Do you want to improve WordPress SEO? Here’s a complete guide on how to optimize your site for better placement in the search. Best WordPress SEO Plugins, Yoast.
If you want your website to attract the attention of your potential customers, it should be on top of the search engines. Therefore, WordPress SEO optimization is one of the important matters you should focus on when creating it.
What is SEO at all?
SEO means Search Engine Optimization. Quality SEO ensures that the search engine will display your site on the first page of search results, which will increase traffic to your website.
How to optimize SEO in WordPress
In the description of many WordPress themes it is said they are “SEO friendly”. But while that is the case, this optimization is not a one-time thing. It is a continuous process. Let’s go through the individual points you need to pay attention to in this process.
Choose a pertinent title for your domain
A well-chosen domain name is important for quality SEO. It should describe what the site is dealing with. It should also be easy to remember, concise and different from others.
Choose a correct meta title and meta description
The meta title and meta description should contain appropriate keywords. In addition, they provide Internet visitors with basic information about what they will find on your site. It should be something that convinces them to visit your site. Meta descriptions must not be too long – a maximum of 150-155 characters is recommended. The title should be approximately 50 characters long.
Use pertinent and unique headlines
Use fantasy. Write pertinent and unique headlines that will attract attention. They should also include keywords but not forcefully, otherwise they will be unnatural.
Write interesting posts
The reader does not return more to the boring posts. And probably not going back to the page where he read them. Be creative. Choose interesting topics. Their elaboration should be unique. Under no circumstances should you copy other articles. If an Internet visitor finds text on your site that he has already read somewhere, he will not be impressed by your website. It applies not just for magazines and blogs. It is equally important for e-shops and entrepreneurs.
Choose quality hosting
SEO optimization WordPress of the website is also affected by the choice of hosting. Web hosting should guarantee 99.99% availability. In addition, it should be fast so it does not slow down loading of your site is slow and should provide customer and technical support.
Check your search engine visibility settings
You may have already adhered to all the points listed, but the website is still not visible in the search engine. So, let’s take a look at the WordPress theme itself. In the WordPress administration menu, find a way to hide the page from search engines.
This option is for the user to have enough time to create and edit the page. If you’ve already created a page, you may have accidentally activated this option as part of its editing. So, you need to “make the website visible”.
Go to the Settings menu > Reading settings and go to “Search Engine Visibility”. Make sure you don’t set “Discourage search engines from indexing this site”. This field cannot be ticked. Be sure to save the changed settings.
Set up the URL
For SEO optimization, it is important to display the URL in a friendly form. By default, WP uses the unmeaning URLs, such as /?P=123, which is bad. You can change the URL settings in the administrative menu of the theme.
Go to the Permalinks section and change the setting of: “Post Name”. In this way, the URL will show the title of the post, revealing something about its content to the visitor of the Internet.
Use WordPress SEO plugin
The best plugin for WordPress SEO is, in my opinion, the free Yoast plugin. With its help, you will make the most important adjustments for better search engine visibility. It can set page indexing, manage meta headlines and meta descriptions, content for social networks, categories, tags, and optimize individual posts. The second most used plugin is All in One SEO Pack.
Create and upload a sitemap
Search engines broadcast so-called spiders or bots that search the web. It is a few bits of computer code. Bots search for new content, examine it, collect and process the collected data. To invite them to your site, it’s not enough to have enough keywords on it. It needs to be indexed. Bots notice code, content, reference quality, and much more.
You perform indexing by uploading a sitemap. Sitemap will increase the likelihood of finding your site in the search engine. You can create it in the Yoast, All in One SEO Pack or XML Sitemaps plugins. Add the created sitemap to the Google Search Console then.
Connect the website to Google Analytics
To improve anything, you need to be able to evaluate the current situation and the impact of changes. Therefore, connect your WP site to Google Analytics via Google Tag Manager (GTM).
Add the website to Google Search Console
Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) is a tool to manage and analyse your website in searching. This tool will help you understand what works for your site and what does not. It analyses website visitors, solves indexing issues, and helps to identify site shortcomings. You can increase traffic to your site.
Add the sitemap you created in the Yoast plugin to the Google Search Console. In the menu, select Add/Test Sitemap and submit. After a few hours, you should have your site’s first traffic statistics available.
Fill in the website information
In the Yoast plugin, fill in the details of your website (used for the so-called Knowledge Graph). Make sure you add an organization or blog name. Like everything else Yoast offers, this step also helps search engines to get the information they need about your website.
Setting up robots.txt file
WordPress automatically creates a Robots.txt file. This file instructs the bot to index the page. You can also edit this file in the Yoast plugin..
Optimize website speed
Another important step in WordPress SEO optimization is to optimize the website speed. Search engines disadvantage slow pages. Therefore, you should pay increased attention to the speed of your site. One of the main tools to increase speed is the WP Rocket, WP Super cache and W3 total cache plugins.
You can learn more about each site acceleration tool in my tutorial: How to speed up WordPress website.
