WordPress SEO

Beginner’s Guide

WordPress Search Engine Optimization Image

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You have built a beautiful website with WordPress, and you may have implemented our WordPress Tips and Tricks for beginners, however, crickets chirp when you search for it online?

Welcome to the world of WordPress SEO! If you’re a beginner looking to learn about SEO or enhance your website’s visibility on search engines, you landed in the right place. In this beginners step-by-step guide to WordPress SEO, we’ll walk you through the essential steps to optimize your WordPress website for search engines and improve your chances of ranking higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).

If you are new to the Search Engine Optimization world and eager to make the most of your website Search Engine Optimization experience, there are a few things you need to know.

Understanding The Basics

Before diving into the specifics of WordPress SEO, it’s crucial to grasp the fundamental concepts of Search Engine Optimization. Learn about keywords, on-page SEO, the importance of high-quality content and the importance of applying SEO from the beginning of the creation of your website, this is something website owners cannot leave to apply after the website is launched.

We will provide some of the most popular basic SEO practices in this guide, however, there are also advanced SEO practices. These practices are aimed to improve your website’s ranking in search results, but the challenges and complexities increase significantly depending on many factors including but not limited to the market, type of website, architecture, and the ever-changing search engines.

What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization) ?

Search engine optimization is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a website or a web page from search engines. SEO targets unpaid traffic (organic traffic) rather than direct traffic or paid traffic. It is a complex and ever-changing field, but it is an essential part of any online marketing strategy. By investing in SEO, businesses can improve their visibility, generate more leads and sales, build brand awareness, and improve the user experience of their website.

Some of the key benefits of SEO:

  • Increased organic traffic: SEO can help you attract more visitors to your website from search engines. This is important because organic traffic is one of the most valuable sources of traffic, as it is made up of people who are actively searching for the products or services you have to offer.
  • Improved brand awareness: When your website ranks higher in search results, people are more likely to see your brand name and logo. This can help to increase brand awareness and make your brand more visible for potential customers.
  • Higher conversion rates: SEO can also help to improve your conversion rates, as you are attracting more visitors to your website who are already interested in what you have to offer.
  • Better user experience: SEO practices often involve making your website more user-friendly, faster loading, and easier to navigate. This can lead to a better user experience for your visitors, which can make them more likely to stay on your website longer and come back in the future.
  • Long-term results: SEO is a long-term investment, but it can pay off in the long run. Once you have optimized your website for search engines, you can continue to enjoy the benefits of increased traffic, brand awareness, and conversions for years to come.

What is SEO structure ?

SEO structure, also known as website structure for SEO, refers to the organization and arrangement of a website’s content, navigation, and technical elements to improve its visibility and ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). A well-structured website not only enhances user experience but also makes it easier for search engines to crawl, index, and understand the content.

How do Search Search Engine Work ?

It’s not just magic, it’s a complex and fascinating world with bots, algorithms, and big databases.

Search engines serve the best and more relevant results to users when they enter what they are looking for.

1. Website Crawling: These are bots that discover and download billions of web pages, building a massive collection of content. Think of it as the search engine’s library, constantly being updated with new books.

2. Indexing the Knowledge: Just like in a real library, all those downloaded pages need to be organized for easy retrieval. This is where indexing comes in. The bots analyze the text, images, and code on each page, extracting keywords and understanding the content. Imagine it as creating detailed summaries and cross-referencing them in a giant card catalog.

3. Ranking the Results: Now, when the user types a query, the search engine dives into its massive index. But simply finding pages with your keywords isn’t enough. Each page gets ranked based on a complex algorithm, considering factors like:

Relevance: How well the content matches your query.

Authority: Are these pages from reliable sources?

Freshness: Is the information up-to-date?

Usability: How easy is it to navigate the page?

What are the most popular search engines ?

The most common search engines at the moment are Google and Microsoft Bing.

Here is the Google In-depth guide to how Google Search works

Here is the Overview of Microsoft Search in Bing

 

WordPress SEO Beginner’s Guide (Step by Step)

Choose a Reliable Hosting Provider: Choosing a reputable hosting provider is a critical factor in WordPress SEO mainly because it can affect not only security but also speed and performance. Popular options include our recommended Hosting Providers.

SSL and HTTPS: This is a very important feature. Modern browsers as well as search engines not longer consider website URLs using HTTP. Using HTTPS:// lets search engines and users know that your URL (or browser link) uses a secure (encrypted) server to share information. To use HTTPS in your URL, you’ll need to use an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) or its more secure version, TLS (Transport Layer Security).

Setting Up Your WordPress Site: Discover the SEO-friendly features of WordPress and ensure your website is properly configured. This includes choosing a mobile-responsive theme, setting permalinks, and configuring your site’s general settings.

