Most of you might have heard about the term SEO after coming into the world of blogging and becoming a webmaster. So, what exactly is SEO? Why is SEO so important for your website? How to improve the SEO of your WordPress site? We will take a look at all of these in this post.
What is SEO and Why is it Necessary?
If you are a webmaster then you must know that SEO is really important for your website. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your website looks. Without SEO, your website won’t appear in search results. Also, the higher a website ranks in a search engine, the more organic traffic it gets.
SEO is not that hard as some people might like you to believe. The simple mantra to SEO is to keep it simple and to use a bit of common sense.
Down below I have shown 8 quick and easy ways by which you can improve the SEO of your WordPress site.
- Set Correct Permalinks
In what format your website displays a page in the URL bar is called permalinks. WordPress comes with the default permalink setting as shown below:
This is bad for SEO and also bad for readability. So, change the permalinks to something more readable like example.com/post_name.
You can do this in WordPress by going to settings -> permalinks and %postname% in custom permalink. This will help the URL to be more human-readable and search engines will be able to crawl the site more easily.
- Create a Sitemap
Sitemaps are important for search engine crawlers for indexing your website as they tell the crawlers the exact structure of your site. Creating an XML sitemap is extremely easy. You can use any SEO plugin (more on that later) or you can you Google XM Sitemaps plugin (shown below).
- Use Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a popular analytics tool offered by Google. It helps you to keep track of your website traffic. This tool is very powerful and tells you a lot of things like most visited page, time spent on each page etc.
Google analytics also helps you to track down 404 errors, combating referral spam etc.
- Use SEO Optimized Themes
WordPress has thousands of themes. Many of them are geared towards visual appearance and aesthetics (at the cost of slow speed). Others are geared towards speed and good coding.
SEO optimized themes fall into the second category. They also have appropriate code to implement the latest SEO best practices.
In short, here are some of the factors you can look for to choose a SEO optimized theme:
- Provision for open graph meta tags to improve social sharing.
- Provision for meta tags.
- No use of unnecessary code.
- Use SEO Plugins
There are many SEO plugins for WordPress such as Yoast SEO, RankMath etc. All of these offer complete SEO solution for your WordPress site. They improfe your On-Page SEO.
These plugins add meta tags, sitemap and more. They also help you to analyze the content for best SEO practices. From adding meta tags to content analysis, SEO plugins have you covered.
- Optimize Your Media
Media is an important part of any website. But, if left unoptimized, they can ruin your SEO efforts. How you name your images will determine your image SEO.
Naming an image with a complex name will ruin your SEO. Also, having over-sized images will slow down your website and hence will again ruin your SEO. In short:
- Add proper image title and description.
- Compress and resize your images.
- Produce High-Quality Content
The best SEO tactic is to write high-quality, engaging content. The thing is simple – if the content is of low quality, then you won’t get much visitors and if you won’t get much visitors, your site won’t rank high.
Here are some traits of high-quality content:
- Unique – The content that you post should be unique. It SHOULD NEVER be copied straight from any website as Google loves to punish content thieves and it will happily lower your site ranking. You can write about the same topic as someone else but don’t steal that person’s work.
- Helpful and Accurate – The content that you write should be helpful. People use the internet to search for information that they don’t know but want to learn more about a particular thing. If you write content that helps other people, your content will be considered to be of a higher quality
- Use Good Quality Hosting
A major ranking factor for websites on Google is the site speed. So, its also important to have really high quality, fast hosting so that Google marks your site as “fast”. Some of the hosts that I would suggest is Hostinger, WP Engine, Kinsta, SiteGround.
I hope this guide has been really helpful. If you have any queries or suggestions, then please let me know in the comments down below.
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