WordPress Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Optimizing your WordPress SEO is crucial to getting more traffic to your website. Unfortunately, most WordPress SEO guides are too technical for new users to get started.
If you are serious about increasing your website traffic, you need to pay attention to WordPress SEO best practices.
In this guide, we will share the best WordPress SEO tips to help you improve your WordPress SEO and get more traffic.
You may have heard experts say that WordPress is SEO friendly. This is the reason for the fact that many people choose WordPress to start a blog or website .
While WordPress makes sure that the code it generates follows SEO best practices, there is a lot more you need to do if you want to increase your SEO efforts .
We have a number of actionable steps you need to take to properly improve your WordPress SEO
We know that the idea of optimizing WordPress SEO can be intimidating for beginners, especially if you are not tech-savvy .
But don’t worry — it doesn’t have to be complicated. Start here to learn the basics, and then you can start applying them to your website.
What is seo ?
SEO is short for search engine optimization. The instructions given in the above instructions are used in search engines .
Google or system manipulation. So that it looks like it’s on their website .
When people search in your email for the content you write, your search engine optimized content will appear higher in search results, and you will attract more people to your website .
Why is seo important
Search engines are often the largest source of traffic for most websites .
Google and other search engines use advanced algorithms to understand pages and rank them appropriately in search results .
However, these algorithms aren’t perfect – they still need your help to understand what your content is about .
If your content isn’t optimized, search engines won’t know how to rank it. When people search for the topics you write about, your website won’t show up in search results, and you’ll lose all that traffic .
It is really important for all business owners to make their website search engine friendly, so that they can maximize search traffic .
WordPress SEO basics
SEO can become technical, but it doesn’t have to be. Simply learning some basic SEO tips for optimizing your site can give you a noticeable boost in your website traffic .
You don’t have to be a technical genius to use the techniques below. If you’re already using WordPress, you’ve got what it takes!
Let’s start optimizing your website .
Check your site visibility settings
WordPress comes with a built-in option to hide your website from search engines. The purpose of this option is to give you time to work on your website before it is ready to publish .
However, sometimes this option can be checked by mistake and makes your website unavailable to search engines .
If your website does not appear in the search results, the first thing you need to do is make sure that this option is not selected .
Simply login to your WordPress site’s dashboard and visit Settings » Reading page .
You need to scroll down to the “Search Engine Visibility” section and make sure that the box next to “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” is not checked .
Don’t forget to click the “Save Changes” button to store your changes .
Use SEO friendly URL structures in WordPress
SEO friendly URLs have words that clearly explain the content of the page, and are easy to read by both humans and search engines .
Some examples of SEO friendly URLs are :
Note that these URLs are readable and the user can guess what they will see on the page just by looking at the URL text .
So what does an inappropriate SEO (Search Engine Optimization) URL look like ?
Note that these URLs use numbers that are not related to the content, and the user cannot guess what they will find on the page by looking at the URL .
Using an SEO friendly permalink structure will improve your chances of getting better positions in the search results.
Here’s how to check and update your WordPress site’s permalink structure .
You need to visit Settings » Permalinks page and then Select the post name option and then click the Save Changes button to store your settings .
If your website has been in operation for more than 6 months, please do not change your permalink structure , unless you use the numbers option. If you use the day and name or the month and name, go ahead and use that .
By changing your permalink structure on a specific site, you will lose all your social media engagement count and run the risk of losing your current SEO ranking .
If you must change your permalink structure, hire a professional, so they can set up proper redirects. You will still lose the number of your social posts on Pages .
( WWW ) vs ( non-WWW )
If you are just getting started with your website, you need to choose whether to use www (http://www.example.com) or non-www (http://example.com) in your site URL .
Search engines consider these two different sites, and that means you need to pick one and stick with it .
You can set your preferences by visiting the Settings » General page .
Add your preferred URL in the “WordPress Address” and “Site Address” fields .
No matter what someone else may say, from an SEO point of view .
and there is no advantage to using one or the other .
Best WordPress Search Engine Optimization plugin
One of the best parts about WordPress is that there is a plugin for everything, and SEO is no exception .
There are thousands of WordPress SEO plugins out there which makes it difficult for a beginner to choose the best WordPress SEO plugin .
Instead of installing separate plugins for individual SEO tasks . we’ll help you choose the best WordPress SEO plugin that does it all, and it’s 100% free .
Choosing the best WordPress (Search Engine Optimization)SEO plugin
When it comes to choosing the best WordPress SEO plugin, you’ll likely narrow your choices down to the most popular solutions :
All in One SEO (AIOSEO) or Yoast SEO .
AIOSEO is the original WordPress SEO plugin used on over 2 million websites. In this tutorial, we’ll be using AIOSEO for screenshots and examples .
Add XML sitemaps in WordPress
An XML Sitemap is a specially formatted file that lists every single page on your website. This makes it easier for search engines to find all of your content .