SEO Friendly WordPress Theme: It is important to consider choosing an SEO-friendly WordPress theme according to your needs and budget. There are both free and premium themes available, so you should be able to find one that is right for you.

These are themes that are specifically designed to help your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This is crucial because higher ranking means more organic traffic, which translates to more visitors, leads, and sales for your business. Some of their chatacteristics are, Mobile-responsive, fast-loading times, proper use of Headings and subheadings that help break up your content and make it easier for readers to scan.

Allow Search Engines to Index Your Website: Make sure you allow search engines to index your website. This is an important step before launching your WordPress Website. From your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Settings > Reading. Next to the option Search Engine Visibility, there is a check box that reads, “Discourage search engines from indexing this site.” Make sure this box is unchecked. You are asking search engines to NOT ignore your website.

WordPress Reading Search Engine Visibility

Use SEO practices and Install an SEO Plugin: Search engine optimization (SEO) helps your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). There are a number of great SEO plugins available for WordPress. Choose one that fits your need but also it is known and has good user rating.

 

Keyword Research: Identify relevant keywords for your content using tools like Google Keyword Planner or other third-party SEO tools. Learn how to incorporate these keywords strategically into your content without keyword stuffing.

Quality Content Creation: Crafting high-quality, engaging content is a cornerstone of effective SEO. Learn the art of creating valuable, shareable content that cautivates new audience or  keeps your existing audience coming back for more.

On-Page SEO Optimization: Explore on-page SEO techniques, including optimizing titles, meta descriptions, header tags, and images. Understand the significance of internal linking and creating a well-structured site for both users and search engines.

XML Sitemaps and Robots.txt : These are some of the technical aspects of website optimization. Create XML sitemaps to help search engines better understand your site’s structure and content. Learn how to use robots.txt to control search engine crawlers’ access to specific parts of your site.

Speed and Performance Optimization: Page speed is a crucial factor for both user experience and SEO. Discover methods to optimize your site’s speed, such as image compression, browser caching, and leveraging content delivery networks (CDNs). Most of the good hosting providers provide some of these services as part of your hosting plan.

Mobile Optimization: Given the increasing number of users accessing the internet via mobile devices, mobile optimization is essential for SEO. Understand the principles of responsive design and how to ensure a seamless experience for mobile users.

Optimize Images for WordPress SEO: Images can have a big impact on your SEO. Optimizing images is an easy way to improve the performance of your WordPress website.

These are all good practices and techniques that we will discuss in more detail in our post about how to optimize images for SEO.

WordPress SEO Plugins: Explore popular SEO plugins like Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack. Learn how to configure these plugins to enhance your on-site SEO and simplify the optimization process.

Monitoring and Analytics: Set up Google Analytics and Google Search Console to monitor your website’s performance. Learn how to track key metrics, identify opportunities for improvement, and stay informed about your site’s search visibility.

Set SEO-Friendly Permalinks

In WordPress, permalinks refer to the URL structure of your site. Setting your permalinks to the “Post Name” format is common practice for WordPress SEO. This structure provides search engines and users with more text that describes the content of your page or post. For example, if you are writing a post on “WordPress SEO,” it is better to have “wordpress-seo” in your URL instead of a number like “?p=123”, especially if you are trying to rank for that keyword/phrase.

To change your permalink setting, go to your dashboard under Settings > Permalinks. Then select Post Name.

WordPress Settings Permalinks.

Submit an XML Sitemap

An XML sitemap is an XML file on your website that provides a structured map of all of the pages and posts throughout your site. Unlike HTML sitemaps that may help with user experience and navigation, XML Sitemaps can be submitted directly to search engines. Once submitted, search engines will have an accurate map of your site so they can more effectively read and index your content. In WordPress, you can submit your sitemap to Google directly or use a sitemap plugin.

SEO plugins like Yoast, All in One SEO and RankMath will have a built-in feature to generate your XML sitemap.

All In One SEO Sitemap

SEO is an ongoing process, it is a marathon. It takes time and consistent effort to see results. Be patient, implement these tips regularly, and track your progress using tools like Google Analytics. As you refine your SEO strategy, your website will climb the search engine ranks, attracting more visitors and boosting your website’s success.

By following this beginner’s guide to WordPress SEO, you’ll improve your website’s search engine rankings and attract more organic traffic.

Now go and explore, discover the search engine jungle!

Need Some Help?

At Ozpina Digital, we have been working for many years with Content Management Systems. We specialize in website design and implementation creating landing pages, e-commerce as well as multipurpose business websites.

SEO can be overwhelming. Let us know how we can help you. If it is a brand new project or an existing website that needs SEO Search Engine Optimization.

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