If you have reached this article, you probably Googled “How do I SEO my WordPress Site?” or something along those lines. We are here to give you 5 actionable tips, that you can start implementing now if you have a WordPress site and want to start gaining visibility using Search Engine Optimization.
Before taking any steps to optimize your site, check that your visibility settings are configured in a way that allows search engines to crawl an index your site. You can do this by going to Settings> Reading>Search Engine Visibility, unticking the box and clicking “save changes.”
Once we are sure our site is actually being crawled, we can start implementing SEO strategies that will have your WP site moving up the search results rankings.
1. SEO my website´s default permalink
One of the first things I learned when I first attempted to SEO my website was how to change permalinks. WP’s permalink is an odd code that looks somewhat like this: ?p=[id]. This doesn’t really tell search engines anything about your site, or the page itself. There are two ways of improving this.
The first one is substituting the default link with the page or post´s name. The second one is using relevant keywords as the link.
How do you go about doing this?
You can edit the permalink by going to Settings > Permalinks. You can go with several options, but “Post Name” is the standard.
If you want to use relevant keywords instead, you can edit the permalink manually right before publishing a post or page.
2. Install an SEO Plugin
When I tried to SEO my WordPress website, I realized there were many different plugins available to help me. The most popular ones right now are All-in-One SEO-Pack and Yoast. They are both effective in helping you optimize your site, even if you have no knowledge of SEO when you first start. You can use both to optimize each post that you publish, but Yoast has certain features such as content analysis, SEO scoring, and focus keyword that make it easier for SEO beginners. Additionally, Yoast will create an XML map automatically, which brings us to our next point.
3. XML sitemap: a must have
In a nutshell, the XML sitemap is what tells Google all it needs to know about your website and all its pages. The XML sitemap lists all the content of your site, and it makes it easier for Google to find and index it. If you want to check out what your site´s map looks like, all you need to do is type your site’s URL followed by /sitemap_index.xml.
4. Use rel=”canonical”
You should enable this tag as soon as you install the SEO plugin of your choice. Using this tag for all the pages on your website will help search engines determine what the original URL of the content on your blog is, eliminating duplicate content issues.
5. SEO my website´s loading speed
Loading speed is one of the main factors search engines like Google take into account when ranking sites. This can be done using a caching plugin. You are probably wondering why loading speed is so important, and the reason is that Google wants to provide its users with the best experience possible when they are browsing the web. In the era of instant gratification, no one wants to wait more than a few seconds for a site to load. And Google knows it.
There are many other factors that I must keep in mind when I SEO my websites. But by just paying close attention to these 5, I can be sure I´m on the right track.