While adding an XML sitemap doesn’t boost your site’s search rankings, it does help search engines find pages quickly and start ranking them .
If you use the AIOSEO plugin, it will automatically generate an XML sitemap for you . To find your sitemap, simply go to this URL (don’t forget to replace example.com with your domain name) :
We’ll show you how to submit your XML sitemap to Google in the next step .
Add your site to Google Search Console
Google Search Console Webmaster Tools, also known as Webmaster Tools, is a set of tools offered by Google to give website owners insight into how their content is seen by the search engine .
Provides reports and data to help you understand how your pages appear in search results. You can also see the actual search terms people use to find your website, how each page appears in search results, and how often your pages are clicked through .
All this information helps you understand what is working on your site and what is not. You can then plan your content strategy accordingly .
Google Search Console also alerts you when something is wrong with your website, such as when search crawlers can’t access it, find duplicate content, or restrict resources .
Once you have added your website to Google Search Console, click on sitemap from the left menu and then paste the last part of the sitemap URL .
Click the Submit button to save the changes .
Google Search Console will now check your sitemap and use it to improve crawling of your website .
Once you have successfully added your sitemap, it will appear as pending. It takes some time for Google to crawl your website. After a few hours, you will be able to see some statistics about your sitemap. It will show you the number of links it has found in your sitemap, the number of links it has indexed, the percentage of images and web pages, etc
We recommend that you check Search Console at least monthly to gather insights and see your website’s SEO progress .
Optimize your blog posts for Search Engine Optimization
Beginners often make the mistake of thinking that installing and activating a WordPress SEO plugin is all that is required. Search Engine Optimization ( Search Engine Optimization) is an ongoing process that you must go along with if you want to see maximum results .
All SEO plugins allow you to add a title, description, and focus keyword to every blog post and page. It also shows you a preview of what users will see when they use your website on Google .
We recommend optimizing your title and description to get the maximum number of clicks .
When writing your blog post, just scroll down to the SEO section and take full advantage of it .
If you are wondering how to choose a focus keyword or focus keyword phrase, what is a good headline, or what is a good meta description .
Do keyword research for your website
Many beginners use their best guesses to find out what topics people are searching for and what they should add to their blog and website .
It’s like shooting an arrow in the dark. You don’t need to do that when you can use real data to see what people are searching for.
Best WordPress Search Engine Optimization practices
If you follow the basics of WordPress SEO and use the best WordPress SEO plugin, you will already be ahead of most websites .
However, if you want better results, you need to follow these WordPress SEO best practices below .
These are not very technical and most won’t require you to touch any icon . But they will make a huge difference if you follow them .
Proper use of categories and tags in WordPress
WordPress allows you to sort your blog posts into categories and tags. This makes it easy for you to manage your content by topics, and for your users to find the content they are looking for .
Categories and tags also help search engines understand your website’s structure and content .
Beginners are often confused about the best way to use categories and tags. After explaining this to thousands of readers, here’s how we handle classes and tags .
Categories are for the broad grouping of your posts. If your blog is a book, the categories will be your table of content .
For example, on a personal blog, you can have categories like music, food, travel, and so on. Categories are hierarchical, so you can add subcategories to them .
On the other hand, hashtags are more specific keywords that describe the contents of an individual post . For example, a blog post under the food category could contain tags like salad, breakfast, pancakes, etc. Think of these as the indexes section of a textbook .
By using categories and tags correctly, you make it easier for users to browse your website. Since it is easy for users, it also makes it easier for search engines to browse your website .
Make internal linking a habit
Search engines assign a score to each page on your website. The recipe for this result is kept confidential so that people cannot tamper with the results. However, the most common signals of authority are links .
This is why linking to your content from other blog posts and pages is so important .
You should make it a habit to link to your posts as often as possible. If you have multiple authors, create a pre-publication blog post checklist that requires them to link to at least 3 other blog posts
This will help you boost page views, increase the time your users spend on your site, and ultimately improve the SEO score of your individual blog posts and pages.
WordPress comments optimization
Comments can be a strong indicator of user engagement on your website. Engaged users mean more links to your site, more traffic, and better search engine optimization .
However, you need to ensure that your comments are real and not spam. Spammers send comments that contain bad links that may affect and even ruin your search rankings .
This is why we recommend everyone to start using Akismet. It’s one of the two plugins that come pre-installed with every WordPress site, and it helps you combat comment spam .
If Akismet alone is not able to deal with spam comments .
If your blog posts are attracting a lot of spam-free, original comments, then you should be content with building such an engaging site !
However, too many comments on a post can make it load slower which also affects your search engine rankings. (Continue reading below to learn more about how speed affects SEO ) .
To set up your website so that it can handle the load of comments placed on the server and the speed .
NoFollow external links in WordPress
As mentioned above, links help search engines locate important pages. When you link to a website, you pass some of your site’s SEO score to that link. This SEO result is called “link juice” .
