Archive for February 2009

WordPress Plugin—WordTravel

by Paul Wilson

WordPress Plugin—WordTravel

wordpress-plugin DOWNLOAD WORDTRAVEL
Compatible with WordPress 2.5 through 2.7.1

WordTravel was built with the sunPress plugin in mind. The sunPress plugin helps manage holiday websites by utilizing sunshine.co.uk’s travel affiliate program. Basically, by combining both plugins you have a powerful holiday website that also has the ability to highlight special deals like no other travel website on the web.

Even though WordTravel was built as a supporting plugin for sunPress you can also use WordTravel independently from all plugins for your own purposes. We wanted WordTravel to be a nice compliment for any travel blog or site.

 
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Yoast.com’s WordPress Plugin Competition—My Entry

by Paul Wilson

Yoast.com’s WordPress Plugin Competition—My Entry

WordTravel One of my favorite bloggers, Joost de Valk, launched a wordpress plugin contest for Sunshine.co.uk, a travel booking company. The prize he is offering is a MacBook Air, and I must admit that I have been thinking of converting to a Mac for sometime (sorry Bill, I don’t want to be a PC).

The plugin I finally decided to create focuses on the marketing side of travel. Why do you go to a travel/vacation website in the first place? Most of my friends I asked shared that they were looking for either a good deal or a particular vacation package.

The plugin I devised (with the programming help of Milan Kaneria) gives a traveling website the power to focus on their most important call to actions with their users. Whether it is cheap airfare, a vacation package, or just information about different locations around the world, this plugin offers a visual but unobtrusive solution to keeping in touch with the user while on the site.

 
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How To Keep Your Blog Alive

by Paul Wilson

How To Keep Your Blog Alive

identy-theft I still have several blogs that are on WordPress 2.6.1. Recently, I received the following notification from my host:

“Please note that versions of WordPress older than 2.6.5 have known vulnerabilities and can be potentially exploited to deface your website (or any under the same user account), send spam, run phishing scams, or similarly detrimental (and possibly illegal) activity.”

“The current version of WordPress (available at wordpress.org or via DreamHost’s One-Click feature) is 2.7. It is important that you update WordPress as soon as possible to secure your sites. If these are old or unused copies of WordPress, please remove them from the server or move them out of the active domain directory.”

 
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SEO Checklist: Optimizing Your WordPress Permalinks

by Paul Wilson

SEO Checklist: Optimizing Your WordPress Permalinks

blogging-consultant_02-09-2009 One thing that makes WordPress such a great SEO tool is its permalinks. Instead of having dynamic urls that look like they are cursing at you (?%$!), wordpress allows you to create SEO friendly urls found in the settings section. You have several options on how to structure your permalinks, and depending on what you want will ultimately be the deciding factor on how you should do it. Here are some recommendations:

  1. /%postname%/ – There are several benefits in having your permalinks like this. First, your link doesn’t look dated when google indexes your page. When your post pulls up in the search engines people won’t be deterred from clicking on it because of the date in the url. The second nice thing about this permalink structure is that if you write good titles you can increase your clicks as well. This is how I have done my permalinks for years. It has only been recently that I have switched over to the next possible permalink structure.
  2. /%category%/%postname%/ – I switched to this style of permalinks after reading yoast.com’s WordPress SEO. Using this structure helps me focus on both the search engines and conversion. I am a big proponent of keyword categories. Having keyword categories helps you feed the search bots sections of your website that heavily focus on your keywords. By focusing your url around a category and post title you gain a lot benefits. First, you are able to have your keyword in the url without necessarily having it in your blog post title (though, I would recommend having it there as well). If you feel that your post title will convert better in the search engines worded a unique way, you are not hindered to also include the keyword in the title. If you select your post to be in a keyword category the url will reflect that selection. Secondly, adding categories to your permalink gives just one more place to optimize your keywords. You can have the plural form of a keyword in your category and the singular form in your post title—allowing you to rank on both forms of the keyword.
  3. /%year%/%monthnum%/%category%/%postname%/ – The only reason I would advocate this structure is if you are trying to get your posts into Google News. Since google’s mistake of listing an out dated article on United Airlines bankruptcy having the dates in the url have increased in importance. As mentioned in the first permalink structure you increase the chance of people clicking on an older post. However, receiving Google News traffic may outweigh this set back.

