SEO For WordPress is an in-depth ultimate Guide For Beginner bloggers and WordPress users to learn How To Make WordPress Site SEO Friendly to increase blog traffic.
A Step by Step guide for beginners to learn basic and advanced SEO for WordPress Website for better Search Engine rankings.
Starting a blog is simple and easy but it is hard to run a successful blog, writing great content and driving traffic to your blog is not very simple and easy.
We have published a step by step guide that explains How to create a blog using WordPress?. If you really want to grow your business, start your blog today.
How To Make WordPress Site SEO Friendly
In this in-depth SEO For WordPress guide, I am going to share how to make WordPress site SEO friendly from the start.
- How to Choose the best domain name for your blog
- Recommended plugins to make WordPress site SEO friendly
- How to make WordPress site SEO friendly without plugins
- how to use images to make WordPress site SEO friendly and much more.
A 2014 BrightEdge.com study finds that 51% of all visitors come from organic search (Google, Bing, Yahoo etc), dwarfing traffic from other channels including paid search (10%) and social media (5%).
Mostly, Search Engines are the primary driver of traffic to your business or personal website. With better Search Engine Optimization you can drive quality and highly targeted traffic to your blog or website.
Search Engine Optimization or most commonly known term SEO is the technique to optimize your websites for Search Engines (Google, Bing etc).
Let’s start learning how to make WordPress site SEO friendly.
SEO For WordPress: Search Engine Optimization For WordPress Beginner
Let’s learn how to make WordPress site SEO friendly?.
I am going to outline some best practices that can help you to make your WordPress websites more search engine friendly.
Further Reading: Ultimate Guide: What Is WordPress How Does It Work & Who Use It
For some basic settings you don’t need any plugin but to optimize your content (article, pages, and videos) you should use WordPress SEO plugins.
There are many free and best WordPress SEO Plugins available. Yoast SEO and All in One SEOare two very popular free plugins to make WordPress site SEO friendly.
WordPress is now powering almost 25% of the web, and thousands of new websites are created every day. It is really important to drive traffic when you start a new blog or website.
Further Reading: 37 Proven Tactics: How To Launch Blog Successfully & Increase Traffic
WordPress itself is a very search engine friendly Content Management System. But with better planning and using some best practices you can improve your search engine rankings.
Better Search engine rankings mean more traffic, more subscribers, more customers and more profit.
Do You Need WordPress SEO Plugins To Make WordPress Site SEO Friendly?
It is not necessary to install a plugin but with WordPress SEO plugins it is very easy to optimize your content and make your site SEO friendly.
I personally use Yoast SEO plugin to optimize WordPress for search engines. Yoast SEO is most popular free WordPress SEO plugin. If you are using any other WordPress SEO plugins, that’s not a big issue.
Almost all WordPress SEO plugins offer necessary features to optimize Different (30+) type of WordPress websites.
How To Make WordPress Site SEO Friendly: Google WebMaster Guidelines
Google is the most popular search engine and almost all web developers and bloggers want higher ranking in Google.
Here are some key points to remember when optimizing your websites for search engines. These guidelines are for all types of websites.
it does not matter if you are using WordPress or any other CMS like Joomla, Drupal etc. You should always follow these guidelines to make your website SEO friendly.
Google Recommends The Following Best Practices To Get Higher Search Engine Rankings.
- Make web pages (write quality content) primarily for users, not for search engines. Don’t deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users, a practice commonly referred to as “cloaking.”
- Make a website with a clear hierarchy and text links. Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link.
- Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.
- Make sure that your
titleelements for links and ALT attribute for images are descriptive and accurate.
- Use keywords to create descriptive, human-friendly URLs. Provide one version of a URL to reach a document, using 301 redirects or the rel=”canonical” attribute to address duplicate content.
- Create mobile-friendly fully responsive websites, Google recommends responsive web design and discourage different websites for mobiles.
