06Jun 2018

SEO for WordPress Site: A Quick Start Guide

WordPress is one of the most popular CMS that is used by the people all over the world and powers millions of website. It can be used to power even your personal blog and can also be used for planning the company websites as well. It is because of its ease of use that it has been used by numerous people across the world. Even if you have no coding knowledge, you can quite easily choose the option to have a website on your own.

You must have heard the statement “WordPress is a search engine friendly CMS”. Now hearing this you might have wondered I should shift my website to WordPress or design my website on WordPress and the rank of the website will improve on its own. However this is not the case, but making a few simple changes and working for the SEO of the website will help you yield better results. Now you may be thinking how SEO for WordPress site will work?  While some of the SEO friendly tools are available in the WordPress itself, in some of the cases you need to make use of some plugins to enhance its functionalities. 

There are numerous WordPress themes frameworks available that can help you to design the website as per your liking with your imagination being your only limiting factor. The functionality of your website can also be enhanced with the help of a number of plugins available. However, it is necessary that the theme and plugin that you choose must be verified and must not contain any malicious code. These, in turn, may prove out to be harmful in the long run. Having a knowledge of a bit of coding helps a great deal. If possible download the plugins and themes that are available in the WordPress repository. Here are some of the ways in which you can make your website SEO friendly and explains how SEO for WordPress site work. However, due to the difference in the nature of websites, it is necessary that you choose the options that suit your website and get the best results for your website. Get the knowledge on latest SEO trends too.

Change Some WordPress Settings

Change some WordPress settings

After you have installed the WordPress on your server, it is necessary to make a few changes to your WordPress website. This ensures that the websites that you design is search engine friendly. Here are some of the changes that are necessary after the installation:

In the start of the setting up of a new blog, you are asked whether you wish to “Discourage search engines from indexing this site”. In a number of cases, this option is ticked by default. Hence it is necessary in this case that you uncheck the option “Discourage search engines from indexing this site”. In order to do so:

  • Go to your WordPress dashboard.
  • Click on the Settings tab.
  • Here you can find out the reading section and click on the same.
  • In the bottom-most corner, you can find out the Search Engine Visibility option.
  • Untick the option “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” if it is ticked.

Change URL Settings

In the earlier days, the WordPress URLs used to be in the numerical format. These were quite complex as the users had no idea of what the article or page is about. Now with the later versions, the URLs are in the format of day and name. This may provide an idea of the age of the post and some users may think that it is not a relevant post as per the recent times. In order to make sure that you are not limited by the same, it is advisable to change your URL settings to post name or some custom structure that you may seem fit. In order to do so:

  • Click on the Settings tab of your WordPress dashboard.
  • Click on the Permalinks tab.
  • Select the settings that you want from the options Plain, Day and name, Month and name, Numeric, Post name, or Custom Structure by clicking the appropriate radio button.
  • However, changing the settings here does not mean that you will have to stick with the same. You can modify your URL while adding the post to suit your interests.

Remove Some Prebuilt Elements in the WordPress

After the installation of WordPress, you tend to find certain things like Hello World blog post and a page and a comment. It is advised to remove these as it may pose problems as these may be indexed on the website as well. Apart from these, it also contains an Uncategorized category. It is advised that you delete it or rename it to something else. This may help you a great deal as the users may no longer regard it as unprofessional and you do not need to worry about the category tab every time you publish a post.

After having done making these changes now comes the time to install some plugins that are SEO friendly and may help you to enhance the rankings of the website. There are several plugins that may help you to perform a task but it is necessary that you choose the one that suits you the best.

Creating a Robots.txt File

Robots.txt file is a file that helps you to index the website and its content. In some cases, you may not want to index some pages of your website like:

If you have two versions of the page like print version and browser version to prevent your site from a duplicate content penalty.

If you have some sensitive information on your site that you do not want others to see.

Save bandwidth by excluding the images, stylesheets, and JavaScript from indexing.

In such a case Robots.txt files turn out to be quite helpful. You can create the Robots.txt file in the WordPress root directory manually which will override the default settings of the Robots.txt file that is generated dynamically.

There are several plugins as well that can help you to create the Robots.txt file and include or exclude some records. Some of the most popular plugins that help you to achieve this feat are Multisite Robots.txt Manager by tribalNerd and Chris Winters, Virtual Robots.txt by Marios Alexandrou, WP Robots Txt by Christopher Davis,  WordPress Robots.txt File by Ataul Ghani and many more such plugins. Choose the one that suits you the best as per your requirement.

