Last week I wrote an article on general search engine optimization strategy and then another on tactics you could employ right now. Today I am going to talk about one specific tactic you can use immediately – configuring your website to automatically let Google, etc know when you’ve updated your website.
You should let Google, Yahoo!, Bing and other search engines know when you have updated your website so they crawl your site frequently & give you higher rankings. Like many other things, this is very easy to do via WordPress. All you need to do is enable some settings and install a plug-in. Presto-chango, you’ll be automatically notifying search engines when you make changes to your website rather than waiting for them to come and find you.
Step 1: Configure WordPress Writing Settings.
Log into your WordPress Admin area and select Settings on the left hand navigation. Now select the Writing Settings in the sub-navigation.
On the bottom of this page, you’ll see the Update Services section. Copy the ping services I list here and paste them in this section.
Make sure this is selected in the WordPress Admin area. Once you have selected it, be sure to click the ‘Save Changes’ bottom.
Step 2: Configure WordPress Privacy Settings.
Now select the Privacy subsection of Settings again on the left hand side navigation. Be sure that the first option is selected as shown here.
Congratulations! WordPress is now set to automatically update your site.
Step 3: Add the XML Sitemap Plugin
Now we are going to hand-deliver a sitemap to the various search engines. To start, install the XML Sitemap plugin in WordPress.
Next, go to the plugin configuration page and update it as you would like. This is specific to each website, so I won’t go into the details here. If you have questions on your configuration, leave them in the comments section of this article and I’ll do my best to answer.
Now that you have this configured, be sure to copy the URL to your sitemap. For example, the one for this website is at http://www.charlottewebdevelopment.com/sitemap.xml Your URL should look similar.
Step 4: Add Your Sitemap XML to Google Webmaster
Each person who owns a website should have an account at Google Webmaster Services. It doesn’t matter if you are technically adept or not. If you own the website, you should have this account set up. It’s beyond the scope of this article to describe how to set one up, but if you have any difficulties, let me know in the comments section and I’ll write-up a step-by-step guide.
Once you are in Google Webmaster, submit your XML sitemap. Once this is done, Google will now be able to automatically know when you’ve updated your website! Great, right?
Of course, you still need to follow best practices with concern to Content & Semantic mark up.
Have you enabled this? Let us know in the comments below.