WordPress SEO Tune-Up – Lesson 3

Increasing Site Speed,
Fixing Crawl Errors,
& No Follow Comments

WordPress SEO Tune-Up
Lesson 3 Transcription

Welcome to the Lesson 3 in our WordPress SEO tune-up series.

In Lesson 1 we talked about duplicate content, how WordPress creates duplicate content and we also talked about the Yoast plugin and how to use it to plug all of the duplicate content holes.

In Lesson 2 we talked about how to use Yoast’s page analysis feature for on-page optimization which is as good as so many of the premium paid tools out there… except it’s free!

In this video I want to give you a couple more tips to make sure your WordPress website is fine tuned and ready to kick some SEO butt.

SEO Tip: Increase Your Site Speed

The first thing I want to talk about is speed because a slow loading website can have a negative impact on your search engine rankings.

WordPress it is a pretty quick CMS but since it’s database driven there’s no static pages which means that every time someone visits your website and requests a page WordPress has to load that page and all the related images and files from a database which can slow things down.

The good news is that you can make it much faster using a free WordPress caching plugin.

The two most popular caching plugins are WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache and both can be found in the WordPress plugin directory.

In simplest terms, these plugins create a static, cached copy of all of the pages on your WordPress website so that every time someone visits your website, the pages and files do not need to be loaded from the database, which in turn increased the speed of your WordPress site.

And since Google prefers fast loading sites AND you may decrease your bounce rate if people don’t have to wait for your site to load, then installing one of these plugins is really a no-brainer. My personal favorite is the W3 Total Cache plugin but it is a little more complicated and I do use both (not on the same site of course).

SEO Tip: Tools To Identify Crawl Errors

After your site is set up and you have completed the on-page optimization with Yoast, it is time to make sure there are no issues hidden in your website that could be causing crawl errors and there are a couple of free tools to do this..

The first place to check for crawl errors is in your Google Webmaster Tools account. Under the “Health” section you will find a sub-section called “Crawl Errors” which will show you any errors Google has found when crawling your website.

SEO Tip - Google Crawl Erro Report

And if Google sees something broken on your site, it is definitely in your best interest to fix it ASAP.

Another cool FREE tool for optimizing your site and identify potential problems is called Screaming Frog (I love the name) which you can download at www.screamingfrog.co.uk.

This free SEO tool is going to spider through your website and show you the key SEO elements of every single page including things like your heading tags, your meta title tags, your description tags, links, etc. This allows you to quickly see if anything is missing or not right.

So between Google Webmaster Tools and Screaming Frog, both free, you can quickly fine tune your website.

They may not give you the same level of detail as something like  SEOmoz or Internet Business Promoter which really get into the nitty gritty details but at the end of the day they’re free and do a pretty damn good job.

SEO Tip: Setup NoFollow Links

Now that you’ve made your page faster and made sure there are no errors, the final thing I want to talk about is creating nofollow links for your comments.

Fortunately, there’re more free plugins to help us with this. One of the more popular ones is called the Ultimate NoFollow plugin which I use and it is going to give finite control over which outbound links on your site are set to NoFollow.

The very first thing you should do is install the Ultimate NoFollow plugin and set your comments to be nofollow links.

The reason you want to do that is because, although you’ve probably got lots of great people commenting on your blog, you can have somebody comment on your blog and leave a backlink to a site that may be low quality and although linking out to high quality sites is good and can help your rankings, linking out to really low quality, untrusted sites can actually have a negative impact on your rankings.

So, I never want any dofollow outbound links created on my site that I don’t control and I don’t always control where comments may link to.

So there ya go… three more things just to tighten up your WordPress SEO.

Now you just need to start adding good quality, unique content on a regular basis, build high quality backlinks and watch your rankings go up.

I hope you learned something in this series and if you missed the last two you can find them on my blog.

And finally if you have any favorite WordPress SEO tools I would love to hear about them… just leave a comment below.

– Derek

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