In the Phase II of this blog, I had gone through the process of WordPress Installation, Control Panel configurations, selection of themes and someÂ important plug-ins. Hopefully this would have given your website the basic look & feel what you were planning for. Now, we will go ahead with some more interesting features which will help to optimize your website for the search engines like google, yahoo or bing.
1. Publishing the Website – There are a few more content-checklist that you need to perform before publishing your webiste to the outer world. Do not go public too soon or else you will surely lose your first few visitors. Some pointers are given below:
i – About Section – Make sure that you give your credentials and a brief about yourself in the ‘About’ section of your website. No reader will like the idea of “anonymous” posts, and will always like to know who is the author and what is his purpose behind writing the contents.
ii – “Hello World” – Your very first post should be a ‘Welcome’ post which will describe your intent for creating the website and what the reader can expect to see in the days to come. It should be interesting enough to draw them back to your website frequently.
iii – Contact – Allow visitors to contact you by email with reviews and criticisms. You can make use of this plug-in to add a Contact page to your website, it is called Contact Form 7. The installation procedure is very friendly and works like a champ.
iv – Pillar Posts – These are posts that reflect your ideas and views on a particular topic of interest. It might be anything like ‘Top 10 websites’ , ‘Top 5 Party places in town’ etc. These are important to draw interest and comments from your visitors.
Once you are sure you have these taken care of, you also would like to give a thought to the number of posts that you would like to have before actually publishing the site. The average number would be 8 – 10 posts which include couple of PillarPosts and also cover various categories and topics. There is no such hard & fast rule to a minimum number of posts, but it is always good practice to have a base for your first time visitors to get an impression and a lasting one to come back and revisit.
Also you need to make sure before publishing your posts about the timestamp on your posts to reflect the frequency of your posting, for my site, as the name goes, I like to post on a daily basis and that too in the AM. This will give the readers a hint of what they can expect from you and at what intervals. Be sure to do a spell check on your posts to avoid grammatical and spelling mistakes, the language should not be abusive and take care not to hurt one’s feelings by the your writings.
2. Tags & Categories – WordPress supports you to make your content optimized for several Search Engines. This is where the tags, categories and slugs come into play. They determine the page content and give more visibility to your website. Be careful while picking your Categories, and have an optimum number of them if possible. This becomes very hard to maintain and clean-up if you do not give proper attention from the very beginning. Reuse of tags is highly recommended across all your posts. Make sure they relate to the post topic and gives a meaning for the search engines to index your page in the right manner.
3. Permalinks – When you create a new post, you often neglect the Permalink that gets auto-generated for you for the particular post. WordPress provides many options for you to default your Permalink as to how it should be for every post( of course, it allows you to edit them going forward). The default structure of the Permalink may look something like “http://www.dailymorningcoffee.com/?p=12”, which is neither human readable nor the search bots will find it readable. If you go to your WordPress Dashboard – Settings – Permalink, you will find there are several ways you can default your structure, like day, month, number etc. I would prefer to choose the ‘Custom Settings’ and give a ‘/%postname%/’ tag for every post. That way, your link will read something like ‘http://www.dailymorningcoffee.com/my-top-5-wordpress-plugins/‘ which is clean and readable by everone.
I think we have arrived at a stage, where the ground-work for your website is all done and it has achieved a good base for your to move on and publish it to the world. In my next post, I will talk about some more methods of Search Engine Optimization and also some more plug-ins and basic settings to make your website properly indexed. Please provide your valuable comments and feedback for sharing your opinions and reviews on the blogs.Â Do not forget to visit the Forums section where you can get involved in some valuable discussions on various topics.