How to do search engine optimization in WordPress

Prioritizing effective search engine optimization on your WordPress website not only positively affects your ranking on the Search Engine Results Page, but it also enhances the overall user experience your customers have while on your page. 

Published On: March 11, 20224 min readCategories: Blog, SEO

So you have successfully created your WordPress website and are now looking for ways to boost your organic traffic right? Well, you have come to the right place. In this article, we dig into a few tips to help you understand how to do search engine optimization in WordPress easily and effectively without a ton of technical knowledge required.

Prioritizing effective search engine optimization on your WordPress website not only positively affects your ranking on the Search Engine Results Page, but it also enhances the overall user experience your customers have while on your page. 

Update Permalink Settings: 

Search engines should be able to understand from the URL what the page is about. It is important to make sure that your URLs are SEO friendly and this can be done with the permalink settings option. 

Under the Permalink Settings, the best option to choose for SEO optimization is Post Name. By choosing this option, you are making sure that the URL is easy to read. 

Screenshot of the Permalink Settings

WordPress Theme: 

There are several WordPress themes that come with built-in SEO features such as SEO plugin support and built-in schema implementation. Not only will this reduce the amount of work you need to put into your site’s SEO, but the results are extremely effective. Make sure you do your research before picking a theme. Consider the SEO features, not only the look and feel of the theme.  

Search Engine Visibility: 

Your first step after logging into the admin panel is to go to the Settings > Reading, and confirm if the “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” option under Search Engine Visibility is unchecked. By doing this, you are ensuring that search engines can find your WordPress website.

A screenshot of the reading settings.

Download and install SEO plugin: 

For the next step, go to Plugins > Add New and download a good SEO plugin for your website. There are many to choose from such as YoastSEO, SEOPress, RankMath etc. After doing your research and installing the SEO plugin that best suits your needs, click Activate to enable you to access the SEO plugin’s settings.

Heading Tags: 

Google and other search engines use heading tags to crawl through your website pages to determine how your website content should rank. Heading tags can serve many purposes such as enhancing readability, better organization of content, featured snippets optimization, etc. To get the best out of heading tags, add keywords to your heading tags.

Meta Title & Description: 

Just like the heading tag, make sure to add your page’s main keyword to Meta Titles and Description. You can use the Snippet Preview option in the Yoast SEO plugin to manually optimize meta titles and descriptions for optimal results. Just a few minor changes in the meta tags can improve your Website’s Click Through Rate(CTR) considerably.

Internal Linking: 

Internal Linking is an important factor that improves link equity and authority. You can either do research to come up with an internal linking strategy or there are certain plugins such as Internal Link juicer that help build a link silo structure. 

Website Footer: 

Having a professional footer and adding your main category pages to the footer is a good SEO strategy that could be used to help search engines understand what pages on your website are important. By doing this, you are also passing link juice to other pages of your website. 

XML Sitemap: 

Many plugins like All in One SEO, Yoast SEO, Jetpack etc. can be used to generate XML and HTML sitemaps. You can even schedule updates or notify Google whenever new content is posted on the website. Don’t forget to submit your sitemap to Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, and even Yandex Webmaster tools to target traffic globally.

Core Web Vitals: 

Tools like Google PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse can be used to understand and improve website performance for SEO optimization of WordPress websites for both desktop and mobile. After fixing the issues detected in Google Search Console, you can select the Validate option for re-evaluation of the URL’s. 

Focus Keyword: 

Every page on your website should have at least one focus keyword which should be added to the H1, subheadings, first paragraph & meta tags. Other than that, variations of the focus keyword should be embedded in the content to maintain keyword density. 

Image Quality and Image Alt Attribute: 

Search engines use alt attributes to understand the content and context of the image. Make sure you use high-quality images and ALT text is added to every image. An even better approach is to add a focus keyword to the Alt attribute.

Final thoughts

The tips shared in this article are great starting points in learning how to do search engine optimization in WordPress. In the ever-changing world of SEO, you will need to constantly stay up to date with SEO steps for a new website, and constantly monitor results to reap the most benefits. An easy way to ensure your business stays on the cutting edge of SEO is by partnering with a digital marketing agency for all your SEO needs. NAV43 is a digital marketing agency that specializes in all things SEO. Give us a call today to find out how we can grow your business.