WordPress SEO – Page Title Optimization

Here is another “hot topic” on SEO for your blog (and, of course, any other website you might be working on). The ProBlogger site has an article on this as…

Here is another “hot topic” on SEO for your blog (and, of course, any other website you might be working on). The ProBlogger site has an article on this as well, which you can view here: “Optimizing your Title Tag for SEO on 3 Different Platforms

But I think I should have it on this site as well, to have all my WordPress tips in one place

The main reason you would want to optimize your page’s TITLE is because Google also looks at it for clues and keywords to the content of your site. You also have to remember a KEY point: It is your page’s TITLE that is shown on Search Engine results, and if it stands out, it is more likely to get clicked.

So, how do you go about doing this? You will need to edit your WordPress “Header” template for this. Here is a quick guide on doing this:

  1. Log into the Admin console of your WordPress installation
  2. Click on “Presentation”
  3. Click on “Theme Editor”
  4. On the right, select the template for your Header section, most likely named something like “header.php”

It is always a good idea to keep a copy of the original template in case you make any mistakes…

Now, you just need to find the code where it has your TITLE tags, and remove anything between them. Then, you can just paste the required code between your TITLE tags, so that it looks like this:

   <title>
      <?php
         if(is_home()) {
            bloginfo(‘title’);
            echo ‘ » ‘;
            bloginfo(‘description’);
         } else{
            wp_title(”);
            echo ‘ » ‘;
            bloginfo(‘name’);
         }
      ?>
   </title>

This will give you the Title of your Blog and it’s description on your homepage.
For example, on this blog it’s: “Easy Money » Getting paid to do the things you enjoy

And on all your other pages, like your Category/Archive pages or single Post pages, it will be the Post/Category Title and the name of your blog.
For example, for this post, it’s: “WordPress SEO – Page Title Optimization » Easy Money

Easy AdSense Help

According to the ProBlogger post “AdSense updates AdSense Help Center“, AdSense have updated their help pages. It would appear that Google is trying to…

According to the ProBlogger post “AdSense updates AdSense Help Center“, AdSense have updated their help pages. It would appear that Google is trying to get as many people up and running as possible, with demos and more in depth help. Of course, considering they get a percentage of each click’s revenue, the more AdSensers, the merrier.

On a side note, if you’re like me and like as much info on one screen at once as possible, there’s a little link tucked away on the side of the AdSense help page called “Print entire Google AdSense FAQ“. What this does is give you 1 page containing the whole of the Google AdSense FAQ. Very helpful if you don’t mind waiting for a large page to download. I’ve often wanted to be able to see what info is in the FAQ without having to use the search feature.

Performancing Metrics API Launches

If you have any development skills, go take a look at the API for the Performancing Metrics Statistics tool. Here is a short description of what you can do with…

If you have any development skills, go take a look at the API for the Performancing Metrics Statistics tool. Here is a short description of what you can do with the tool from the API Handbook’s page:

With the API you can access any of the information that is displayed in the standard Metrics user interface. You could use this to show a visitor count in your blog, or interesting stats for several blogs in a private intranet dashboard, for example.

You can read details on the release in this post from Nick Wilson of Performancing: “Performancing Metrics API Launches!”

I’m hoping to see a few tools or plugins that will give large summaries, similar to those available in StatCounter. Let me know if you see any…

Google Finance A Great tool!

logo_md.gif

What better way to make money than by using a tool for most of your Financial needs? The Official Google…

logo_md.gif

What better way to make money than by using a tool for most of your Financial needs? The Official Google Blog has just posted about the release of Google Finance, saying:

“…we shared the same goal: to improve the search experience for financial
information. We hope Google Finance lives up to that aim by offering a
fresh perspective on company-related searches. To begin with, you no
longer have to remember a ticker or mutual fund symbol…”

There are 2 things I think make this an excellent tool:

1 – As it says above, you can just search for company name if you don’t know the ticker symbol.
2 – Once you’re on the information page, take a look at how much info there actually is!!! I LOVE the sliding graph, and the linking of News stories to dates on the graph… VERY cool!

It is still in Beta, (obviously, what Google tool isn’t?), so expect more cool features to come.

Check out the post here: Official Google Blog: Spring is the season for love (and data)

WordPress SEO – Recent Posts – Archives

A good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) technique for ANY website is for a site to be easily “navigable” by the Search Engine’s bots. This means having a lot of links…

A good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) technique for ANY website is for a site to be easily “navigable” by the Search Engine’s bots. This means having a lot of links to the pages in your site. Not only is this a good thing for Search Engines, but it’s also a VERY good thing for your HUMAN readers too.

