We know idea of optimizing your WordPress Website for SEO is threatening for you, especially, when you are not a tech geek. Don’t worry, It is not a complicated process. You can start here to learn the basics, and after learning from there start applying what you have learnt here to your own website.
What is SEO?
SEO Stands for Search Engine Optimisation. SEO is a strategy used by the website owners to get more traffic by optimising there website to rank higher in search engines. In SEO, It’s not about tricking the search engines and there systems. It’s about creating a website with optimised and formatted code. SEO is a process by which you can improve your website or blog visibility on Search Engines.
Why SEO is important?
Now we know what SEO is? But why the SEO is so important for our website? We all know that, the biggest source from which most of the websites get traffic are Search Engines, whether it is Google, Bing or any other. Search Engines uses advanced algorithms to rank your web pages appropriately on Search Results.
Read here – What happens when you do a Web Search
But still these advanced algorithms are not perfect to rank your webpages without your help!! You can optimise your content to rank it on search engines. To maximize your website search traffic, it is important for you to make and optimise your website search engine friendly because if you don’t do this, someone search about the content you write or business, your website won’t appear in search results ans miss the search traffic and also leads.
Basic Steps for Optimising your WordPress Website
WordPress has a builtin option for hiding your website from Search Engines Robots.
Login to Admin area of your wordpress website and then Settings>>Reading. Here check and ensure that search engine visibility option checkbox is unchecked to appear your website on search engine results.
Use of Visibility Settings – Think you’re working on website on initial stage, building it and don’t want search engines to crawl your website and list on search results. At that time, you can check this checkbox, and discourage the search engines to list your website on search results pages.
SEO Friendly URL Structure
SEO friendly URLs those URLs, which clearly states your page’s content and easy to readable by both search engines and humans.
Example of SEO frielndly URL –
As you see, above URL is easy to readable and any user can guess what he will going to read and see on that pages just by seeing the URL.
Example of Non-SEO friendly URL –
See the above URLs, Can you or any other user guess what they will find in that page they are clicking on. It is unrelated with your content. SEO friendly URL structures are and related to your content and it also improves your chances of getting better ranking on search engine results.
How to update your URL permalink Structure
Login to your Admin Area. Now Settings>>Permalinks. To make SEO Friendly URL Structure, use Post Name Permalink Structure. Select Post Name option and Save the settings.
Note: If your website is older than 1 year, hen please don’t change this settings, by this you can lose all of your social media shares unless previous setting is post id. if it is post id then change it other wise continue using it.
WWW vs Non-WWW
When you start your website, you have to choose between the www (https://www.techblicks.com) or non-www (https://techblicks.com) in your website’s url. Search engines considered them two different websites.
You set www or non-www preference by clicking Settings>>General. Add your preferred URL in both WordPress Address and Site Address fields.
Note: From SEO point of view, there is no advantage of using one or another.
Best WordPress SEO Plugin
Choose the best WordPress SEO Plugin
Best thing about WordPress is that, there is a plugin for everything. For SEO, there are thousands of plugins, which makes harder for you to choose the best WordPress SEO plugin. Install a single SEO plugin instead of different and separate plugins for all individual SEO tasks.
Both are effective SEO plugins, you can use. At Tech Blicks, we use All in One SEO, so, we use the screenshots from All in One SEO plugin, in the tutorial.
Adding XML Sitemap in WordPress
An XML Sitemap is specially formatted file that lists every single page on your website. XML sitemap makes the work of search engines easy to find all of the website’s content.
XML Sitemaps helps the search engines to find the pages quickly and starts ranking them. It doesn’t boost your website search ranking. All in One SEO plugin, automatically creates XML Sitemap of your website, to find your sitemap, just go to the URL https://techblicks.com/sitemap ( Replace techblicks.com with our website’s url).
Google Search Console
Google Search Console, which is also known a Google Webmaster Tool, is a set of tools provided to website’s owners by Google. By Google Search console, you can get to know or see how the search engine see your content by the reports and data provided by it.
You can also get to know the actual search terms people used to find your website, and how often your pages are saw and clicked by on which search terms.
Search Engine Crawlers, when crawls your website, if they find something wrong on your website, like when they are unable to access, or they find duplicate and restricted resources, they’ll give alerts to you!!
Adding your Website to Google Search Console
Signup/login to Search Console, here in Index>>Sitemaps. In Add new Sitemap, enter url of your sitemap and submit.
Once you’ve successfully added your sitemap, it will appear as pending. Google takes some time to crawl your website, after some time, you’ll be able to see some stats. There you’ll see the reports about how many links found in your sitemap, ratio of images and webpages.
Optimising Website Homepage
For better SEO, it’s important to optimise your website. It will boost your website speed and helps in SEO.
What is Homepage?
The homepage or home page is the name of the main page of a website where visitors can find hyperlinks to other pages on the site. By default, the homepage on all web servers is index.html, however, can also be index.htm, index.php, or whatever the developer decides.
