Top SEO Mistakes Web Designers Make While Creating WordPress Templates

Top SEO Mistakes Web Designers Make While Creating WordPress Templates by Dmitriy, Divine Elemente Team | |
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WordPress mistakes web designers (developers) make when considering SEO performance

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Whilst working for a pure SEO agency I worked alongside many new website build projects where I was then expected to take on the overall SEO campaign after being handed a website hot from the individual developer or agency.

I’ve cherry picked the points below as being the most frequent or problematic items I come across caused from thinking from a purely development point of view and are largely out of the hands of a search marketing consultancy to put right.


Featured Banners Use Dynamic Rendering

When a featured banner design uses a dynamic Javascript background replacement technique or even renders images using CSS backgrounds instead of inline images <img /> you weaken the onpage optimisation potential of your page (usually the home page).

Featured Banners Use Dynamic Rendering

Inline images provide additional content signals through the Alt Descriptions and file names as to what the image is supposed to mean and providing further meaning within the context of where the image appears enhancing SEO performance.

The general rule of thumb is that if an image is part of the unique content of that page then it should be rendered using the inline <img /> tag. Bezels, shadows, corners, edges and interface icons that aren’t part of the content can remain in your style sheets where they belong.

When you’re choosing your next banner plug-in be sure to examine the demo to ensure it uses inline SEO friendly methods.


Ignoring Schema Standard Snippet Mark-up

Schema mark-up has become a standardised way of marking up additional rich information on websites.

Featured Banners Use Dynamic Rendering
Featured Banners Use Dynamic Rendering

It’s better to start incorporating the common basics into your design and development workflow now rather than get scalded by the recommendations of SEO consultant further down the line when your client asks why this wasn’t implemented from the start.


Site Search is Placed in an Ineffective Location

By placing the Site Search box in a ridiculously ineffective location you limit the marketing data freely provided to that site.

Featured Banners Use Dynamic Rendering

When coupled with Google Analytics an internal site search box becomes a powerful research tool for more accurately identifying the content, answers and expectations a visitor of your website wants.

Whist the default keyword information in Google Analytics will show what people have already used to find the website, the information from the site search will indicate new keywords people are using and can even suggest better ways to improve your interfaces and content structuring so that it’s easily discovered.


Displaying the Telephone Number as a Graphic

Google still cannot reliably and effectively identify text contained within an image or graphic, so important information such as names, addresses or telephones should not be rendered as an image.

Featured Banners Use Dynamic Rendering

There are plenty of alternative font and type rendering techniques available that mean you don’t have to compromise on design so this really should not be an excuse in 2012.


Ineffective use of Website Headings

It’s become hugely common to wrap a sites’ logo in an <h1> heading:
i.e. <h1><a href=”/” title=”home”> src=”/images/logo.png” alt=”Logo” /></a></h1>

Featured Banners Use Dynamic Rendering

Due to the template structure WordPress uses this will typically then get inserted in the header.php template where it subsequently becomes displayed on every page thereby providing Google with little useful information on an individual page by page level.

Unless you are building a single page scrolling website there should only ever be one <h1> heading appearing on any given page.

This heading should be incorporating text that relates to the main Title or concept of the page, though it does not have to explicitly duplicate the <title> as some incorrectly suggest.

The use of synonyms is more natural will be more effective in providing additional soft signals about the content of your page.


De-Index Duplicate or Competing Content

By default all of WordPress’s taxonomies are crawlable to the search engines.

This means that your content and pages will be accessible through differing URL structures such as a main blog archive page vs an individual author blog page or date archive and even duplicate content issues caused when using both Tags and Categories to label your content and allowing both to be crawled and indexed.

Featured Banners Use Dynamic Rendering

You might want to consider ensuring that your blog and news archive pages are using noindex, follow in order to prevent them as being flagged or identified as duplicate content and thereby still allowing the individual posts, pages and items of content from correctly being indexed.