Secure SSL certificate
SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate ensures secure communication with site visitors. Moreover, Google evaluates your site as safe and you get more visitors (= better WordPress SEO). There is also a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate, so make sure you use at least this one.
Add a blog to your website
If you are a reseller, entrepreneur or provider of different services, do not focus solely on the direct promotion of goods and services. Creating a well-targeted blog will help your website traffic. Write articles about topics related to your business. If you have a flower shop, a blog aimed at growing ornamental flowers, wedding decorations and the like will be appropriate.
If you operate a furniture store, you can write about new products or trends in interior furnishings. Remember that the basis of a good blog is quality photos in addition to quality texts. You can place links to product pages directly to individual blog posts. This will help your WordPress SEO.
Optimizing blog posts
SEO optimization is a constant process. Yoast allows you to add a title, meta description, and keywords to each post. You can also see what appears in the search engine when someone searches for your post directly in the plugin. Perform this step in the posting process. Scroll down and set optimization.
Beware of SPAM comments
In addition to the posts themselves, you can also optimize your post comments. Satisfied visitors will ensure good site traffic. Make sure the comments on your site are not SPAM. SPAM often includes inappropriate links in comments and can even hurt site traffic by moving it to worse places in the search engine.
Akismet plugin, which evaluates comments and filters them, will effectively protect you from SPAM. Akismet is installed in every WordPress theme. You must activate it to use it. To do this, you can find the plugins category in the theme menu, search for Akismet, and tick the “activate” checkbox.
Keywords in replies to comments
Use keywords in your replies to comments. You do not need to use them only in posts. Include them so that they fit into the answer. It may seem like a little thing, but it will also help optimizing your website.
Use categories and tags
Categories and tags help visitors to navigate through the website and find what they’re looking for. Thanks to them, search engines understand the structure and content of a site. To know how to properly use category names and tags, you need to understand the difference between them:
Categories are the main thematic areas of the blog. Categories can have their own subcategories. Tags also make site orientation easier but are more specific. Tags cannot have their own subcategories, but there may be more tags in one post. Also, write such tags that describe the topic of the post.
Use a responsive theme
At a time when the number of internet visitors connecting from mobile devices is still growing, site responsiveness is a necessity. If a visitor to your site does not see all of its content, he would simply leave. Furthermore, Google takes into account site responsiveness in search. Therefore, your website needs to be optimized for all devices. This facility is included in many themes.
For more information, see my tutorial on how to choose WordPress theme.
Insert internal links
An important point of WordPress SEO optimization is linking your own posts and page sections. I do not mean just a link between the article on rejuvenating creams and related products ;). You also need links for articles on related topics.
By internal linking, you will support your own sub-pages and the visitor will stay on your website a little longer. It will help search as well. In fact, Google evaluates content on which the visitor has only spent a few seconds as useless.
Linking with external sites
As mentioned above, linking posts helps SEO optimization. Valuable measures of site success are also backlinks that lead to your website from other websites. Very good tool to ensure this traffic are PR articles and blog posts posted on other websites.
However, be careful if you want to add a link to an external page for your post. Do not link your website to a site that has less traffic. Search for links to sites that have a better position in the search engine than you do. This will help to improve your position.
Optimize images for SEO
Everything on your WordPress site is related to SEO. And the images are no exception. First, make sure your images are optimized for the website. Plugins like Compress JPEG & PNG images, EWWW Image Optimizer, or WP Smush.it provide this size optimization. These optimize the size of uploaded images as well as those you’ve already placed on your website.
The second important thing is the title of the image and the alternative text. Make sure you have the image name filled in. Use more than one word for naming. Alternative text (Alt text) appears when the image is not displayed.
With image title and alternative text, search engines will know what the image is about. Be sure to fill in the headline, title, and description of the image. As a rule, the more information you provide, the easier it will be to find you.
Use social networks
Create a social network account for your site. If your website is also discussed on social networks, it will bring you additional benefits again. Search engines will record this activity. At the same time, you approach other people who would not otherwise know about you. Create a Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest or Google+ account for this purpose.
Share link on social networks
Social networks don’t just serve as a direct presentation of your site. Through them, you can also share a link to your site, interesting news or posts. In addition to being visited by some people, Google and its bots will notice it too.
WordPress displays and links posts from each website subpages, categories, authors, and so on. However, in this process, it shows all posts. This slows down the page but can also be noticed by search engines. In this case, they will rate it as copied content and affect your SEO.
It’s not even good for traffic of your website. For example: your RSS feed subscriber can read the full article instead of a preview. This will reduce web traffic because he may not have been connected to your website to read the entire post.
Instead of showing your entire posts, set up a preview of your posts. In the template administration menu, go to Settings -> Reading and select “Summary”.
I described the exact tutorial in the article on how to speed up the website.
Last but not least, it is essential that the website does not fail. Google negatively evaluates sites that are often unavailable or not working. Therefore, it is important to choose the right hosting that guarantees 99.9% availability.
WordPress SEO Optimization – Summary
I consider the above tips to be the basis for WordPress SEO. I consider it most important to install the Yoast plugin and set it up correctly.
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