What are you doing for WordPress SEO? Have you optimized your website for SEO? You need to implement SEO strategies…
Like it or not, you will get a lot of these questions when you begin your online journey!
Getting online is easy – even for newbies and people with no technical skills! To get started you can use Bluehost’s website builder to build your WordPress website. It requires zero coding experience and the plans come bundled with many features that make it easy for you to build a strong online presence. It’s an easy, intuitive step-by-step process to build your customized website. Next, get the right hosting plan. Then you can create your social media pages and start your blog.
But how do you get traffic? How do you improve your ranking on search engines? How do you get the attention of your target audience?
Well, that’s where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in.
In simple words, you optimize your website and content to make it rank better on search engines. So next time a person is searching for products/services you offer, you pop up as a result of that search.
Additionally, good rankings not just help you get more traffic but also generate more leads; thus, more conversions, sales and profits.
However, if you’re new to SEO it could be a little overwhelming! Where do you start? What do you do? How do you know what works? To make this simple, we’ve created this WordPress SEO checklist to help you get the most from your WordPress website.
Before we go on to the checklist, make sure your website is visible for search engines. How do you do that?
- Login to your WordPress admin account.
- Go to Settings > Reading
- Scroll down to Search Engine Visibility and make sure that the option ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this site’ is UNCHECKED.
The next thing you need to do is use SEO friendly URLs. This means your URL represents what the website page content is all about. For example, look at the two URLs below:
The first URL makes it clear that the page talks about a product, a black bed to be specific. However, the second URL is vague and gives neither website visitors nor search engines any indication as to what the page contents are. You want your website URL to be like the first one – clear, easy to understand and relevant.
How do you do that?
- Login to your WordPress Admin account
- Go to Settings > Permalinks
- Select the Post Name option and Save Changes
Okay then! Now that our basics are taken care of, let’s head to the WordPress SEO checklist to bump our content rankings.
WordPress SEO Checklist to Boost Content Rankings
Plugins, best practices, speed and security, optimizing blogs… these are just some of the many factors that together make up for good SEO for your WordPress website. Let’s look at the most critical factors that help you boost SEO and in turn boost your content rankings.
WordPress SEO Plugins
WordPress plugins allow you to add different functionalities to your WordPress website. Be it plugins to boost security, add payment methods or add e-commerce functions, plugins play a major role in helping you better your website experience. SEO plugins for WordPress are no different and built to help boost SEO for your website. Yoast SEO and All In One SEO (AIOSEO) are the two most popular SEO plugins used by WordPress website users across the world.
Create an XML Sitemap
An XML sitemap lists all your website pages making it easier for search engines to find and populate your website pages. If you opt for AIOSEO the plugin will automatically create an XML sitemap for your website. Otherwise, you’ll need to create an XML sitemap. Don’t let the technical term overwhelm you, it’s easy. You are basically creating a sitemap of how your website is structured and the different website pages you have.
Add Your Website to Google Search Console
Google search console is a set of tools that Google offers websites to help website owners see and understand how their content appears and is viewed on search engines. This helps you analyze your website content and know what’s working, or not working, for your website for search engines to rank it. You can add your website to the Google search console to better your website and also get alerts in case of issues like duplicate content.
Optimize Blogs for SEO
If you have a blog (you really must!) start optimizing the blog content for SEO. Start by doing keyword research. This will not only help optimize your content but will also help you come up with the right topics based on what your audience is searching for. Your SEO plugin will give you the option to optimize every blog with a Focus Keyword, Title and Description to get optimize it for search engines. This will also give you a preview of how your blog posts will appear on the search engines, thus allowing you to make it even better. Once you add your blog post content, scroll down to the SEO section and optimize. Here’s a glimpse of what it looks like:
WordPress SEO Best Practices
When we talk about best practices for WordPress SEO there’s a lot you can do apart from the SEO plugins, Firstly, you can add categories and tags to your blogs to make it easy for blog readers to navigate through your blog and also for search engines to show relevant blogs that fall under the relevant categories and blogs. Create set categories and add relevant tags every time you post a blog. Continuing with the same example shown above, here are the categories and tags you could use:
Also always link to internal pages and blogs to add more page authority and credibility for your blogs. This helps search engines know that your content is relevant for a user’s search. Additionally, linking to relevant external pages and encouraging other blogs/websites to link to your pages and blogs will also help bump your authority for search engines.
Optimize Website Performance and Speed for WordPress SEO
Website speed and page load time greatly affect SEO. You need to ensure that your website loads within a few seconds when someone lands on it. Additionally, people only want to interact or do business with websites that guarantee security. Ensure your website is safe and secure to build trust and also let search engines know that you are a reliable website. How do you do that?
- Get a reliable Web hosting plan from a provider that guarantees great uptime and performance.
- Reduce image and video sizes so they don’t take up too much space, resources and bandwidth.
- Install a caching plugin
- Speed up your website with the right tips and practices
- Get an SSL certificate
- Install security plugins
Check. Check. GO!
This is our checklist to get you started with WordPress SEO and build as you grow. SEO is not a one-time task but an ongoing practice. As you keep growing, adding more pages to your website, build your social media presence and using more channels to get noticed, keep following SEO best practices.
You know you have a great website and even better products and services – make sure your target audience takes notice! Get on with SEO and ace those rankings.
For more tips and useful information to grow your online presence, head to the WordPress Tutorials page.