In a previous blog post, we went over the basics of content optimization – what…
WordPress is a fantastic content management platform for beginner and experienced webmasters alike. But if you are new to the world of digital marketing, you’re probably wondering how to get started. We believe that the first and most important step for beginners is to learn the fundamentals of SEO. SEO refers to the techniques used to increase the quantity and quality of traffic on your website by improving its visibility in the search engine results. This is no simple practice and can be quite intimidating if you’re a beginner. Luckily, we’ve compiled this list of WordPress tips and tricks to have you feeling like an SEO pro in no time.
First, what is SEO?
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a rapidly growing field dedicated to increasing website traffic from online organic search queries. To do so, webmasters and SEO specialists study search engine behavior to determine which factors influence rankings. While Google’s algorithm is top secret, experts have gleaned a wide range of factors involved in its ranking process, making it possible to derive tactics that make a website more compatible with search algorithms. Seeing as Google is the most popular and powerful search engine on the web, your site must be Google friendly for all-intensive SEO purposes.
A Step-by-Step Guide to WordPress Website SEO
While it’s impossible to outline every important SEO method in a single blog post, there are a few fundamental SEO tips that every WordPress site owner should use early on in development to facilitate future strategy.
1. Check Search Engine Visibility Setting
One of the most important settings in your admin panel (if not the most important) is the “Search Engine Visibility” checkbox under “Reading Settings.” If the box titled “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” is checked, you must uncheck it to be able to see your site show up in the search results. When the box is checked, WordPress automatically adds a snippet of code to your website telling search engines to skip over it, which you most definitely do not want.
2. Use Keywords In Your Anchor Text
This next WordPress tip is a bit more technical but still straightforward. A page’s URL gives both the user and search engines insight as to what the page is about. Use this to your advantage and develop a linking structure that contains keywords a prospective user is likely to search. For instance, consider the following URLs:
If you were a potential customer searching for digital marketing consultants, you would be far more likely to click on the first link based on its anchor text. This example outlines the importance of creating a simple and intuitive linking structure that incorporates keywords rather than irrelevant phrases.
3. Deciding on a “WWW” Prefix
One of the first decisions you’ll make as an SEO beginner is whether you want Google to index your site with or without the “www” prefix. It’s completely acceptable to omit the “www”, but if you do, you will need to redirect all non-www links to the same URL structure, as Google views the two as completely different websites. You can do this in WordPress under General Settings.
4. WordPress SEO Plugins
WordPress has thousands of plugins you can choose from to make your job easier. Two of the most widely used SEO plugins are the All in One SEO Pack and Yoast SEO, both of which can take care of some of the more technical tasks for you. While Yoast is slightly less customizable, both plugins are easy-to-use, full-featured SEO managers, and neither requires extensive knowledge to operate.
5. Verify Ownership in Google Search Console
Google Search Console is one of the most powerful tools used to optimize a website for Google’s algorithms, specifically. Search Console is a free service that gives you critical data and reports that allow you to assess and improve website visibility. However, you can’t gain access without verifying ownership of your website, which is a simple process. All you have to do is upload an identifying .html file to your site directory so Google knows your website is in fact yours to index.
Beyond the Basics: Consult SocialSEO’s Experts
While these tips are perfect for beginners, we’ve barely scratched the surface of what WordPress SEO is capable of. Other best practices for an effective SEO strategy include maintaining a fast and secure website. Although it can be difficult to know where to start with more advanced concepts if you’re a beginner to SEO, the good news is that you don’t have to. With SocialSEO’s SEO marketing services, you’ll see substantial visibility and engagement gains without having to do any heavy lifting yourself. If you’re ready for your WordPress website to take off, request more information about our expert solutions.