Want some quick and easy tips to make your WordPress site SEO-friendly?
I’ll show you how to do this using different tools/strategies including Yoast’s WordPress SEO Plugin, Google Webmaster Tools, and keyword optimization. There is more to SEO than 9 items (there’s over 200 factors in Google) but my tips will get you on the right track – and I’m sure you will learn something new especially with the resources I mention in this guide.
Here’s what to do…
1. Get Your SEO Foundation Down
Domain – having keywords in the domain helps SEO, but according to Matt Cutts it’s better to choose something brandable. More people will remember your site, trust it, link to it, etc.
Hosting – site speed, uptimes, and security all affect SEO – and hosting is the best place to start. I use SiteGround’s semi-dedicated GoGeek plan ($14.95/month) but they also have other shared hosting for as low as $3.95/month as well as Cloud hosting for $54/month. You don’t want hosting issues affecting your SEO because trust me, it can. Choose a good host!
Theme – some WordPress themes are more SEO-friendly than others, since your theme affects site speed, security, support for rich snippets and other SEO factors. Here’s my list of 25 themes which are SEO-friendly and built in the Genesis Framework (Genesis is SEO-friendly in itself and recommended by the Founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg.
2. Leverage The Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin
Yoast is the most robust SEO Plugin, but it must be setup and utilized properly if you want the best results for your WordPress SEO. To do this, I broke Yoast down into 3 steps:
Configuring The Settings – see my tutorial which includes a zip file of the Yoast settings I use (you can upload it directly to your WordPress site). There are some fields you will need to change in the Yoast settings for YOUR website – which I’ve listed in that tutorial.
Researching Keywords – see the video…
Optimizing Content For Keywords – see the video…
3. Use Yoast’s Other WordPress SEO Plugins
- Yoast Video SEO Plugin
- Yoast Local SEO Plugin
- Yoast Google News SEO Plugin
- Yoast WooCommerce SEO Plugin
4. Organize Your Permalinks
Structuring your permalinks around your different product/service/location keywords is part of “site structure” and making your site user-friendly. Below are some common examples of ways to do this, which you would do in WordPress using parent pages.
To do this, create the parent page (eg. /services) then create the other page (eg. /web-design). When editing the web design page you will see an option on the right of your dashboard to set the parent page which in this case would be “services” (photo below). This will make the web design page’s permalink read: website.com/services/web-design/
5. Make Your WordPress Site Load Faster
6. Interlink Related Content
In step #2 I talked about configuring the Yoast settings. I already wrote an extensive article on how to do that, so I simply linked to that article. This helps you, my readers, find additional information about Yoast. At the same time it creates a link to that article which improve it’s SEO. Interlinking pages/posts like this is the easiest way to build natural links!
7. Create Videos
Videos improve engagement, reduce bounce rates, increase conversions, and the videos themselves can even appear in search results (photo below). You can also use Yoast’s Video SEO Plugin to better optimize your videos. Just make sure you follow the same basic SEO strategies as you do your pages/posts (research a keyword, then use it in the file name before you upload it, video tile, description, then promote it to get views/likes/comments.
8. Check For Google Webmaster Tools Errors
Fixing mobile issues, security issues, bad meta descriptions, and other errors will improve SEO. Once you’ve verified Google Webmaster with Yoast, go through my list…
Find this in your Google Webmaster Tools account under search appearance –> HTML Improvements. This tells you which SEO titles and meta descriptions are too long, short, are missing, or where it’s a duplicates. Click the links in GWT to go to each page and fix it.
Find under search traffic –> mobile usability (or check here).
Find under security issues (a main tab on the left).
9. Yes, Content Is Still King
You know content is king, but what have you done about it? Other than checking for typos and making sure your copy reads well, what else can you do?
Well I’ll tell you – you should spruce it up! Use videos, columns, add an HTML table of contents, embed Twitter statuses and make your content shine! I wrote a nice list on how to spruce up your WordPress content which includes 21 ideas – it’s worth checking out.
That’s all I got for now! I have tons of resources on my sidebar widgets/footer if you want more tips on making your WordPress site SEO-friendly. Other than that, please share this article if you found it helpful! Or drop me a line if you need help with anything SEO-related.