Improving WordPress SEO means getting more traffic to your website. Unfortunately, most SEO guides are too technical for beginners to understand.
If you’re serious about increasing traffic to your website, you need to learn and apply the best practices for optimizing SEO. In this article, we will share with you some basic WordPress SEO knowledge to help you improve your WordPress website and get more traffic.
Basic Introduction to WordPress SEO
We all know that basic concepts of WordPress SEO can be overwhelming for beginners, especially if they don’t have a technical background.
But don’t worry, in fact, SEO is not as complicated as you might think. Start reading this article to understand the basics of WordPress SEO, and you can begin to apply it to your own website.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a strategy used by website administrators to gain more traffic by achieving a higher rank on search engines.
The basics of SEO are not about tricking Google or playing a system. It’s simply about creating a well-optimized code and format that makes it easy for search engines to collect information about your website.
When people search for keywords and phrases on search engines, the best-optimized content will appear at the top of the search engine, and you will receive more clicks to your website.
Why is SEO so important?
Search engines are usually the largest source of organic traffic for most websites.
Google and other search engines use advanced algorithms to understand and rank pages in a logical way. However, those algorithms are not perfect – they still need your help to understand what your content is about.
If your content is not optimized for SEO, then the search engines will not be able to rank it. When people search for a topic that you write about, your website will not appear in the search results, and you will miss out on a lot of traffic as a result.
This is especially important for online businesses that operate over the internet. The more search engine-friendly their website is, the more potential customers they will have.
That’s why understanding the basics of SEO is crucial for every industry and business sector.
The Basics of WordPress SEO
To optimize a website for SEO, it is helpful to have some technical knowledge, but it is not necessary.
Just knowing some basic SEO tricks to optimize your website can improve your traffic. So let’s learn about WordPress SEO.
Check website visibility settings
WordPress comes with a feature that allows you to hide a website from search engines. This feature helps you to have time to prepare your website before making it publicly available.
However, sometimes you may accidentally select this feature, making your website disappear from search engines.
If your website does not appear on search engines, the first thing you need to think about is to make sure that you have not checked this option.
Simply go to the WordPress admin area, then go to Settings > Reading.
Scroll down to the Search Engine Visibility option and make sure that the Discourage search engines from indexing this site option is not checked.
Use SEO-friendly path structure in WordPress
Another fundamental thing about WordPress SEO that you need to pay attention to is SEO-friendly URLs, also known as URLs that are friendly to search engines. These URLs include clear and concise words that explain the content of a page and can be easily read by both humans and search engines.
Some examples of SEO-friendly URLs are:
Pay attention to the URLs that are fairly easy to read and users can guess what content they will read just by looking at the URL.
Some examples of bad paths for SEO:
Note that this URL uses a number unrelated to the content, and users cannot predict what they will read by looking at the URL.
Using a SEO-friendly permalink structure is the best way to improve a website’s ranking on search engines. It is also one of the fundamental aspects of WordPress SEO that you should understand.
Here is how you can check and update the permalink structure of your WorPress site.
Go to Settings > Permalinks. Select “Post name” and click “Save Changes” to save the settings.
If your website has been operational for more than 6 months, you should not change the permalink structure unless you are using the “Numeric” or “Plain” options. If you are using Day and Name or Month and Name, then you should continue to use it.
Changing the permalink structure on a website can result in the loss of all shares on social media and the risk of losing current rankings on search engines.
If you must change your permalink structure, seek the help of an WordPress SEO expert so they can set up appropriate redirects, but you will still lose social media shares.
WWW and non-WWW
If you are just getting started with your website then you need to choose whether you want to use www (https://www.yourwebsite.com). Or there is no www (https://yourwebsite.com) in the link of the website.
Search engines will treat them as 2 different websites, so you need to pick one and keep it.
You can install it by going to Settings > General. Add the URL to both the “WordPress Address” and “Site Address” boxes.
Using SEO plugin
The best part about using WordPress is that it has all the necessary plugins for everything, and SEO is no exception. There are thousands of WordPress SEO plugins that make it difficult for beginners to choose which one is the best.
When it comes to choosing the best WordPress SEO plugin, you will hear the most three names: Yoast SEO, All in One SEO and Rank Math.
Add XML Sitemaps to WordPress
XML Sitemap is a specially formatted file to list all the links present on a website. It makes it easier for search engines to crawl your content.
While adding an XML sitemap doesn’t affect your search rankings, it helps search engines find those pages faster and start ranking them right away.
If you use a WordPress SEO plugin, it will automatically generate the XML sitemap for you. To go to the sitemap, just go to the following path: yourwebsite.com/site_index.xml
Add Google Search Console to the website
Google Search Console, also known as Webmaster Tools, is a tool provided by Google that gives users an overview of how their content is displayed on the search engine.
This tool provides reports and data to help you understand how your page will show up in search engines. You can also see the actual search words and phrases people are using to find your site, how each page appears in the search results, and how often the pages are clicked on.
All that information helps you understand what is working well on your website and what is not. Then you can plan your content strategy accordingly.
Google Search Console also warns you when something is wrong with your site, like when a search engine can’t crawl something, finds duplicate content, or when resources are limited.
Keyword research before writing
Before you write, you need to think carefully about what topic you should write about and how to write it. No matter how good an article is, if no one cares or searches for it, it won’t bring any benefit.
That’s why you need to do thorough keyword research before writing articles. There are many ways to research keywords, and often, you will use some tools for analysis. One of the basic skills of SEO is to be proficient in the use of supporting tools.
As Google Keyword Planner is a tool of Google, it will give you keyword suggestions such as the number of keywords that are searched in a month, the level of difficulty, and the level of competition.
In addition, you must also pay attention to the longtail keywords that help you easily target the niche. Read the articles below to learn more about this issue.
Optimize SEO for your articles
Often, beginners have the misconception that simply installing and activating the WordPress SEO plugin is all it takes. SEO is a long process that you need to work on if you want the best results.
The WordPress SEO plugin allows you to add title, description, and focus keywords to each post and page. It also allows you to see a preview of how the user will see the page on search engines.
WordPress SEO Summary
Those are the most basic things you can do to SEO your WordPress site. From these basic WordPress SEO skills, you need to constantly update your skills to stay ahead of your competition.
We have compiled a list of 10 SEO boosting plugins you must know for your reference. And especially, we recommend you use Rank Math, a great SEO plugin for WordPress.
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