Written by: Ozio Media
This is the next post in the series on SEO tips for blogging with WordPress.
WordPress has many different plugins for helping you to optimize your blog, however there are some adjustments that you should make sure to make to your theme files if you are using a pre-made or free WordPress theme.
Some of these techniques will require you to have some knowledge of PHP, HTML and the ability to edit your WordPress theme.
1. Reduce duplicate content by showing the excerpt for a post on the homepage and archives page instead of the whole post. Edit your WordPress theme by modifying the files loop.php and archive.php so that the excerpt for the post is shown on the main blog index page and also on the Archives page instead of the full length of the post.
This is done by changing the text to “the_excerpt” instead of “the_content” inside the tag <?php the_content(); ?> that appears inside of the div that controls the display of your individual posts. The actual full contents of this tag will vary depending on your theme.
The reason you will want to do this is to decrease the amount of duplicate content on your blog because the entire blog post will no longer appear on multiple pages. Instead the actual blog post will show on only one page which is the URL for the blog post itself.
All the other pages where you made the above change will only show the excerpt of the blog post.
2. Use plugins that help to increase the internal links for your blog. Increasing the internal links of your site is great for SEO and there are a number of plugins that can help you do this like Related Posts Plugin and Popular Posts Plugin.
Both of these plugins help to link your blog post pages together and they can also help site visitors by helping them to more easily find relevant, related content on your site.
3. Consider using a plugin to rotate the items on your sidebar. Using a plugin that will can allow you to create different sidebars depending on the page is another method of reducing duplicate content.
This can also help to retain your visitors’ interests by allowing them to see different content. In addition you will also be able to offer different promotions to them depending on the content of the pages that they are currently viewing.
There are many different things that you can do to optimize your WordPress blog for SEO. The key is to think in terms of what is good for SEO on sites in general and then search for plugins or modifications that will allow you to achieve the desired goal.
Please keep in mind that any WordPress upgrades may overwrite any manual changes that you have made to your theme automatically so make sure to reapply the changes after upgrading WordPress.
If you don’t feel comfortable with modifying the theme on your own to use the techniques listed here, you can alternatively search for a plugin to handle the job for you.