WordPress has always been praised as one of the most SEO friendly and optimized content management systems (CMS) – even right out-of-the-box! But there are still some very important and basic first steps that you might want to help you install WordPress on your blog or site. Help optimize the on-page SEO of your installation and ensure that you are on the right track for racking well in search. Engine.
Our post today is for those who have just installed WordPress and want to optimize their site . This WordPress simple SEO guide will help ensure that you do not have to go through tons of work later to fix your basic onsite SEO.
Step 1: Check Search Engine Visibility Settings
This is a very basic step but very important. There is an option in WordPress whereby you can set your site to block search engines. Some hosting companies with auto-install features can install WordPress with this setting by default. By enabling this option, WordPress will prevent your site from being indexed in any search engine. This may be fine for a staging or testing site, but not for your live website.
Ensure that the search engine visibility setting is left unchecked to “discourage search engines from indexing this site”. This way Google, Yahoo, and all other search engines will not have trouble finding your site.
Step 2: Optimize Permalinks
By default WordPress uses a messy URL structure that looks something like this:
For SEO and user-friendliness you should always have a URL structure made up of keywords that describe a page. For example, the following URL about a page should use:
It is more user friendly than p = 123. Don’t you agree? Thankfully, WordPress has built-in Permalink settings to change the URL structure of its site to something more SEO optimized.
So go to Settings> Permalinks and choose the option called “Post Name” or enter your custom URL using the available tag.
For most people WordPress will automatically update your .htaccess file to reflect your new Permalink structure, but for some you may have to update it manually. You will find out because you will get a little warning and you will get 404 errors on your site.
Important : If your site is already up and running and has been indexed by search engines, there are a few more steps involved in changing your permalinks. You will need to redirect your old links to 301 and at the same time search engines will have to re-index your site to avoid broken links. But don’t worry – we have a complete guide on how to safely replace Permalink.
Step 3: Install a good SEO plugin
One of the best things about WordPress is the ability to install plugins that will add additional functions to your site. When it comes to SEO, there are tons of WordPress plugins to choose from. Many of these plugins can be useful in improving your site’s overall search engine ranking. But for our WordPress Simple SEO Guide, here are the plugins that we think you should consider.
When selecting the main SEO plugin for your site, be sure to review the features and add-ons available to find the one you like best. Take time to make sure it is a good fit. Because after a few thousand posts on your blog you will not want to switch plugins and you will have to go through all your posts to fix all meta titles and descriptions.
What to see in SEO Plugin
First of all, you want to get an SEO plugin that will allow you to easily add meta descriptions and titles to your blog posts. They are used when your page appears in search results, so you want to edit and optimize them.
Second, a sitemap is also an important one. Basically this is a list of all the links on your website that you would like to index and you can upload it through your Google webmasters so that you can tell Google what the content on your site is and what crawling and indexing them Should be
And third, schema markup for your posts and pages should be included. If you want to learn more then we have a complete WordPress schema markup guide, but think of it as a note card for your page. Schema markup will tell a search engine important details in an instant bullet point format: content type, title, publication date, author, etc. Any good SEO plugin will be included.
Note : You only need one SEO plugin. Setting up multiple will not improve your SEO much, in fact it can lead to errors that actually hurt your SEO. So you choose a favorite and say it one day!
Yoast SEO is a great SEO plugin option, and what we use here in WPExplorer. The plugin provides many features to help any beginner to customize their website for search engines, including title and meta descriptions, schema implementations, XML sitemaps, breadcrumbs, canonical URLs, and more. Also Yoast provides built-in SEO and readability analysis that you can use on a per page / post basis to really fix your content.
All in one seo pack
Alternatively, the All in One SEO Pack offers equally great options, making it our second SEO plugin recommendation. There are lots of basic SEO options for sitemaps, Google AMP, schema markup, canonical URLs, and automatic title optimization. But what makes the All in One SEO Pack special is that the free version of the plugin also offers e-commerce SEO options. So if you are running a store with WooCommerce or EDD, then All in One SEO Pack may be right for you.
Step 4: Choose an SEO-Friendly WordPress Theme
The WordPress theme you choose is also very important for SEO. And from where you choose to receive it makes a huge difference.
First – always download your theme from a reputed market or developer. A lot of free theme sites add encrypted links with weird URLs (think gambling sites, rave reviews, bitcoin scams and such) that will hurt your SEO. Because these are sites that may not be related to you, linking them can hurt your ranking. You will avoid these sketch themes by sticking to trusted providers like WordPress.org, Themeforest and WPExplorer.
