Setting up WordPress sites is easy, properly optimizing them for SEO isn’t. WordPress is decent for SEO out of the box, especially the new versions. But there are still scope to transform that ‘decent’ bit into ‘excellent’. SEO is not limited to low-quality link building and blatant keyword stuffing anymore. It has literally gone through an evolution in the past decade, and will never stop evolving.
1- Start With Your Blog First
When you start a new blog, you should use the ‘discourage search engines from indexing this site‘ feature of your WordPress until you’re completed with working on the structure of the WordPress blog and you are ready to launch it. After enabled this feature, it disallows search engines (bots) to crawl your pages (means handled from robots.txt). WordPress also includes rel=”noindex” and rel=”nofollow” tags in the pages of your WordPress blog, so that they don’t get indexed by search engines until you want to index them. This is very useful for beginners because most new bloggers tend to delete the default ‘Hello World’ WordPress post and tweak permalink structures and all, which would otherwise result in lots of 404 not found errors to show up in Google Webmaster Tools.
2- Setup Your Default Permalinks Structure
WordPress websites uses ‘?p=[id]‘ permalinks for posts by default and trust me this is not a search engine friendly default feature and you can miss the opportunity to put your important keywords in your WordPress post permalinks if you don’t switch to a text-based or post title based permalink structure. I also prefer the ‘digitalprakhar.com/post-name/‘ format, but you may choose any other similar structure like ‘yourdomain.com/year/month/post-name/‘
3-Upload .XML sitemap
You should upload a .xml sitemap file on your hosting server or you can install a .xml plugin in your WordPress Website. There are many free plugins for WordPress, who offer this feature for you either you can use .xml file generator website which offers you this service at free of cost. Below are few website links
4-Install WordPress SEO Plugin
You can install a WordPress SEO plugin in WordPress, And this is the best feature of WordPress. Personally, I prefer Yoast SEO plugin but WordPress have a list of SEO Plugins. Simply you need to enter SEO plugin in the search box of WordPress plugin search tab.
Installing a good quality SEO plugin is a mandatory because it can take care of various SEO aspects of your WordPress blog automatically. As soon as you install any WordPress SEO Plugin, you should enable the rel=”canonical” tag for pages on your blog. It helps search engines to determine the original source URLs of content on your blog. This is the way, it helps eliminate duplicate content issues from WordPress sites.
5-You Should Use NoFollow Untrusted And Useless Links
Basically, this is a hyperlink with a rel=”nofollow” attribute on a web page means that the web page tells the search engine spiders not to ‘follow’ that links and that it doesn’t guaranty the reliability of the linked page. Additionally, adding a rel=”nofollow” attribute to a link ensures that it gets no PageRank points from the page the link was posted on.
If you want to read that what is google guide to you? about this, you can follow this link- CLICK HERE
Suppose you have a category WordPress SEO and you again create a category with same name WordPress SEO it means you are creating a duplicate category and google will index this category so you need to be careful about duplicate indexing.
It might create duplicate content and duplicate titles issue if you don’t use different title structure for tag and category pages. A quick and fast solution would be to noindex (that’s telling search engines not to index a page using <meta name=’robots’ content=’noindex’ />) the less important page.
7. Use A Cache Plugin To Speed Up Your Blog
A cache plugin is a necessity for any WordPress website. Cache plugins do two valuable things. Firstly, they make your website speedy. Secondly, they decrease the load on your web server. Most cache plugins cache static and dynamic content to reduce the page loading times. One such excellent plugin for WordPress is W3 Total Cache which I use on TechTage and various other WordPress sites. It’s feature-rich with page caching, browser caching, object caching, database caching and minification options. A great option to it would be WP Super Cache, which generates and serves static .html pages to speed up WordPress sites. The goal of reducing web page load times is to improve the user experience. Search engines also give fast sites more edge in SERPs. So, if you make your website faster, consistently it’ll be good from an SEO perspective.
8-Switch To A Trustworthy Hosting Provider
Digital marketing experts have a different opinion about this point but according to me hosting provider also matters in WordPress Seo because if you have a genuine hosting provider it will effect on your website reliability and speed of your WordPress website.
I prefer Hostgator to host my websites and I also suggest to all my interns to use Hostgator for better hosting service.
An excellent spot to study for a new web host is WebHostingTalk. Their members are very helpful and new members get proper supervision on choosing a web host.
9- Block Spammy Comments
The latest version of WordPress done a very great job in no following links posted by users in a comment box. You can counter spam comments from seeing posted in the first place implementing habit of checking your comment box daily or you can choose an option to disable automatic comment posting on your WordPress site.
The reason, why are these spam comments bad for your blog? First of all, they don’t contribute anything to the topic and bother legit users. Secondly, if a post on cars get a comment saying things about ‘cheap mobile’, search engines don’t like that and it will effect on your WordPress SEO.
