Without question, search engine optimization (SEO) is the most cost-effective and targeted method of driving traffic to a website. You use SEO to help your target audiences find your content when searching for it.
WordPress SEO, contrary to common opinion, is not difficult or complicated. You will be able to optimize your website for search engines independent of your skill set if you have the right SEO software.
In this post, we’ll go through the fundamentals of WordPress SEO, as well as how to incorporate on-site SEO and eventually perfect your SEO game.
What Is SEO and Why Is It Important?
SEO is an abbreviation of search engine optimization, which is a common technique used to optimize websites in order to drive traffic towards websites organically. Today, most websites on the internet run on the user-friendly WordPress content management system (CMS). So, understanding how to optimize a WordPress website is vital for many site owners and SEO professionals.
Essentially, the aim is to implement WordPress SEO best practices on your website in order to assist search engines in crawling and indexing your site with the appropriate keywords. This way, you will be able to assist consumers in finding your content when using the keywords you’re targeting.
Now that you know what SEO is and why it is important, let’s get into the best SEO practices.
Best WordPress SEO Practices for Beginners
WordPress is one of the most SEO-friendly website builders available. However, simply using WordPress does not guarantee that your post will be crawled, indexed and ranked by Google.
Fortunately, SEO best practices are simple to implement for WordPress. Let’s look at some of the most successful WordPress SEO best practices.
Enable Website Visibility
The first step is to ensure that your webpage is not hidden from search engines. WordPress has a function that allows you to shield your website from search engines. This functionality is useful if your site is not yet ready to be crawled or indexed and you require extra time to work on it.
When setting up the web, users can check this box and then forget to toggle the visibility settings.
To check if your website is visible to search engines, log in to your WordPress website and go to the dashboard. Click on Settings >> Reading; you’ll find the Search Engine Visibility option. Now check if the box is unchecked or not.
If the box is checked, uncheck it and save the changes.
Choose an SEO-Friendly URL
The other most essential thing you need to ensure is to use an SEO-friendly URL, as a URL demonstrates the content of your brand to both search engines and users.
Take a look at the example of an SEO friendly URL – https://seoblog.com/
Now, take a look at an example of a non-SEO friendly URL – https://www.isitwp.com/?p=20198
SEO-friendly URLs can greatly increase your chances of getting higher rankings on search engines.
A word of advice: Another great way to make your URL SEO-friendly is to use targeted keywords in it.
Add an XML Sitemap to Your Website
An XML sitemap allows you to notify search engines about URLs on your website that are crawlable. It is extremely important in allowing Google to find web pages and blogs.
Using the Yoast SEO or All-in-One SEO plugin is the simplest way to build a sitemap for your website, as both the plugins are all-in-one SEO tools that look after everything and also guarantee that the platform is search engine-optimized.
To install one of these plugins, visit the official plugin repository of WordPress. Once you have installed a plugin, activate it on your website. This will automatically create a sitemap.
In order to bring organic traffic to your website and improve your search engine rankings, it’s necessary to optimize each web page individually. This means you need to focus on your images, content and your source code.
While you’re performing on-page SEO, there are a couple of things that you need to bear in mind:
- Image optimization
- Content strategy
- Optimize the title
- Add tags and categories
- Add a meta description
HTTPS vs. www
You might have noticed some websites begin with “www” while some start with “HTTPS”. These are two web addresses commonly used globally and recognized by search engines.
If you’re confused about which one to use for your WordPress site, don’t worry – we’ll tell you all about it.
Fortunately, WordPress allows you to choose whatever email address you want. To do so, go to your WordPress admin dashboard then head to Settings >> General.
Now you can choose the URL both in the Site Address and WordPress Address fields.
List Your Website on Google Search Console
By listing your website on Google Search Console, you’ll be able to track its overall performance. Search Console gives you deep insights into your website performance and visibility, like impressions, keywords, click-through rate (CTR), clicks, etc.
Moreover, it helps to find errors and indexing status, so you can work accordingly to drive traffic to your website organically.
If any error occurs on your WordPress website, you’ll instantly receive a notification, and you can fix the bug right away.
Also, consider learning about eCommerce analytics, as it makes it easier for you to understand your users.
Keyword analysis should be part of the content preparation process if you want to know what concerns your followers may have. This also assists you in determining which keywords have high traffic flow, competitiveness, purchasing motive and other factors.
Begin by using a keyword research tool that provides detailed keyword statistics, market analysis, keyword role monitoring and a plethora of other useful features.
For more details, see how to conduct keyword analysis.
It also assists you in fully understanding your subject prior to beginning to draft your article. Only then would you be able to write a detailed post that addresses your readers’ concerns.
The importance of images in the effectiveness of your content cannot be overstated. Your post would be bland and boring if there were no pictures. Images will make your content more fun to read.
However, merely including photographs in your article is insufficient. You should make it easy for search engines to understand the purpose of these images. You can accomplish this by using alt text in your photographs. Alt texts are simply terms that describe the picture, and you can use just a couple of words to explain them.
Add Tags and Categories
Categories and tags aid in the organization of a website’s materials. This makes it easier for search engines and your visitors to navigate the content on your site.
Categories are used to sort your blog’s content into main topics. Tags, on the other hand, are the subjects covered in a single blog post.
Are you perplexed? Then consider this: A blog entry in the food genre can have tags such as salad, toast, pancakes and so on.
So, before you post your content, make sure you find out how to add appropriate categories and tags.
Optimize the Title
The first thing a visitor will notice about your article is your title. Try to use powerful words that can help trigger emotions in your visitors, which will encourage them to click on your article title.
Add a Meta Description
A meta description is a short snippet of HTML tag of up to 155 characters that summarizes your text. By using a meta description in your forums and post, you can help your users and search engines better understand your content.
Make sure you don’t go above the limit of 160 characters. You can also make sure that your keywords appear at least once or twice in your meta description.
Internal linking is an excellent method for establishing a contextual connection between your older and newer blogs. When you have a sufficient number of posts on your blog, you will begin linking them to one another. This way, you can lead readers to an older post and create traffic for these.
Adding internal links is very simple and easy in WordPress. Simply select the text to which you want to connect. A new window will be opened. Click the connecting button and enter the URL of the article to which you want to link. To save the changes, click the Save button.
Building backlinks to your blog from well-known websites in your market is a sure-fire way to boost your search engine rankings.
Backlinks can be obtained in a variety of ways, including:
- Creating fantastic content that others would like to relate to
- Guest blogging
- Email outreach
Measure Your SEO Success
Although it is difficult to keep up with the ever-changing SEO dynamics, the points mentioned above are some of the fundamental steps to take to get your SEO game underway. And once you’re there, you should know how to monitor your SEO performance.
To gauge your SEO performance, you must first understand how much organic traffic you are receiving. This information is included in your Google Analytics dashboard.
And that’s all there is to it! We hope that this article will help you secure your spot at the top of the search results. Bear in mind that when working on your site’s SEO, you could always consider using powerful SEO software and tools to help you grow your traffic faster.