WordPress SEO Guide: How to drive organic traffic to your website (Tips for beginners)
After creating new website, your main focus must be to see it in prominent position in Google search list. Improving SEO of website is the most important way of driving organic traffic to your website. There are lot of WordPress SEO Guide available online but most of them are too technical for beginners.
SEO strategies varies with time to time but some basics are always the same. In this brief guide we will share tips for improving SEO of your WordPress website. You can follow these tips to get your website rank high in Google search for relative keywords.
SEO stands for search engine optimization. Different search engines use different algorithms to decide ranking of websites. According to those algorithms, different strategies are crafted to rank websites in search lists. The main focus in SEO strategies is the content and the second thing is to make it easy for search engines to crawl through your content.
The more easily Google can crawl through your site, the more chances raise that your website will rank on top.
Basics of SEO
SEO is all about techniques and most of them can be too technical as a beginner. In this guide we will try to keep every point so simple that you can follow through to get a noticeable boost in your site traffic.
Let get started!
Check Your WordPress Site’s Visibility Settings
WordPress has a built-in option to hide your website from search engines. This option helps you work on your website before it gets live. Sometimes this option may get checked accidentally. It means your website is no more visible to search engines. Follow WordPress SEO Guide.
Log in to your site admin area and go to Settings >> Reading Page.
You need to scroll down to go to the option, “Search Engine Visibility”. Here you can check if this box is checked or un-checked. If you check this box then no search engine can find your website no matter how amazing website you have. So, you should always make sure to keep this box un-checked, so that search engines at least know that you have a website.
After making required changes don’t forget to click on “Save changes” to apply those changes.
Using SEO Friendly URL Structures in WordPress
SEO friendly URL means that your article/blog URL contains the title words. It means that URL is easy to read both for people and search engines. Example are given below to clear your concept.
You may have noticed that both URLs are easy to read and you can get a clear idea about the content of those articles by just looking at the URLs. So here is the example of some URL that is non-friendly for SEO.
You may notice that in above URL there is no clue about article content. So, from search engine perspective this is a non-friendly URL for SEO. Using SEO friendly permalinks you can acquire good position in search results for your website. These are the simple steps to check and update your WordPress website permalink structure.
On admin page, go to Setting >> Permalinks Page.
Click on “Post name” to select the option and click “Save changes” to apply settings.
Note: If your website is at least 6 months old, it is advised to not play with permalinks but keep the original setting. Otherwise you will also lose your counting for social media sharing. It may disturb your already acquired SEO ranking.
If you are must to change permalink structure then you should hire an expert to get it done properly. But you will still lose your count for social media share.
WWW vs non-WWW
If you are just getting started for your website, you will have to choose whether you want to have www (http://www.example.com) or non.www (http://example.com) in your website URL. Search engines recognize these both as separate websites which means you need to make a choice and then stick to it.
Here are the steps to make this choice. In Admin site go to Setting >> General Page.
Add your chosen URL in both “WordPress Address” and “Site Address” field. Although www or non-www URL has nothing to do with SEO but www URL is considered technically good.
The Best WordPress SEO plugin
WordPress is being used by more than 33% websites and one of the most common reasons is that it is really simple to use. Thousands of free plugins are available for different tasks but from SEO perspective it is recommended to use least number of plugins. There is a SEO plugin which is considered all in one SEO pack and is 100% free.
Choosing the Best WordPress SEO Plugin
Although there are lot of SEO plugins available in market but doing deep and deep research we have finalized only two. These plugins are “Yoast SEO” and “All In One SEO Pack”. The most recommended is “Yoast SEO” so in this guide we will use it as an example.
How to Find and Install Yoast SEO Plugin
Login to the admin area in your website and click on Plugin >> Add New. Type “Yoast SEO” in search bar. Click on “Install”.
After installing the plugin you will find the “Activate” button. Click it to get started.
Now you are ready to use this plugin to boost your website SEO.
Add XML Sitemaps in WordPress
XML Sitemaps help search engines to crawl through site pages so this step is highly recommended. If you use Yoast SEO plugin, it automatically generate sitemap of your website and you don’t have to make any effort for it.
To find your XML Sitemap, follow this link but don’t forget to replace example.com with your own domain name.
Now that you found your sitemap, it’s time to submit the Sitemap file to Google.
Submit Your WordPress Website Sitemap to Google Search Console
Google Search Console is also known as Webmaster Tools. This is a set of tools offered by Google to help website owners have a brief look at, how their site content is being seen by search engine. Using these tools you can easily check how your website is performing in different search results and how many clicks your website is getting. You also get notified when Google find difficulty in crawling your site pages or there is duplicate content in your website.
After your adding website to Google Search Console, you need to go to “Sitemap” option in left menu and paste the last part of Sitemap URL.
Click on save changes to apply setting. This sitemap will be used by Google Search Console to crawl your website content. After few hours of adding sitemap you will be able to check the details of your website. We advise you check Search Console at least once a month to get updates about your website performance.
Optimizing Your Blog Posts for SEO
Google algorithm keeps updating time to time and so the SEO techniques. You can’t rely on just installing a SEO plugin but you have to work on optimizing your content for SEO.
Using SEO plugin you can add title, description and focus keywords for article/blog post. Your main focus should be title and description to get maximum clicks.
Doing Keyword Research for Your Website SEO
Many beginners find it difficult to find the words that they can use in Title and Description to get maximum SEO advantage. There are some real time tools that can help you in this regard. Although there are hundreds of free and paid Keyword Research Tools available in the market but we recommend you to use SEMrush.
This tools helps you find best suitable keywords for your content and also you can finds the keywords for which your competitors’ websites are ranked.
WordPress SEO Best Practices
If you have followed the steps explained earlier then you must find yourself ahead of many websites. But still there are lot of things that you can do to get more amazing results.
Add Alt Text to Your Images
Alt text is actually an alternative text referred to the images in your article/blog post. Through Alt text, Google recognizes how effectively images are in correspondence to the content. WordPress makes it really simple to add Alt text to any image. You just need to click on any image for which you want to add Alt text and you will find the Alt text field under “image setting” option.
Include Your Focus Keyword in the First Paragraph
It is always considered important to add focus keywords in first paragraph of the post. The main reason is that Google start crawling content from top to bottom and consider that content is relative to the topic. It improves click-through rate and readers find themselves more engaged.
“Yoast SEO” plugin can help you in this regard.
Although SEO techniques keep changing with time but content is always going to be the king. SEO is just a way to make your content reach the targeted audience. Applying the steps that you leant in this WordPress SEO guide, you can make your site rank high and get maximum organic traffic.
If this guide helped you get SEO boost or you have any relative question, feel free to post through comment box.
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