In that case, there’s a chance that the page will be flagged as spam by search engines and your site will get penalized.
10- Link Your Old Posts
While you are writing new blogs, don’t forget to link your old blogs to increase your WordPress SEO.
Internal linking has been and yet is a very serious way to encourage search engines more associated content on your website. It works as a virtual map of similar posts on your site and makes navigating within your site clearer for both users and bots. Linking to your old but related posts manually using manually chosen anchor text performs better than linking to old posts using a ‘related posts’ plugin which displays full titles of your old posts while linking to them. In addition to SEO, it also helps your old posts get more traffic.
11-Optimize the images on your site
Optimizing your images by compressing and resizing them may reduce the sizes of the images to a great extent, decreasing the page sizes and thus improving page loading performance on your blog. You may use online image resizing and compressing tools as well as their offline counterparts.
Make sure the images that you upload in WordPress are already optimized, but even if you don’t have already optimized images to upload, you can use a plugin like Smush.it to optimize and reduce the sizes of uploaded images automatically.
You can also add proper image tags to images in your posts to help them rank better in image searches. You can also include additional keywords through alt tags in your posts.
12-Do Not Link To Worthless Pages From Each Other Page
This is the huge problem with new bloggers, they every time link pages to useless pages. New bloggers should focus on content-based linking if a content of your current page is related to your another page then you should link that page to another page else you need to avoid this habit of linking.
13-Improve Your Post Tittle
You can use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner to check global and local search stats and competition levels of keywords and phrases.
Google better knows the synonyms of familiar English words, It doesn’t know that the meaning of plan is somewhat similar to the meaning of idea. So, if you are writing a post with the title – “Best Plan To Promote Your Website”, it probably won’t show up in SERPs if the user types “Best Idea To Boost Website”. So, there has to be a proper balance of low competitiveness and global or local monthly search volumes in the keywords that you choose for your post titles.
14-Integrate Social Media Sharing Buttons
Utmost search engines including Google take help of social networking websites like Twitter, Google+, Facebook etc. to discover what reactions a web page is getting from authentic users. When you like a link on Facebook, or retweet your favorite blog post on Twitter, or contribute a post you liked a +1, It means you liked the post, true? Search engines these days give posts with many social reactions more advantage in SERPs. A reward would be an increased traffic from those social networking sites for your content. You can execute social sharing buttons on your website and get those benefits.
15- Use Optimized Themes
You should try SEO optimized themes for your blog , If you can purchase a theme then it will be a positive point for WordPress SEO. There’s not much you can do if you’re not a techie guy, but if you are, you can tell if your theme is performance oriented or not by just taking a look at its code
16-Use Responsive Design
According to an article from backlinko, Google gives an edge to responsive sites in searches from mobile devices Responsive themes result in an overall excellent user experience. I favor responsive themes because I get pretty much the same layout and site experience across all my devices. You might want to use a responsive theme to improve user experience as well as WordPress SEO. Default WordPress themes like Twenty Eleven, Twenty Twelve, and the upcoming Twenty Thirteen are all responsive designs that provide great grounds to custom themes.
17-Customize your robots.txt
If you are not interested that Googlebot to crawl and index specific directories or pages of your site, you can block them orderly from your robots.txt. Now with WP Robots Txt plugin for WordPress you don’t even have to have an exact robots.txt file present inside your WordPress installation directory, it will automatically create a virtual robots.txt for your website that works just as well as a real one. You can edit robots.txt anytime from “Settings -> Reading”. You can use this to block specific bots to crawl specific parts of your website, thus improving the WordPress SEO of it.
18-Write Fresh & Unique Post Frequently
Google gives priority to fresh and unique blogs that feature frequently published posts. After the Caffeine update, Google started favor freshly updated content, especially for time-conscious searches.
If you post four times in a week and do not post anything at all the next week, it’s even dangerous than posting two posts a week consistently. Search engines adore newly updated content related content. So if you blog on fitness and say you post about diet plan and the corresponding plans, and it is not immediately copied from somewhere else, Google will love that, and you’ll probably get an advantage in SERPs. This is relevant for websites belonging to any niche.
If you need four weeks to do some research, and that research results in a really good wordpress blog post , those pieces of content often attract a lot more attention than follow on blog posts.
Apart from above steps of WordPress SEO, Following are less but mandatory steps to improve SEO of your WordPress.
19-Fix broken links on your blog
20-Put the most important keywords in the first-100 keywords zone
21-Limit URL lengths of your posts
22-Improve your content to improve user experience
23-Try to create viral content to get a sudden boost in traffic
24-Focus more on your blog’s Social Media profiles
25-Try to write detailed, high-quality, lengthy posts