If you want your website or blog to have a head start when it comes to being found in search, then using WordPress is a smart move. As a foundation, WordPress is a solid SEO friendly platform out-of-the-box, cleanly coded, easy to create categories, tags, and lots of powerful plugins to create additional functionality. WordPress is a flexible tool with which you can create content that can be found by the search engines.
To make the most of WordPress and SEO there are some key things to do to make sure you get the best results from the start. Here are my 6 quick tips to get you started.
6 tips to get you started with SEO for WordPress
On first installation WordPress defaults the permalink to a plain numeric value. Web URLs which have day and name in them. This isn't great for SEO. Google prefers so called 'pretty URLs' which are text based. These provide you with an area to place your keywords, a high ranking SEO factor in Googles eyes. On first installation head over to >> Settings >> Permalinks >> and set them to Post Name.
Out of the box: http://www.sample.com/2008/03/31/sample-post/
For SEO: http://www.sample.com/sample-post
Analytics and Search Console
A must for all websites, install analytics so you can get data on traffic and visits to your website. For powerful WordPress SEO ideally link your website to both Google Analytics and Googles Search Console (formally Googles Webmaster Tools).
To do this you need to have a Google Analytics account.
Here's how you set one up if you don't already have one >> - Google show you how to install their Google Analytics.
Here's how you add Google Search Console to your website >> - Google shows you how to add the Search Console.
Headlines are extremely important for SEO. They need to include your target key phrase and ideally semantic variations of your target phrase in your subheadings. Powerful headlines also increase clicks to your website. I recommend spending a good chunk of time crafting your headlines. My go-to tool to check the quality of headlines is CoSchedules Headline Analyser - it grades your headlines and indicates where improvements can be made.
CoSchedule Headline Analyser
Internal links are links that go from one page on your website to a different page on your website. Internal links are useful:
- They allow users to navigate around your website
- They help establish information hierarchy for your website
- They help spread SEO ranking power
Internal links are useful for establishing site architecture and internal linking. This structure that lets Google's spiders browse the pathways of your website.
Example: <a href="http://www.same-domain.com/" title="Keyword Text">Keyword Text</a>
Moz guide to internal linking
The performance of your website can have an impact on the quality of your SEO. So checking the performance of your website on a regular basis can flag any performance issues that can be fixed. Performance covers things like:
- Page Load Speed
- Website down time
- Image sizes
- Video load and sizes
It's worth checking over time as your website evolves and contains new content. Performance can also be affected by things somewhat out of your control, such as; internet speed at your location, computer performance, browser performance.
If your business goal is to be found high on the search results pages then following the above 6 point check list will give you a head start when optimising your website and content for the maximum search visibility.
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