To get good search rankings, you need to make sure that you are getting more links from other websites than you are offering .
Adding the “nofollow” attribute to external links (links to sites you don’t own) tells search engines not to follow those links. This helps you save link juice .
A normal outer link looks like this in HTML :
<span class="HwtZe" lang="en"><span class="jCAhz ChMk0b"><span class="ryNqvb">As mentioned above, links help search engines locate important pages.</span></span> <span class="jCAhz ChMk0b"><span class="ryNqvb">When you link to a website, you pass some of your site's SEO score to that link.</span></span> <span class="jCAhz ChMk0b"><span class="ryNqvb">This SEO result is called "link juice".</span></span> <span class="jCAhz ChMk0b"><span class="ryNqvb">To get good search rankings, you need to make sure that you are getting more links from other websites than you are offering.</span></span> <span class="jCAhz ChMk0b"><span class="ryNqvb">Adding the "nofollow" attribute to external links (links to sites you don't own) tells search engines not to follow those links.</span></span> <span class="jCAhz ChMk0b"><span class="ryNqvb">This helps you save link juice.</span></span> <span class="jCAhz ChMk0b"><span class="ryNqvb">A normal outer link looks like this in HTML:</span></span></span>
An external link to the nofollow attribute looks like this :
<a href="http://example.com" <strong>rel="nofollow"></strong> مثال لموقع ويب </a>
By default, WordPress does not come with an option to make links nofollow. However, if you use the AIOSEO plugin, it makes it easier for you .
When you add a link, just click on the “nofollow” option for the link .
Full posts versus abstracts or excerpts
WordPress displays links to your posts from a number of pages like homepage, category archive, tags archive, history archive, author pages, etc .
By default, it displays the entire content of the article on all of these pages. This affects your site’s SEO Search Engine Optimization, as search engines may find it as duplicate content. Full articles make archive pages load slower .
Showing full articles everywhere also affects your pageviews. For example, users who subscribe to your RSS feed will be able to read the full article in your feed reader without visiting your website .
The easiest way to solve this problem is to display abstracts or excerpts instead of full articles .
You can do this by going to Settings » Reading and selecting Summary .
Improve your site’s speed and performance
Research shows that in the age of the Internet, the average human attention span is shorter than that of a goldfish .
Web usability experts believe that users decide whether they want to stay or leave within a few seconds of visiting a website.
This means that as a website owner, you only have a few seconds to present your content and engage your users. You don’t want to waste that precious time making the visitor wait for your website to load.
Since user experience is so important, search engines like Google prioritize faster websites in their results. In other words, faster websites rank higher in Google.
To improve your website speed, you need to have a fast WordPress hosting provider like SiteGround or Bluehost.
Next, you need to install a caching plugin and follow our ultimate guide to speeding up WordPress (with 24 proven tips).
Optimizing images in WordPress for Search Engine Optimization
Pictures are more attractive than text but they also take longer to load. If you are not careful about image sizes and quality, it can slow down your website .
You need to make sure to use images that are optimized to load faster.
Another trick you can use to optimize your images for search engines is to use a descriptive title and alt tags. These tags help search engines understand what your photo is about. It also helps visually impaired users as screen readers can read alt text to them .
WordPress allows you to easily add title tags and alt tags when you upload an image.
If you are a photographer or add a lot of images to your WordPress site, you need to use a gallery plugin.
Security and safety of your WordPress site
Every week, Google blacklists about 20,000 malware sites and about 50,000 phishing sites. When a site is blacklisted, it does not appear in any search results at all.
This means that the security of your WordPress site is crucial to getting good rankings. You don’t want all your hard work on SEO to go to waste if your site gets hacked by a hacker.
Get started with SSL/HTTPS
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a technology that encrypts the communication between a user’s browser and the server they connect to. This adds an extra layer of security to your WordPress site.
SSL-secured websites are indicated by a padlock sign in the browser’s address bar. This makes your website more trustworthy, which is required if you’re running an online store with WordPress and processing sensitive payment information.
All major WordPress hosting companies offer free SSL certificates with Let’s Encrypt.
If you want a wildcard SSL certificate or just a regular certificate with a security guarantee, we recommend using .Domain.com .
Their SSL certificates come with a minimum security guarantee of $10,000 and a security guarantee of up to $1.75 million. You also get the TrustLogo stamp to display on your site for added credibility.
More WordPress Search Engine Optimization tools and resources
Once you get the WordPress Search Engine Optimization best practices, you’ll want to develop your skills further to get ahead of your competitors.
We have compiled a list of the best WordPress SEO plugins and tools that you should use to boost your SEO(Search Engine Optimization).
We hope this article helped you learn how to properly optimize your WordPress site for Search Engine Optimization . Go ahead and implement some of these WordPress SEO tips, and you should see your traffic increase in a few months as the search engines process your changes.