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WordPress SEO for Beginners: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

When it comes to driving targeted traffic to your website, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is hands down the most affordable option. Search engine optimization (SEO) may assist your target audience find your content at the exact moment they need it.

WordPress SEO isn’t as difficult as many people think. It doesn’t matter what your level of expertise is if you have the correct SEO tools at your disposal.

In this article, we’ll go over the fundamentals of WordPress SEO, including what onsite SEO is and how to do it effectively.

What Is SEO & Why Is It Important?

You may use SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, to get free organic traffic from search engines like Google.com by optimizing your web pages.

With WordPress SEO, you’re attempting to make it as easy as possible for search engines to index your site’s content for relevant keywords. As a result, you may be able to assist consumers in finding your content when they do a search using the terms you’ve chosen.

How Does Search Engines Work – Crawling, Indexing, and Ranking

Search engines, such as Google, use sophisticated algorithms to interpret and rank online content.

Search engines, on the other hand, maybe broken down into three distinct purposes.

In this step, thousands of web pages are crawled to find relevant material. A search engine must be able to find your page and display it in its results if you want it to be found.

Indexing is the process of storing and organizing the data gathered during the crawling phase. Search engines deliver results based on their index when a user searches for information.

It’s a method of arranging material according to factors like quality and relevancy. That implies that if your page is rated #1 for a given search query, it will be presented first on that search query’s results page.

Beginner’s Guide to WordPress SEO

Among website builders, WordPress has the best SEO optimization. Your material will not automatically be indexed by Google simply because you used WordPress to create it.

WordPress makes it simple to adhere to SEO best practices. Here are some of the top WordPress SEO techniques to keep in mind.

1. Your Website’s Visibility Settings Must Be Activated

Ensure that your website is visible to search engines from the outset. WordPress has an option to make your site invisible to search engines by default. If your website isn’t yet ready for crawling and indexing, this function will come in handy.

After checking this box while setting up a site, some users neglect to activate visibility settings.

Search Engine Visibility may be found in your WordPress dashboard under Settings » Reading. Make certain that this is not selected.

Afterward, press the Save Changes button at the bottom to save your preferences.

2. Make Use of an SEO-Friendly URL Structure

Make your URLs SEO-friendly in the following step. For both consumers and search engines, SEO-friendly URLs are a great way to convey the meaning of your content.

Isitwp.com/best-wordpress-seo-plugins is an example of an SEO-friendly URL.

An example of a URL that isn’t searching engine friendly is https://www.isitwp.com/?p=20198

Several things contribute to a website’s rating, and SEO-friendly URLs are one of them. Including your keywords in your URLs is the greatest method to optimize them for search engines.

You may change your permalink structure by navigating to Settings » Permalinks in WordPress by default.

Let’s go ahead and choose Post Name. Please save your work as soon as you’ve completed it. Only new users should do this step. Maintaining your present URL structure is the greatest way to ensure that you don’t lose out on traffic and search engine results.

3. Installing the XML Sitemap Plugin in WordPress

To alert search engines about URLs on your website that may be crawled, you can use an XML sitemap. Search engines are more likely to find your content if they can find it via links on your site.

Using the Yoast or All in One SEO plugin, you can quickly and easily generate a sitemap for your website. To make sure your site is optimized for search engines, Yoast or All in One SEO (AIO SEO) provides a one-stop-shop of SEO tools.

Yoast or AIO SEO generates a sitemap for you after you’ve installed and activated the plugin on your site.

There are free SEO plugins that have all of the fundamental SEO functions that you’ll need. However, a more powerful version of Yoast or AIO SEO is available as a pro subscription.

For additional information, see our in-depth article on how to create an XML sitemap.

4. The WWW vs. HTTPS

You’ve probably noticed that some websites begin their URLs with www, while others begin with HTTP. These two URLs are seen by search engines as two separate URLs. So, to prevent any misunderstandings, you should be aware of which one to utilize on your site.

Again, WordPress allows you to choose the domain name you wish to use for your website. On your WordPress dashboard, go to Settings » General. WordPress addresses and site addresses both allow you to provide a custom URL.

5. Add Website to Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free tool that lets you keep tabs on how well your website is doing in search results. For example, keywords, impressions, views, clicks, and more are all included in the statistics provided by this tool. It also aids in the discovery of indexing status and faults, allowing you to make necessary corrections and boost your organic traffic levels.

You’ll be alerted immediately if it detects any errors on your site, allowing you to take corrective action right away.

6. On-page SEO

On-page SEO is a method of increasing your website’s exposure and traffic by optimizing individual pages. Your content, photos, and even the HTML source code are all part of this process.