Mukesh has written an in-depth Beginner’s Guide to Properly Using Rel Tags To Improve Your Site’s Rankings, In this guide, You will learn how to properly use
rel=”canonical”, Rel next/prev tag
rel=”next” and rel=”prev” and Rel alternate tag
How To Make WordPress Site SEO Friendly: Basic SEO Settings
First of all, I am going to discuss some basic Best WordPress SEO practices, you don’t need any plugin to follow some of the best practices outlined here but we recommend Yoast SEO plugin.
First thing first, make sure search engines can index your website. Under Settings, > ReadingUncheck Discourage search engines from indexing this site.
How Important Are Keywords In A Domain Name For SEO?
One of the most important thing that can help you to optimize your blog for search engines is the choice of domain name.
We have published a step by step guide, read How To Choose A Good Domain Name For Your Blog to learn more about domain name best practices.
WordPress Website Speed: Make Your Web Pages Load Faster
According to surveys done by Akamai and Gomez.com, nearly half of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and they tend to abandon a site that isn’t loaded within 3 seconds.
79% of web shoppers who have trouble with website performance say they won’t return to the site to buy again and around 44% of them would tell a friend if they had a poor experience shopping online.
Page Load Time matters: choose a good hosting provider, install caching plugin to make your WordPress website load faster.
Visitors tend to abandon a site that isn’t loaded within 3 seconds.
Speed is very important for search engines such as Google hates slow website and users will leave your website if it will take too much time to load.
Choose a good WordPress web hosting service provider. Make sure your website is fast enough. Start with a good hosting provider.
Reducing the page loading time of your website pages improves your visitor’s user experience and reduces the chance of them hitting the back button on their browser.
After installing WordPress install a WordPress caching plugin. For example, W3 Total Cache is a very popular free plugin to optimize WordPress for speed.
There are a number of ways in which you can improve the speed of a WordPress website, however, a WordPress caching plugin will make the biggest difference. Here are few popular free WordPress caching plugins.
- W3 Total Cache
- WP Super Cache
- WP Rocket
- Hyper Cache
- WP Fastest Cache
- Quick Cache
For more details about caching plugins and caching process read this Five Best WordPress Caching Plugins post.
If you are publishing new content on regular basis and use a lot of images, and videos in your posts, must install Lazy loading plugin to improve the performance of your website.
First thing first, make sure search engines can index your website. Under Settings check Allow search engines to index
WWW Or Non-WWW: Set Your Preferred Domain In Google Web Master Tools
Google recommend web developers to add both www and non-www version of their websites to Google Search Console (Google Web Master Tools). You should not ignore this. Login to Google Search console and add both versions of your website. Then select the preferred version of your website.
The preferred domain is the one that you would like to be used to index your site’s pages (sometimes this is referred to as the canonical domain).
Links may point to your site using both the www and non-www versions of the URL (for instance, http://www.example.com and http://example.com).
The preferred domain is the version that you want used for your site in the search results.Google
To learn more how to set Set your preferred domain (www or non-www) visit google web master guidelines.
How To Specify A Preferred Domain In Google Search Console
- Login to Google Search Console using Gmail account
- On the Search Console Home page, click the site you want.
- Click the gear icon, and then click Site Settings.
- In the Preferred domain section, select the option you want
How To Make WordPress Site Seo Friendly: Choose Best Permalink Structure
Make your permalink structure search engine and human-friendly. WordPress helps you to easily change the permalink structure. You can see the permalink settings under Settings > Permalinks.
The default permalink is
but it is highly recommended to use either
example.com/post-name/ or example.com/category/post-name/
According to Google webmaster guidelines, a website’s URL structure should be as simple as possible. Always consider organizing your content so that all URLs are constructed logically and in a manner that is most intelligible to humans (when possible, readable words rather than long ID numbers).
For example, YouTube video URL’s are not appealing and human readable. See example links below and decide which one is better.
For example, if you’re searching for information about successful blog launch, a URL like
will help you decide whether to click that link. Now you understand How To Make WordPress Site Seo Friendly with a better permalink structure.
