In part two of our DIY SEO guide I will explain how to set up your WordPress site in which you are allowing search engines to find your WordPress Site.
Allowing search engines to find your WordPress site can be accomplished in 4 easy steps. These 4 steps are essential to the success of your website and should always be one of the first things you do before launching a new website. Once you have completed these steps you can start blogging without having to worry about writing great articles that the search engines are not able to find.
We will be going over:
- Generating a Sitemap for your Website
- Submitting a sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools
- Creating and adding a list of websites to Ping
- Testing your website to make sure bots can access all of your content
If you are just starting our DIY SEO guide for WordPress then please read our first article How to Index Your WordPress Site – Part One of DIY SEO as well. In part one we discussed the importance of writing five, 400 word plus, articles each week to improve your websites search engine ranking.
Generating a Sitemap
They fastest way to generate a sitemap for your WordPress website will be using the Google XML Sitemaps Plugin. You can access the plugin within your WordPress dashboard. To download Google XML Sitemaps plugin by:
- Click the Plugin tab in your WordPress admin dashboard area
- Then click, Add New and enter Google XML Sitemaps in the search area and hit enter
- Click, Install Now and then Activate Plugin
Now that the plugin has been installed you will see a new link under Settings in your WordPress admin dashboard. Go ahead and click on that link, it says XML-Sitemaps. Unless you are not running a traditional WordPress configuration the default settings are okay for the time being. Copy and paste the link to your websites sitemap. It should look like this,
Now that you have generated a sitemap of your WordPress site we can submit the sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools.
Submitting your sitemap to Webmaster Tools
Now there are plenty of plugin's, including Google XML Sitemaps, that will link your Webmaster accounts to WordPress but it is best to do this on your own. By taking the extra steps to log in to your Webmaster accounts you will be the first line of defense against any errors. Your Webmaster account will notify you of any crawl errors, security issues and many more important areas. (I will do a future article explaining each feature within Google Webmaster Tools and how to use the various tools)
So go ahead and log in to your webmaster account with your Gmail username or create an account if you don't have one. Then...
- Enter your websites url into the box at the bottom and click Add a Site
- Now you will need to verify the ownership of your website
- Click on the alternate methods tab on the top then click the HTML Tag option
- Copy and paste the meta tag that Google provides
- Go back to your WordPress admin dashboard and click the Appearance tab, then Editor
- Find your header.php file and open it. If your using a child theme you might have to click the parent theme link towards the top and you will find the header.php there
- Open the header.php file and insert the meta tag you copied from Google Webmaster Tools on the line before your tags, then click save
- Go back to your Webmaster tools page and click the verify button. This may take a few minutes before Google can verify your website
- Open the Crawl tab within your Webmaster account and click Sitemaps
- Click the add a sitemap button in the top right of the page
- Add your sitemaps location, only enter sitemap.xml as Google has already entered your root domain, click submit sitemap
Congratulations, you have just created a sitemap for your WordPress site, Created a Google Webmaster account, Verified ownership of your website and submitted your sitemap. We're almost done! Let's setup a list of websites to Ping within the WordPress admin dashboard.
Adding a list of websites to Ping when you publish new content
Whenever you are through posting your 400 word plus articles to your blog you are going to want to notify as many websites as possible. I find that by pinging many different sites and directories my new articles are indexed much faster. This is a list of website that I ping automatically after each new post of mine. This list has grown to what it is over the years and without getting into this topic much I would advise that you just copy and paste this into the Settings area of your admin area. Follow the steps below if you are unsure where to paste this list.
http://rpc.pingomatic.com/ http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/pingSubmit?bloglink=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.developingdesigns.com/ http://audiorpc.weblogs.com/RPC2 http://bing.com/webmaster/ping.aspx http://blog.with2.net/ping.php http://blogsearch.google.com/ping/RPC2 http://news2paper.com/ping http://ping.bitacoras.com/ http://ping.bloggers.jp/rpc/ http://ping.fc2.com http://ping.pubsub.com/ping http://ping.rss.drecom.jp http://ping.syndic8.com/xmlrpc.php http://ping.wordblog.de http://rpc.bloggerei.de/ping/ http://rpc.pingomatic.com/ http://rpc.twingly.com/ http://rpc.weblogs.com/RPC2 http://services.newsgator.com/ngws/xmlrpcping.aspx http://wasalive.com/ping/ http://xianguo.com/xmlrpc/ping.php http://xping.pubsub.com/ping/
- Open the Settings tab and click on Writing Services
- Scroll down to Update Services and paste the links above into the box
- Finally click Save Changes
We're just about done. The last thing you should do is run your website through a text based browser such as Lynx(add link). Running your website address through a text browser will allow you to see if there are any areas that the robots which crawl your website cannot access. This ensures that all of the content that you are creating will be indexed by the search engines. Let's do this now.
Searching your website with a text browser
Most SEO guys will tell you to use Lynx which is a phenominal tool and it gets the job done. Although using Lynx can be a challenge because it is a command line tool. So what I recommend is to use the SEO Search Tool on the Feed the Bot website. If you see any issues or can not find any past content that you posted in the analysis then you should use a text browser like Lynx. For an in depth article on how to use Lynx check out Be Seen Correctly by Google over at Feed the Bots website.
Congratulations, you're finished!
You have just successfully created and submitted a sitemap, added a bunch of ping services to notify when you write new content and checked for any stops or blocks that would stop the spiders from finding your content. Now you are ready to write your content and start ranking in the Search Engines.
A couple more things I recommend you do on your own:
- Create webmaster accounts with Bing, Yandex, Alexa and Pinterest.
- Verify website ownership the same way you did for Google.
- Submit your sitemaps to these webmaster accounts as well.
In part three of the DIY SEO series, we will discuss setting up your Google Analytics account and how to integrate Google authorship into your WordPress site. We will be using the well built SEO plugin by Yoast, WordPress SEO by Yoast.
Until next time! If anyone has any questions about this article or anything else please leave some comments.