WordPress SEO Guide for Beginners
The Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has an essential part to play in generating the organic traffic to your blog. More attention should be paid to the WordPress SEO.
Improvement on your WordPress SEO is a very standard thing to work on as a blogger. This is done in other to get more traffic to your website. Mostly, WordPress SEO guides are somehow technical for beginners. In this article, we will discuss how you can familiarize yourself to the necessary things to know about the WordPress SEO guide. The tips in this article will improve your WordPress SEO and get more organic traffic through it.
First, what is SEO?
SEO is an acronym that stands for Search Engine Optimization. This is a strategic measures taken by bloggers to get more traffic by ranking higher on the search engines. It makes it easy for search engines to easily find your website.
This is how it works. When people search for topics you write about, your search engine optimized content will appear higher in the search results. Through this, you will actually get more people to click through your website.
More so, why is SEO important?
One of the largest sources of traffic to your site is the traffic through the search engines. It is well known that Google and all other search engines uses the algorithm to understand and rank pages appropriately in search results. This is what I mean. The contents on your blog are recognized by search engines and are ranked as well. But if your contents are not optimized, then the search engines would not know how to rank your content. So your blog contents need to be optimized (remember this always).
This means that when people search for topics you write about; your website won’t appear in the search results. You will also miss out on all the traffic. Maximize search traffic by making your website a search engine friendly one.
WordPress SEO is a friendly one. I hereby present a step by step guide to WordPress SEO. Follow this steps and optimize your WordPress SEO.
A. WordPress SEO basics
Let us talk about some WordPress SEO basics. Checking your website’s visibility settings and using the SEO friendly URL structures in WordPress.
I. Checking your Website’s Visibility Settings
Login as an “admin” on your WordPress website. At the back end, go to “Settings”, then click “Reading”. Then look for “Search Engine Visibility”. “Untick” the option “Discourage search engines from indexing this sit” the click “save” button to store your changes. Note that the WordPress comes with a built-in option to hide your website from search engines. This is mainly because you need time to work on your website before it goes publicly ready for use.
II. Using the SEO friendly URL Structures in WordPress
The SEO friendly URLs contains words that clearly explain the content on the page. These URLs are easy to read by both users and the search engines. For instance, URLs like https://www.maxietech.com/things-you-should-know-before-you-start-blogging/ or https://www.maxietech.com/10-must-have-wordpress-plugin-for-your-blog/ are readable and it is easy for users to guess what they will see on the page just by looking at the URL text. WHILE the URLs like https://www.maxietech.com/?c=12085 or https://www.maxietech.com/blogging/130 are not easy to guess by the users to know which content they are about to read. This is because the numbers are unrelated to the content.
To get better positions in the search engine results, use SEO friendly permalinks structure to improve your chance.
Go to “Settings” > then select the “Post name” option. Click on the “save” to store your progress.
NOTE THIS: If your website has been running for more than 6 months, then please don’t bother to change your permalink structure unless you are using the numbers option.
Moreover, if you are using the “Day and Name” or Month and Name then you are advised to continue using that.
REASON: By changing your permalink structure on an established website, all your social media count will be lost. Also, the website is exposed to the risks of losing your existing SEO ranking.
Proper redirecting can be set up by professionals, if you must change your permalink structure. The bad news is still that you will lose your social media counts on the pages.
1. Choose the best WordPress SEO Plugin
Here, I have 2 similar WordPress SEO plugin to talk about. The first being the Yoast SEO and the second is the All in one SEO pack. These two plugins are very popular at delivering the job for the WordPress SEO. They are considered the best plugin for the WordPress SEO. They are both effective. At Maxietech, we use Yoast SEO and I am going to use some screenshots of it as examples. To install the Yoast SEO plugin, check how to install and set up Yoast SEO plugin in WordPress.
2. Add XML Sitemaps in WordPress
A XML sitemap is a specially formatted file that lists every single page on your website. Through the XML sitemap, the search engines find it easy to locate your contents. Meanwhile, adding the XML sitemap doesn’t boost your search ranks. It only helps the search engines to find pages quickly and start ranking them.
