This guest post is by Jonathan of NutraSol Natural Center.
As bloggers and website owners, improving our websites is an absolute must, and search engine optimization is important if we want to get more traffic through search engines.
I have been familiar with SEO since before I started my first blog on professional business strategies. I came across it during the research stage when I was trying to learn everything I could about creating a website. Once I was exposed, I was instantly hooked.
What interested me the most about SEO was the challenge of competing with other sites to appear on the first page of Google for my target keywords. It is almost as if SEO gives us esoteric super-powers that are only fully understood by a small community of internet marketers.
After learning enough to get me started, I created some blogs and conducted experiments that allowed me to learn a few tricks on my own.
Using WordPress features for SEO
When I started it, I had envisioned it as a reference site where people could go and find information on natural remedies, so I decided to have the articles on static pages rather than blog posts.
I also decided to have the names of the ailments in the page URL. For example, for hypertension, I had the URL http://www.informenatural.com/hipertension/ on a static WordPress page.
The logic behind this approach was to have a reference page for all the ailments I covered, and people could go there just to get this information. It was going well and traffic was growing little by little, but suddenly, a light bulb switched on in my head.
I decided to turn my static-page reference site into an online magazine instead, and to feature articles that would encourage social activity where people would be allowed to leave comments. Effectively I wanted to move from a static informational website to a blog.
The problem was that in order for me to do this, I had to turn all the pages I had into posts.
Turning pages into posts without losing links
The site was already two years old and I had backlinks around the web that I didn’t want to lose. But I also knew that I couldn’t have the old pages and the new posts existing together because that would create duplicate content issues for my site with the search engines. Not only that, but all of the pages were in Google’s index and some were ranking in the first page of search results for some of my target keywords.
Now, you may be thinking, “Why didn’t you just give the posts the same URL as the pages?” or “Why didn’t you just use a 301 redirect?” The reason is because I was going to turn all the articles I had into posts, and I didn’t want one post to have a permalink with a specific single keyword term such as Hypertension. I also preferred to have more pages indexed by the search engines anyway.
So, I decided to take a different approach. I decided to turn the single keyword terms into categories so that I could keep the same URL structures and can keep all the inbound links my blog had acquired over the years.
I also decided to do this because the single keyword term in the URL could then be used to direct users to other articles that have to do with that term. For example, www.informenatural.com/hipertension would no longer lead to one article on a static page; it would be the page to go to to find all the posts related to that subject.
Here’s how I did it
By default, WordPress category pages contain the word “category” in their URLs. For example, informenatural.com/hipertension would be converted to informenatural.com/category/hipertension.
In order for things to go as planned, I needed to remove the word “category” from the category permalinks. I did this by using a WordPress plugin called WP No Category Base. Doing this allowed me to maintain the URL and preserve the permalinks in the format I originally had them in.
After doing this, I copied the content from the page to the post, with my keyword terms in the titles and permalinks of the posts. Then, I deleted the pages.
This allowed me to maintain my links and transform my static-page site into a blog. I conducted keyword research, found the long-tail terms that I wanted to rank for, and included them in the permalinks of my posts.
After that, I signed into my Google Webmaster Tools account, and used the Fetch As Google tool to submit the new URLs.
Grow your traffic with WordPress
These changes have allowed my traffic to increase tremendously and I predict it will continue to grow with time.
WordPress gives us the flexibility to do many things with our blogs and it allows us to stay organized while we’re at it. If you find that a post is not ranking well enough for a keyword, you can always do some keyword research to find a better phrase with more searches and change your URL to include that term.
Experiment with your blogs, using WordPress features to your advantage, and you can help your blog grow like never before.
Do you use WordPress features to help your search rank? Share your favorite tip with us in the comments.
Jonathan is the founder of NutraSol Natural Center and LocalRoamer.Com. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and he is currently enrolled in courses to get a degree in Nutrition. Jonathan has designed 2 blogs on natural remedies to educate his customers for his store at Informe Natural and Earth Doctor.