When you first lunch your website, it’s crucial that you’ll make essential WordPress SEO adjustments before you start writing your articles. Some of the things you have to do are irreversible. By irreversible I mean that, yes you can change them, but if you do it can hurt your SEO badly. Therefore you must make changes beforehand so that your site would be ready to be indexed. So let’s talk about some of the things you can start doing right now to improve your WordPress SEO. If you want information about keyword research, which is also very important for SEO inside your blog posts, check out our article on the subject. We will list the tips by categories: on-site SEO, off-page SEO, and on-page SEO.
On-Site WordPress SEO
Those tips are related to general adjustments that you do on the website itself, but not on the articles. Improving your on-site SEO is important because Google cares about your site’s speed, performance, structure, and more. They are mostly one-time setup, meaning that you do those once, and that’s it.
Go to Settings – Permalinks and choose to display permalinks via post name, and after that, click on Save Changes. Be aware that you shouldn’t do it on a live website. If you already have blog posts published on your site, it’s too late, don’t change the permalink structure. The permalink change is one of the changes you must do at the beginning. By changing the permalinks to display the post name, you will see that the address of this post, for example, is the one you see on your URL tab right now. Alternatively, I can choose to write a different permalink or shorten it. I can set the address to be only www.businesswebconnect.com/blog/wordPress-seo, for instance. That way, Google can better understand what your article is about, and it’s more SEO friendly than the default permalink setting.
Setting up categories is very important because it tells Google the structure of your blog. If you don’t set up them up correctly, Google might be confused about what topics your site is addressing. It’s essential that you also set up sub-categories if necessary. Also, write a short description of each category and sub-category. Go to Posts – Categories to set them up. For example, for a food recipes website, one could be sweets. A sub-category would be cakes.
Think of tags like hashtags. It’s necessarily the same thing. Add tags to be more specific about the topic of your blog post. For example, if you’re writing about a chocolate cake recipe, you should add a “chocolate cake” tag. Tags are different from categories in the fact that you can’t have sub-tags. To set them up, go to Posts – Tags. You should also write a small description as well. Make sure that you set both tags and categories the right way. Because if you want to delete some of them in the future, you’ll have to redirect them to another page because Google will index them as well. If you delete posts, pages, categories, and tags that Google already indexed, be sure to make redirects not to hurt your SEO.
SSL (secure socket layer) is an encryption protocol that encrypts the traffic from your visitors to your site and vice versa. Almost every modern website uses this, as you can see the padlock on each site’s URL you’re visiting. It helps encrypt the user’s credentials such as username, passwords, credit card information, and more. If you want free HTTPS included in your hosting package, be sure to check out SiteGround. Having a secure connection to your site is crucial, especially if you’re going to sell products online. You have to have an SSL certificate installed on your website. WordPress SEO is not only about keywords, but about security and credibility of your site, and an SSL certificate is the most basic security step you have to take for your website.
Search Engine Visibility
Go to Settings – Reading and make sure the search engine visibility checkbox is unchecked. By default, it should be unchecked. But you can tick the box on your brand new website so you’ll have time to get it ready before Google will discover your site and start ranking it. After you finish the necessary preparations, make sure you leave this checkbox unmarked and save the settings.
Speed And Image Optimization
Many tools and plugins are available to help you compress images. Go to the WordPress plugin repository and search for a compression plugin such as Smush for example. You can also use compression image sites to compress the image even before you upload it to the site and use the compression plugin to shorten it. The choice is yours.
Add Your Website To Google Search Console
To add your site to the search console, click here. It will direct you to the official search console site. From there, click on add property, and it will ask you to choose a property type. You want to select the one on the left, called domain. The difference between the two is that the domain property is all of the existing URLs of your website, and a URL prefix is only one of them that you specifically choose. You want the search console to track all of your URLs. After that, follow the instructions Google provide. If you’re still having trouble though, check the video below, it will help you out.
What Is Google Search Console?
Google search console is a tool made by Google that helps you track precisely for which keywords you rank in Google. It also tracks your average position, click-through rate, and many more metrics. Therefore, you can know exactly which blog posts are the best ranking, and which of them needs improvement. You can also see errors and things that can hurt your WordPress SEO like crawl errors, DNS errors, for example. If you want to be an SEO expert, you’d want to learn as much as you can about this tool.
Use A Friendly-SEO WordPress Design
The design of your website is an integral part of your on-site SEO. For once, you should use an SEO friendly theme like Astra, which is one of the best and well-known themes for WordPress out there. Secondly, your visitors must feel at home when they surf your website. Everything must be easy to navigate and clear. Make sure you’re building a clear menu and navigation so that your visitors would have an easy time going through your site. User experience is something you shouldn’t take lightly.