One thing that I have noticed is missing from a lot of free WordPress templates is a “Recent Posts” list. I think having this is EXTREMELY important. Here’s why:

1 – It gives a list of links to other pages in your blog. Remember, search engines like links.

2 – It gives readers a nice list of other posts that they might find interesting.
For example, if a reader lands on a page on your site via a Search Engine, let’s say Google, and they read what they came for, how would they know that there might be other info that they MIGHT like to read? Other than your absolute skill in writing in the current post. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But, if there’s a readily available list of other topics you’ve discussed on your website, it will make life a lot easier (and possibly even enjoyable) for your readers.

So, if you have a WordPress Template that doesn’t have this “Recent Posts” list, here is the code that will give it to you:

<ul>
<?php get_archives(‘postbypost’,’9′,’html’,’&raquo;&nbsp;’,”); ?>
</ul>

As you can see, we have the “command” get_archives() with 5 parameters. Here is what they do:

  1. ‘postbypost’ – This tells WordPress to give you a list of Posts, as opposed to Archives (for example, January, February).
  2. ‘9’ – This can be any number, and signifies how many posts to return
  3. ‘html’ – This tells WordPress to return the list in <li></li> list tags. As you can see, I’ve placed these between <ul></ul> tags to generate an Unordered List
  4. ‘&raquo;&nbsp;’ – This parameter can be any text that you want to appear before your link. It can even include HTML tags, like <br /> for example. I like to use the ‘ร‚ยป’ character. (Here I am using the HTML code for this character with a space).
  5. – As with parameter 4, this is any text that you want to appear AFTER your post link. You can leave this paramter out if you don’t need it. (Leave it blank or just not put it in at all).

Blog Traffic – A helpful ToDo

Increasing the number of visitors to your blog is a topic that EVERY blogger needs to know about. There is a helpful post over at Performancing titled “10 Tips…

Increasing the number of visitors to your blog is a topic that EVERY blogger needs to know about. There is a helpful post over at Performancing titled “10 Tips for More Blog Traffic” that gives a list of things that even an inexperienced blogger can do to increase visitors. Here are a few that I really recommend:

1. Claim your blog at services like Technorati

This is an easy option that has a few benefits, though in my opinion, 2 important ones:
People will more easily find your blog using the topic/keyword searches
You will be able to see how many blogs are linking to you

2. Use Ping services like PinGoat or Ping-O-Matic

If you are using WordPress, this is most likely already happening. (Ever notice how long it can take to publish your post??) Check out the settings at the bottom of “Options->Writing” in the Admin Console for your blog.

3. Use FeedBurner for your RSS publishing

I mention this when talking about my preferred WordPress plugins in this post: “WordPress Plugins – What and Why

For the rest of the list, go take a look at the blog. Like I said, it’s very helpful…

PMetrics – Performancing Metrics WordPress Plugin

Ok, so the title of this post is a mouthful, but this plugin makes installing the Performancing Metrics code onto your WordPress blog a breeze. (You can read about my…

Ok, so the title of this post is a mouthful, but this plugin makes installing the Performancing Metrics code onto your WordPress blog a breeze. (You can read about my thoughts on Performancing Metrics in this post). Because it’s a plugin, standard install procedures apply:

1 – Download pmetrics.php from “here”
2 – Copy it into your WordPress plugins directory – “wp-content/plugins”
3 – In the “Plugins” section of WordPress Admin, activate the plugin

And you’re A for Away… Of course, ensure you have signed up for a Performance Metrics account at Performancing.com

You can also keep up with the development on this plugin at the developer’s blog “here”

Talking about Fortune Cookies

On a side note, since Matt’s talking about fortune cookies, I’d like to suggest a way to make a ton of money. Forget…

On a side note, since Matt’s talking about fortune cookies, I’d like to suggest a way to make a ton of money. Forget making these direct fortune cookie messages like:

“You will see the color blue this week”

How about something a little more general (and therefore, more likely to come true), like:

“Catch the #3 bus at 10AM and you will meet Cindy, your future wife”

Now that would be a winning formula for success…

Fortune_Cookie.jpg

And, on a serious note, Matt Cutt’s blog is a DEFINITE must read… Tons of interesting (mostly Google related) information, and a skillful writer on the side…

Statistically Addicted – Performancing Metrics

Ok, here’s a product that I am getting hooked on. And you definitely should, too, especially if you are just starting out. Just a quick overview on Performancing Metrics from…

Ok, here’s a product that I am getting hooked on. And you definitely should, too, especially if you are just starting out. Just a quick overview on Performancing Metrics from their website:

“Performancing Metrics is a free, hosted service that records and stores important usage metrics about your blog. By adding a small piece of Javacript code to your blog you can begin tracking important information such as number of visitors, comments made, Adsense clicks, outgoing links, and much more.”

