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WordPress SEO Checklist- Tips to improve your Website’s rankings

WordPress SEO

One of the reasons you choose WordPress as your website’s CMS may be because you read that it is SEO-friendly right out of the box.

However, actually launching a WordPress website is not enough to list at the top of search engines. You may also need to learn the best SEO strategies to use and how to apply them, but the good news is that WordPress makes things much simpler and easier for newcomers to expand their Google traffic.

WordPress SEO

WordPress is not a substitute for a strong SEO approach, and while there is no doubt that the CMS saves you time and allows you to stick to best practices without prior knowledge, you must realize that you must put in the effort to rank your website on Google.

If your site has extensive technical problems that prevent it from being crawled and indexed, your CMS option has little bearing on whether or not you will rank well. You do not consider WordPress to be a magical weapon that can be used without further effort; it takes time and effort. SEO will rapidly get complex, but the advantage of WordPress is that it is readily available to those who aren’t seasoned or who don’t consider themselves to be technically savvy.

Only because you’re using WordPress doesn’t mean your SEO strategies can shift. You must also produce great content, win great links, and ensure that your platform is well-optimized and free of technological problems. However, WordPress takes care of all of the fundamentals that make the site rank right out of the box, and what you’ll find below are tips and tricks that will help you apply growth-driving strategies directly on the website. Getting Started: WordPress SEO Fundamentals.

1.) Pick a reliable hosting provider
You must ensure that your site is hosted by a reputable company — site speed, uptime, and security are all important factors to consider when choosing a host.

Site speed has a significant effect on the SEO efficiency of your WordPress site, and both downtime and security flaws can lead to site quality problems. Don’t be tempted to go for the cheaper alternative so you’ll be more likely to have performance problems.

2.) Install a good WordPress SEO plugin
Install an SEO plugin before you begin optimizing your website. Fortunately, there are two key choices that are widely preferred and are all free to install:

  • Yoast SEO
  • All in one SEO pack

3.) Set-up your preferred domain
It makes no difference whether you use https://domain.com or https://www.domain.com for your chosen domain; however, you must ensure that your site is available via only one of these, since Google considers these to be separate URLs.

Head to: Settings > General. Here you can choose your preferred domain

After that, the other domain variant will be forwarded to the chosen domain. If you’re starting a new website, you can use either option, but if you’re replacing an old one, make sure to use the same one you’ve already used.

On a side note, make sure you have an SSL certificate in order and that your website is running over HTTPS.

4.) Check your website’s visibility settings
WordPress allows you to ‘discourage search engines from indexing’ the blog, which ensures it would not list. This is widely used by developers to prevent a platform from being indexed when the pages and articles are not complete.

This block is more popular than you would think to be left in place after launch. You should double-check your site’s visibility settings in Settings > Reading.

5.) Enable SEO friendly permalinks
WordPress has a range of different choices on how URLs are configured, and you must choose the most SEO-friendly option.

WordPress uses URLs like this by default: https://domain.com/?p=123. These URLs are not search engine friendly, and there is no way to tell what the website is about just from looking at the URL.

Fortunately, you may customize your URL structure by going to Settings > Permalinks.

6.) Verify your website with google search console and submit your XML sitemap
If you haven’t already, you’ll need to check your site with Google Search Console. If you’ve never done this before, our ultimate Google Search Console guide will show you how.

Follow the verification steps and choose the ‘HTML tag’ method. Then navigate to the Yoast plugin: SEO > General > Webmaster Tools.

Then paste the HTML tag’s contents into the ‘Google verification code’ box:

Once you’ve checked your site, go to the ‘Sitemaps’ tab and upload your XML sitemap.

WordPress SEO Tips: Optimizing posts and pages

Once you’ve applied the WordPress SEO fundamentals, you’re able to begin improving your platform and going through the stuff that can create a significant difference on how you rank.

Before we get into specialized tips and strategies for taking the platform to the next stage, let’s have a peek at how to handle SEO while improving pages and articles.

7.) Keyword Research
You won’t know which search keywords to optimize your site’s content with until you conduct keyword research. In reality, keyword analysis should come first in every SEO project, and it should be used to design the site content and on-page optimization.

Whether you’re beginning from scratch or making fresh material, understanding the keywords you’re attempting to rank the website with is critical.

8.) Set custom URL’s for posts and pages
By default, WordPress uses the title of the website to generate the URL, which may result in URLs that are too long and often truncate on the SERPs.

Assume you have published a piece of content named ‘The Best Dog Beds to Buy in 2020.’ Depending on how you set the permalinks, you would most likely end up with the URL https://domain.com/the-best-dog-beds-to-buy-in-2020.

However, you are aware that the main keyword you are attempting to hit for the material is “best dog beds.” The good news is that you can overwrite the default URL and create your own custom permalink for the website.

Simply press the “delete” button to insert your desired URL.

9.) Use optimized page headings
The page title not only determines your page’s default URL, but it also specifies your H1 heading. Are you unfamiliar with what this is?

The H1 heading on a website is meant to provide information on what your page is for to both consumers and search engines. Consider it similar to the title of a novel.

Best practices recommend using one H1 heading (the page title), but you can still use H2 – H6 headings to format the material and split up the text to make it easy to read.

If your H1 is the title of your novel, the H2s are paragraphs, with subsequent tags serving as subheadings. Page headings are a perfect way to add the page’s main keyword and variations, just don’t overdo it and never push a keyword into a place that it doesn’t necessarily suit.

H2 – H6 tags can be added to the content by clicking on a block, selecting the style as ‘heading,’ and then selecting the type:

10.) Make unique meta titles and descriptions
The title tag of your website shows users and search engines what your page is about and is widely considered as a significant ranking factor. That is the source of the clickable page title that appears in Google search results.

Yoast automatically sets the page’s title tag based on the page heading, but you may overwrite it to boost it and work in combinations of keywords that you might not have used in your page’s heading:

You can use snippet variables, personalized text as your title tag, or a combination of the two.

You consider rewriting the title tag to include place or intent variants:

Use keyword analysis to guide how you customize the title tag for each page, and read this guide to learn more about how to organize this crucial page feature.

Furthermore, while meta descriptions are no longer a clear ranking consideration, they do have an indirect effect on the site’s organic success due to CTR (click-through rate).

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