How to optimise your website Homepage?
To make your website SEO friendly, it’s important to optimise your website Home page.
Use only one H1 and H2 tag on your website homepage.
Make sure that these H1 and H2 tags are keywords optimised for better SEO optimisation. By using Keywords optimised H1 and H2 tags, we make easier for the Search Engine algorithm to show our content in relevant search results.
Tools to find H1 and H2 tags on your Homepage
Optimising pages and blog post SEO friendly
In the previous post, we read about the optimisation of Homepage for SEO. Now it’s time to setup our other website pages and blog posts SEO friendly.
Setting up of pages and blog posts
- Use one H1 tag
- Use one H2 tag
- Use one H3 tag
- Use relevant and target keywords in first two paragraphs.
- Write longer articles of 400+ words.
- Use keywords in tags and Categories of blog posts.
H1 tag will be your heading of post.
Use an H2 and an H3 tag in blog post paragraph as a Subheading.
Using Keywords in tags, categories, tags and paragraphs will improve your website SEO.
Best Practices of WordPress SEO
If you follow the basics of WordPress SEO and use the WordPress SEO plugin, you already be ahead of most of the websites. But to get better results, you have to follow best practices of WordPress SEO. These practices aren’t technical and didn’t require any code but you can make a difference by following them.
Proper Use of Categories and Tags in WordPress
You can sort your blog posts into categories and tags in WordPress, which makes easy for you and your website visitor to find the content they are looking for.
You can use categories for grouping your blog posts, it was similar to the table of content in a book. For example, on our website, we categorize the blog posts into different categories like Digital Marketing, Business, Security etc and make sub-categories like SEO, Content Marketing, SMM etc.
While on the other hand, tags are used to describe the specific details of your blog posts. Tag are like micro-data which is used to micro-categorize your content. But you cannot create tags in hierarchical format like categories.
You have to categories your blog posts, but you are not required to add any tags. If we left the categorization of blog posts, then it will be in uncategorized.
All pages of your websites assigned a score known as page authority by search engines. It is secret how search engines assigns score, but most common signals we get are links. Always link your one or more blog posts in another blog posts and pages. It is important for authority score.
Make a checklist for other authors in your blog so they interlink other blog posts.
Internal linking will help increase the time user spend and also pageviews on your website, and by this, your website’s SEO score will improves and also of individual blog posts and pages.
NoFollow External Links
As we know, links helps our website SEO as search engines get to know which page is important with the help of the links. But when you link a website in your blog post or a page, actually you are sharing your SEO score with that link. This SEO score is known as link juice. To get a better search ranking, make sure that you are getting link juice more than the link juice your are giving away to other websites.
How you can save your link juice?
You can save your link juice, by simply adding nofollow atrribute to the external links. This attribute give instructions to search engines for not following it.
Ex- Normal external link in HTML: <a href=”https://techblick.com”>Click on it</a>]
Link with nofollow attribute: <a href=”https;//techblicks.com” rel=”nofollow”>Click this</a>
Advanced WordPress SEO
You follow all the SEO practices to rank high, but what about your website speed and its security? If your site is slow, you can loose your search traffic engine and also you loose your traffic due to security issues.
How to Optimise your Website’s Speed and Performance
A latest researches states that around 57% visitors leave your website due to its loading speed. Google also rank websites, whom are faster in loading. Slow websites will loose visitors, big sites like amazon and google will have a loss of 7% in lead conversion by 1 sec delay. So, it’s very important to optimise your website speed and performance. Read the following points to know how you can speed up your website.
- Update your WordPress
- Update PHP version
- Use optimised Theme
- Use Cache Plugin
- Use Minimum Plugins
- Optimise Images
- Optimise Background processes
- Use Excerpts instead of full articles on Homepage
- Break down comments into pages
- Use CDN (Content Delivery Network)
- Link Audio/Video instead of Direct uploading
How to Optimise images for SEO
In recent reports, it shows that images are more engaging than text on your blog. But careful of image sizes, if the size is big, it takes long time to load. Be sure to optimise your images to load your website faster.
You also have to optimise your images for search engines too, this will help you for improving your website ranking. Use titles, Descriptions, alt tags. This will help search engines and also visual impaired for understanding about the image is.
How to Secure your WordPress Website
Security of WordPress website is a important topic. Google blacklists many websites every hour due to malware and phishing. Pay attention to your WordPress website security. You can adopt best practices to secure your website.
You’re getting a good revenue and have a reputation, bit if your website hacked… It will be lost!! You have to pay ransomware to get access back.
Read the following points to know how you can secure your website.
- Update WordPress
- Use Strong Passwords
- WordPress Security Plugin
- Enable WAF (Web Application Firewall)
- Move to SSL/HTTPS
- Use Limit Login Attempts
- Use Two Factor Authentication
- Protect WordPress admin and login page
- Disable Directory Indexing
- Disable XML-RPC in WordPress
- Scan WordPress for Malware