WordPress is a free and one of the world’s best open content management or website creation source. It runs about 35% of the internet. WordPress enables you to create, edit, and publish your own website in no time. Most of the websites today are build using WordPress. Even the most popular websites like, TechCrunch, Time.com, BBC America, etc. use WordPress.
WordPress was released in 2003 as a blogging platform but now it has become the most popular website publishing platform.
WordPress SEO; Everything you Need
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. When you try to find something over the internet, you turn to a place called search engine. WordPress alone cannot help you to appear in the top results of search engines. In order to get your website to be found in this search engine, you have to optimize your websites. The SEO helps the website users to rank higher in search engines.
SEO has many benefits; high ranking, create a trust for users, quality content. There are several strategies to optimize your website and rank it higher in search engines.
Applying those tactics will not only help your content to appear higher in search engines, but it will also help your business to grow as it will help to grow the traffic on your website.
WordPress SEO Basics
This guide consists of some basic strategies which can help you optimize your WordPress SEO. These strategies and tactics are very simple and easy to follow. You don’t need to be a professional to optimize your WordPress Website SEO.
Choose the Most Recommended Hosting Provider
Make sure to choose a hosting provider which is most recommended and trusted. While choosing a hosting provider look for the speed, security, and uptime which it is providing in its hosting plan. WordPress.org recommends the three most trusted hosting providers, BlueHost, DreamHost, and SiteGround.
Your website speed has a huge impact n how your website will appear. If your website is slow then it will result in the bottom ranking of your website. Your site security and uptime also play a huge role in your website performance. Try to use only the hosting providers recommended by WordPress.
While you are working to build your website before you publish it, WordPress automatically enable the hide option on your website, and it is not visible in search engine. This option gives you time to fully prepare your website before traffic starts on it. But sometimes this option can remain on your website even after publishing, and this can create a problem in search engine optimization. As your website will be hidden so it won’t appear in the search engine.
If you face any such problem, then check your visibility settings and disable the hide option. To do so, from your dashboard, navigate to Settings and then click on Reading Page. Now look for the Search Engine Visibility option. Uncheck the box and click on Save Changes.
Your website will now be visible in search engines.
Use SEO Friendly Permalink Structure:
Permalinks are URLs that direct users to your content, posts, and pages, etc. Permalinks need to be SEO friendly with a descriptive and clear link. WordPress offers some permalinks options.
Friendly SEO URL must be clear and easy. Do not use permalinks with ‘numbers, archives, date and time’ etc. It will make your URL complicated and might become a hindrance in search engine optimization of your post, page, or website. The best option for permalinks is the post name. it will make your permalink URL concise and clear plus descriptive.
Notice that these URLs use numbers unrelated to the content, and a user cannot guess what they will find on the page by looking at the URL.
To edit permalink, navigate to your dashboard, and then click on the Permalink option. Now select your desired option and click on Save Changes.
WordPress Theme Should be SEO Friendly
Themes play an important and major role in how your website will appear and perform. By default, WordPress sets the ‘Twenty Twenty’ theme for your website. However, you can change the theme. There are plenty of themes available in WordPress.
From the Appearance section of your dashboard, you can access thousands of themes and then can apply any theme which suits your business plan. But you need to carefully select a theme because you might end up using a theme that is not SEO friendly. To check whether a theme is SEO friendly or not, run its demo through Google’s web. dev tool. It will give you insight into how the selected theme performs. The best-recommended themes are Astra and GeneratePress
Use SEO Plugins
Like themes, plugins also plays an important role. There are thousands of plugins in WordPress. Plugins are adds-on, used to build, enhance, and customize your website. There are plugins for almost everything like Contact form, WooCommerce, Voucher, and even for SEO. WordPress contains plugins that can be used to enhance the SEO of your website.
There are several plugins which can be used to enhance SEO but the top-recommended plugins are
- All in One SEO
- Yoast SEO
These are free plugins and are most recommended. To install All in One SEO or Yoast SEO plugin, navigate to Plugins from your WordPress Dashboard, and then click on Add New.
In the search bar enter the name of the plugin you want to install i.e. All in One SEO or Yoast SEO.
When the search result appears, select the plugin, and click on the Install option. Once installed, you have to activate the plugin. To do so, click on the Activate option and now your Plugin is activated and will help your website have a high rank in the search engine.