Go pay them a visit here: “Performancing Metrics

Let me tell you why I think you should sign up for an account (which is FREE, by the way):

1 – The User Interface (UI) – I am a sucker for a good looking UI. I don’t know what it is, but I guess I judge books by their covers. This cover would sell me the 1921 Encyclpedia of Iran, it just looks that good.

2 – Tracking AdSense Clicks – Here is another feature that people starting out should use. Unfortunately, it looks like it only tracks clicks from within Internet Explorer, but, considering over 90% of internet users still use IE, that’s ok. And, it helps you see which pages are working for you, enabling you to work on more pages like them…

3 – The Outbound Links feature – It lets you know how your visitors leave your site. This feature actually helped me find a “hole” in one of my sites that I had placed when the site was new. A lot of my readers were leaving my site on a specific page, and I was able to modify the post because of this.

4 – Ease of Installation – Another simple, “Copy this code into your pages” setup. Setup can be done in about 2 mintues, if you’re a slow typer… But, WordPress users, wait for a post on an even SIMPLER approach.

These reasons alone should be enough for you to go and check things out

WordPress SEO – SE Friendly URLs

WordPress SEO – Search Engine Optimization – is a key factor in getting your blog into the Search Engine results listing. There are a few things that can be done…

WordPress SEO – Search Engine Optimization – is a key factor in getting your blog into the Search Engine results listing. There are a few things that can be done to aid this. The most important, in my mind, is creating a Search Engine friendly URL.

A SE Friendly URL is one that contains proper words, as opposed to parameters in the URL.

For example:

Creating AdSense Ads

As opposed to:

AdSense_Channels_Step3.jpg

How to change this in WordPress:

1 – Log into the Admin Console for your installation of WordPress
2 – Click on “Options” at the top, and then “Permalinks” under that
3 – Modify your settings here. I use the “Data and Name based” option, which gives me an example URL of:

http://www.makingeasymoney.co.za/2006/03/18/sample-post/

I fully recommend doing this, and this is always one of the VERY first things I change when setting up my WordPress installation.

Blogging Statistics – The what, where, why and who

Statistics_Graph.pngThe process of tracking visitors and readers is a large topic, and there are many statistics packages and options out there. They all have their…

Statistics_Graph.pngThe process of tracking visitors and readers is a large topic, and there are many statistics packages and options out there. They all have their own Pros and Cons. Some just track visitors, others track track every little item that you could possibly hope to track (which isn’t ALWAYS a good thing). I hope to touch on a lot of them at some stage. But first, an introduction.

WHAT?:

A nice, short description is provided by Bagatrix:

“Statistics: The science of collecting, organizing, and analyzing data.”

When you refer to statistics for websites, generally you are referring to the tracking of visitors to your site, whether it be a blog, an online shopping site or a news site. Depending on the statistics software you use, you could track when a visitor arrives on your site, which pages they view, where in the world they are from, and how long they stay on your site… There are a lot of other statistics, but these are the major ones in my mind.

WHERE?:

You basically have 2 options when using a website statistics package:

1 – Host the statistics package on your own server.

Example: phpMyVisites – You install this package on your server, add a small piece of code to your templates, and logging is stored in a Database that you maintain.

2 – Use the statistics package provider to host the stats, and you can view them via their tools

Example: Performancing Metrics – You add a small piece of code to your web pages, and data is stored on the Performancing Metrics servers. You can then log into your account on their site and view all your stats.

WHY?:

Why would you want to use statistics? Well, the main reason is to see if you actually have readers, and, if you do, how many and where they came from. For example, it would be interesting to know if you have any other websites linking to your site, and if visitors are coming from these sites. It is also a REALLY good thing to know what pages on your site generate the most traffic. Remember, this site is all about making money, so knowing what your readers want to read is always helpful

WHO?:

There are quite a few statistics packages out there. Some only track visitors to your blog, others have a lot more functionality. It also might depend on whether you are willing to pay for your statistics. Browse around and see what is on offer there. I tried quite a few tracking tools before settling down. I will write about my opinions in another post.

