Customize Blog Theme Head Section For More Traffic

by on November 17th, 2008

I experimented something, researched a bit and found a little trick. If you are a blogger and using WordPress then surely you have got a theme. I am going to discuss something about head section of your theme and recommending you some customization in the header.php file of your theme. There are a lot of themes available online but they share only necessary elements. To go further you have to customize it a bit for optimal performance. Lets have a look. Did you just open your header.php file in your favorite editor? No? I did not expect that yet. Alright first you will go through the article and pay attention because it can get tricky.

Consider the section between starting title tag and ending at following element:

<?php wp_head(); ?>

Normally all themes would have such elements in between this section:

<title><?php bloginfo('name'); ?><?php wp_title(); ?></title>
<link rel="stylesheet" href="<?php bloginfo('stylesheet_url'); ?>" type="text/css" media="screen" />
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS 2.0" href="<?php bloginfo('rss2_url'); ?>" />
<link rel="alternate" type="text/xml" title="RSS .92" href="<?php bloginfo('rss_url'); ?>" />
<link rel="pingback" href="<?php bloginfo('pingback_url'); ?>" />
<script src="<?php bloginfo('stylesheet_directory'); ?>/js/somejsfile.js" type="text/javascript" language="javascript"></script>
<?php wp_get_archives('type=monthly&format=link'); ?>

My recommendations are as following:

<title>
<?php bloginfo('name'); ?>
<?php if ( is_single() ) { ?> &raquo; Blog Archive <?php } ?>
<?php wp_title(); ?> <?php if ( is_home() ) { ?> | <?php bloginfo('description'); } ?>
</title>
<link rel="stylesheet" href="<?php bloginfo('stylesheet_url'); ?>" type="text/css" media="screen" />
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="<?php bloginfo('name'); ?> RSS Feed" href="<?php bloginfo('rss2_url'); ?>" />
<link rel="alternate" type="text/xml" title="RSS .92" href="<?php bloginfo('rss_url'); ?>" />
<link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="Atom 0.3" href="<?php bloginfo('atom_url'); ?>" />
<link rel="wlwmanifest" type="application/wlwmanifest+xml" href="http://www.yourdomainname.com/wp-includes/wlwmanifest.xml" />
<link rel="EditURI" type="application/rsd+xml" title="RSD" href="http://www.yourdomainname.com/xmlrpc.php?rsd" />
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="PHPMagicBook Visual RSS Feed" 
href="href="feedburner feeds url" />
<script src="<?php bloginfo('stylesheet_directory'); ?>/js/somejsfile.js" type="text/javascript" language="javascript"></script>
<?php wp_get_archives('type=monthly&format=link'); ?>
<link rel="pingback" href="<?php bloginfo('pingback_url'); ?>" />
<meta name="verify-v1" content="googlecode" />

Ignore javascript and css files link code as this can be different for every website and every theme has this already.

So where is the difference:

<title>
<?php bloginfo('name'); ?>
<?php if ( is_single() ) { ?> &raquo; Blog Archive <?php } ?>
<?php wp_title(); ?> <?php if ( is_home() ) { ?> | <?php bloginfo('description'); } ?>
</title>
 
<link rel="wlwmanifest" type="application/wlwmanifest+xml" href="http://www.yourdomainname.com/wp-includes/wlwmanifest.xml" />
<link rel="EditURI" type="application/rsd+xml" title="RSD" href="http://www.yourdomainname.com/xmlrpc.php?rsd" />
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="Blog name Visual RSS Feed" href="feedburner feeds url" />
 
<meta name="verify-v1" content="googleVERIFICATIONcode" />

Five steps:

  • Look in between title tags. I have added some new elements to customize title a bit.
  • Add wlwmanifest xml element
  • Add rsd xml element
  • Add Feed URL from feedburner, If you use feedburner service
  • Add Google Verification Code (Google webmaster tools)

These customizations are not necessary but can drive traffic dramatically towards your blog.

Google Verification Code and Google Sitemap

  • Go to Google Webmaster Tools
  • Get an account
  • Tell Google About your website and and get Verification key and add it in your head section
  • Tell Google about your sitmape URL

That’s it. Was this tip useful? Do you recommend anything else?


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