How to Optimize Your WordPress Website for SEO
Learning about tips and plugins to help you optimize your WordPress website for SEO will save you time and headache.
Many people seem to believe that just getting a WordPress site up, running, and filled with content is the hard part. It’s not. Optimizing your site for SEO can not only be confusing but also time-consuming and defeating for a new user.
Optimizing your WordPress website for SEO is super important for getting it recognized by search engines. Once your page is properly recognized, you can enjoy more traffic and exposure. Which is necessary to create the buzz you need to get you noticed. These tips and plugins are sure to make that task loads simpler by helping you optimize your WordPress website for SEO without all of the hassles.
Don’t make your site visible until you’re ready to launch
A big mistake that many beginners make is publishing their site or pages before they’re public ready. This can not only confuse search engines and lower your rank, but it can also turn viewers off to your content. There are a few great ways to keep your content under wraps until it’s ready.
To keep your entire website hidden from search engines, WordPress features a “Search Engine Visibility” option. You can access this from the Admin area by selecting Settings >> Reading page. Make sure that you uncheck this box when you’re ready to launch.
WordPress NoIndex/NoFollow Tags
Use rel=“noindex” or rel=“nofollow” tags in the pages of your blog to keep them from getting crawled before they’re ready. Additionally, use the rel=“nofollow” tag for hyperlinks that don’t relate directly to your page content. The rel=“noindex” on less important pages that have duplicate content or titles to keep Google bots from thinking you’re duplicating your content across multiple pages.
Use SEO Friendly URLs
Permalinks are a great place to stash some SEO friendly keywords and improve your site rankings. WordPress defaults to using ?p=[id number] to generate permalinks for your pages. Search engines don’t recognize this format.
Circumvent this issue by manually switching permalinks to a text-based structure. Using the structure of “Yourdomain.com/year/whatever-your-post-is-titled”.
You can input specific keywords that search engine bots can recognize. You can alter your permalinks structure in the WordPress Settings >> Permalinks page.
Get an SEO Plugin
If you’re just starting out, getting an SEO plugin is one of the easiest ways to optimize your WordPress website for SEO. These plugins allow you to monitor traffic, keywords, meta descriptions, and loads more depending on which you choose to go with. There are a number of free online plugins for SEO (Yoast or All-In-One-SEO for instance), so don’t feel like you need a paid version to start.
Create a XML Sitemap
Sitemaps provide search engines links to all of the content on your site. This makes it easier for the search engine to index your content. A sitemap won’t necessarily boost your rankings, but it does allow search engines to find and rank your pages sooner.
Some SEO plugins will automatically curate a .xml sitemap for you. When you have the .xml sitemap created, submit it to Google and Bing. Adding your site to Google Search Console can streamline any processes that your sitemap plugin may not perform for you (I.e. submitting your sitemap).
Google Search Console
Google Search Console (old Google Webmaster Tool) is an SEO tool that shows you exactly how Google views your site. It gives users reports and data on how their site is seen by Google, which can tell you what’s working well on your site, and what isn’t. To learn more about Google Search Console, check out their page.
Keep Your Site Quick
Speed is an important factor when it comes to search engine rankings. Your site should always load quickly. There are a few tricks to ensure that this happens without fail:
– Use a caching plugin
– Pick a good Webhost / server
– Use a CDN for larger site performance
– Optimize images on your site (weight – use image compression – and ALT text)
Each one of these tricks and plugins can considerably improve the speed of your site. This will not only benefit your site with search engine rankings, but it also makes your site more user-friendly for viewers.