The Yoast SEO plugin automatically create an XML sitemap for you. You can go to this URL: https://www.maxietech.com/sitemap_index.xml
Don’t forget to change the Maxietech.com to your own domain name.
3. Add your website to Google Search Console/Webmaster tool.
First, what is Google search console? The Google search console is a set of tools that offers the website owners to look at how their content is seen by the search engine. This service is by Google. The Google search console provides the data and reports to help you understand how your pages appear in search results.
It also shows how your pages are clicked. This Google search console tells the actual term people use to get or find your website and how each pages appear in the results. The information supplied helps you understand what is working on your website and what is not.
When there is something wrong with your website, the Google search console alerts you. For example: when search crawlers are unable to access your website.
Use this guide to add WordPress site to Google Search Console.
4. Optimize Your Blog Posts for SEO
After the installation and activation of the WordPress SEO plugin, you still have some vital thing to do. Don’t just relax yet. We have some few more steps to completely get it done. For maximum results, you must keep up with your SEO process.
Yoast SEO is the bid deal. It helps you to add title, description and focus keyword to every of your blog posts you have published on your blog. Yoast offers you to enter the metal description of your post (a brief description of the post). The SEO title and the slug is available to be added also.
After a successful installation of the Yoast SEO plugin you can now enjoy the aforementioned points above. When writing your blog post, simply scroll down to the Yoast SEO section beneath your post. Then find the options and fill them in. As a beginner, you might find it difficult to know what to do with the likes of the readability, meta description, keyword addition with great insights. That is why we have a beginner’s guide on how to optimize your blog posts for SEO. You are advised to read through for better understanding on how you can optimize your blog posts with the use of the Yoast SEO plugin.
B. WordPress SEO Outstanding Practices
From the section A above (WordPress SEO basics), you must have familiarized yourself with the WordPress SEO. Then the next steps will be easier for you to get.
1. Using Categories and Tags in a WordPress Properly
WordPress allows sorting of blog posts to categories and tags. Articles written can be categorized in any named group. For example: Categories may be How Tos, News, Gadgets, Sports and so on. Before posts are published, category is selected for each post. If failed to be selected, the post will be filed under the so called “uncategorized’ which is the default category on your WordPress website. A particular WordPress post can be categorized under multiple categories and can have both categories and tags.
The tags on the other hand are added to post along with the categories. Tags can also mean keywords used for the topic discussed in the post. Tags are optional. What I mean is that user may decide not to put tag to a particular post and it will not categorize the post as “untagged” unlike the category which categorize the posts with no category as “uncategorized’. However, there is no limit to the number of tags to be added to a particular post.
Using categories and tags make it easy for you to manage your content by topics. This also helps readers to find post easily on your blog. They also help the search engines to understand your website and contents.
2. Use of Internal Linking
The internal linking is very important. Make it a habit and link your own written contents to your blog. This give you the opportunity to convince the readers that you have more great contents for them to read about. This will in turn boost your page views. The SEO score of your blog posts and pages will improve.
Additionally, search engines assign each page on your website a score. This score is kept secret. This is why it is highly essential to link blog posts to other content(s) on your blog.
3. No Follow External links
Linking is great but sometimes external linking is very dangerous and harmful for your blog. Ask me why? Here is the reason. When you link to a particular website, you are indirectly passing your SEO score to that website. The SEO score can also be called the “link juices”.
You can instruct the search engines to ignore those links by adding “nofollow” attributes to the external links. This will save you from losing your link juice to other websites you are linking to.
It is great to get link juices from other websites than losing it to other websites. This will in turn boost your search rankings.
4. Use WordPress SEO Plugins
To boost your SEO, use the best WordPress SEO plugins available. We have made available some “must have SEO plugin you must have on your website”. Check them out and get them working on your blog for better optimization of your WordPress blog SEO.
Implement a few of this tips we have discussed in this article and see the boost in your blog traffic as the search engines process your change.
We hope you have gained a lot in this article.
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