How to Customize Your SEO Options in the Catalyst WordPress Theme Framework

Catalyst WordPress Theme SEO Options

Catalyst is a wonderful WordPress Theme that allows you to customize your blog with over 800 built-in options.  In my opinion, it’s the best WordPress Theme on the market today.

Customizing your blog’s search engine optimization options is pretty straightforward in the SEO section of the Catalyst Core Options.

Steps to Customize Your SEO Options in Catalyst:

  1. The title tag is used by search engines and also displays in the banner across most the top when viewing your site in modern browsers.  By default your should append the site name and description to the Title Tag.  If you can include keywords in these two variables to increase likelihood of being found when people search on Google, etc.  A drop down let’s you choose the order in which these display and you also have the option choose a unique tag separator.  I would go with the default options if you’re not sure what to choose.
  2. H1 tags are arguably one of the most important elements in terms of content being read by search engines.  It’s like the title of a book – it defines the first thing people and search engines see when they index your site.  Catalyst give you the option to wrap either the Title or Description in H1 tags.  Using the tagline might be more effective if the tagline is keyword rich and includes a better description of what your site is about.  If your title is strong and explains your content well, choose that instead.  You also have the option to manually assign H1 tag placement.
  3. By default, search engines will attempt to index all the pages on your site.  If you are a prolific blogger or a heavy user of tags and categories, your main content can get buried by all the dynamically generated pages that tags and categories create.  Generally speaking you should only have a handful of categories, so indexing these pages is fine. By selecting “NoIndex” you are signaling the search engines to avoid indexing certain sections of your site.  By default, Cataylst sets Archive, Tag and Author pages to NoIndex.  For most site owners this makes sense and should be left alone.
  4. Nofollow Comment Author Links tells search engines not to index links that you, as the author, post in your comments.  By and large links in your comments will be to third party content and should not be indexed.
  5. As search engines index your site, they also take snapshot of individual pages and cache them for future use.  You have the choice to NoArchive certain sections in Catalyst though I recommend you leave this set at the default which allows for caching.
  6. Homepage SEO Options first give you the opportunity to indicate your site’s Homepage Meta Description.  These descriptions used to play a major role in SEO, but play a somewhat less important rolls these days given the rise of importance in other on-page and off-page factors.

    Nonetheless, it’s important to provide a description.  One practical application is that the description you provide here is often what appears below your heading in search engine results.  The the second line of text that people see when searching for your site.  Make it catchy with a clear explanation of what your site is about and why someone should visit.  Include keywords or long-tail keyword phrases if possible without keyword stuffing.

  7. Homepage Meta Tags should contests of several long-tail keywords.  These are phrases that someone might search to find your site.  Personally, I like to use Market Samurai to help identify the most valuable keywords phrases.  Picking the wrong keywords can be a waste of time, so choose wisely.
  8. This section gives you same choices for selecting how search engine robots will index, follow and archive your homepage.This would tell Yahoo!, Live & Google that the page in question should be treated as though it were a copy of the URL www.seomoz.org/blog and that all of the link & content metrics the engines apply should technically flow back to that URL. For an in-depth article on this subject visit http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/021646.html.
If you’re not familiar with Catalyst, I highly recommend you check it out today!

Please leave a comment below or on Twitter @steinarknutsen.

Thanks,
Steinar