SEO Tips & Tricks For Your WordPress Blog
So you’re looking for the SEO tips and tricks necessary to get your WordPress website noticed by Google? Look no further.
Search Enging Optimization, or SEO, has become an art form. Keeping abreast of all the changes that constantly take place can be a daunting task. Staying on that lucrative first page on Google is a lot more difficult today than it once was. This is particularly true if you are targeting highly competitive keywords.
WordPress users are fortunate in that respect because there are a large number of SEO plugins that can easily be installed to optimize your WordPress blog with very little time and effort. In my experience with WordPress SEO plugins though, some plugins are good, some are great and some are just plain useless. Every now and again though, a new plugin comes on the scene. Very quietly it makes its entrance and turns out to be absolutely magnificent.
Old SEO Plugins Just Don’t Cut It Anymore
When it comes to SEO plugins for WordPress, the most popular today is All in One SEO Pack. And it goes without saying that this plugin has earned its reputation for good reason. Simply put, it performs exactly as it was designed to do. It gets results. That’s what the people want.
All in ONE SEO has been the mainstay of SEO plugins for a long time. Experienced users already know though, that it can take a lot more work than some of us really want to put into SEO. Let face it, we write blog posts that consist of good content first. SEO factors come second. So when writing blog posts, you want to make SEO a very simple procedure.
HeadSpace 2 Ushers In A New Era Of WordPress SEO
Well there is a new kid on the block, that makes SEO very easy. It’s called HeadSpace 2, and I see a big future for it. The guys at UrbanGiraffe.com have not just created a replacement for your SEO plugin, they’ve created a plugin to replace several of your existing plugins. The less plugins you have, the faster your blog loads, and the happier your readers, and the search engines will be.
So what makes HeadSpace better than all the other SEO plugins and why should you use it?
A Case Study On The Effectiveness of HeadSpace 2
I believe that results speak volumes so I’ll start with some comparisons. I run several WordPress sites. All but one are mini sites and that other one is my main blog, which I only started just five short months ago. In the beginning, for the first 4 months I had been using All in One SEO. My main blog is targeting some extremely competitive keyword phrases.
Using all of the available advanced options of Ain1 (All in One SEO) I couldn’t get a listing on the first 10 pages for any of my keywords. I changed over to HeadSpace2 and within the first week I started to rank for every keyword I was targeting. Most recently I achieved not just page 1 listings, but first place and top 5 listings for some of those same keywords.
The effect of the on page SEO value of HeadSpace has enabled me to out rank sites such as Mashable, ProBlogger, Copy Blogger, Twitip, and even SEO World for certain keyword phrases on my main blog. On top of this, my mini sites are also now getting front page listings and traffic has increased exponentially. More traffic = more profits.
What Kind of Features Does HeadSpace have?
So the results are good. What about useability and what features does HeadSpace include?
If I were to list all of the indiviual features and functions of this plugin you’d be here for a week reading about them. So rather than that, I’ll list some of the most useful and extensible features that it has. Keep in mind that your site structure is important in how effectively you can implement some of these features.
Dynamic Data Fetching
HeadSpace uses dynamic calls to retrieve the data in your posts, titles, tags, images, etc. This has a number of implications but the most important is that it saves you a lot of time by not having to rewrite any of it for you meta data. This screen shot of the admin panel shows the dymamic data that can be used either in your defaults or on the fly as you post.
Site Wide or Page Specific Settings
HeadSpace allows you to set site-wide defaults but also allows for page and post specific settings. Now this might seem a little “so what”, but when you consider the full power of how it’s implemented in HeadSpace 2, you quickly begin to see the ‘wow’ factor.
One of the most painful things to do is analyze your post and work out the best keywords and tags to target. HeadSpace has a feature that will automatically suggest tags based on the post content compared to your previous posts. And if it doesn’t find anything useful, it can query Yahoo for suggestions. How neat is that.
Another great feature is the nested meta-data or dynamic data. Why is this so important? Lets say your targeting the keyword blogging tips. All of your posts are going to want that meta keyword and/or tag. But do you really want to have to write out that keyword every time you post? Headspace will include the keywords through its ability to nest that data. At the same time you can include the specific keywords that your post is targeting before you publish.
And it doesn’t stop there. Say you wanted to exclude or include a particular plugin on a page, post, or a set of pages. HeadSpace handles that on the fly. Perhaps you want to use an alternative style sheet, perhaps a unique ajax call or an entirely different them for a particular page. HeadSpace will handle it all – on the fly.
HeadSpace Is Packed With Amazing Options
The full list of page specific options are:
- Site Name
- Site Title
- Site Tag-line
- Page Title
- Page Description
- RSS Name & Description
- More Text
- Follow Links
- Page Links
- Relative Links
- Style sheets
- Page Specific Themes
- Page Specific Plugins
- Raw Data
- Raw footer data
- Custom data
So as you can see this is a monster list of configurable areas of your blog posts. Once again though, this only shows a small part of the power of HeadSpace 2.
You wouldn’t want to have to configure all of that for each post. Right? And you don’t have to. The plugin ‘Page Settings’ provides a configuration area for your default settings.
This means that you configure it once here, and only make the changes that you need each page and post. The biggest advantage of this is for those times when we are in a rush and might forget to properly set up our SEO. I know I sometimes forget to set up individual description data. In this case the default settings will be used and that means you still get optimized posts even when you forgot to optimize.
As I said at the start of the post, if I were to list every last feature that this plugin has, how to implement it, and how it will improve your SEO value and save your time, I’d need to write another 5000 words on the topic and still not get it all in.
HeadSpace Eliminates the Need For Many Other Plugins
The final component to rave about is that HeadSpace handles the work of so many other plugins, plugs right into all of the popular tracking systems, and does it extremely efficiently.
- Integrate traffic stats from a wide variety of stats programs
- Also integrates into:
- Google Analytics
- Yahoo! Site Explorer
- Bing/Live webmaster
- Customised page counts
- Built in Framebreaker
- First Time Vistor notifications (adds a message for a new visitor n% times)
- Feedburner Pro Stats
… and this list just goes on and on and on.
Import Existing Data
HeadSpace 2 will also import all of your settings from other SEO plugins so you won’t lose any of the value that you’ve built so far using your existing SEO plugin.
Obviously I am a raving fan of this plugin and I’d suggest that you take a very close look at just how powerful it really is. Keep in mind though that it does take some time to setup the first time round. However once you have configured it to your liking, there is very little left for you to do other than write good quality posts for your readers to enjoy.
Keep an eye out for a follow up post on how to configure HeadSpace 2 for maximum SEO value.