    This plug-in automatically removes stop words from the permalink, helping you to rank better.

    Conclusion:

    Getting better traffic from search engines will help you boost your blog. You’ll get better income, rank better, and be able to build a better brand.

    Article Courtsey : Pro Blogger.Net

    Third Party Twitter Tools – Make the Best Use of Twitter!

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    What Twitter has achieved as a popular blogging platform, no other blogging application can achieve that. Though there is a major shift in the blogging trends after introduction of Twitter like blogging tools, yet the basic remains same as it was previously. The only difference we can find in blogging is Micro Posting and Colloquial Text. Blogging applications like Blogger, Word Press and Live Journal are still popular among serious bloggers, who prefer writing more elaborately on various topics. Micro Blogging applications like Twitter are for young mass which facilitates short, crispy and informative personalized online briefings. The best aspect micro blogs like Twitter are their Marketing Aspects. It suits the online marketing scenario, where everyone is in hurry. Micro blogging services like Twitter can help your business not only reaching out potential customers, but also help your campaigns more organized and traceable. I’ve personally used, analyzed and rated some of the popular Third Party Twitter Applications and here follows the top 5 chronologically:

    Twitpic – Twitpic is a Twitter tool that lets twitters sharing pictures on Twitter. Just login to Twitpic with your existing Twitter User ID and password and now you are all set to twit your favourite pictures.

    Tweet Deck – Tweet Deck is your personal browser for staying in touch with what’s happening now, connecting you with your contacts across Twitter, Face book and more. Tweet Deck is a simple and fast way to use Twitter on your desktop. Tweet Deck allows users to customize Twitter experience with columns, groups, saved searches and sharing your tweets on Face book instantly.

    Digsby – Digsby is an application that centralizes e-mail, IM and social networking accounts into one desktop program. Digsby is an IM type application where users can maintain one combined buddy list for all your AIM, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, Google Talk, Jabber, and Face book Chat Accounts. Users can manage email accounts like Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL/AIM Mail, IMAP, and POP accounts right from Digsby. Users too can get real time updates from Face book, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn like social networking site. What more you can expect from such an application, if you are a social networking buff!

    Tweet burner – Twitter just offers 140 characters to tweet. So it’s not possible for its users to give every detail in a single tweet. That’s why, very often Twitters write a brief with a reference link to it. Tweet burner is an online tool that helps you tracking the reference links you tweet.

    Group Tweet – If you maintain groups on Twitter and want certain messages to send to a specific group of followers, the Group Tweet is the right tool for you. Register on GroupTweet with a newly created Twitter account for your group. You need to change your Twitter settings in order to make your group a private one. Now you can easily broadcast messages among the members of that group using Group Tweet tool.

    Tweet Adder – Get 20% off tweet adder by using the coupon code above.  The coupon works when used to purchase the unlimited profiles version of tweet adder. If you want to get anywhere with marketing your business, you probably know that you need to get onto twitter.  Tweet adder is the all in one solution to be able to really take control of twitter and turn it into a huge source of traffic and revenue for your business. Tweet adder allows you to chain multiple accounts together and run multiple tasks across your accounts, all automated.  It saves you many hours of work.

    Give these Twitter applications (developed by third-parties) a try to help simplify your social networking campaign. These tools certainly help your campaign an easier and traceable one. Reach more people, and stay organized just for free or a marginal payment. In the subsequent posts we will be including more useful Twitter tools to the existing list. Check the post regularly!