A website with great design, effective user experience, and compelling content isn’t worth anything if people don’t know it exists.
That’s why WordPress SEO becomes the essential part of any website launch. A well-optimized website in line with best SEO practices is much more likely to be found through organic search.
If you have used WordPress for website development, then you are already off to a great start with SEO. WordPress is SEO friendly and flexible.
There are some steps which you must take when it comes to optimization of WordPress SEO website. Apart from standard SEO practices, you have to make sure that your website is developed according to WordPress SEO standards.
Here is a handy checklist for optimizing your WordPress website.
1. Check WordPress Settings
First thing first, you have to utilize the full potential of WordPress. There are few settings which you should set up before getting your website live. Make sure you check out the following settings.
Settings > General
Make sure website title and the tagline is set correctly. When we install WordPress we do set the site title but most of the time tagline stays set to default Just Another WordPress Site.
If you forgot to change this, it will appear in the search listings as it is. Either change it to the most appropriate description or delete it all together.
Settings > Permalinks
WordPress comes with SEO friendly Permalinks out of the box. But it’s worth checking if it is set to something which is more relevant to your site.
You can choose just Post Name option but if you are publishing more frequently then it’s worth to set it to by Day, Name or Month.
Settings > Reading
While you are building your site, we often don’t bother to check Search Engine Visibility options. Make sure you have set the Search Engine Visibility before launching your website.
2. Use Valid Theme Markup
A valid marked up theme can play a vital role in SEO. Older or poorly-coded themes could make it harder for Search Engines to index your content properly and can slow down your website. Use should pay proper attention to below items.
You should always use a valid HTML5 marked up the theme. This means your markup should be structured with tags such as header, footer, article and aside. All navigation items should be wrapped into
nav tag. Page/Post title should be in
Structured Data is very important as it sends signals to search engines for the relevance of the content. Descriptive attributes added to tags such as reviews or personal information. Breadcrumb can be very useful as it provides the internal linking to other pages.
Structured Data provide search engines extra information that can be displayed in search results.
If you build your theme yourself then it would be very easy to add extra information. Even if you are using a third-party theme, you can achieve the same using plugins.
Website’s responsiveness is a must thing nowadays. A mobile-friendly website is not only solving usability issues but also send positive signals to search engines.
Google mark the sites which are not mobile friendly in search engine results page (SERP) which can cost you some clicks or sales.
3. SEO Plugins
There are some really great WordPress SEO related plugins available on WordPress repository, which you can choose depending on your needs.
Yoast SEO is the far most better plugin and preferred choice of developers with over 5 million active installs.
All in One SEO is another popular plugin with 3 million active installs and also offer solid SEO features.
There are some standard features which you should always look for.
Whether you are using Google Analytics or any other tracking service, don’t forget to use the proper plugin on your site. It’s the best way to find out if your WordPress SEO strategy is working or not.
Optimise Post and Pages
WordPress SEO is not only necessary for HomePage but also for other website pages. Use a plugin which enables you to optimize pages or posts individually. Things you should change on individual pages and posts are titles, keywords and meta description.
Add OpenGraph Data
Open Graph tags are essential for sharing your web page on social media sites. It grabs items such as page titles, featured images and excerpts for display on services like Facebook and Twitter.
Ideal plugin will be which add these tags while you are publishing any post or page and allows you to customize settings.
XML sitemaps provide a structured file will all your site links which you can submit to Google to get index your site. Look for a plugin which allows you to generate sitemaps and customize what you want to include within them.
Note: Above all features might not be included in a single plugin so you have to make a combination of plugins to optimize your website.
4. Better Content
Content is King. You should pay proper attention to the content you are creating. There are a lot of resources available online on this topic, Here we will share some of the key points you should consider while creating content.
Use proper heading tags, WordPress editor is not very helpful or confuse the content creators so you should double check if you are using proper structure to display your content.
If there are related posts to the content you are creating – link them. It’s something which is highly recommended for SEO practices. By inter linking your content to your own site’s pages, you are spreading link juice which will benefit other pages as well and implements the WordPress SEO best practices.
ALT Text for Images
All images on your page should contain alt attribute of
img tag. This is essential for accessibility and Google recommended this for SEO as well. If your site is big then consider using SEO Auto Linker plugin.
Good To Go
Combination of right marked up theme, plugins and content strategy can make your website fully optimized for search engines. So whether you are launching a new website or optimizing an existing one, go through the list above and it will help you a lot to achieve WordPress SEO. WordPress SEO is a continuous process but this article can get you started on it.