Ok so you have your site up and running, but you’re not getting found in search engines as well as you hoped you would. So how do you optimise WordPress for search engines?
In this tutorial we are going to make a number of steps to show you how to SEO WordPress
SEO Tip 1: Use the Correct Permalinks
Permalinks is a setting which controls your URL structure, if you have it so you see yoursite.com?p=1 then this isn’t the best use, its ideal to have a keyword in your URL.
- Login to your WordPress admin
- Hover over settings in the menu and click Permalinks
- Click the radio button next to Post Name
- Click Save Changes. Your urls should now look like mysite.com/post-name/
SEO Tip 2: Speed, Speed, Speed
The speed of your website is a huge ranking factor. Firstly try your website in https://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/, your site should load in 2-3 seconds or under. Any slower and you could be losing visitors who don’t want to wait.
You need to install and configure the following plugins, this should speed up your site massively.
- WP Super Cache
- WP Minify
- Use Google Libraries
SEO Tip 3: WordPress SEO by Yoast
WordPress SEO by Yoast is the best WordPress SEO Plugin. It only needs a little configuration to get going, and the benefits of it running are huge. Install it and configure it now!
SEO Tip 4: Fill in Page Meta Data
It’s important now you have WordPress SEO by Yoast installed that you go and fill in the meta data and check the SEO on every page of your site. Go to a post and you will now see in the publish box on the right a “SEO Check” box. you need to make sure this is green every time. You will have a new section called WordPress SEO by Yoast, and in this box a Focus keyword. set this to the keyword that the page/post is focusing on, eg SEO WordPress and then click save, it will show you where you need to add the keyword, so fill out the SEO title, Meta Description and make sure everything else says yes.
SEO Tip 5: Fill in Homepage Meta Data
Remember to fill in your homepage metal inside WordPress SEO by yoast, this will set the meta for the main page of your site, so make sure you think globally when writing this meta
SEO Tip 6: Blog more often!
Having fresh, relevant content is a huge step in SEO. You need to post regularly to keep your freshness ranking up. I would personally recommend trying to post at least once a week to on set days.
SEO Tip 7: Don’t Over Target Pages!
Aim to target each page to 1 main keyword. Make sure this keyword is a long tail keyword, for example “how to SEO WordPress” that way the page is also targeted to say “SEO WordPress” and “how to SEO” and so on.
If you need to market to more than one keyword, write a new landing page for this keyword, and put a link to it in the footer of your site. make sure you don’t just duplicate your content, write fresh content for this keyword!
SEO Tip 8: Don’t Stuff Keywords
You need to make sure your content isn’t stuffed with keywords, this will mark it as web spam and you will lose rankings. It is a primitive check but ultimately I would check your keyword density aren’t above 5%. Check it here.
SEO Tip 9: Add your sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools
WordPress SEO by Yoast has a sitemap plugin, but its best to sign up to Google Webmaster Tools and submit this sitemap so you can a) monitor changes b) be alerted to any malware and c) increase your visibility in Google. Sign up for Google webmaster tools, submit your site map (which will be located at https://yoursite.co.uk/sitemap_index.xml)
SEO Tip 10: Location Based Hosting
It’s an often missed factor of Websites, but having the site hosted in the same location as your target audience is very important! if you have a UK Market, you need to host with a UK WordPress Host to help better list your rankings in Google UK!
SEO is a fine art and as ever, don’t expect these changes to work straight away. I personally would expect changes in a few weeks. The best thing to keep up with in the above steps is blogging/writing news more often. The more content you add to your site, the more targeted your site is in search engines, and this will boos your rankings.