how to: SEO for wordpress website step by step

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How to: SEO for wordpress website step by step


How to: SEO for wordpress website step by step

18 min read
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Here’s everything you need to know about SEO for your brand new WordPress website.

Let’s dive straight in:

    What Is WordPress And SEO For New Website
    SEO Basics Checklist
    WordPress SEO Tips: Optimising For Next Level Website

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#1 Using WordPress For Your New Website

Most of the websites you visit every day run on WordPress, including BBC America,, and TechCrunch. WordPress powers 35% of the entire internet, including most blogs, news sites, and social media sites. A lot of famous bands have their official websites built on WordPress. This is why so many website developers utilize it as a go-to solution.

Originally developed for blogging, WordPress quickly transformed into a flexible and powerful solution for running entire websites, and in 2020, the platform may be used as an eCommerce platform as well.

Host providers who are reliable

Your website should be hosted with a reliable provider - site speed, uptime, and security are all important things to consider when choosing a host.

In addition to slow loading times, poor uptime and security vulnerabilities can negatively affect your WordPress site's SEO performance. Choose the best technology for your needs, not the one with the lowest cost.

You might want to consider these options if you don't know where to start. WordPress itself recommends three hosting providers.

WordPress theme that is SEO-friendly

WordPress comes with the Twenty Twenty theme by default when you install the software. You aren't likely to use this one for your website though.

In fact, you can choose from several free themes and thousands of premium themes from the dashboard. However, choosing carefully is the key, or else you might use a theme that isn't SEO friendly.

It is not uncommon for themes to include scripts and plugins that you won't use, which slows your site down. Even though the majority of themes claim to be SEO-friendly, many come bundled with scripts and plugins you won't need. To identify possible performance and SEO issues with a theme, run its demo through Google's tool before installing it

WordPress With SEO Plugin for Free

Installing an SEO plugin is the first step toward optimizing your site. Both of these are free to install.

Permalinks that are SEO-friendly

Using the most SEO-friendly URL structure is important for your WordPress site. There are several ways that URLs can be structured, and you need to make sure you are choosing the right one. It defaults to using URLs such as this: In addition to being search engine-friendly, the URLs offer no clue as to what the pages are about at all.

Thanks to Settings > Permalinks, you're able to customize the URL structure

The most common option for permalinks is 'Post name'.

Make sure your XML sitemap is embedded onto your site by checking Google Search Console

It is important for your site to be verified in Google Search Console, if it hasn't already been done. In our definitive guide to Google Search Console, you can learn how to do this if you've never done this before.

The 'HTML tag' method should be selected after following the listed verification steps. Next, select the Yoast plugin: SEO > General > Webmaster Tools.

To verify the HTML tag, simply enter the following codes into the Google verification code box:

You should submit the XML sitemap under the 'Sitemaps' tab after you have verified your site. Finally click on submit.

#2 SEO Basics Checklist

The following are some basic concepts:

    Your website needs to be set up with Google Console and Google Analytics

    The SEO Plugin Install and Configuration

    Sitemap generation and submission

    Ensure your website is indexed by Google

The situation in which a website isn't actually indexed by Google is not as uncommon as you might think. In fact, you might be surprised at how often these de-indexings occur due to mistakes developers make when moving code from a staging environment to live. With the Semrush site audit tool, you can ensure that search engines will be able to crawl and index your website.

Alternatively, start a crawl for internet users to see your site; if this is blocked, search engines will not be able to see it either. Make sure your main pages that should be indexed are able to be indexed so that you do not have to deal with troubleshooting later on.

Researching keywords

    Competitors you should be aware of

    Research products, services, and your competitors by looking at Keyword Overview, and determine what are your main "$" terms.

    Use of the keyword magic tool to find long tail keywords

    Speed up your website

    Mobile-friendly websites are essential

#3 Tips for optimizing your WordPress site

Page headings should be optimized

Additionally, the page title defines your H1 heading as well as creating your default URL. Is this something you've never heard of?

Users and search engines alike should be able to understand what your page is about by its H1 heading. Similar to a book title. It is common practice to use an H1 heading (the page's title), but you should also use H2 - H6 headings, as they give structure and make it easy to read.

A H1 might be the title of your book, and an accompanying H2 might be a chapter. The tags below are subheadings. You should include your primary keywords and variants in page headings, but don't overdo this or include a keyword where it does not naturally belong.

Internal links should be used

In addition to helping establish a topic's relevance between different pages on your site and passing authority earned from external links, internal linking will help users navigate more efficiently on your page.

Within WordPress, you can easily link to other pages. Select the text that you want to link (the anchor text for your link) and click the "link" button. You can then paste a URL or search within your site for the page you wish to link to.

Use Optimized File Names for Images

You should be using images and rich media within your content. In fact, a Backlinko study found a correlation between using at least one image on a page and rankings.

It is all too easy to simply upload a screenshot or image with a useless file name, and it is not something we always pay attention to, but we should.

Before uploading an image to the WordPress media library, make sure you are using optimized file names — this helps to give further context to a page. Rather than /image123.jpg for an image of a large dog bed, use /large-dog-bed.jpg. It is simple; make sure that the file name of the image reflects what it shows.

There is no arguing that WordPress is one of the most SEO-friendly CMS’ out there, and that is one of the reasons why it is so popular. Not only is it user-friendly, but it is easy to implement a whole host of SEO tactics using just a small number of fantastic plugins.

If you are running WordPress, you have made a good choice. By following the steps above, you are putting yourself in a great position to outrank your competitors.


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