My recommended plug-in for fixing or preventing this problem is the WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast which has a wealth of options that allows you to control the indexation of your pages and taxonomies.


Tailor and Fine Tune Your Templates

The bare minimum template requirements a WordPress theme requires to work is the index template. This means that any additional page elements or features you hard code outside of the post or page content are going to get repeated on every other page.

Now when I say feature, I’m talking about featured content blocks such as banner carousels, content modules or boxes and to some extent what goes into a sites’ fat-footer design.

Featured Banners Use Dynamic Rendering

Consider using a separate front-page.php and page.php templates whereby you remove certain features from appearing on every other page, thereby allowing this additional content to contribute to the unique value of that given page.

Featured Banners Use Dynamic Rendering

The other slightly less advantageous option is to that the original or unique content of any given page greatly exceeds or outweighs that which appears in your commonly reoccurring featured content blocks.

About the Author:

David Beastall writes on behalf of Leicestershire based product design consultancy Renfrew Group International.

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Top 6 SEO plugins for WordPress templates

Top 6 SEO plugins for WordPress templates by Dmitriy, Divine Elemente Team | |
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Guest post by Wendy Parker

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Top 6 SEO plugins for Wordpress templates

Ever increasing popularity and usage has made the free open source web publishing platform – Wordpress, the most popular and sought over Content Management System. The fame can also be attributed to the relative ease of usage and countless plugins and widgets available.

With millions of sites up and active on the net and many new ones rising everyday, Search Engine Optimization becomes a bare necessity.

Without Search Engine Optimization, your site may be lost in the abyss of the result pages. Here I have compiled few most useful and result oriented plugins for your Wordpress Website templates related to Search Engine Optimization.


SEO Ultimate

Though Wordpress websites are popular for its default higher ranking in google SERPs, SEO Ultimate is a plugin that lets you top among the tops. This plugin has truly the amazing integrated effect of other SEO plugins. Easy and handy menu and navigation, 404 error monitor, automatic deeplinks and much more features.

SEO Ultimate
SEO Ultimate

More than anything, it’s free! This forum strongly recommends SEO Ultimate.


All In One SEO Pack

A very easy plug and use plugin with no hassles of customization. By simply defining your meta description, keywords and noindex for category, contact pages and so on, you are already on and running with this tool.

All In One SEO Pack

HeadSpace 2

This is an all in one Meta-data manager for your Wordpress site. Helps you tag Mets data for pages, posts, 401 error and more. Go ahead defining tags, page titles, site name and description, additional CSS and java script sheets.

HeadSpace 2
HeadSpace 2

With HeadSpace, it’s easy to add Google analytics, Statcounter and other such add ons which further boosts the performance of your Wordpress in search engines.


Ultimate Google Analytics

For all the analytics you need about your website like traffic, tracking outbound links, download manager and much more. Without altering your WordPress website template, it adds java script to each page and meticulously provides charts, graphs and diagrams for better analysis.

Ultimate Google Analytics

SEO Smart Links

SEO Smart Links provides automatic SEO benefits for your site in addition to suggested custom keyword lists. It allows your blog post automatically interlinked and adds affiliate links to similar websites. The administrative panel gives you complete control of the SEO methods you adopt.

SEO Smart Links Business
SEO Smart Links

Google XML Sitemap

This plugin creates XML sitemaps of your website and rings the bell for search engines like Google and Yahoo whenever there is a post or something which is new to the site. It hence gives overall better index performance.

Google XML Sitemap

Optimize your Wordpress site with these and more plugins available on the net. These plugins are easy to download, install and get going in the top pages of the search results. Feel free to share this if you have found it informative. Enjoy 'SEOing'!

About the author:

The author of the above article has been in Web Designing vertical for quite some time, is instrumental in developing Wordpress templates and writes on diverse web-based products like Wordpress Web templates, Joomla Templates, SEO Techniques and so on.

