Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for WordPress

Wordpress SEO
WordPress offers a variety of settings for search engine optimization of your website. The best part is that these settings are easy to access and don’t require coding experience whatsoever.

One of the most important settings is located inside Settings > Privacy. Here you can enable your website visibility for search engines. This option is turned on by default but it is a good idea to check it out.

Next you have to pay attention to your website title (Settings > General > Site Title). Your website title will be a part of the title tag for each page and title tags are important for search engines. Use a keyword/phrase which describes best your website. The tagline description is also a part of the title tag for the home page unless you leave it blank.

Usually after publishing a new article on your website it takes some time before the content gets indexed by the search engines. To avoid this slight inconvenience after every change you make in your blog WordPress automatically signals every content change to given servers. Go to Settings > Writing and inside the Update Services field type in the servers addresses. Here you can find a list with servers: codex.

The URLs of your pages are very important for SEO. URL like http://yoursite.com/?p=123 is not the best option. Search engines cannot understand what the page content is by reading ?p=123. Use http://yoursite.com/postname/ in this way search engines will index your pages more easy and correct. You can set how your posts URLs appear in Settings > Permalinks. It is a good idea to enter inside the Custom Structure field /%postname%/. You can learn more about using permalinks here. Search engines like dynamic website with periodically added new content. That is why blog is a good choice. WordPress makes it easy to create a blog and if you structure well the blogposts your website will definitely go up in search results.

WP SEO
To write a new post inside of WordPress go to Posts > Add New. The post title is of importance. Include in the post title chosen for SEO keywords/phrases so that search engines can easily recognize what is the topic of the article. The content of the article is also very important. It has to be engaging for the visitors with useful information in this way people will come back to your website. The theory is that the keyword density in your articles should be around 2% but don’t worry just write the article without thinking about the keyword density and it will look natural. One way to choose keywords is to write in the search engine a word related to your web content and look for the drop down results to show up. In the Post Tags field you can enter some important keywords related to the article.

After you publish the article it will appear in the main blog page and the article’s own page. In this case the search engines will index duplicate content which is not good. To avoid the duplicate penalty after the first few sentences insert “more” tag. This will divide the article in two parts, the first part will be visible on the main blog page and the full content will be on the blog post’s individual page.

Dividing your content into categories can be very useful for easy navigation. Don’t add an article in more then on category this can also lead to duplicate penalty.

Besides the blog you website probably contains and other pages. The above principles are also valid for them but due to their static content they are not considered that important for SEO.

SEO - Search Engine symbol with gears
If you want to expand the standard SEO capabilities of WordPress you can install SEO plugins. There is large variety of SEO plugins most of them are free of charge – make your own choice. In this article we will focus on two of them: All in One SEO Pack and Google XML Sitemaps. All in One SEO Pack optimizes the home page, creates your chosen meta title, meta description and meta keywords. It optimizes the same way all the blog articles (all the posts). Google XML Sitemaps makes XML duplicate of the website which search engines use for quick access and indexing.

To install the plugins go to Plugins > Add New and in the search field type the plugin name. Choose the plugin and click Install Now. After the new page is loaded click on Activate Plugin. You are all ready, check the settings.

There is no need to change the default settings of Google XML Sitemaps they are already well set up. The All in One SEO Pack settings can be found in Settings > All in One SEO.

For any plugin to work its Plugin Status has to be Enabled. In the Home Title field you have to enter a variation of the website title. Follow the same principles as for the website title. If you leave the field blank the plugin will use the website title. Inside the home description you have to enter the website description which appears in search engine results for the homepage. The best number of words describing your website is 20 – 40. For Home Keywords use 3 – 4 keywords for the website in general.

WP SEO
Leave the next few fields the way they are by default. Canonical URLs Rewrite Titles: Post Title Format: Page Title Format: Category Title Format: Archive Title Format: Tag Title Format Search Title Format: Description Format: 404 Title Format: Paged Format: SEO for Custom Post Types: Use Categories for META keywords: Use Tags for META keywords Dynamically Generate Keywords for Posts Page: Make sure that Use noindex for Categories and Use noindex for Archives are checked. In this way the categories and archives pages won’t be taken into account and duplicate content will be avoided. Leave the rest the way it is by default. Don’t forget to click the Update Options button to save the changes. After that go to the posts page Posts > All Posts. Open an article and at the bottom of the page you will find All in One SEO Pack settings for the article. Type in Title, Description and Keywords and click Update.
Your beginning website optimization settings are complete. You can also go beyond these SEO settings and create social media connections etc. for further popularization of your website.

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