WordPress SEO for beginners: how to structure and optimize your blog

WordPress SEO is very important for getting traffic into your website. There are some important points to note for the best practice of WordPress SEO in order to increase your website SEO.

However, before we delve in to the tips and best practice of WordPress SEO there is need to analyse what is SEO and meaning of WordPress or WordPress SEO.

WHAT IS SEO?

SEO is an abbreviation that means Search Engine Optimization in full. SEO is a process that helps improve or increase the quality and quantity of traffic you get to your website from search engines with organic search engine results. Search engine optimization helps increase the visibility of your website for such relevant searches relating to your contents. It is that technique you use to increase traffic to your website by ranking higher in search engine results.

This is not about making tricks or tricking Google search engine or others. What it simply means is that, you create a website optimized with codes and formatting that allows search engines to easily find your website. Thus, when your content is so optimized with the SEO codes and formats, whenever people search the web for such keywords relating to your content, it will appear and be ranked higher in the search results. Hence, getting more traffic driving into your website.

Importance of SEO

Search engines being the greatest sources of generating traffic for websites makes it very important for website owners to optimize their contents, so as to help the search engines understand what the content is all about.

Although, the search engines have their tools used in understanding and ranking web pages, (such as the advance algorithms), nonetheless, there is still need for website owners to optimize their contents so that the search engines will know how to rank it. Such is the importance of SEO.

What is WordPress SEO?

SEO or search engine optimization is a process by which a website owner can optimize his WebPages in order to increase traffic into the website from search engines.

While, WordPress is one of the world best building tools used in designing websites and contents management system. WordPress is an SEO optimized website builder that, when put to the best of uses, search engines will crawl, index and rank your website higher on their search results.
That nonetheless, you have to put in some more effort while using WordPress SEO for a much better results. That is, following the WordPress SEO best practices. In this post, you will learn about some of the best practices of WordPress SEO.

Basic functions of Search Engines

Search engines have tools they use to understand and rank websites or web pages properly in their search results. There are three basic functions, which search engines like Google carry out to rank pages. Such are:

Crawl: search engines uses their bots to crawl through thousands of web pages to get relevant content contain in a website. That is the first function of any search engine, to recognize your web page and then show it in it results.

Index: search engines, having crawl through different sites, will store and organize the content it found during it process of crawling. As such when a web user looks up information from the web, the search engines can simply go to it index and return the results.

Rank: and the last function of search engine is listing the contents of different websites based on their quality and relevance. Where one web page is ranked number one for a particular search, then it will appear first for that search query.

What is ranking in SEO?

It is important to bring out this particular function for more analysis, this is because, ranking is the last part of the functions of SEO or rather the end result of SEO.

Ranking refers to the position that a website is able to take in a search engine’s results page. Several factors influence the ranking of a website in a search engine’s results. And as you know, anyone owning a website has a primary target, which is to rank his site higher on the SERP. However, such is base on some factors as, the relevance of the content to a search term, quality back links pointing to the page etc.

WordPress SEO best practices. How to best structure and optimize your blog.

Website’s visibility setting

Make sure you check your site’s visibility settings. How is this? Can anyone builds a website and does not want it to be seen by search engines? Well, there is actually a built in option in WordPress to hide your website from search engines. However, the essence of this option is to give you time to work on your website and make it proper. Perhaps, you need some time to work on your website before it goes public.

So, it becomes important that you check the visibility option to make sure it is unclicked else, your website will not be available to search engines to crawl, index and rank on their search results. As such, if you find that your website is not appearing on search result, the first thing to do is to check the visibility setting.

Login to the admin area of your WordPress site > go to settings and then > reading, scroll down to search engine visibility section and uncheck the box then save changes to effect the change.

SEO URL structure

Another thing is that, you should make sure your SEO URL is friendly. An SEO with friendly URL will help reveal your contents to both the web users and search engines.

It is important to note, one of the factors for higher ranking on search results is ‘an SEO friendly URL’. That is, having an SEO friendly URL is one of the factors to enhance the possibility of ranking your website higher in search results.

How do you make your URL SEO friendly? This is by including your keywords in the URL. Note that, by default, the WordPress SEO allows you to set permalink structure. You can go to settings, > then permalinks, > there you choose > post name and then save changes once done.

XML Sitemap

What is an XML Sitemap? XML Sitemap enables you to notify search engines of the URLs you have on your website which are available for crawling. So, add an XML Sitemap to your WordPress, because it plays a great role in notifying Google search engine about web pages and posts in your website.
Add XML Sitemap to your WordPress site using the yoast SEO plugin.

Yoast SEO is the best WordPress SEO plugin that does all your tasks for you instead of having different plugins for separate SEO tasks.

Yoast SEO is an all in one SEO plugin that helps to optimize your website for search engines. Yoast SEO, once installed and activated automatically creates sitemap for your site and then helps optimize it for the discovery of search engines.
HTTPs and WWW.

As a web user, you must have noticed that different websites uses different web address. Some begins with https while others begin with www. Hence, there is need to know which is better for your website in order to avoid confusion.

How to choose the best one for your website.

You can go to your WordPress dashboard settings, > then to general. From there you can add your preferred URL in the WordPress address field as well as the website address fields.

