Browsing posts tagged "wordpress"

On-Page SEO in WordPress for Beginners

April 5th, 2012 @ 9:42 am

Search engine optimization is a multifaceted and complex pursuit, but it’s very easy for beginners to implement SEO best practices on their pages using WordPress because of the user friendly interface and myriad of helpful plugins- but of course these tools will do no good unless you know how to use them effectively. Today we are going to be running through the essentials of how to implement on-page SEO on your pages using WordPress and the best tools to do it with.

Basics of onpage SEO

Before we get into the specifics on optimizing pages in WordPress, we should do a quick rundown of the most important on-page factors that you should be paying attention to.

Your keyword should be present in the title, a few times in the content, and ideally in a subtitle or header as well. A lot of people overdo it and end up stuffing their keyword unnaturally, but this isn’t necessary and search engines are getting a lot smarter about this. Keyword density doesn’t have to be above %1 or so, anything above %2 is overkill. The best way to optimize for your keywords in the content is to make sure the writer is knowledgeable about the topic and uses industry terms- Google reads through your pages for certain words related to specific topics and niches and uses them to determine what your page is about. If your writer is using a lot of ‘fluff’ in their articles that isn’t on-topic or just doesn’t produce helpful content in general, you should consider getting a new one. When it comes to your money site, quality is much more important than quantity.

Choosing an SEO plugin

There is a monolithic selection of SEO WordPress plugins to choose from, but for a beginner it’s a good idea to choose one of the most trusted and reliable all in one packages that streamline the process. Here are few plugins that can serve as a complete on-page SEO solution for your web pages:

Yoast SEO – Yoast is one of the best choices for beginners because it makes the entire process very easy to understand. The presentation is very clear and it even gives you some very helpful metrics in real time as you compose your article (or paste it in) so you can constantly keep track of keyword density and whether you are following best practices (keyword in first paragraph, etc.)

All-in-One SEO – This is another full SEO solution for WordPress that many webmasters rely on- the layout is very simple and it’s easy to customize the parameters of each post individually. It also supports e-commerce sites and automatically generates META tags, it’s extremely customizable for advanced users but is still great right out of the box for beginners.

Keywords, Titles, Meta Description, and Density

Each article that you add to your website should be targeting a profitable keyword that you find during keyword research (using a service like Google Keyword Tool), preferably a long-tail that you can easily rank for. This keyword should appear in the title of your article, the URL, the Meta description, and throughout the article itself. This can be very easy or fairly tricky depending on the keyword, get creative but don’t make it obvious and force the keyword where it doesn’t seem natural. The Yoast plugin makes some great SEO suggestions under the ‘Page Analysis’ tab while it actively scans your article, which is very helpful if you aren’t perfectly clear on what search engines like to see.

If your keyword appears in all of these places and your article is authoritative and helpful, the on-page portion of your SEO is complete. Now your focus should be on link-building and outdoing your competition, try to offer your visitors something that the other pages are missing- Google pays attention to the pages that users most often click on and don’t bounce from.

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WordPress Security – Protecting your WordPress Installation

February 3rd, 2012 @ 11:46 am

WordPress is one of the most popular and easy to use blogging platforms around, it allows users to create any kind of site imaginable without the need to learn a coding language or get bogged down with technical details. It’s open source software that’s constantly being audited and analyzed by the community, but security holes are always bound to open up with web-based platforms which present a threat to your site and its data. The absolute best way to protect your site from malicious activity is to be prepared before it happens, but luckily it’s as easy to secure your WordPress site as it was to install it.

Always stay updated

One of the easiest and most effective ways of keeping WordPress safe from attackers is to keep it updated as new versions are released. Every piece of software, especially those exposed to the internet, are always vulnerable to bugs and exploits if they are not routinely updated to patch up holes in their security. Web technologies are constantly evolving and hackers are always finding new ways to trick your software into trusting them when it shouldn’t, but WordPress is a very closely monitored system and any time a major security exploit is found the developers are very quick to release an update to fix it. The moral of the story is that being lazy and holding off on a WordPress update can cost you dearly, it’s a matter of clicking on button on your WP backend and it’s a real lifesaver.

However, your WordPress installation isn’t the only thing that needs to be kept up to date. You’re probably using a variety of different plugins and a theme as well, and outdated components can also present security risks. Always keep every part of your site up to date and beware of plugins and themes that seem unprofessional or were poorly made, they often make your site less secure by implementing faulty code.

Use secret keys in your WP-config file

The WP-config file contains all the information someone would need to access the database associated with your WordPress site, so you’ll want to do everything in your power to secure that file and make sure no one can access that sensitive information.

One of the best ways to do this is to use secret keys in the config file. Doing this is very easy, just head over to api.wordpress.org/secret-key/1.1/ and paste that information into WP-config, read through the file and find the area that says Authentication Unique Keys and replace the four lines you see there.

Use a security plugin

There are a lot of little things to worry about in terms of WP security like file permissions, htaccess settings, and a variety of other little factors that hackers can take advantage of. Instead of staying on top of it all yourself, you can try using a trusted plugin solution that gives you a simple GUI where you can keep everything secure without the headache of traversing an FTP.

One of the best complete solutions is Bulletproof Security which keeps track of almost every possible security hold that your installation might have and offers one-click solutions to all of them, it’s very user friendly and a great way to sleep well at night knowing your site is more secure than most.

Another great plugin to use is WP Plugin Security Check. Some of the most insecure parts of any WordPress site are the third party plugins installed for a variety of different purposes, and this plugin checks through all of them to make sure there aren’t any obvious holes or inadequate coding.

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