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SEO Optimized and W3C Valid Code

SEO Optimized and W3C Valid Code by Dmitriy, Divine Elemente Team | |
Your have requirements to Divine Elemente plugin? This guide covers the most frequent ones available in our software: SEO properties, W3C valid code, Google Analytics, etc.

Also recommended to read: How to make WordPress theme
[divineAds]

The most desirable thing for web developers is W3C valid code, as they spend much - much - much time for coding, creating websites. Search engines love valid code. It’s faster to crawl, easier to index and improves SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) relevancy.

So, how to automatize this process, save the code quality and take SEO into account?


SEO and Divine Elemente

The answer is simple: SEO and Divine Elemente. Well-written content with specific keyword phrases combined with our plugin will help you to reach good rankings.
SEO properties in Divine Elemente

SEO properties in Divine Elemente

You are just to enter meta information (A), and then Divine Elemente will automatically prepare a valid HTML code for SEO and put also Google Analytics (B) to track rankings for you, if some details in appropriate properties have been indicated earlier (C-E).

SEO properties - read more about how to setup them in the Pubish Editor.

W3C valid code with Divine Elemente

One of the first requirements to our software is W3C valid code. Here’s the answer:

W3C valid code with Divine Elemente

W3C valid code with Divine Elemente

In Divine Elemente, (top secret) smart algorithms are used for code to make it looking as human-made.

For example: margins / paddings are formed not just counting from the top but modes relative or absolute depend on context and a certain case. And if we speak about the entire algorithm, these examples are just simple things.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is the web analytics solution that gives you rich insights into your website traffic and marketing effectiveness. Its powerful, flexible and easy-to-use features let you see and analyse your traffic data in an entirely new way. And all of that can be realized with Divine Elemente.

How to add typical Google Analytics tracking code (asynchronous)
Simply copy Google Analytics ID from the dashboard (A) or generate a code for your website and paste the tracking ID in the ‘Google Analytics ID’ field (C). You’ll find it in the ‘Meta’ panel with the ‘SEO’ icon (D) of ‘Theme’ element in the Publish Editor.

Google Analytics with Divine Elemente

Google Analytics with Divine Elemente

Advanced: Besides, you can paste a custom tracking code in HTML code. To do that, just paste your tracking code with altered ID (E) in the ‘Footer HTML (for JS scripts)’ field (B).

Advanced: Google Analytics asynchronous tracking code sample

Advanced: Google Analytics asynchronous tracking code sample

With Google Analytics and Divine Elemente plugin, you're more prepared to strengthen your marketing initiatives, create higher converting websites, and hence, make money easily.

Google Analytics Support

Compatibility with popular editors

The other popular request from our users was compatibility with popular editors such as Adobe Dreamweaver, Microsoft Expression Web, etc.

Edit web page / theme code in the editor

Edit web page / theme code in the editor

Thanks to innovations in publish algorithm (like semantic, commented, valid code with descriptive names), you can edit a published website's page or theme that were saved in the local folder on your computer using any editor.

It expands opportunities of Divine Elemente greatly for professional developers of websites and themes.

XAMPP support

If you would like to work off-line creating websites, you have this opportunity now with Divine Elemente and the third party local web servers, such as XAMPP or MAMP. Use Divine Elemente and XAMPP / MAMP without thinking about the Internet connection.

XAMPP running in Windows environment

XAMPP running in Windows environment

Info: MAMP is a set of free software programs commonly used together to run dynamic websites on servers. XAMPP is a free and open source cross-platform web server package.

Your activity will not depend any more on slow speed of the Internet. And you can create with no risk of breaking your live blog. Hence, do what it is the most convenient for you now: upload your theme to the Internet or use it on the local servers.

More details can be found at the "XAMPP Virtual Host and WordPress Installation" tutorial.


Conclusion

So now, you have found out that Divine Elemente plugin not only helps just to create themes / websites from PSD but to performs it accurately and on high level.

Related Guides and Tutorials:


External sources

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