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  How to Help the Search Engines Find Your WordPress Membership Site  

You’ve launched your membership site – that’s great! Now you have to consider how you will get your membership site into the search engines. This becomes especially difficult since so much of your site is protect content that you won’t want Google or the other search engines to see. If you don’t handle this early on, you’ll find you have a problem. 

If you are using WordPress the simplest way to handle this is during your creation phase. Just go to the Settings on your dashboard, then to Privacy and then ‘Block Search Engines.’ That will ensure that half finished content doesn’t make it the search engines. Great – but what about after the membership site is finished and you want the search engines to find all or part of your membership site? 

You’ll want to add an add a no archive and no index tag to any pages that are paid content. Generally, you can edit this right from inside your post or from the dashboard depending on your theme. Then you’ll need to go to your Google XML sitemap and find the page IDs for each of the pages and make sure the plugin isn’t indexing them. 

Go to Settings then to XML Sitemap and scroll down to exclude posts and then enter each of the page IDs. You can find these by going to your posts screen and highlighting each one. The link shows up at the bottom of the page. You will see a long link and it will say something like post=35. This is the number to add to the exclude posts area of the XML sitemap.

Plugins to Use on Your Membership Site

There are quite literally thousands of different plugins out there, but some of the most beneficial are listed below:

Go Codes – When your membership site is going to use affiliate links this is the best way for you to mask the links so they look good.  There are many premium plugins that can do this for you, but Go Codes can take care of around 95 percent of your needs.
Google XML Sitemap – If you are blocking protected pages, Google XML Sitemap will certainly help you with your search engine rankings
BM Custom Login - If daily you will have a bunch of users logging into your membership site you don’t want them seeing the Wordpress login each time.  This plugin lets you easily create your own custom login page. 

That’s it, you’re ready to start to get the most out of the search engines for your membership site.

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