Hacking is such a dirty word. I think of hacking and two things come to mind. Someone or something getting chopped to bits, or some random dude trying to break in my digital backdoor to steal my info. Both visuals are unsettling.

But let’s take a step back… Are hacks or hacking the system all that bad? Well, obviously if its illegal, you don’t want any part of it but that’s not what I mean.

I’m talking about ways to make like easier. To make your blog efforts easier.

These sort of Hacks are a godsend and we have a few WordPress SEO Hacks that you’re gonna love. (Virtual high five! Yeah!)

Add an XML Sitemap To Your Blog

An XML Sitemap is the first SEO Hack on our list. Essentially, a sitemap is a list that consolidates all your site’s pages and posts onto one page that is accessible to the search engines.

This is vital as this helps those pesky little bots and spiders scanning your site better understand and categorize what your website is all about.

There are a few ways to create a sitemap, but many popular plugins already have the capabilities. My favorite is the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast. The plugin has an easy way to create a sitemap for your site. After creating the sitemap, its best to upload it to Google Webmasters Tools.

WordPress SEO by Yost
Get The WordPress SEO by Yoast Plugin Here »

Speed up Your Site by Reducing Unnecessary Plugins

With Google Panda and Google Hummingbird, SEO changed a bit. Well… actually, our understanding of it changed a lot.

Now page speed has become on the of defining factors in your page ranking results. What does that mean?

Slow page speed = Lower ranking

Besides your pictures, another contributing factor to a slower website can be your plugins.

You entire site is made up of files that are hosted on a server which are then delivered to your viewers when they view your site. The more files you have to deliver, the slower your site will be and plugins can add heavily coded files that bog you down.

Removing unnecessary plugins, or replacing ones you have with better ones, can help boost how long it takes for your site to load. Go through and check what plugins you may not need and then run your site through a performance checker like GTmetrix to check your site speed after you’ve removed certain ones.

WordPress Plugins

Add Descriptions To Your Categories

This is the last on our list of WordPress SEO Hacks. The Category.

Sure, it’s easy to add a Category to your WordPress site, but did you know you can a description?

Yup, sure can. The upsides to adding a description is two-fold.

First, since you’re adding a description to your Category, you can use your targeted keyword in your description to define the category as a whole. Always a nice touch.

Plus, this helps those same bots and spiders with understanding your Categories better and thus helping your sites ranking.

To add a description to your Category, got to your WordPress Dashboard:

  • Hover over Posts
  • Select Categories
  • Click on your Category name
  • Add a description to your Category
  • Save and repeat

wp-category-edit

SEO is still very much alive a necessary, and I hope this post helps you guys out in your SEO efforts. If you’re new to WordPress and are looking for more information on how to set up a blog, please check out our post:

Are there any articles that you guys want cover? Any questions you have? Comment below.


Author:

Ariel is a freelance blogger for hire and the lead blogger at WP DeCODE Fox. She enjoys copious amounts of coffee, eating too many cookies and strumming on your guitar.

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11 Comments

  1. Dave LeBlanc

    Never thought about adding a description to a category. Thanks! Easy, too.

  2. I second that Dave never twigged this would help. Thanks for the tips.

  3. Hey Ariel,
    The post is nice. But I have a question in mind. Will category descriptions have any SEO worth if we nofollow/noindex category archives as recommended by many gurus?

    • If a “guru” told you to nofollow/noindex your category then they were misinformed. Sames goes for tag pages if you create them with forethought. No one, even myself can make a blanket statement informing people to nofollow/noindex category or tag pages and be accurate. Every website is different and if done properly, both category and tag pages will acquire organic traffic from Google, Bing and others.

      But to answer your question. No. There is no SEO worth if you have set your category pages to be noindexed. The nofollow isn’t relevant in this situation.

      -rd

  4. Great article! Didn’t imagine adding descriptions to categories actually matters. However, does it still work if the description isn’t displayed on category pages? I know it kinda beats the purpose, but still…

  5. Great post, I always forgot add description in my categories, but now and thanks to this article I learn one more useful thing to optimize my blog seo a little more.

    Thanks.

  6. I always add Description in my blog Category and already added XML site map. But there is a problem. That is my site load speed is not so good. After checking my site at GTmetrix I saw that my Site got Page Speed Grade: B 88%. Is it fine or Need to make more faster?

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