Google recommends developers to use punctuation in your URLs. according to Google
http://www.example.com/green-dress.html is much more useful to us than
Google recommends use of hyphens (-) instead of underscores (_) in URLs.
How To Make WordPress Site Seo Friendly By Optimizing Post Titles
- Write compelling and interesting headlines
- Add the most important keywords but Avoid keyword stuffing
- Title Length: No more than 70 characters
To learn more you should read How To Write SEO Friendly Blog Posts Titles
Content Is King: Publish Relevant High-Quality Content
How To Make WordPress Site Seo Friendly with better content.
- Write Original content
- Make Your Content More Readable (Write short paragraphs, use lists, blockquotes etc)
- Make Your Content More Shareable (Install social media sharing plugin)
- Post length really matters
- Add related keywords within blog post
- Update your content regularly
Further Reading: 8 Free WordPress Plugins To Increase Blog Traffic & EMail List
Always Write Original Content: Google and other search engines hate duplicate content. Always avoid duplicate content. You can read more about duplicate content at Yoast blog.
If your blog is a one author blog, or you don’t think you need author archives, use WordPress SEO to disable the author archives. Also, if you don’t think you need a date based archive: disable it as we have.
WordPress SEO Yoast Blog
- Write great informative content
- Use related keywords within blog post but don’t add too many keywords.
- Write for humans, not for robots.
- The lengthy in-depth article works much better than short articles. Your blog post must contain more than the 300 word recommended minimum.
Many bloggers prefer to publish longer blog posts (1500 – 3000+ words), according to them longer blog posts works much better than short articles.
It depends on what type of content you are publishing on your blog. If you can cover your topic in 600 words don’t try to make your post lengthy.
Never ever sacrifice good writing for SEO. The best pages are written for the readers, not for the search engines.
Don’t forget to use bold, italics, headings, and other emphasis tags to highlight keyword phrases, but don’t overdo it.
- Another important thing is content readability.
- Write small short paragraphs.
- Use ordered and unordered lists, tables where necessary.
This indirectly improves your SEO.
How does it help? because if your content is great and people can read your content easily, some of them will share your content on social media, many users will link to your blog post as well.
Backlinks can not only help you to improve SEO but your blog traffic also increases.
If people can not read your content easily on desktops and mobile, they are not going to share your content. Neither they will sign up for your email list nor they will come back to your blog.
Google has published in depth Content guidelines that helps you to create great content for your blog or websites.
Write Keyword Rich, Descriptive Meta Description
- Meta Description Length: Roughly 150-170 characters
- Write actionable and in an active voice
- Must be unique meta description for each page
- Add focus keyword in Meta Description
- convince and persuade the searcher to click through to your website
The description attribute within the tag is a good way to provide a concise, human-readable summary of each page’s content. Google will sometimes use the meta description of a page in search results snippets, if we think it gives users a more accurate description than would be possible purely from the on-page content.
Google Page Titles and meta descriptions guidelines
The Meta description is the black piece of text shown beneath the URL in search results and any words that match the search term are bolded in the description.
Meta description describes your page to search engines. According to WordStream Blog, while the perceived (and real) importance of metadata has depreciated, the attribute still plays a significant role in SEO rankings.
Read: How To Write Effective Meta Description in WordPress to Persuade The Searcher To Click On Your Link.
According to Yoast blog, The meta description is usually only used when it contains the keyword the searcher was searching for.
Meta descriptions are commonly used on search engine result pages (SERPs) to display preview snippets for a given page. Optimal length for Meta descriptions is roughly 155 Characters.
Even if the importance of metadata has depreciated but it is extremely important in gaining user click-through from SERPs.
Meta descriptions should be actionable and in an active voice, always write a unique meta description that includes a call-to-action and focus keyword.
The purpose of Meta descriptions is to describe the contents of the page to the searcher. Your end goal is to convince and persuade the searcher to click through to your website.