So, you’re thinking about doing the whole digital marketing thing yourself, huh? Well, it’s important to know that a lot of work—and we mean a lot—goes into optimizing a website. So much so, that even tech nerds could get tripped up while learning how to do this stuff right. If you’re interested in optimizing your site, get started with these quick and easy WordPress SEO tips for beginners.
What Is WordPress SEO?
SEO for beginners starts with understanding its importance. Search engine optimization helps your website gain more traffic by making you more visible in search results. And it all starts with content; without quality content, Google can’t “read” your site.
First, you need to learn how to optimize your content for the search engines. Your content management system (CMS) will help you get the task done. WordPress is one of the most SEO-friendly CMS’s—that’s why around 25% of the world’s websites are made with WordPress.
Getting Started on WordPress
The first of our WordPress SEO tips is to get the right tools. If you’re wondering how to enable SEO on WordPress, get Yoast SEO. It’s one of the top search engine optimization plugins on WordPress. We use it here at Post Launch every day.
Yoast allows you to optimize every blog post or webpage on your site. It even creates an XML sitemap for you, which helps search engines more easily read your website. Once you’ve got Yoast SEO installed, you’re ready to start adding content.
Optimize your blogs
Optimizing website copywriting is an ongoing process. You can’t simply write one blog and then expect your site to jump up in rankings. SEO requires you to post new quality content on a regular basis.
To begin optimizing your blog posts, use the Yoast form at the bottom of your blog posts. Here, you can add your:
- Target keyword: Word or phrase that describes the main topic of your post
- Optimized title: Interesting and eye-catching, around 60 characters or less
- Meta description (snippet): Short and sweet description (around 140 characters) of your post that includes your target keyword
Once you type all this in, you can preview what will show up in Google search results. The best part about the Yoast SEO plugin is that it judges—or ranks—your post before you publish it. Yoast will show you a little red, orange, or green dot to tell you how optimized your post is for your target keyword. I get a warm, fuzzy feeling every time the little green dot tells me I did a great job.
Formatting and other WordPress SEO tips
Once you’ve got the idea of how to optimize your blogs, you’re ready for some more WordPress SEO tips:
Optimize your URLs: When you publish new blogs and pages on your website, it’s best to optimize your URLs as well. Proper URLs make it easier for both humans and Google Bots when navigating your website. To change your permalink structure, go into your WordPress dashboard Settings, then click “Permalinks.” Here, you can change your URL structure; for the most optimized URLs, choose the “Post Name.”
URLs should use words that accurately describe the blog post or webpage. You should also avoid URLs with numbers and ones that are really long. Here’s what your URLs should NOT look like:
And here’s a better-looking URL that search engines and people will like:
Use blog categories and tags: These help organize your content. They also help search engines understand your site structure. Categories are broad groups for your blogs, while tags are keywords more specific to the blog’s topic.
Build an internal linking strategy: Show your site some love! When you post new blogs, always link to your previous blogs and other onsite pages. Internal linking helps the Google Bots crawl your site, and it helps readers explore more. You want people to stay on your site a while to reduce your bounce rate.
Add titles and alt text to photos: Yes, you also have to optimize your pictures. Google reads pretty much everything on your site. Properly naming your photos and adding alt text facilitates the “reading” process.
Content Marketing from the Experts
Does all this seem like too much work for you? Well, to do it right and rank on Google, WordPress SEO does take a lot of work and strategy. For help with your website content and your business’s blog, contact us today.