SEO Tips For WordPress Bloggers by Matt Cutts

by John Hoff on August 24, 2009

I just watched an excellent video on the topic of WordPress search engine optimization (SEO) given by Matt Cutts while speaking at the WordCamp San Francisco 2009 seminar.

Matt heads up the anti-spam team at Google and frequently speaks about search engine optimization issues. The video is a little over 45 minutes but I have to say, it is well worth taking the time to watch if you’re at all interested in WordPress SEO.

Here’s the video and below it (for those with less time) I’ll highlight a few points Matt made which I thought you should know about. Rob Snell transcribed the speech if you’d like to soak it all in at your own pace.

Notes From The Video

I. WordPress is great for SEO

Take a look at this snapshot from his slideshow:

By “mechanics”, Matt means how WordPress is built. It’s built intelligently for Google to crawl it (i.e. your blog) with ease and indexs what needs to be indexed. For example, the url structure by default uses hyphens “-” to separate words in the url, which is great for SEO.

II. PageRank

Matt defines PageRank as “the number of people that link to you and how important those links are.”

What exactly does a high PageRank do for you? Well, the more PageRank your site has means:

  • The faster your site will be found.
  • The deeper into your site Google will crawl.
  • The more often Google will visit your pages to see if they’ve been refreshed.

Obviously, those are some things you really would like Google to do. Google also crawls sites in a decreasing order of PageRank:

III. Relevance & Reputable

Google wants to see that you’re relevant to something. If you focus in on a topic for your blog, it will learn that is what you talk about. In other words, don’t talk about a bunch of random stuff, otherwise may get lost in trying to figure out what exactly you want to rank for.

To build reputation, Matt mentions the following:

  • Be interesting.
  • Update your blog often.
  • Provide a useful service.
  • Do original research and reporting.
  • Give great information.
  • Find a creative niche.
  • Write some code
  • Live Blogging
  • Make list posts
  • Create controversy
  • Meet other people in social networks

IV. Keyword Notes

– Matt mentions something I’ve said many times in the past, don’t “overstuff” your landing pages with keywords. If you write about furniture, there’s no need to repeat that word 400 times. After mentioning the word 2 or 3 times and perhaps have that keyword in your title and/or url, Googlebot catches on and gets the idea that you’re writing about furniture.

– Contrary to what many SEO bloggers think, bolding the keyword doesn’t really help much; instead, concentrate on a writing style that a human can read and not feel like they are being YELLED AT!

– When trying to optimize your article for a given keyword or keyword phrase, realize that what you might think is the best keyword for your article might not necessarily be the best or only keyword people will use to find your product, service, or article. Use the Google Keyword Tool to find alternative keywords people are using to find your product and try to incorporate those keywords into your article as well. Just be sure that when you insert those other keywords that after reading your article, everything sound and reads naturally – don’t forget to do that!

V. WordPress URL Structure

Matt gives a great tip on how you can do one little tweak to help with your SEO. First, try to incorporate your keyword in your blog’s title and next, change that word slightly in your Permalink structure to another word someone might use in the search box (for example use the word “Changing” in your title and “change” in your url permalink.

Another tip he gives us which is probably the easiest search engine optimization check you can do for your blog is to use the /%postname%/ permalink structure for your blog.

As it turns out, I already have a video showing you how to do this on my YouTube channel: Setting The Best Permalink (url) Structure For WordPress SEO.

Again I highly suggest you take a little time out of your day to watch this video if you’re at all interested in learning search engine optimization for your WordPress blog. I realize this topic isn’t much fun for many of you and many times you might think you have more important things to do (like read other blog articles or tweeting about your day), but consider how much time you put into building your blog. Isn’t it worth your time to learn something so valuable to you?

Got a question about SEO? Ask away.

The images above are snapshots I took from Matt’s video. I give him full credit for the images I used for this article.


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Disclosure: Compensated Affiliate

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