Most bloggers know the value of SEO or Search Engine Optimization. By performing some tasks, tricks and jumping through some hoops you can make your website or blog appear more impressive to the bigger search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Optimizing certain parts of your website, including article titles, image alternate text tags and having a up-to-date sitemap can really help your search engine standing.
Most people hear the tasks they need to do to optimize their site and they get scared off. I am here to tell you that any ordinary person can perform Search Engine Optimization like the big boys. All you need to do is grab a few plug-ins. I currently use 3 plug-ins to help me with my websites. I will run through them with you and show you how they can help you automate your blog SEO.
First up is SEO Friendly Images – as you can imagine, it helps you automatically optimize your images so search engines can see them. Search engines are not real people and they cannot see images. To index images they rely on Alt Image Tags which in plain English means Alternate Image Tags. You tag them and the search engines read them. Now if you have a blog with thousands of posts already what do you do? You install SEO Friendly Images as a plug-in, activate it and rock and roll! Let’s check it out.
First off go to your blog and right click on an image. You can also mouse over the image and the alt tag will appear. This is the text a user who has images blocked will see as a place holder.
WordPress uses the file’s name as the alternate text. This is good if you use crazy descriptive names – but it’s bad if you are lazy like me. So my alternate text is mini1. That doesn’t mean much! Now download and install the plug in. Activate it and watch the magic.
After activating it, refresh your page and right click and check out the image’s properties again. Now it is using the title of the post! Sweet! This will bring in boatloads of traffic.
All in One SEO Pack – All in One SEO is a blog owner’s dream. It tries to cover most of the big issues users see with SEO. It allows you to, easily and in a SEO friendly manner, rewrite the Home title of your Blog as well as your meta description, keywords, post titles, category titles and so much much more. Just by activating it and filling in a few fields you are on your way to SEO heaven!
If you do not know what one of the fields means or will do, simply click on its heading like so:
Google XML Sitemaps – and last up in my SEO plug-in arsenal is a sitemap tool. A sitemap is very important because it shows the search engines how your site is set up. The title eludes to the fact that it will only work with Google but as far as I know the site map generated worked for the other search engines including Bing and Yahoo.
Go ahead and download and install the plug in. And then activate it. You will have a new control panel under settings that says XML Sitemap and the control panel looks like this:
By default it will notify the search engines when you update your blog. It will rebuild your sitemap and it will add the sitemaps’ URL to your robots.txt file automatically. If you don’t know what this is, don’t worry, the plug-in has you covered.
Do you have another must-have SEO plug in for your blog? Please share it with us in the comments!