Google search console

Add your website to Google search console in order to help track your website’s performance on Google search engine. Google search console is also refers to as webmaster tool, it offers information relating to your website’s visibility and how search engines sees your website. Such data it offers are such as, keywords people uses to find your website, how many clicks you get to your website, how your web pages appears in search engines’ search result, and many more.

It also shows you the index status and notifies you about any error so that you can fix it to drive more traffic into the site. Such things that could go wrong are, where search engines’ crawlers cannot access your website or cannot find duplicate content or cannot go through restricted resources.

On-page SEO

On-page SEO is an SEO technique that you use to optimize the web pages contained in your website. The on-page SEO helps optimize your WebPages to have a higher ranking in searches and to increase it visibility and traffic. What on-site SEO is all about is by working on your contents. That is, installing and activating WordPress SEO for your website is not all there is to optimize your website or blogsite; you need to keep working on your contents and improving your SEO processes for continuous maximum result.

Improve your website contents

Content strategy

One content strategy is keyword research. To plan the content you want to write you need to know the questions your readers might have or be looking for answers on. Thus, keyword research is a very important technique. It helps you discover which keyword has a higher traffic volume, competition and more. That is, what are those queries users enter into search engines to find answers.
Keyword research also helps you to understand the topic more before starting to draft your post. You will also be able to come up with a comprehensive and readable post that provides answer to the readers’ query.

You will be more effective if you use any of the keyword research tools like Ubbersuggest or SMERush, ET cetera.

Adding categories vs. tags

In WordPress dashboard, you have the option to sort your posts into categories and tags. Such is to make it easy for you to manage your contents and for the users to find what they are looking for. This also gives your website an organized structure and then help search engines to understand the structure.

Categories on your website are the broad grouping of your website contents. For example on a business website where you have such categories as, utensils, kitchen, foods, home appliances etc.

While tags are just like indexes on a textbook, this contains specific keywords describing the contents of a particular post. For example, where you have a post contained in the food category, such tags on the post will be like, salad, rice, beans etc.

Internal linking

Make it a habit to always add internal links to your posts. What is internal link? This is about linking to your own content from your other posts or pages on the same website. When you interlink your posts, it will help boost your page views and it will increase the time that users spend on your website. Internal linking improves the SEO score of your posts or pages.

Optimize images

When you add image(s) to a post, you need to optimize it to gain maximum result. Although images are more engaging than text and makes your post livelier and less boring, however, if you are not careful it can load very slow and cause your site to slowdown in loading too.

How to optimize images in your website?

Be careful with the quality and sizes of the images and secondly, make use of descriptive title tags and alt tags. When you use these tags, it helps search engines to understand the image you upload. Title tags or alt tags are simple words you add to your image to describe the image(s).

Title optimization

Titles of your posts are the first pointer a visitor will notice in your article. Make use of power words in your title to attract users to click on your post. Very important, make sure your keywords are included too.

Meta descriptions

Meta description is the brief summaries of your content or post. The summaries usually contain up to 155 characters. Meta description on your posts makes it easy for users and search engines to understand what your post is all about. For effective Meta description, make sure to add your keywords to it at least once.

Building backlinks

Backlinks to your website helps build your SEO score. Backlink is when you share your website or web page’s link to other website and some social media platforms so that users can click on it and link directly to your web page.

SEO TOOLS

SEO tools are those online tools that help you in keyword research and data analysis for your website. SEO tools provide you with such data as to inform you about what is working, how to measure up to competitors, where to find the greatest opportunities, and how to measure search performances on your website.

So, what are those SEO tools that are best for your use? There are quite a number of SEO tools to enhance the performances of your website and to gain high ranking with search engines. Some of the popular ones for use are:

UBBERSUGGEST

Ubbersuggest is a keyword-tracking tool developed by Neil Patel. This is a free tool for finding keywords. It helps you identify the right keywords that you can use on your website with lots of suggestions. It also identify the search intent behind the keywords by showing the top ranked SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) from short to long term phrases.

Ubbersuggest includes in it reports such metrics as, keyword volume, cost per click (CPC), competition (that is, how competitive a keyword is) and trends, et cetera. This is for both organic SEO and paid.

SEMRush tool

This is an SEO tool more specialized on marketing. A marketing SEO tool is most preferred to fans in the SEO community. SEMRush allows it users to assess rankings and identify changes in ranking as well as new ranking opportunities. It compares your website with your competitor’s website through it Domain Vs Domain analysis feature.

SEMRush provide analytical reports about your website’s search data, traffic, and even competitors. And you can compare keywords and domain with that of your competitors. From it On-page SEO checker, you can easily monitor your rankings and even get recommendations on how to improve your performances.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is an SEO keyword tool that is quite popular with it recommendations online. Ahrefs is the best and has become the largest website crawlers that website owners cannot seem to get enough of. Ahrefs is a good SEO analysis tool that points out those parts of your website needing improvements to rank higher with search engines.

Ahrefs SEO tool is likely to determine for you, your competitors backlinks. You can use this SEO tool to find that content that is most linked to within you specialization, you can get overview of your best performing contents, check and fix any broken links in your website and many more.

Keyword finder or KWFinder

KWFinder is an SEO tool that finds long-tail keywords with low competition for you. Website owners use this tool to find the best keywords and run analysis reports on them.

CONCLUSION

There are quite a lot of SEO tools you can choose from. However, you can narrow your search of the best to the above for effective and efficient SEO for your website. With the above, you can be confident to have an optimized website.