One of the main reasons we all prefer WordPress as your website’s CMS is because you’ve read that it is SEO-friendly out of the box. But that doesn’t mean launching a WordPress website is enough to rank in the search engine. You must still understand SEO tactics and how to implement SEO in WordPress. The good news is that WordPress made it simple for us to increase our Google traffic. WordPress SEO helps improve your website’s ranking on search engines and drive high organic traffic. WordPress is one of the best management systems for SEO.
This article will explain the WordPress essentials, SEO, and why it’s important, and go from setting up an SEO-friendly website to improving SEO, loading speed, and optimizing content. In addition, we’ll go through some best practices and plugins for SEO.
Let’s start by understanding what SEO is and how to implement its strategies.
Table of Contents
- What is SEO, and why is it important?
- Implement and setup SEO on a WordPress website (10 steps)
What is SEO, and why is it important?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing your website’s organic traffic and improving its ranking and visibility on search engines. SEO is about creating a website with optimized code and formatting, making it easy for search engines to crawl and find your website. It helps improve a website’s visibility and credibility and increase its conversion rate.
SEO is important because when you optimize your WordPress website and content, you have more chances to reach the people consistently searching for information about services and products related to your niche. This is done organically with SEO tips and tricks. Creating organic content and ranking content is beneficial because your website and the information on it are more likely to be seen as reliable and trustworthy by visitors than other paid content.
Anyone with an online business should improve their SEO, and it’s a simple way of increasing traffic and website authority.
Implement and Setup SEO in WordPress Website:
The following guide will provide different ways to improve your WordPress website’s SEO drastically, boost your organic traffic, increase your website’s authority on search engines, and get more visitors and customers through user engagement.
1. Check the visibility of your website.
To implement SEO on a WordPress website, check your visibility setting in WordPress. This software has a setting that allows you to hide or show your website on search engine results pages. You can hide your website when you’re building or rebuilding your site and don’t want visitors to see your work in progress. You will find this feature in your WordPress dashboard under “settings” and the “reading” section. If you turn on the option, your site is not indexed or crawled by the search engines.
After completing the website work, double-check that you haven’t accidentally turned on this feature. Your site will not work, so uncheck the box after completing the work.
2. Change Permalinks
A permalink is a permanent link to a specific page, post, or blog link present on your website. Permalinks clearly show what your posts, pages, or blog are about, so visitors know what they are clicking on and will learn. To implement SEO in WordPress, you must update your permalinks to improve the user experience and SEO. Search engines first determine the permalink to identify whether your website has specific search queries or not.
For example, if you’re giving social media marketing services, the permalink of that specific page might look something like: www.mysite.com/social-media-marketing-services.
To change the permalinks of your website pages, head to your WordPress dashboard, click on the “settings,” and you’ll find the option of “permalinks.” Change the permalinks, click Save when you’re done, and proceed next.
3. Use tags and categories in your website:
Different tags and categories initially separate your website pages and blog posts into specific groups. This improves your SEO performance because it allows search engines to understand your website hierarchy and the content your website wants to deliver. Tags and categories improve the user experience by allowing visitors to find the content quickly they’re looking for and making it easier for you to manage the whole website’s content.
Tags are types of keywords that you can use to describe what a specific page or post is about. To add a new tag or view your already added tags, go to your WordPress dashboard and click “posts” and then “tags.”
Categories are considered as groups of your posts and pages. It depends on how you broadly divide your pages and posts into different categories according to their content.
To create a category, go to your WordPress dashboard “settings” and click on “writing.” In this tab, you can see your current categories and add a new one.
4. Choose the best SEO plugin.
One of the best things about WordPress is that there’s always a plugin for everything, and SEO is not an exception in this case. WordPress plugins always enhance the functionality of your website by adding valuable features that don’t come standard with the software. There are thousands of plugins available on WordPress, most of which help you improve your SEO. If you’re still confused about which plugin you have to implement on your site, you can check the WordPress Plugin Library for a better understanding of what fits your needs.
When choosing the best SEO plugins, you will most likely prefer two options for the best SEO on your website: All in One SEO (AIO SEO) and Yoast SEO. These plugins offer features to help you build XML Sitemaps, implement tags and categories, and optimize the title and content of the website by using specific keywords and key phrases.
AIO SEO is the original WordPress SEO used by over 3 million websites. You can easily download and install the SEO Plugin on your website and begin your journey to improve your SEO.
5. Implement XML Sitemaps:
In WordPress, an XML sitemap is a code file on your website that contains each page. They help search engines find, evaluate, crawl, and rank the content on your site according to the user experience. There’s no worry if you’re unaware of writing XML sitemap code manually. The easiest option is to install an SEO plugin for the XML sitemaps, such as Yoast SEO, that contains XML sitemaps as a whole, or you can install the Google XML Sitemaps plugin that creates sitemaps for you automatically.
