Guess how much traffic will go to Google’s first page.
So, ranking on Google’s first page will skyrocket your website traffic.
Improving your WordPress SEO is crucial for ranking on Google’s first page and increasing your website traffic.
So, In today’s post, I will share top SEO techniques and tips to properly optimize your WordPress website.
Chapter 1: Introduction
I know, if you are a beginner the idea of optimizing the website can be intimidating. But don’t worry.This post will help you learn Search engine optimization (SEO) from scratch.
So, let’s directly dive in.
What Is SEO?
Search engine optimization or SEO is set of rules that can be followed by website (or blog) owners to optimize their websites for search engines and thus improve their search engine rankings and traffic to a website.
Why Is SEO Important?
The number of people using internet search engines is increasing year on year and is almost unfathomable.
As of today, six billion searches are made in a day using all search engines.
Among these six billion searches, hardly very few (about 5%) look for the answers after the first page. So, if you can rank high up in search results you can drive huge traffic to your site.
As of today, you can’t rank high in search results if your post isn’t Search engine optimized. This makes SEO very important.
It is really important for all website owners to make their website search engine friendly so that they can maximize their search traffic.
Chapter 2: Basics, WordPress SEO
I thought it would be a good idea to explain the terms that are associated with SEO before you start optimizing your site.
So, let’s start.
When you Google something you will get tons of search results, then you will click on those results which you think will be the best fit for your query.
The title tag has long been thought of as the most important on-site factor in telling search engines what your site (or a page) is about.
You will have full control in writing title for your post. You should make sure you write eye catchy headlines so that you can get more clicks.
If people love the title then they are most likely to visit your site. If you want help in writing eye catchy headlines, you can check it out here.
Permalinks are simply the URL for your posts. By default in WordPress, post titles tend to look like example.com/?p=127 but if you look at the URL for this post you will see http://example.com/sample-post/.
I think you liked the new URL format. Didn’t you?
This format not only tells your visitor what the page is about, but it also highlights your URL in search results.
When you search for a query in Google, you’ll see a snippet of content under the page link, they are meta tags. To control this, you can customize your meta description tag for the page.
You can customize your meta description using SEO plugin.
Although most of the meta descriptions are written manually, Headspace plugin allows you to auto-fill meta description.
4.WWW or Non-WWW
You might notice in the search results that few website’s URL will have WWW and in few, they hide WWW.This is in the interest of website owner.
If you are starting a new website, then you should choose your preference whether you want to use www(http://www.example.com) or non-www (http://example.com) in your site’s URL.
Once you choose one format then you should stick with that format because according to Google one format is different from other and both are different websites.
If you change your format after publishing few posts. Then there are chances that pages get duplicated.
Some might say, from an SEO point of view there is no advantage of using one over other. But you should choose one format and stick to that format.
Chapter 3: Plugins
While the time of publishing the post you might think of adding features like contact forms, galleries, sliders, etc, you need to use WordPress plugins.
These plugins are the software’s which can add new features to your WordPress blog.
To use these plugins no coding skills are required.
We have plugins for optimizing the site to search engines.
Although there are many plugins for different SEO tasks, I would prefer to use one single plugin which does all SEO tasks.
Choosing Best SEO Plugin
There are many SEO plugins available in WordPress.
But I personally recommend SEO plugin by Yoast. This is a free and simple plugin which takes care of many aspects of your site’s Search engine optimization.
Using Yoast plugin you can do following things:
- Can add meta description for homepage and single post.
- Notifies search engines when new content is published.
- Can add focus keyword to your post.
- One step in social sharing.
- Automatically generates XML sitemap.
- Edit robots.txt and .htaccess
- Control indexing of particular posts.
- Can hide dates from search engine snippets.
Check out the detailed guide to setup Yoast plugin here.
Chapter 4: Start Optimizing Your Site
If you think installing an SEO plugin will do all your job in optimizing your site for search engines, then you are in the wrong perception.
SEO is an ongoing process and you should practice using best SEO techniques to optimize your site for search engines.
Optimizing Blog Posts For Search Engines
Yoast plugin allows you to add a title, meta description, and focus keyword to every blog post and page. It also shows you a preview of what users will see when they Google your website.
You should just scroll down to the Yoast SEO section and you can change the look of the snippet that appears in search engines.
Bonus: If all the lights turn green then that indicates your post is properly optimized for search engines.
I strongly recommend you to focus on Title tag and meta description to get more clicks on your post.
Create A Search Console Account And Rank In Google
So once you are done writing the post, now you should publish the post.
If you think just by hitting that publish button on the right top corner of your dashboard will rank your post higher in search results then you are wrong.
Then, where’s the catch?
You should tell Google about your site and ask Google to index( a process of adding your posts to Google) the contents of your site.
Ok.But how to do that?
Firstly, you should create a Google search console account and then add your site to Google search console. Once you have added your site then Yoast plugin will tell Google to index your site, whenever you publish new content.
Here is the complete guide add your site to your search console account.
So, now Google can index your new posts as soon as you publish it.
Bonus: use this technique and make your post appear on Google within a minute.
Chapter 5: Best SEO Practices
If you follow the basics of WordPress SEO and use the best WordPress SEO plugin, you will already be ahead of most websites in search results.
But our aim is to rank high up on the first page. I think these SEO practices mentioned below might help in achieving our goal.
1. Make Link Building A Priority
I can say link building is one of the effective SEO techniques which will rank your site at the top of search results.
This is because Google came out and said that, they give top most priority to quality links while ranking a site in search results.
If you are neglecting link building then you are missing out tons of organic traffic to your site.
Also while writing includes internal(links to other posts on your site) and external links(links to other posts from different sites).
If you want to build high-quality links to your site check out my recent post on link building techniques.Where I have covered the best link building techniques.
2.SEO Optimize Images On Your Site
We all know that computers can’t understand images, only humans can.
Since about 2 million blog posts are published everyday Google can’t appoint someone to report what the image is about.
So, Google uses alt tags and description to know what the image is about. This will be the column where you should fill the alt tags and description.
Although images are more engaging than text, adding an image to a page decreases the page load speed. So you should plugins like WP SMUSH which optimizes the images for fast loading of pages.
3. Concentrate On Security And Safety Of Your WordPress Site
There are a few integral factors that make WordPress potentially vulnerable to attack, but the core issue is to its enormous popularity.
Google blacklists around 20,000 websites for malware and 50,000 for phishing every week. So, they never appear in search results.
So, to maintain high rankings you need to keep your site going.
Although WordPress has lots of security plugins I would All in one WP security and firewall plugin. So try out this plugin and keep your site going.
4. Don’t Do The Same Mistake As Others
No hosting company in the world can offer 100% uptime and reliability. Even the best hosting services will have the problem with their data centers.
Even if you use a security plugin on your website, there is still the risk of a malicious script injecting malware or a virus onto your website.
So, I recommend you to have a complete backup of your site.
This can help you restore your site whenever you want. So, consider having a backup of your site.
I highly recommend you to go through this guide while creating a backup.
So, try considering having a backup of your site regularly.
I have tried covering all the concepts along with basic SEO techniques that are required for a beginner to start optimizing their website.
I hope you like this SEO tutorial. Let me know how your comments through the comments section.