26/06/2019

WordPress search engine optimization for beginners

WordPress Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important part of building home pages. Many WordPress SEARCH ENGINE optimization guides are too technical and not suitable for beginners. I decided to write a complete beginner's guide on how to make WordPress search engine optimization right and easy.

Lucky for you, you've chosen WordPress as a platform for your homepage, as WordPress's search engine optimization is really beginner-friendly and doesn't require a huge amount of technical know-how. The basic common sense and guts of a Finn provide the necessary tools to make a good WordPress search engine optimization. In this writing, I will go through the different steps you need to take into account when making the SEO.

What is SEO?

SEO, known worldwide by the acronym: "SEO". SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. Search engine optimization aims to increase the ranking of websites in search engine search results. The goal is therefore to gain more visibility and thus more potential customers.

WordPress SEO in brief

WordPress search engine optimization is at its simplest the revenue from informative content. The content on your home page should answer your visitors' questions and interests. If people aren't interested in content, your Page won't go up in search engine results. Over time, interesting and informative content will lift your site up in search results. However, there are several different things you can use to increase your home page's ranking in search engines. In this guide, we will go through the full SEO section of the process.

WordPress's own tools

WordPress is already well search engine optimized directly from the package, with a lot of built-in features that the user may not even see. WordPress, for example, sends information tosearch engines when you post something new on your site.

Before you start, I recommend looking at Google's own demo page on how Google's search engine works. (The demo page is pretty handsome, by the way)


SEARCH ENGINE Optimization Guide for Beginners

A "step-by-step" style beginner's guide on how to make WordPress search engine optimization. Start by logging in to the WordPress home page dashboard. (sivusiosoite.fi/wp-admin)

#1 - WordPress Personal Settings

Search engine visibility

First of all, we make a few changes to WordPress's own settings that are easily overlooked. First, check if you can allow the search engine robots to scan their homepages by going → Settings search engine visibility. Verify that you do not have a box selected. This setting tells search engines that you don't want your home page to end up in search engine results. During the development phase of the site, this setting may be turned on, but I recommend that you turn it back on at the launch stage. The undersigned may have forgotten this once. Oops...

Address structure

Next, we want to change the link structure of your site so that the links on your site look readable. Based on the link alone, the visitor should already know which topic the page is working on. Easy-to-read links are also easier for search engines to process. To change the link structure of WordPress, go to: → Address Structure. Select the item: "Article name". This way, all links to pages and articles on your site are built short and stylish.

#2 - Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a gentle tool for every SEO expert. It allows you to explore what content google's search engine sees on your site. Use this tool to see the development of your site in search results for all different search terms and keywords. Google Search Engine will also notify you if anything on your site prevents your home page from being indexed.

Indexing means finding new or updated pages and adding them to Google databases (Google indexes my site). One of Google's crawler robots sends a page request, i.e. indexes the page. The terms 'indexing' and 'indexing' are often used as synonyms, but these are separate, although related, events.

In the Google Search Console dashboard, you can take a closer look at which search terms people can find your home page and how many times your site has appeared in Google search results. At the same time, you can see through various reports how your site has grown over time.

Not only does this tool significantly help your search engine optimize your homepage, but it also helps to keep an eye on the functionality of your pages. Google Search Console also notifies you of serious security flaws!

Learn how to set up Google Search Console!

#3 - SSL Encryption

ssl encryption

Security should never be neglected, but now there is another good reason for improving security: search engine optimization. By activating SSL encryption on your website, you are improving your site's ability to rank well in Google search results. Google wants to encourage all home page administrators to use SSL on all sites. Of course, the incentive is a better ranking in the search results. More and more hosting the service provider offers a free SSL certificate for this purpose.

Test whether SSL works on your homepage by adding"https:// " in front of the URL on your home page. (for example, https://www.diynetti.fi/) If the page opens without errors and a lock icon appears on the edge of the address bar, you have a valid SSL certificate. If the site does not load or you receive a nasty-looking error page, please contact your service provider.

