WordPress SEO tips for beginners in easy to understand language
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a very important part of blogging. It is all about optimizing your WordPress blog such that it becomes search engine friendly. Good SEO results in your blog being shown in search results of search engines like Google. Thus, SEO is essential if you want your blog to get organic traffic from search engines. Here, I will provide SEO tips for WordPress bloggers who are beginners and don’t have much technical knowledge about it.
Reasons why I decided to write this article for new bloggers :
There are various blogs and sites offering free SEO tips and tricks. Some of them offer professional assistance and consultancy also. Professional SEO services are helpful only if you can afford them. Many new WordPress bloggers go through tons of such blogs and come across many SEO tips. Different blogs offer different tips. Some tips are meant for advanced WordPress bloggers. As a result, beginners get confused about SEO.
Some of them even try to implement all the SEO tips that they’ve come across. This way, they often overdo optimization, which is as bad as poor SEO. Some of them even break their blog trying to install different SEO plugins incorrectly.
To solve the problems of beginners, I’m going to write this article in an easy to understand language. I will use as much images as possible to better convey my tips. This article will not only help you learn great SEO tips, but will also prevent you from overdoing it on your blog. I hope this article will be like ‘Bible’ for new bloggers.
Here are the SEO tips for new bloggers:
#1 Configuring Permalinks
Good SEO starts with good permalinks. Optimizing permalinks increases the chances of your blog getting shown in search results. Here, I will show you how to optimize the permalink of your WordPress blog.
1 On your WordPress Dashboard, click on settings>Permalinks.
2 Permalink setting will open as shown in the image.
3 Set the permalink in the format as shown in the image- yoursite.com/post-name- and click on ‘save’.
The ‘post name’ permalink setting is the best one for the sake of SEO. It helps search engines find the keywords and content of your post more easily. This will increase the chances of your post getting featured in search results.
#2 Optimize post title, content etc
Once you configure your blog’s permalink, the next step is to optimize the title and the content of your blog. The better you optimize titles and content, the better are the chances of them getting featured in search results.
While writing content, you must zero in on a ‘key word’. This key word must be present in the post title and spread throughout the content in an optimum number. I recommend you to install the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast to optimize post titles, content, images and meta-description.
This single plugin will manage many aspects of optimization. The next SEO tip is all about Yoast SEO plugin. My suggestion is that new bloggers must install this plugin so that their blogs are Search Engine Optimized from the very start.
#3 Installing the right SEO plugin and setting it up the right way
Using WordPress for blogging has many SEO advantages. One of the main advantage is the availability of free optimization plugins. The top two free WordPress plugins for SEO are- WordPress SEO by Yoast and All in One SEO.
I recommend you to use WordPress SEO by Yoast. Here, I will quickly show you how to install the plugin correctly and configure it.
1 Download WordPress SEO by Yoast from WordPress.org. Click here to get it.
2 On your WordPress Dashboard, go to ‘plugins’ and click ‘installed plugins’.
3 Click on ‘add new’ and then on ‘upload’. Choose the Yoast SEO file you just downloaded and click on ‘install’.
4 Activate the plugin and configure it as shown in the images. This configuration works very well.
If you are migrating to WP SEO by Yoast from some other plugins like All in One SEO, use the ‘Import & Export’ option on Yoast dashboard.
Import & Export (if you are migrating to Yoast from other plugins) :
Select ‘Import from All in One SEO and click Import.
Dashboard settings :
Title & Metas- General :
Title & Metas- Home :
Write the title of your blog first and in description, describe your blog in short.
Title & Metas- Posts Type :
Title & Metas- Taxonomies :
Leave the ‘Other’ section as it is
Leave the ‘Social’ section as it is
XML Sitemaps :
Once you activate Yoast XML sitemap, there is no need of other sitemap plugins. You can disable those plugins and delete them.
Leave Internal Links and RSS sections as it is
WordPress SEO by Yoast will ensure that you optimize your titles, images, permalink, meta description etc based on your key word. This plugin also takes care of XML sitemaps of your blog. This plugin is a must have for WordPress blogs.
#4 Avoid duplicate and copied content
Search engines hate plagiarism. So, never ever think about copying other’s content and using it on your blog. Search engines are smart enough to recognize the original and the copied content. They will figure it out with the help of date of posting etc.
Search engines will penalize your blog for copied content. Usually they do it by demoting your blog in search results. So never copy others’ stuff and use it on your blog.
#5 Back-links are good for SEO
If your blog has back-links from sites/blogs with good pagerank, then your chances of getting to the top of search results increases. Back-links is one of the many factors that influences your blog’s position in search results.
There are different methods to build back-links. The most used method is ‘commenting’. Commenting on other blogs will help build back-links. But don’t overdo commenting as it will tarnish your reputation among other bloggers.
The natural and the recommended way to build back-links is by writing quality, useful content. Writing rich, meaningful content will ensure that it many other blogs will link to it. Yes, it takes some time, but in the long run it will benefit your blog. One can also get back-links for money. But I recommend bloggers to not go for paid back-links.
#6 Speed up your blog
Google loves sites/blogs that loads fast. It is a well known fact that the page load time of a blog plays a major role in its search results positioning. The faster the blog, the higher its search results positioning.
It is necessary to make your blog load faster. Use plugins like WP Super Cache, WP Minify etc to help make your blog load faster. Another good plugin is P3 Plugin profiler. This plugin will scan your blog and point out plugins that are making your blog slow. It is better to remove such ‘lazy’ plugins.
#7 Verify Google authorship
Verifying authorship using your Google+ account will boost SEO. Verifying Google authorship results in your picture being shown next to your post in search results. This gives more credibility to the post and to an extent increases click through rate.
So, if you haven’t verified your blog’s authorship yet, do it now.
#8 Don’t overdo SEO
Overdoing Search Engine Optimization is as bad as not doing optimization. Never try to manipulate the search engines. Always write for human beings, not for search engines.
Don’t turn your content into a heap of keywords and phrases. Search engines are smart enough to recognize such content. They will penalize your blog for such malpractices.
These are my SEO tips for new bloggers. Hope you find this ‘optimization Bible’ useful. Please give your valuable feedback in comments.