29 easy ways to fine tune your blog
Organising your content
- Review your categories. Do they still make sense? Make sure you redirect if you change them.
- Review your tags. Are all relevant posts tagged correctly? Once you've tagged all the posts, review your tags. Do you still need them all (EG, I've ended up with review and reviews as tags). Delete those you don't need, and redirect the tag pages.
- Follow-up posts. Have you got follow-up posts? Edit the older ones to link to the newer ones.
- Are posts related to each other? If so, install a related posts plug in or manually edit old posts to include the link to later, relevant ones.
- Check your blogroll. Are they still all sites you really want to link to?
- Uncategorised. Have you got any posts in the Uncategorised category? Categorise them!
Helping search engines
- Google Webmaster. If you haven't got one, get a google webmaster account. It'll tell you where you're going wrong.
- Broken links. Use that account to identify links to pages on your blog that are no longer there. Use a redirection plugin to redirect them somewhere sensible.
- Sitemap. Set up a sitemap if your site is big enough.
- Nofollow. Look in your theme, and nofollow links to pages you don't want search engines to see, like your RSS feed.
- Robots.txt. Check your robots.txt file, and use it to tell search engines to ignore pages like your account login page, and other pages there is no point them indexing.
- Meta descriptions. Make sure you have unique meta tags on your pages. Use the tip on this blog or else a plugin like AIOSEO.
- Pagination. Turn off comment pagination if you don't have that many comments. Even with no comments, you'll get multiple URLs for each post. And try using the rel=canonical tag, too.
- Anchor text. When you're looking through old posts, check what anchor text you're using to link to other blog posts. Make sure you use relevant text, rather than words like 'read more'.
Making your blog easier to use
- Font size. How big is the font size? Edit the theme to make it bigger if it's too small.
- Browser check. How does your blog look in other browsers? Use a service like browsershots to check.
- Comment threading. Assuming you've got 2.7, turn on comment threading.
- Bounce rates. Sign up for google analytics. Check the time spent by users on each content page. If some pages have high bounce rates or little time spent on them, try to work out what people want and edit accordingly.
- Review and edit. Check out each page of content - split up long paragraphs, make sure subheadings are used liberally, and that introductions make sense. You'll probably find you've got better at writing blogs, so early posts might need more tweaking to make the content web-reading friendly.
- You. Add an 'About You' page. If people are interested in your content, they'll probably be interested in you. Tell them.
- Excerpt. Change to using just the excerpt on category archive pages. This is all people really need to see on an index page.
- Custom 404 page. Add a custom 404 page:
- Add sharethis. Make it easy for people to tell others about your content.
- Hey, it's me! Style your own comments differently.
- Subscribe to comments. Allow people to subscribe to comments by email.
- Plugins. Turn off any plugins you're not using. They'll slow down your blog.
- Optimise your database. All those deleted and draft posts and comments have probably left it with all sorts of junk in it. Try this page or this one.
- Update theme. Check the homepage of whoever created your theme. Have they updated it?
- Sort out your security. Make sure people can't access your plugin or other folders.
Got any more suggestions? Let me know and I'll add them!
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