Yesterday, we covered the basics of finding a cPanel host and installing WordPress using Fantastico’s 1 click install. Today we will discuss how to tweak the WP admin panel to make it more Search engine friendly. These are simple tweaks but very powerful in their results.
Let’s start off. First, go to your WordPress admin login area. It goes something like:
The above is the login interface. Type in your username and pass and click Login. You will be taken to the Dashboard that looks like this:
The Dashboard is your main control panel. You will find navigational instructions to every part of the admin panel here. On the right is a preview of the activities going on in your blog like recent comments, Blog stats, incoming links, etc.
Now, go ahead and click on Options in the top navigational bar. The General Options page will load.
Here you can change the details to anything you want. You can change your blog title, you email address, etc. For now, look at the 3rd form field that say WordPress address (URL). It will show http://yoursite.com. Please add a www and change it to http://www.yoursite.com. Do the same in the fourth form field called Blog address (URL). Once done, click Save. WordPress will log you out to reflect the new URL. Login again and go back to General Options page.
Scroll down the page and you will see Update Services. You will see a box with a URL http://rpc.pingomatic.com/.
A little info here. The URL above is a ping service. As soon as you post an article, the URL pings various services on the Internet informing them of your latest post or update. This is important for 2 reasons. First, the services online that will be pinged like Technorati.com, icerocket.com, will have 1000s of members browsing them for content and new information. This gives you free publicity and possible readers in the long run. Secondly, the Search engine robots crawl these big service sites frequently and once they find your information, they eventually follow the links and arrive to your site and get them indexed in their database.
Enough of the boring jab. Let’s get to work. Here is a list of ping URLs that I want you to add in the box.
This is a good list; enough to get you indexed in the Search engines. Click Update Options.
Next, click on Permalinks in the Sub navigational bar. Permalinks are basically the structure of your inner page URLs. WordPress has 4 different methods of structuring the URLs. We want our URLs to be as Search Engine friendly as possible. This is how the Permalinks page looks like:
You can structure your URL based on date and name, numerical value, default structure and custom value. Ignore the first three. They are not the choice for SE friendly URLs. In the custom field, type /%postname%/. This will structure the URLs based on the names of the post. The search engines can easily find your post based on the keywords in your title post. Get the idea?
Alright, I will close this post with the above. By now you know how simple tweaks within WordPress can give us powerful results to rank better in the Search engines and gain an edge against competitors.
Stay tuned for the next part in the series.