Many of you who have recently started blogging has taken few thinks for granted, one of them being SEO. Bloggers who have recently started, in general, they do have an allegory in their mind of WordPress being SEO friendly. In this tutorial, we are gonna learn the details schema of SEO and its connection with WordPress and how to optimize it for your WordPress blog or website.
Since this gonna be a comprehensive step by step guide to help you out with your site, so we suggest you to grab a cup of coffee before we get started as for sure it will be bit lengthy.
To make you understand and debunk the myth that “WordPress is SEO friendly” we are fragmenting this article into smaller but informative sections starting from utmost basics. So, here we go…..
What is SEO?
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is basically a term used to describe the process in which we invite search engines to crawl through our websites or blogs in an effective and customized way to increase our visibility and presence in web search results, so when people search the internet for a particular topic we get featured in their search results and which finally results in increased organic traffics to our blogs or websites. The better we optimize our site for SEO the higher we get featured in page rank that finally leads to higher organic traffics.
Types of SEO
SEO has broadly been categorized into three types, with each having its unique importance and cater to some special needs that finally improves your search engine ranking.
♦ On Page SEO:
SEO starts from here as it’s the core layer, this class of SEO is directly related to the pages and posts of your WordPress based site. This includes quality of contents, the title of your blog post or page, use of headers, interlink contents within a post, comments on a post, etc. So to improve your On page SEO you have to focus on its elements.
Elements of On Page SEO:
- The title of your posts or pages: According to good SEO practices, the title of your posts should be in between 40 to 60 characters and must be relatable to the content of blog post.
- URL of your posts or pages: It should always be short, simple and related to the blog post’s content. Avoid any use of special characters in the URL. You can easily achieve this by tweaking the permalink setting in your WordPress dashboard.
- Meta Description: This section contains the excerpt of your blog post that is visible in search engine’s search results. The no. of characters should lie in between 120 to 156 characters.
- Meta Keywords: These are the key to rank good in On Page SEO, as search engine filters your posts on the basis of meta keywords. Depending on your target, the length of a meta keyword may vary, but always do remember it should not exceed three words, to frame a single meta keyword. Always try to match at least any one of your meta keywords to the title and description of your post.
♦ On Site SEO:
On Site SEO is the secondary class SEO that deals with the whole blog or website, it basically depends on the degree of interactions between your site and search engines.Generally, search engines have spiders which are nothing but programmed bots that crawl throughout your site and index all the URLs and keywords and finally submit the report to search engines. Remember you can control the spider by allowing or blocking access to certain parts of your website, for example, you shouldn’t definitely allow the spider to crawl through your WordPress login page or any other sensitive area that contains important information.
Elements of On Site SEO:
- On Page SEO: On Site SEO depends on how well your site is optimized for On Page SEO, they are directly correlated.
- Sitemap: It’s the GPS for your website that helps search engines in effectively mapping and indexing your site. It’s an XML file that has to be created and manually submitted to the search engines.
- Outbound links: These are URLs present inside your website and pointing to other websites. Always use high quality and trusted inbound link for better SEO results.
- Alt Tag: Always add alt tags to images used in posts and pages, so that whenever a spider crawl through your website it can detect and feature your image in search results.
- InContent links: Always try to link one post to another by using links to other posts wherever possible but not unnecessarily.
- Fix broken or missing links
- Social Media: Always link all your social media pages or profiles to your website by adding follow buttons wherever possible. Also, add social sharing buttons all around your website like posts, pages, etc.
- Create a user-friendly 404 error page.
- Improve your website speed.
- Robot.txt file: Though for beginners it’s advisable not to tweak with it because it might yield some negative result if not configured properly however if you do it can easily outweigh the risk.
- Responsive Theme: Search Engines like Google, Bings adds more credibility to a responsive website that is optimized for both desktop and mobile devices.
♦ Off Site SEO:
This is a tertiary level SEO which if implemented properly might prove as a page rank goldmine for your blog or website. However, it solely depends on some arduous factors listed below:
- Site Credibility: This solely depends on the reliability and trust factor of your website which further depends on the age of your website, layout changes over the period of your website, malware free and outbound links, etc.
- Inbound links/backlinks: This is the most important element of Off Site SEO, the more the no. of inbound links the higher you get promoted in page rank. However, quality of backlinks is very vital since that it can act as both curse and blessings depending on the source of backlinks.
- Social Media: Social media plays a great role in Off Site SEO, all the activities happening on social media pages that include likes, comments and share are easily featured on search engines just creating a direct traffic source to your blog. Moreover, it increases overall credibility of your website.
- Reviews: If your website or blog is product based or involved in some direct commercial transaction with your visitors, then reviews from websites like yelp, yahoo, and Aol can highly be beneficial since it increases your visibility in search engines and also improves the trust factor.
How to improve WordPress SEO?
Almost all the elements listed above under On Page SEO and On Site SEO can easily be taken care of by using free WordPress plugins all you need is to spend some quality times for optimizing your website based on some easy instructions. However, Off Site SEO can’t be optimized using plugins neither it can be done overnight, it literally take years. Below we have listed few tips, plugins and their functions to improve your SEO results.
♦ Always write niche based content that results in yielding better SEO.
♦ Ping Services: WordPress by default has Ping Services that allows you to notify search engines that your blog has been updated. Ping is an XML-RPC-based push mechanism by which a blog notifies a server that its content has been updated. search for WordPress Ping list 2017 in google copy the whole list and paste it under <update services>.
- WordPress Dashboard —->Settings —->Writing —->Scroll down to update services
♦ Change permalink settings from default to Post Name type
- WordPress Dashboard —->Settings—–>Permalinks
♦ For list of Responsive themes do check our top 10 free themes you must try in 2017.
Both of these plugins are great to improve your website’s SEO, they quite cover all the elements of On Page and On Site SEO and are quite easy to configure. All you need is to follow their onscreen instructions, each section has descriptions too, that makes it quite simple even for those with basic WordPress knowledge. Elements supported by these plugins are:
- On Page SEO elements: Site title, meta description, meta keywords
- On Site SEO elements: Sitemap, .htaccess for editing robot.txt file, blog name, blog description, social media links.
♦ Easy Social sharing: To add social share buttons above and below the post and floating social share buttons across pages.
♦ Redirection: To fix missing or broken links
♦ SEO Friendly Images: To add alt tags to images by default.
♦ SEMRush: SEMRush is a tool that is specific to finding keywords based on your need like profitable, volume.It is a program many new and older bloggers are using to optimize their sites, create the content their audience wants and create a better experience for their visitors. Click the link below to try it for free.
♦ Google WebMasters: It’s a free tool provided by google, where you can check your page rank, indexed pages, submit URL manually and request indexing, submit sitemap and much more.
♦ Google Analytics: It’s another powerful free tool from google which let you analyze your website traffic based on sources, regions, keywords, hits, etc.
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