Word Press is the most user-friendly and SEO-friendly platform and therefore the easiest way to create a website, for the startups. This is the most common statement you hear, when you plan to enter the world of online business.
You feel that just writing a few blogs will rank you in the SERP. Just ask yourself once “Can beating the competition of millions of website be an overnight journey?” Absolutely not!
Just choosing a wordpress theme will not help your website get high rankings in the search engine. Although it provides an excellent platform for customizing the content and elements as per SEO guidelines, you still need expertise to get it done properly.
If you follow these directions properly, then you can explore the full potential of Word Press.
Generate SEO friendly URL For Each Post
When you enter a query on a search engine, what type of result would you prefer to click?
Example.com/wpsh?-iy (this is automatically generated )
Or something like
Of course, the second one looks more attracting and therefore it’s more SEO friendly too. Basically SEO friendly is in a way relevant to user-friendliness because the search engine reflects results based on user engagement and interaction as well.
With slight modifications in the settings, you can change the URL as per requirement.
Got to your Dashboard>Settings>Permalink
Now check the post name and save changes.
This way you will be able to create the URL according to the targeted keywords. It will not only make your posts presentable but also SEO friendly.
Whenever you create a new post you can create a custom URL for it. This will also help in targeting the page properly.
2. Optimizing the Meta Titles and Description
When you enter a query in the Google search bar, Most of the results you get have 3 things in common – a blue link called Meta Title, a green link called URL or the Landing Page and Meta Description.
A very popular Yoast SEO Plugin is a must for you. Install it now.
You must change the title (70 characters) and the description (100 characters per line, up to 2 to 3 lines); so that it becomes easy for people to understand what they will get by clicking on the landing page URL. Creating Meta title and description using Keywords will help Google crawl your website better and thus rank better.
Make it a habit of writing proper Meta Title and Meta Description so as to make every post SEO friendly.
Optimizing the Images
Search engines have algorithms that analyze content as per the defined factors and then rank the content accordingly. This is why it is quintessential to optimize the images by using proper Alt Tags.
No need to worry about coding as and when you upload any image, you just have to enter the details like Title, Alt tag, Description and Caption to the images.
This in one of the best place to insert the relevant keywords, but don’t overdo it.
Captions will be visible to the reader, hence handle with care. It contributes less to the SEO and has very large impact on the reader.
Optimizing with Rich Snippets
In the above discussion, I told you that you get three things in the Search Results – Title, Landing Page and Description. You must have seen photos of author, phone numbers, videos, site links, customer reviews and ratings and so on.
What are these?
These are the Rich Snippets, which enhances the user experience.
This Feature will make your Result Page more interesting and clickable.
You just have to Install a Rich Snippets Plugin and make desired changes. You can preview your result and add image, video, reviews or may be call to action and attract the user to click your page. You don’t have to have the knowledge of coding to do this.
Make your posts Easy to Share on Social Media
Social Media is one of the most important platforms to increase the traffic of your website getting leads and thereby increase sales.
Hence, Social Media Icons which directly help the readers to share on their social media profile are very important on your website.
Just install the “Nifty Social Media Share Buttons Plugin”
When it’s easy for the users to share your posts, it benefits you to a great extent. Thus, give this step the top most priority. This one time investment of time will be fruitful in a long run.
6. Ensure Adequate Security For Your Word Press Website
Because of its popularity and craze worldwide, Word Press is one of the biggest targets for the malicious hackers. Thus, securing your website becomes indispensable for you.
From Word Press theme to Plugins, databases or file permissions, all are susceptible to hackers.
You just have to install Word Fence Plugin , and protect your website.
A secured website is not only safe for you but give a positive impression to the search engines. Search engines will rank you well as compared to your competitor with unsecure website.
7. Backing up your website is a must
Just think, if all your content, leads, SEO and everything you did for your website, disappears or crashes all of a sudden.
A Nightmare Right!!
Thus, taking the backup will help you rest assured.
Investing few bucks on taking the backup is worth it. Just buy and install the backup buddy plugin and stay tension free.
8. SiteMap.xml submission for better Indexing
When you want all the pages and posts to be accessible to the users, then you have to tell all the search engines about all the pages or may be important pages that exist on your website.
An XML Sitemap helps you to do so.
First you have to generate the sitemaps and then submit it to Google and other search engine webmaster tool.
Though this will not help you rank your website but this will certainly help search engines crawl your pages better.
As you have already installed Yoast SEO, go to XML SiteMap then Enable XML Sitemap functionality and save changes. Now click XML Sitemap.
It will take you to your XML SiteMap
Sitemap for your website is generated and you have to submit it (sitemap_index.xml) in the webmaster tool. When you login to you webmaster tool you will see such page.
You just have to enter the sitemap_index.xml (you get this when you create sitemap on your website) in the box to submit sitemap.
That’s all; same process will be followed for Sitemap submission for all the search engines.
If you want to search the number of pages indexed by Google, Just Enter in the search bar:
Site: yoursitename.com and you will find the number of pages indexed by Google.
You can also see when a particular page was crawled by Google by clicking on the down arrow highlighted in the above image and click cached.
You will get this page when you click on cached and here you can see the date and time when Google crawled your website.
Control Crawling with Robot.txt
By default, search engines crawl and fetch all pages of your website. Robot.txt will help you restrict or disallow Google’s access to a particular page.
In Word Press it’s very simple. Whenever you write a post, just scroll down and you will find:
Go to advanced setting, you will find Meta Robots Follow. By default follow is checked, you can check no follow, as required.
Now click the drop down and select Index or no index as required.
- Contact Forms Must Be Secured
It’s very important for you to secure your contact forms with CAPTCHA. By doing this you will save your website from hackers and spammers. Unsecure forms can flood your website with unlimited comments and consume unnecessary disc space and thereby slow down your website.
Only one plugin can solve your problem. Just install Really Simple CAPTCHA and done.
As a beginner, if you follow these 10 guidelines properly, then you can get much better ranking on SERP (Search Engine Result Page), then you expect. Just the game of few plugins and attention to details can serve the purpose. Go ahead and make changes right now.