The introduction HTTPS:// address beginning with "2000" can also be made easier by downloading a WordPress add-on called "Really Simple SSL". This add-on helps you replace previous unscrypted links with new SSL-enabled links. This prevents urls that start with HTTP and HTTPS from being confused on your home page.

Read also our HTTP vs HTTPS article on the topic!

WordPress Security

If your site is wounded or your website is infected with a virus, Google may add a so-for-sign home page to your website. Blacklisted. If your Page is blacklisted, it's no longer in Google's search results. Therefore, it is important that you take care of the security and overall security of your site. You don't want to lose your hard-won investments in Google search results just because some random hacker manages to get inside your homepage.

The least you can do is choose a secure hosting provider's antivirus. As an administrator of your homepage, you should also keep all WordPress add-ons updated at all times. It is also clear that the WordPress page administrator's account should be well protected. So use a strong password! I recommend using a password manager so you don't have to remember long and difficult passwords yourself. Read our article on password manageres.

#4 - Add-ons

There are many options and competition for features is really fierce, so no option is bad. However, I am only actively using two different add-ons myself, so I will tell you a little more about them. Of these two SEO add-ons, I always choose one, depending on the situation. I will also tell you on what grounds I choose between them.

The task of the SEO add-on is to provide useful features and automation that make it easier to get search engine optimization on WordPress pages. SEO add-ons are not enough in themselves to achieve an optimal result, but provide a lot of useful tips and tools to achieve the best result. The add-ons themselves tell you a lot of WordPress search engine optimization tips to follow.

The SEO add-on mainly modifies texts that appear in search engine search results. These texts are better known for the terms meta description and (meta) title. For example, if you search Google for anything, you'll see a title, link, and short description for each search result in the search results. This information can be easily edited with the SEO add-on. SEO add-ons often also create a so-called sitemap (eng. sitemap) that makes it easier for search engine robots to find all the different pages and articles on the WordPress page.

Yoast SEO

Yoast is currently the most popular add-on to facilitate Search Engine Optimization for WordPress. It has been installed over 5 million times, and not in vain. Yoast offers you everything you can need. You can edit the titles and meta description of different pages directly from editing pages and articles. Yoast's strength lies in the fact that it works with many different page builders such as: Elementor, Divi and Oxygen Builder. Yoast SEO's weakness is its Premium package. If you want all the joy out of the Yoast SEO add-on, you'll have to buy their premium version. I myself use Yoast when I make a website for a customer who wants to continue maintaining the pages after the hand-over. Yoast is better known and support a little better than competitors.

Rank Math

Rank Math is a comparatively new add-on, but beats every other SEO add-on by the fact that all its features are free. For example, all features in the Premium version of the Yoast SEO add-on are available for free on Rank Math. The weakness of Rank Math is that it does not read the contents of all page builders and thus gives you invalid SEO tips. This is not a problem if you are a little more trained in SEO. But if you are a complete novice, then I recommend trying Yoast first and then possibly moving on to Rank Math. Rank Math also supports transferring settings from Yoast, but Yoast does not support moving from Rank Math.

#5 - Writing Content

This is the most important point in terms of SEO. Google's search engine robot is really advanced and cheating it is almost impossible these days. At worst, tricking a search engine leads to sanctions, which could cause your Page to completely disappear from the search results. So take the time to think carefully about what you want your home page to achieve.

The best tip I've ever received is to write content that other people benefit from. Just don't sell and advertise. No one can visit pages like this, and your site never rises very high in search results. Also try to hook people with a title and description.

If you're using Yoast SEO or another SEO add-on, you can easily edit the metadata of each page by scrolling down in the article or page editing window. This allows you to edit the title and description that will appear later in Google search results. SEO add-ons also provide a lot of tips to help you improve the search engine optimization of a page or article. However, don't always try to aim full 100% according to the recommendations of these add-ons, but aim for the content of your article or Page to be of real quality.

H1, H2, H3 and H4

Headlines and subtitles are a very important part of writing a good article. Your page should have one header that uses the H1 tag and multiple H2 tag subtitles. If you can make it easier to read text with H3 and H4 tags, use them too. These titletags make it easier for people and search engines to read text.