HTTPS:

HTTPS

From 2014 onwards, HTTPS was included in the list of ranking factors and may provide a ranking boost to your website. In order to do so, you need to obtain an SSL certificate for your website and fill your website with HTTPS in it. In order to do so:

  • Go to your WordPress dashboard.
  • Click on the Settings tab and then click on the General tab.
  • Here you can find the tabs WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL).
  • Replace the URL with HTTPS on the same.

 Sitemaps

In order to help index the website on search engines, it is necessary that you submit the sitemap to the search engines. In order to facilitate the task of generating and submitting the sitemap, there are various plugins to help you achieve this task. These plugins help you to generate XML sitemaps and notify the search engines about your website. These also let you include/exclude user-defined URLs and WordPress taxonomies. Apart from this, there are certain plugins that also let you set crawling priority and crawling frequency.  Some of the plugins that help you achieve this feat are Google XML Sitemaps by Arne Brachhold, Yoast SEO, All in One SEO Pack and numerous other plugins.

Managing Broken Links:

Links are quite crucial to the website and also helps you to know about any Broken links into a website produces adverse effects and impacts as a negative SEO for WordPress site. Hence it is necessary to take care of such links immediately as the problems arise. While in the smaller websites taking care of broken links is easy whereas in the case of bigger websites broken links can turn out to be a bit complex. In order to help you achieve this task, there are a number of plugins that help you to check the broken links. You can also receive the email notifications about the broken links and can also view the results in the form of a spreadsheet. Some plugins also help you to fix the errors and redirect the web links to some other links.

Schema

The schema is the special data format to convert the data into a structured data format that aims to provide a better search experience to the users. With the help of facts, concepts it helps to provide meaningful information to the users in a simple and easy to understand format. Using schema on your website helps the search engines to know what you are providing for flight information, rating, recipes, contact number, email ID and other such information. These are then displayed in the form of snippets. These have better click-through rate as compared to the plain snippets. This, in turn, helps you to get better results and thereby improve your SEO. In order to help you to achieve better results, there are various plugins that can help you to add schema markups to your website. Some of these are All In One Schema Rich Snippets by Brainstorm Force WP SEO Structured Data Schema by kcseopro, WP Product Review Lite by ThemeIsle and various other such plugins.

Content Optimization

“Content is king” is the term that you have heard from all the users. But it is also necessary that you optimize your content in such a way to make it search engine friendly and also ensure that the guidelines are followed for better page optimization. There are several factors that need to be kept in mind while writing the content. These are:

  • Proper usage of the Heading tag.
  • Proper usage of keywords.
  • Usage of keywords in the Title, Description and <h> tags.
  • Proper focus on keyword selection.
  • Proper usage of links on the website.
  • Word count.
  • Usage of images.
  • Proper meta description.
  • Page title length.
  • Prior usage of focus keyword.
  • Voice of the content.
  • Reading score of the content.

Taking care of all these may turn out to be a bit difficult and there are chances that you may forget some important points. In order to help you to achieve this feat in an easy manner, there are a number of plugins that may help you to perform this task. Some of the content optimization plugins related to SEO for WordPress site are Yoast SEO, All in One SEO, SEOPress, SEOPressor to name a few.

Speeding Up the Website

Speeding up the website

The site speed plays a major role in attracting the users and also enhances the user experience on your website. In order to make sure that the website is at its optimal best it is necessary to take care of certain factors.

  • Not use unnecessary plugins. These slow down your site and increase the load times.
  • Use proper caching plugins to help your site load faster.
  • Use proper image optimization plugin to make sure that the images on your website load faster and better.

Summary

These are some of the ways in which you can enhance the SEO of your WordPress website. However, it is also necessary to maintain your website and also provide relevant content on your website. By applying some of these amazing tips mentioned above on your website, there are chances that the rankings of your website will increase considerably.

Acodez is a Digital Marketing Agency in India offering all kinds of digital marketing services to help our clients take their businesses to the next level. We also offer web design and development services to our clients at affordable prices with no compromise over quality. For further information, contact us today.

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Vipin Nayar

Vipin Nayar

Vipin Nayar is the Digital Marketing Head at Acodez. As a Social Media, SEO & SEM expert with over 8 years' experience in online marketing, he uses his keen insight into customer behaviour to formulate innovative strategies that helps clients enhance their online presence & open up new business avenues.

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1 Comment

  1. Kalpana

    Thank you for this blog, i really like the point you discuses about Robots.txt File, actually i never heard about this, so thanks for proving this info..

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