Second – choose a well-coded topic. Some themes do not make proper use of heading tags (h1, h2, h3, h4), content positioning (post text should always precede the sidebar) or are simply poorly coded so that search engine bots will be sent to your computer. Will have trouble crawling properly.
What to see in a WordPress theme
Here are some important features you want to see when choosing your WordPress theme.
- The site title should be an H1 title on the homepage and an H2 title on the other pages
- All post titles must have h1 tag
- Breadcrumb navigation
- Next and previous post links
- Related posts on single posts
- Clean Semantics – Check with W3C
- Make sure there are no fish links in the subject pointing to the sketch sites (these are usually in the footer)
Built-in SEO Options?
At WPExplorer we do not build SEO options in our themes (the closest we get is a simple Google Analytics field to track your performance), and we use a theme with loads of built-in SEO options. Do not recommend The main reason is that if you ever want to switch all your on-page SEO efforts will be lost.
However, even though we would not recommend it, we can understand that for some people it simplifies website creation. Especially if you want to setup a quick site with just a few pages. Such as a quick affiliate landing page or a simple single-page site for product sales.
Pick Us: Total Theme
When it comes to choosing a topic keeping SEO in mind, we feel that our overall theme is the cream of the crop. Here in WPExplorer, hand coded, we took the time to codify the overall WordPress theme with valid, semantic code. The theme includes a built in schema implementation as well as full support for the Yoast SEO plugin. And this is in addition to many design options such as drag and drop page builder, live customizer settings, font options and more.
Step 5: Add Analytics Tracking
This is not necessarily an SEO step, but setting up your tracking system immediately will help you find out how many people are visiting your website as well as monitor how they got there. Keeping a close watch on your analytics can help you optimize your site in the future.
Many premium themes already include an option in the admin panel where you can paste your code to automatically include it in the header or footer of your site. But if your subject does not include it as a feature, then you have some options.
If you are comfortable with the code, you can use your header. Php or footer.php can open the file and insert the code manually.
But this is a simple WordPress beginner’s SEO guide. There are many easy to use plugins that allow you to set your own tracking code on your site / blog. Below are two plugins that we recommend. Again – you only need one, so choose your favorite. We do not recommend installing many analytics plugins.
Google Sites Kit
If you are using Google Analytics, why not give the official Google Site Kit plugin? This free plugin allows you to integrate and view all your analytics from your WordPress dashboard. So it not only makes it easy to connect your analytics, but also simplifies the tracking process in future. We have a complete Google Site Kit guide to walk you through the setup process or if you want to see more features of the Site Kit.
Similar to the Site Kit, MonsterInsights provides a complete Google Analytics dashboard with your WordPress site. There are easy one-click connect features, as well as built-in reports for viewers, behavior, content, forms, search consoles and more. There is also a MonsterInsights Pro version with additional features for tracking events, e-commerce, custom dimensions, popular posts, and affiliate links, as well as other detailed reporting options.
Step 6: Add Social Bookmarking
We all know how important social influence is in terms of site ranking these days. And even if it does not increase your ranking, it is still important to generate traffic and followers.
If your topic does not already offer social media integration, we recommend installing a plugin for social bookmark buttons, as well as links to your own social profiles. Here are some plugins that we link and recommend.
Candy Social Widget
Show your social profile on the widgetized sidebar of your theme with social candy. This simple plugin adds a variety of social links and styling options so that visitors to your site can easily find you on Twitter, Facebook, PinTest, LinkedIn, YouTube and more.
Easy Social Share Button
Looking for a way for readers to share your content quickly? Then Easy Social Share Button is for you. This comprehensive social share plugin provides integration with over 50+ social networks, plus 30+ display methods, custom styling options, mobile messenger app support and more. Also has built-in analytics to boot!
Step 7: Write / Add epic content
Now that you are setting up the basics, the only thing left to you is to write epic content. In the end the biggest factor is whether you will get traffic and have your content for people to share your site with.
You need to make sure that your website provides value to its readers. And not only will great content help you rank and get people to share your site, but it will also help you gather a following. And for some websites your followers are the ones who will generate the most income for you as opposed to passive visitors.
Hopefully our WordPress Simple SEO Guide helps make your SEO (now and in the future) a little easier. SEO should not be overwhelming, especially if you focus on the basics. In this way you are laying a solid foundation for your site to rank better in search engines for years to come.
Also, if you get all the basic WordPress SEO right from the start, you can focus on other important (and more fun) tasks. Such as content creation, social media, marketing and more!
We provide you a wonderful course on SEO, you can get it by clicking on below Get Course button.