Media usage on WordPress pages

Use photos and videos in moderation, but also don't miss them. Each page should contain an article image. This is set in WordPress from the right sidebar when you edit the article. The article image appears when you share a page to different social media services and instant messaging. A good picture and title will tempt people to open your Page!

#6 - Internal Links

Different pages and articles on your entire site have their own weight (page authority) in search results. One factor that determines this value is the number of links and the quality of the links. Internal links across pages and articles add this value. At the same time, internal links keep readers longer on the pages and increase your ranking in search results.

#7 - Categories and Keywords

WordPress itself supports dividing articles into categories. You can also give keywords to articles. Categories and keywords make it easier for users and search engine robots to better understand the structure of your site. However, there are a few rules of thumb on how to use categories and keywords correctly.

The categories are intended for defining larger groups. For example, if you set up a food blog, your category could be: "breakfast," "lunch," "dinner" and "dessert."

Keywords, or tags, describe topics in more detail. For example, if you had more than one porridge recipe, you could set the word "porridge" as one of the keywords. This would find all the porridge recipes under the same keyword.

#8 - WordPress pages loading speed

40% of visitors to the website will be removed if the website loading speed lasts more than three seconds. 73% of mobile internet users say they have come across a website that loads too slowly. More and more network users are now impatient. That's why it's very important that your website loads as quickly as possible. Websites that are too slow lead to the loss of potential customers.

Google uses one of the download speeds on the homepage as one of the criteria for ranking in search results. Optimizing the download speed of a website is now one part of WordPress search engine optimization. Below is a short list of things you can do to speed up the download speed of your homepage without much hassle.

We offer an optimized superfast hosting service on WordPress at a low cost.

Optimize images

Photos are generally the biggest lane-taking factor on the homepage. It is therefore worth reducing the size of these images without ingesting their quality. To do this, there are several different WordPress add-ons. Free and certainly the most popular is Smush Image Compression and Optimization. Download the add-on, enable it, and go to the add-on dashboard. You can choose "Bulk Smush" to optimize all existing images. Also change the settings so that all new images you add are optimized

PNG vs JPG

In short: If you need a transparent background, use . PNG file format. If you are uploading photos, use . JPG file format. . The JPG file format uses much less space, but the quality of the images is not pixel-specific. Photos don't have to be quite pixel-accurate online, as accurate photos take up a lot of space and lots of space-consuming images slow down your pages.

You see, man! Don't upload pictures that are too big. It's a good idea to change the resolution of your pictures to closer to the size of the picture on the home page.

Other useful tips

Keywords or keywords

When you search for something in google's search engine, what you type in the search box is your search message. When you do SEO, you want your post to respond as well as possible to these search terms. The example below will certainly make it easier for you to understand what, this is to search for, and why planning search terminations in advance is very important.

Study keywords in advance

To get you, what people are looking for in google's search engine, you need to put yourself in your customer's shoes. Think carefully about all possible terms your customer should find your Page in the search engine.

Example:

You are an entrepreneur in the restaurant industry in Tampere. You specialize in Asian food. There are a few ways to find your page. The broader search term would be "restaurant tampere". Another more specific search term would be "Asian restaurant tampere". Try including these search terms multiple times in your Page's texts. Don't read them where they don't work naturally.

Where can I find the right keywords for me?

To do this, Google offers a great and free service called Keyword Planner. It allows you to map out all possible keywords that could work on your website. Collect about 5 keywords for yourself and focus on developing them at first. After you type content that contains these keywords, you can start tracking the development of your search order using Google Search Console. Keep in mind that it takes time to get up in search results and it can take several months before you can bring your home page closer to the desired ranking.

Summary

WordPress search engine optimization at the basic level is very simple and even with a little effort you can create a good basis for your own website. Google's search robot is constantly evolving and it can appreciate well-made homepages in the same way as any real page user. All in all, good, high-quality content brings more traffic to your website in the long run than any other search engine job.

If all this seems too difficult and you want results easily, then contact us Us. Check out our SEO service as well.

The article was written by Tuomas Lindroos
Entrepreneur in the company Tuonetti - Turbo nerd web developer who specializes in creating websites and developing web servers.