Note: All three of these structures must be used in the custom setting in the Permalink section. Just simply copy and paste the structure you prefer and you should be ready to go

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The Gift of My Comment Blacklist

by Paul Wilson

The Gift of My Comment Blacklist

spam When I first started blogging my friend Janet helped setup my blog. One thing she did for me was to create my wordpress comment blacklist. I really appreciated this, because it is never fun to have to write all the filthy words that you can think of. However, over the years, I had to add to her list and create more words that she didn’t think of. I also added spam websites that were found on other comment blacklists.

All this effort has given me a list of 300+ words and sites that don’t ever make it to my blog. I thought I would pass on Janet’s kindness and offer you my list to download. One thing to know about WordPress’s Comment Blacklist is that it will match your blacklisted words inside other words. So, if you put “sex” on the list it will also block “sexy.” Since, I never want to discourage my readers in expressing how sexy they find my writing I don’t add that word to my black list =).

If you have any words to add to the list let me know. Happy spam fighting. ~Paul

 
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7 SEO Copywriting Tips To Help Your Blog Rank Well

by Paul Wilson

7 SEO Copywriting Tips To Help Your Blog Rank Well

Today I was asked to provide a quick tutorial on how to incorporate SEO Copywriting into a blog post. It’s amazing the journey I have traveled just in the last year on this subject. A year ago, I would have heavily emphasized on keyword density, LSI, and pyramid writing. Now, I am a firm believer that SEO Copywriting follows more the traditional route of good writing. If you have a solid article that is centered on a couple of your keywords you will be fine. However, there are a couple more tips that will help you do better in the search engines. There are definitely more than just these seven, but these tips are the top ones on my list. Hope they help. ~Paul W.

7 SEO Writing Tips

  1. Post Title: Just like your Page Title Tag your Post Title is very important. Have your title compelling but be sure to add your the keyword you are focusing on into the title. If your theme is optimized correctly with H1 and H2 tags than you will see these posts pick up traffic in the search engines quicker. Interesting note, I have found that the closer I have my keyword to the beginning of the title the better I do in the search engines.
  2. Post Permalink: Underneath the post title is where you can edit the actual URL of the post, also know as the permalink. I personally edit the url to only have the keyword I am focusing on. This technique works really well in Yahoo. With Yahoo exact keyword matches still help you move up in the rankings (I’ve seen people snag top 10 rankings doing this method). So, if your keyword is “Physician Jobs,” and your title is “Physician Jobs – The Truth Behind The Stethoscope!” you would want your url to be: http://blogname.com/physician-jobs. Important Note: Be sure that your overall blog permalink settings are correct. Go to Settings—>Permalinks and select any of the settings that show “sample post” in the example. I personally use the custom setting and just put in /%postname%/, but having the date or month before this setting is just fine.
  3. Content: Within your content you want to sprinkle the keywords you are focusing on throughout the text. There really is no magic number to how often you should use the keyword. A good rule thumb is to have the keyword in every paragraph. If that is not possible, don’t sweat it. However, do try to have the keyword at least four to five times in a 500 word post (roughly one keyword per 100 words).
  4. Anchored Text: The visible, hyperlinked text on a web page is considered anchored text. It’s often underlined and/or a different color than the rest of the copy. It’s important to have your keyword at least once as an anchored text in your post. It doesn’t hurt to have multiple anchored texts of the same keyword. However, make sure that the anchored text doesn’t point to the same web page.
  5. Tags: Tags refer to micro-categories for the blog. This is a great place to add misspellings and other variations of the keyword. I personally haven’t dived into tagging but I have friends who have seen great success making sure they tag every post (learn more about my beliefs on tags).
  6. Categories: I mainly use the categories for focusing on the overall keywords of the blog. Categories offer the search bots a plethora of keyword rich content centered around specific categories. You can always add categories that are not focused around your keywords but always be sure to add your post to at least one keyword category.
  7. Page Title & Post Description : I am a big fan of the HeadSpace plugin. Once you install this plugin you find under the visual editor in each of your posts a field called HeadSpace, which has a page title and description. The Page Title should just have your keyword; whereas, I use the Description by copying two two sentences from my post (that have my keyword) and inserting in. These are incredibly important since this is what you will find in the search engines. Note: A lot of other bloggers use the All In One SEO plugin. This will work as well. I just started with HeadSpace and have never had reason to leave.

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