Five Minutes With WordPress – A Quick Evaluation & Corrections to

Before we get into the screencast, I’m very excited! Why? In just a few weeks I’ll be posting an in depth keyword research and competitive analysis case study on the SEOmoz blog for the site  Rick Smith who runs has been passionately blogging about his experience having a son with Down Syndrome for almost two years. His site is definitely something special, but we’ll feature more of that aspect of it in the full case study 🙂

As a little preface to the full case study, I just wanted to share a quick screen cast of some basic SEO analysis and optimizations I made to his WordPress blog. Please note: my SEO for WordPress post is highly encouraged as a primer to what you’ll see here.

So STOP. Go at least skim it. Or open in a new window and follow along side by side.

The changes I make here are fairly routine but there’s always unique caveats. Don’t just go and do these things to your WordPress setup without being certain! (For example, he was using tags sparingly, so I could very safely noindex those without worry.)

(Yo! This looks best full screen)

A quick rundown of the changes I make are as follows;

Noindex subpages – subpages are THE most common reason I see “duplicate content” errors in SEOmoz crawls, Webmaster Tools or Screaming Frog. All this is folks, are duplicate title tags not the entire page being duplicate.

Noindex tags – people sometimes disagree with this, but in my prior post I show how cleaning up tag archives can be extremely useful. In can save a lot of unnecessary crawl budget. I did this on one site and traffic has been increasing since then so it obviously can’t hurt.  In the age of Google’s Panda, tag pages can quickly skyrocket into the thousands causing lots of thin content. I was able to do this without much extra prep work because he had very few tags indexed to begin with – plus his site does not depend on tag archives for search traffic.

Meta Description for Posts and Pages – these were blank, which means the meta description tags were all blank for posts and pages. By simply adding %%excerpt%% for those, the Yoast SEO plugin will auto-generate one for you. This is far better than not having one at all. Then you can customize it on the individual post if need be.

I have to say it again – DON’T JUST BLINDLY MAKE THESE CHANGES. That’s what this SEO for WordPress guide is for. That’s what this walkthrough of how to safely de-index tag pages is for.

If you learn the raw concepts and mechanics of how a system is built and functions, you can mold it however you like.

But I know some people like to see thing first hand, so I hope that helps to show a little more clearly of one way to analyze and optimize WordPress. Like I said, this is a VERY surface level view. Make sure you know what you’re doing because every site is setup different.

Please ask any questions in the comments. And STAY TUNED for the full case study on Moz (late September)!


About Dan Shure

Hi! I'm Dan Shure. I write all of the posts and host all of the podcast episodes you'll find on the Evolving SEO blog. Say hello on Twitter @dan_shure!

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