To keep an eye on your website’s performance, check out these SEO audit tools.

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The following are a few factors to keep in mind when you do on-page SEO:

  • Interlinking
  • Making Your Title SEO-Friendly
  • Additions to Categories and Tags.
  • Conceptualization of Ideas
  • Incorporating meta descriptions into website content
  • Optimization of the Image

Let’s take a closer look at each of these ideas.

7. Strategy for Content Creation

Keyword research is essential to figuring out what queries your readers could have. There are several factors to consider when determining which keywords have a lot of traffic, competition, and a lot of potential buyers.

Using a keyword research tool, you’ll be able to access a wealth of information about your target keywords, including competition analysis, keyword position monitoring, and more.

You may find out more about keyword research by reading this guide.

It’s also a great way to get a handle on your subject matter before you begin writing your piece. You’ll be able to write an article that addresses your reader’s queries if you do this first.

Because readability is one of the most important ranking elements for search engines, it’s important to make your content readable.

8. Optimization of the Image

Your post’s success is heavily dependent on its images. Without photos, your content will seem drab and uninteresting. Your content will be more fascinating to read if you include images.

This isn’t enough; you need to provide photographs as well. These graphics should be made clearer to search engines so that they can better grasp what they depict. Adding alt text to your photographs is a simple way to do this. The image’s alt text is nothing more than a description of it. To explain these visuals, use just one or two words.

9. Adding Categories and Tags

Website information may be categorized and tagged to make it easier to find what you need. You can make it easier for your readers and search engines to locate your material on your website by using this method.

You may use categories to arrange your blog’s material into key categories. On the other hand, a blog post’s tags refer to the subject matter covered in that post.

Are you still stumped? In such a case, consider this: It is possible to include tags like salad, breakfast, and pancakes on a blog post categorized as food.

As a result, before publishing your work, be careful to classify and tag it appropriately. Find out how to add categories and tags to your content by reading this article.

10. Optimize Your Title

Your article’s title is the first thing readers will see. Create catchy headlines with the help of IsItWP’s headline analyzer.

You may also use strong terms in the headline of your post. To entice your readers, employ powerful phrases that elicit an emotional reaction from them.

11. Adding Meta Description

An HTML element or small piece of up to 155 characters, the Meta Description sums up your content. For both readers and search engines, adding meta descriptions to posts and pages helps them better comprehend what you’re writing.

Adding your meta description is as simple as scrolling down your page if you’re using All in One SEO. You may either type it in directly or make use of variables in tags.

Avoid exceeding the 160-character limit. Your meta description should also mention your keywords at least once.

Using All in One SEO, you can preview how your meta description will appear in search results before writing it.

12. Internal Linking

A wonderful technique to connect your earlier and newer content is via the use of internal linking. Internal linking may be implemented if your blog has a sufficient number of entries. As a result, you’ll be able to send traffic to the earlier content and increase its visibility.

When using WordPress, it’s a cinch to create internal links. All you have to do is choose the text you wish to use as a hyperlink. There will be a new window opened. Copy the URL of the post you’d like to link to and paste it into the link field. To save your changes, use the Save button.

Your previous articles will continue to attract traffic if you link to them often.

You may utilize All in One SEO’s Link Assistant add-on to make internal linking even simpler. Using the Link-Assistant, you’ll get a connect report for your site, as well as ideas for other sites to link to.

You don’t have to manually update each post to include a link to your material. It’s the quickest method to ensure that all of your articles have internal connections.

13. Nofollow External links

SEO relies heavily on backlinks, which are the foundation of the process. Your site’s SEO score is sent along to the linked-to site, indicating that the source of the link is reliable. Link juice is the term used to describe this SEO score.

Adding the Nofollow attribute to your external links is a good idea if you’re linked to a low-quality website. As a result, no link juice will be sent forward.

A standard link might look like this if you’re writing in the WordPress text editor –

<a href="http://demosite.com">Demo Website</a>

A link with the nofollow attribute.
<a href="http://demosite.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">Demo Website</a>

14. Link Building for Authority

A reliable way to improve your search engine rankings is to get links pointing to your website from other well-known websites in your field.

There are several techniques to get backlinks:

  • Blogging for the benefit of others
  • Create high-quality content that other people want to share.
  • Public Relations through E-mail
  • Link building is explained in detail here.

SEO Success May Be Measured

Even if it’s impossible to keep up with the ever-changing SEO dynamics, the aforementioned suggestions are a good starting point. Once you’re in the game, you’ll want to be able to gauge your SEO performance as well.

You need to know how much organic traffic you’re getting to gauge your SEO performance. This information may be seen on your Google Analytics account’s overview page.