Add ‘sitemap’ in WordPress
The sitemap is the list of pages on your website, organized in a hierarchy. This makes it easy to see what your website contains. It also makes it easy for Search Engines to find your content. It does not directly enhance your website SEO but it does help the search engine to find your website content easily.
If you have installed and activated the Yoast SEO plugin then it will automatically add XML Sitemap to your website. But you can also add XML Sitemap using a plugin. The recommended plugin for the XML sitemap is Google XML Sitemaps. You can install the plugin from the Plugins option in your Dashboard.
To find your sitemap, use the below URL;
make sure to change ‘yoursitedomain’ with your website name.
Verify your Website with Google Search Console
Google Search Console or Webmaster tools is a tool which gives website owners insight into how their web site’s content is performing in search engine.
Website owner is provided with data and reports regarding their website’s performance in search engine. It also provides the keywords which are mostly used by people, traffic on your website, and how your website appears in search engine.
If you have installed and activated Yoast, then click on SEO from your dashboard and then navigate to General and then open the Webmaster tools option. Then enter the contents of the HTML tag into the ‘Google verification code’ box and click Save Changes.
After that click on the sitemap from the left menu and paste the last part of the sitemap URL. Click on Save Changes. Now GSC will check your sitemap and use it o improve your site crawling.
WordPress SEO Best Tips
If you follow the basics of WordPress SEO, your website will be ahead of most of the websites. However, the below tips will help you to grow even more. These tips and tactics will take your website to next level.
Keyword research helps the content creators and SEO experts to get insight into words which users use in the search engine to find product, content, location, news, or any other services. It will help you to add only the content that is most searched and avoid any irrelevant content creation.
There are thousands of tools that can be used to carry out keyword research but the most recommended tool is the SEMrush tool. It can help you to carry out your keyword research and find out the most ranking keywords in the online market.
Install the SEO Writing Assistant
Install SEO Writing Assistant plugin. This plugin will help you to ensure that your content is SEO friendly and it will also give you analysis and data on Google top websites for given keywords. SEO Writing Assistant is also available as a Google Docs add-on. SEMrush Writing Assistant plugin is most recommended.
To install this plugin, navigate to the Plugins option from your dashboard. There you will see the Add New option. Click this option and on the next page, enter SEO Writing Assistant in the search bar. Select the plugin and install it. After installation is done. Activate option will appear. Click on the Activate option to activate the plugin.
After activation, when you are creating content, enter your target keyword, and click on the get recommendation button. A list of suggestions will appear which will help you to improve your content and optimize it in a search-engine-friendly way.
Images play a vital role in website appearance. They provide visual appeal and are more readable. The help breaks the text and has a huge impact on the SEO of your website. The size and quality of images are important because they determine the loading speed of your website which is directly related to your website performance in the search engine.
Try to optimize your images. You can compress the images without losing their quality. Also, provide a suitable name and description for your images. Try to use keywords. It will help you boost your website.
TinyPNG, WP Smush, EWWW Image Optimizer, and ShortPixel are the best choices to optimize your images.
Title Tags & Meta Description Optimization
The title of your page or post describes it and tells a lot about the post to your users. It is an important tool in search engine ranking. It is what titles you see in Google search results. If you are using Yoast, it will automatically set your page’s title tags using your headings or will overwrite it to improve it. You can add custom texts as your title tags or can also use snippet variables.
You can also take help from your keywords research to help you give recommendations on the title tag which is SEO friendly.
Meta Descriptions, on the other hand, are not directly related to SEO but they do play a role in the site’s organic performance due to click-through rate. Write attractive and concise descriptions.
Add Alt Text to Images
Adding Alt text to your images in your content can help you rank higher in search engines. Try to add Alt text to each and every image that you use in your content. It will help to boost your post. Alt text not only helps visually impaired users but can also help to give descriptions of images to search engines. Try to add Alt text using keywords. You can also take help from keywords research to get a recommendation for SEO friendly Alt text.
Use an Alt text which is a clear and concise description of the image you are using. You can add Alt text to images in WordPress from Image Settings.
If you follow the above basics and tips, your website will start ranking high in the search engine result of the internet. WordPress itself is the most SEO friendly CMS and allows SEO plugins to be implemented which helps WordPress users to boost their website.