For more details, XML plugins, and why WordPress prefers using sitemaps on your website, check out the WordPress Sitemaps Page.
6. Internal linking on your site
It’s a thumb rule to improve the SEO of your website. It would be best if you improve your website’s authority. One of the main ways search engines determine your site’s authority is by the number of internal links to your pages, posts, and other content on the website. Select the text you want to link for internal linking, click on the link option in the WordPress Toolbar, and copy and paste the link. Check out this WordPress linking page to understand and implement other ways of linking.
7. Optimize Images:
On a WordPress site, you can optimize almost everything, including images. Visual representation is the central part of every website. To better optimize images, use Image-Alt-Text. Search engines prefer Image-Alt-Text, which is a description of your images, to rank your site and determine whether or not your images have the information being searched by the users.
The easiest way to optimize your images is to install the SEO Optimized Images Plugin, and you’re ready to go. Remember to use dashes to separate the words when writing Alt-Text; if you write with hyphens or without dashes, Google will consider it one word and will not rank it as people searching for different words. This tells the search engine that you are using multiple different words.
8. Start using SSL certificates or HTTPS:
A secure Socket Layer (SSL) is a technology that encrypts and manages the connection between a browser and a server. SSL is information shared between your website and visitors to ensure they remain secure. For example, suppose someone places an order on your website and lists their credit card information for billing purposes.
In that case, the SSL confirms that the information is secure and cannot be intercepted by any hacker along the way. In SEO, SSL improves WordPress SEO because Google and search engines look for secure and encrypted connections that are secure for the user when determining the website ranking.
You can clear it by comparing that if one site has an SSL and the other does not, google prefers the one in ranking that with SSL. Another advantage of a WordPress website is that WordPress.com automatically adds SSL to your site, and you have no need to implement it manually. But if you are using a different type of account like WordPress.org require security individually, you can install the SSL Plugin available in WordPress or Real Simple SSL and implement SEO in WordPress with SSL.
9. Add no-follow external links:
When you internally link pages on your site, it gives you self-authority. However, when you externally link sources to your website because you believe your visitors should read and experience the content, you assist them in gaining authority and providing link juice to those websites. So in this sense, external linking is good for your SEO. No-follow external links prevent content spam on your website and prevent search engines from being able to follow those URLs to the site you’re linking to your website. In this way, you are only improving your website authority and ranking in the eyes of search engines.
You can manually add a no-follow link in the link relations form field. In contrast, there are a number of No Follow plugins available on WordPress that you can use to add No Follow external links to improve ranking. It’s another way of implementing SEO in WordPress.
10. Security and Safety:
Unfortunately, every week Google blacklists around 20,000 websites for malware and around 50,000 for phishing. We all know that if a website is blacklisted, it doesn’t appear in the search results, and search engines don’t crawl it. This means that the security and safety of your website are crucial elements for better rankings on search engines. You don’t want your hard work of years on SEO, and the ranking of your website goes in a blink of an eye of your site comprised by a hacker, and you are left with bare hands. For the safety and security of your website, you should install Wordfence Security or iTheme security plugins available on WordPress to enhance your site’s protection.
What is the best free SEO plugin in WordPress?
Yoast is a well-known and established SEO plugin for WordPress. In addition, it comes in both a free, feature-packed version and a paid version for more advanced features. One of the most valuable features of Yoast SEO is its ability to customize page titles, meta descriptions, and headings.
What is an SEO plugin in WordPress?
SEO plugins in WordPress are tools created to complement features on websites and blogs to make them even more complete and optimized. They offer a variety of useful features and options for users to customize their pages, making it easier to meet strategy requirements and rank on search engines.
What should be included in SEO services?
Following are the SEO services included when you hire an SEO professional or SEO company.
- Website structure analysis
- Content Analysis of the Website, including Rate Analysis
- Off-Page Analysis
- Code Optimization
- On-Site Content Optimization or On-Page Analysis
- Off-Page Factors Optimization
How do you know if SEO is working or not?
Knowing where your keywords are indexed and rank in search results is the main factor determining your SEO efforts. If there is some movement and fluctuation in the first three months of your rankings, that’s a good sign.
How do I track my SEO conversions?
Most of the time, people use Google Analytics to track conversions and leads. Google Analytics is easy to set up and free.
Anyone can implement SEO in WordPress and improve it. Implementing these tips in this guide will increase your website’s authority and ranking on search engines. When you succeed in this, you’ll notice an increase in website visitors, leads, and conversions. Consider hiring an SEO professional so you can focus on the other elements of the website. Contact us now for professional SEO services that rank your website on Google and increase your leads and sales.