Ghost 0.5.7 added in automatic XML sitemap generation as well as custom post data. The xml site generation is at www.yoursite.com/sitemap.xml. The custom post generation can be accessed in the post settings. Please check out this blog for more information.

Ghost is a new type of blogging platform. In fact this blog is written using Ghost. The last few weeks I've been setting it up, and testing out what I can do with it. One issue with any sort of blog is how to optimize for SEO. Unfortunately Ghost doesn't have a plugin system yet. So unlike Wordpress you can't just download a SEO plugin that configures everything for you. Here are a few things I did to help with my on-page SEO.

Meta Title

Make sure your theme has a meta title. Check your default.hbs.


This will always be set to the title of your page.

Meta Description

Next you want to check the meta description. Unfornately with the latest version of Ghost you can't explicitly set this. One thing you can do is set it to the first 50 words of the post like so.

	{{#if post}}
	   <meta name="description" content="{{#post}}{{excerpt words="50"}}
    {{/post}}" />
	    <meta name="description" content="{{meta_description}}" />

Using handlebars expressions you can create a quick conditional that checks to see if you're on a post. If so then set the meta description to the first 50 words of that post. If it isn't on a post page then the description defaults to the site description in the settings page of the blog.

Submit a SiteMap

I've heard of a few ways people have created sitemaps and submitted them to Google's web master tools. I don't know if this is the best way to go about it. This won't work if your Ghost blog is hosted from Ghost.org like mine is.

Another solution is to take the rss feed from your Ghost blog and submit it instead. Every Ghost blog has one so it shouldn't be an issue. It's always located at /rss. I have a link to my rss feed on my sidebar.

<a href="/rss" class="icon-rss"></a>


Google loves content that is shared. Try adding a Facebook like widget, or a Twitter tweet widget or a Google+ button. If you write great content and get enough traffic you'll start seeing people sharing your content.

Google Authorship

Another good idea is to setup your blog with Google Authorship. Just follow the instructions on the Google Authorship page. Then setup your profile and make sure every post has a link back to your Google+ profile. This is how it looks like in my post.hbs file.

	{{#if author}}
    	<section class="author">
            <div class="authorimage" style="background: url({{author.image}})"></div>
            <p class="attr">Author: Erik Hanchett</p>
            <p class="bio">If you like to reach me find me on <a href="https://www.twitter.com/erikch">Twitter</a> or <a rel="author" href="https://plus.google.com/107517866406570189174?rel=author">Google+</a>.</p>

Eventually as your posts gain SEO rankings your Google+ profile picture will start to appear next to them in search traffic.

Any friends that you have on Google+ will also start seeing your content rank higher in their searches.

Google Keyword Planner

Finding ideas on writing good articles can be tough. One way to help your SEO and find some ideas is to look through Google's keyword planner. Start searching for related keywords to your area of expertise and see which ones are getting the most traffic with the least amount of competition. Then search for these terms in Google and see what pops up. If the tops spots in your Google search are filled with Youtube, Wikipedia and CNN then you may want to pass. If the top search results aren't very informative from sites you've never heard of you might have a better chance. Take the top keywords and write a blog post about each one. Make sure you use the keyword in your title.


These are just a few techniques you can do to help with on-page SEO. Even if you follow all of them their is no guarantee that your content will start showing up in search rankings any time soon. It takes a lot of time and patience.

If you want some more general information about SEO I would check out Moz's begginners guide. It's a long read but well worth it.

Ghost SEO