On-Page WordPress SEO
Here we’ll talk about tips that apply to your blog posts. You should optimize your blog posts for SEO so that Google will rank them higher in the search results. The difference between those tips and the on-site sips is that on-page SEO is specific to your articles and are not things you do once and forget about them. You have to optimize each blog post you’re writing from the ground up. So those tips, unlike the previous ones, are things you should actively do all the time, and not a one-time thing.
Alt Text In Media
Alternative text is essential for WordPress SEO because Google is indexing your images as well. You should add the keywords you want to rank for in your pictures you’re adding to the article. When you edit a photo, you could see the alt text and change it. Visitors won’t see it. It’s invisible to the visitor, but search engines do see it.
The meta description is the “summary” you see in the search results below the link to the website. The meta description is what’s enticing people to click and visit your site. Google is considering the meta description, especially for the snippets, do make sure your meta description is attracting. Also, add your keyword to the meta description as well. You can edit it by using an SEO plugin. You should write a meta description not only to your blog posts but to your pages as well.
Use A WordPress SEO Plugin
Our best recommendation for an SEO plugin is Yoast SEO. It’s the most popular SEO plugin out there and is continuously having updates. It helps you with on-page and on-site SEO. In the blog posts, you can see your readability analysis and SEO analysis based on the keyword you chose to target. The plugin also helps you to write your meta description, decide which parts of your website you want Google to show in the search results. For example, posts, pages, categories, media.
You can click on each topic to learn more and see how you could improve on each metric. Yoast SEO keeps your blog posts easy to read by guiding you to have short sentences. And by also use enough active voice, maintain a substantial paragraph length so the readers won’t get bored in mountains of text, use transition words and more.
Here you can see the SEO analysis based on the keyword or key phrase you chose to target. You don’t have to have all of the metrics checked in green, but for best results, we suggest that you do.
Use Inbound And Outbound Links
One of the most critical things in on-page SEO is linking. You should link to relevant articles so that people would click and read other blog posts that are related to the one they found on Google. Because you don’t want to get all of your traffic from one article. You have to spread your traffic volume, and if one of them is ranking well and getting all the traffic, you’d want people that reading this article to go to other ones as well. Outbound linking is also important because Google sees that you’re linking to relevant content that further helps your readers. Therefore, it’s best to use outbound linking to informative articles like researches, case studies, etc.
Use Long-Tailed Keywords On Your Articles
Make sure to use long-tailed keywords that have a small competition and target a specific audience so that you’ll have a chance at ranking as a new website. For example, a log-tailed keyword would be diet food recipes for heart patients instead of diet food recipes. Furthermore, you should use your keyword at your title, permalink, subtitles, and at the beginning and end of your article. An SEO plugin like Yoast SEO can help you with that.
Write Helpful Content That Will Boost Your WordPress SEO
Isn’t it obvious? Well, not so much. Not everyone is writing useful and helpful content. A valuable content could be a how-to guide, tutorial, list of tips like this post, for example. Another type of essential piece of content would be questions and answers based post. Meaning that you take a topic and build your article about problems that people may have about the subject, and you give them the answers. Also, make sure that your content is engaging. It should be practical and doable so that the minute they finish reading your post; they could take action.
Off-Site WordPress SEO
Off-site SEO is essentially SEO techniques that are you do off your website. Social media and link building to be exact. Those are the main most effective off-site techniques. You can use link building in different ways, including reaching out to influencers and ask them to share your content, social media links, and more.
Let’s give you some examples that you can use to leverage social media. Putting a link to your website via your Instagram bio, and make posts about each article you’re uploading and link them to your site. Make Pins on Pinterest and link them to your website. Answer questions on Quora and put a link to your blog post discussing the matter. There are plenty of options to use social media and link back to your site that way.
You provide content and contribute to another big website in your niche, and in return, you get acknowledged, and the owner of the website will put your author details and link back to your site.
You can reach influencers and email them. Don’t be spammy and ask them to link to your article. Instead, be friendly, tell them that you’ve liked their work and wanted them to check out your post. Don’t mention about linking to it. They will do that on their own once they find your blog post to be good.
WordPress SEO – In Conclusion
We’ve mentioned some of the best tips and techniques you can use to top above all the rest and start getting ranked on Google. Be aware that many bloggers and even businesses in all kinds of niches, don’t know SEO very well. This article is the first step of you becoming better than average sites. Thank you for reading.