WordPress Plugins – What and Why

In the words of the WordPress Codex:

“Plugins are tools to extend the functionality of WordPress. The core of WordPress is designed to be lean, to maximize…

In the words of the WordPress Codex:

“Plugins are tools to extend the functionality of WordPress. The core of WordPress is designed to be lean, to maximize flexibility and minimize code bloat. Plugins offer custom functions and features so that each user can tailor their site to their specific needs”

There are a LOT of WordPress plugins out there. Some ad a very small feature to WordPress, others add a major feature. Here is a list of the WordPress plugins I use, what they do and why I use them.

Akismet

What: Akismet is a plugin that helps defeat comment spam. This is when a person/website leaves a comment on your blog solely for the purpose of leaving a link to their website.

Why: At one stage, on my other blog, I was receiving about 15 spam comments a day. I installed this plugin, and all my spam is being trapped. I would FULLY recommend this plugin

Feedburner Feed Replacement

What: This WordPress Plugin directs your RSS feeds to a service called “FeedBurner“.

Why: This enables you to track your readers that come via your feeds. Statistics are very useful when trying to see what works and what doesn’t work

Google Sitemaps

What: This plugin automatically creates a sitemap.xml file, and informs Google Sitemaps of it being updated.

Why: Notifying Google of updates to your site helps them index your new pages quicker. Being updated by a search engine is a definite plus as readers will probably start finding you via the search engine.

UPDATE: The “Inside AdSense” blog has posted an article on why Google SiteMaps are beneficial. I’ll be writing more about this later as well…
WordPress Database Backup

What: On-demand backup of your WordPress database.

Why: Apart from the obvious need for backing up often in case of issues, one of the first steps during a WordPress upgrade is to back up your Database. This WordPress plugin makes this job REALLY easy.

Here are a couple of links to other posts about people’s favourite plugins. Hope you enjoy:

The Top Ten WordPress Plugins

Favorite WordPress Plugins

Google AdSense PSA – Public Service Ads

When you created your ads in the AdSense setup procedure, there was a section that said “More options” on the 2nd step of the process where you can choose your…

When you created your ads in the AdSense setup procedure, there was a section that said “More options” on the 2nd step of the process where you can choose your channel. Below is a screenshot of this section:
AdSense_Channel.jpg
At the bottom, you can see a choice for “Alternate ads or colors”. This is in case there are no relevant ads for your site. I normally leave the setting on “Show public service ads”. This means that Google will show ads that are for charities, for example, and you will not receive anything if any users click these ads. (I tended to see a lof of Hurricane Katrina relief request.

You will probably find your site generating these sorts of ads a lot at the beginning. This is attributed to the fact that Google doesn’t quite know what ads to serve just yet. Don’t worry, they will disappear, and relevant ads will start to show. If you see these ads for a long time after you start using AdSense, it would be advisable to send off a “request for help” to the Google AdSense team. They might be able to respond and tell you if there’s a specific reason you are seeing these sorts of ads.

Google AdSense Optimization – Ad Colors

In a previous post, you saw how to choose the colors for the different parts of your Google Ads. I mentioned that I chose…

In a previous post, you saw how to choose the colors for the different parts of your Google Ads. I mentioned that I chose certain colors because they blended in with the theme of my site. Choosing colors for your AdSense ads is another major part of ad optimization. This is mainly because, the color can make or break the blending factor. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when deciding what colors you want to make your ads:

  1. Must the ad blend in with my site?
  2. Can I make an ad a “shocking” color?
  3. Do I need to rotate my colors?

Some of these questions might seem strange, but consider these answers:

1 – Most people recommend that the ads blend in with the site. Even Google says that “Ad color palette should blend in to the colors of the page” (Taken from their Optimization webinar). I think blending in works well in helping a reader overcome the “advert aversion” problem. I’m sure a lot of people out there hate ads. I mean, when I listen to the radio, I want music, not ads. If I record a TV show, I definitely skip over the ads. But thanks to Google’s “relevant ads”, if you blend them into your website, it almost looks like it’s a PART of your site.

2 – I’ve been told MANY a time that ads that match the color of your site are best. I tend to agree, but this is not always the case. On another site of mine, I decided to change the ads from a “blended in grey” to a “shocking green” to see if this would help people notice them. The results? My CTR practically doubled. So, I think it is always feasible to put your ads in strange colors.

3 – In a later post I will talk about a tip for rotating ad colors automatically. But for now, let me introduce a term “Ad Blindness”. This is when visitors start to skip over the ads with ease, possibly because of familiarity with the ads. Rotating the colors of your ads will help prevent this.

There is only 1 REAL answer to these questions, and this is found via testing. Use channels to test different ad formats and colors, and see what works best. It might be a slower approach, but change an ad color for a week or 3, and see what happens.

If you have any ideas or results you’d like to share, PLEASE leave a comment…