WordPress, once configured properly, can be a tremendous tool to help further your organic SEO efforts.  Here are a few core SEO plugins AND settings that your WordPress enabled web site needs to be using in order to thrive in the search engines:

Initial Configuration Tips

1.) Permalinks.
When you install WordPress right out of the box, you need to change the ‘permalink’ structure. The default permalink (site links) is a bit ugly and not conducive to an optimum SEO campaign: you can learn more about changing the default permalink settings at this link: http://codex.wordpress.org/Settings_Permalinks_Screen

2.) Setup Ping Services.
Many web masters miss this, but you can alter and add ping services in WordPress so that each time you compose an article, it alerts news feeds, etc. Here’s a great link to help you alter this setting and get your brilliance out on the web quicker: http://codex.wordpress.org/Update_Services

3.) PRIVACY settings.
Sometimes, WordPress is installed with privacy enabled.  This means it blocks search engines from ever accessing your site.  This, of course, is NOT good for SEO.  You can double check your privacy settings in the settings control panel within WordPress. You want to allow search engines to crawl and index your web site.

Some Great Plugins:

1.) Google Analytics Plugin.
You need to know what’s happening with your web site visitors, you need a Google Analytics plugin.  This plugin allows you to simply drop your Google analytics code into a box and click the submit button.  WordPress does the rest. Take your pick of a Google Analytics plugin here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/search.php?q=google+analytics&sort=

2.) Google Analytics Dashboard.
Want to see what’s happening with your web site traffic without having to go and login to Google? Install the Google Analytics Dashboard and get analytics information displayed right on your WordPress dashboard. Get the plugin here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/google-analytics-dashboard/

3.) Google XML Sitemap Generator.
Since you’ll be generating all sorts of blogging goodness, you’ll be adding pages and pages to your web site. The XML site map generator adds every new page of brilliance that you author to an XML document that gives search engines a running list of all new and existing content that you generate.  It’s important to note, you need to create a Google WebMaster account and submit your XML site map for maximum SEO efficiency. I prefer this particular plugin: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/google-sitemap-generator/

4.) All In One SEO Pack.
Each page and post of your WordPress site deserves a unique title tag and meta description.  WordPress does not allot for this out of the box, so the All In One SEO pack is a great tool for serious SEO Types.  The tool allows you to customize each tag on each new page and post that you create. This plugin is a MUST have. You can grab this plugin here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack/

5.) Related Links.
One of the core strategies of any successful SEO campaign is a strong back linking and related content linking strategy.  Once you’ve composed a few hundred articles of brilliance, you’ll want your web site visitors and Google to be able to access other nuggets of wisdom that you’ve created.  This plugin lists all related articles to the one you’ve just composed making it easier for the end user to click, and it enables ease of use for search engines to crawl to the related articles. There are a few here that are great options: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/search.php?q=better+related+links&sort=

There are of course more SEO type plugins which we’ll share with you soon, but the ones listed above are critical in my humble opinion.

Need help with your SEO and Online presence? Give one of our SEO Experts a call today: In Orlando: 407-830-4550, Nationwide: 866-998-6886. You can also fill out our quick contact form here: http://www.ontargetwebsolutions.com/contact/

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