SEO friendliness is one of the main reason why WordPress is so popular and widely used. Though the default WordPress setup is not perfectly optimized for search engines, you can make changes and make your WordPress SEO friendly within a couple of minutes; and you don't have to be an SEO expert to do that.
No matter, you are creating a blog just for fun or you are really serious about making money from your blog. An SEO friendly installation will definitely help you to create your reader base and help you drive traffic regularly from search engines like google.
You must have seen some blogs getting high rank in search pages for almost every article they post while some struggle to get there. Though, the age of the blog, a number of quality backlinks, quality of content influence the rank to a huge extent, a well optimized WordPtress installation will surely help you to back your content and get to the first page of Google.
As you install WordPress and create a new blog, there are a couple of things which you must do before you proceed ahead. We will check all the steps in detail by going through the process one by one. However, there are a couple of things which you must consider even before the installation. So, let's look at the steps in detail.
Make Your Blog SEO Friendly
Select Quality Hosting Provider
This is a step you need to follow before the WordPress installation, a quality hosting provider is extremely important because the speed and security of your site are dependent on your host to a huge extent. As you know, there are different types of hosting packages like shared hosting, the vertual private server (VPS) and dedicated server which may differ depending on the hosting provider.
If you are creating a personal blog with a limited amount of traffic, a shared hosting is a good enough option for you. But, as you search for hosting providers you will find a number of different names; make sure that you select the best options from the log because a shared hosting pages from Bluehost or A2Hosting will be way better than most of the other provider with same cost or even lesser.
Also, if you go for Bluehost; you will get your domain name for free which you will need to create your blog. The user-friendly control panel offered by these hosts will help you to get started instantly.
InMotion Hosting is another good option as they offer you highly optimized WordPress hosting for an affordable price, and as SourceWP reader you will get additional discount from them. Also, they offer you readily installed WordPress feature that means as you purchase the hosting WordPress will already be installed on your domain which you get for free with the hosting package.
If you are creating a high-end blog and expecting a lot of traffic through some kind of initial portion and you are selling some kind of product or services through your blog, you can consider a fully managed WordPress hosting, you can find the best hosting providers here.
Select a Quality WordPress Theme
This is another important thing you should look at before the WordPress installation, there are thousands of WordPress themes available for you to use but all of them as not well coded and SEO friendly. We regularly post a number of WordPress themes on your theme collections, you can have a look and find the best theme according to your niche and requirement.
You need to look at a few things while selecting your theme like
- The design of the theme, it should look clean and professional.
- The speed of the theme because the loading speed if extremely important
- The layout of the theme, and possible layout options.
- Availablity of theme options panel, to set your site easily
- The responsiveness of the theme (very important)
- The coding stracture (make your it is well coaded with HTML5 and CSS3)
A few SEO friendly themes are mentioned in these collections.
WordPress default permalink stracture after installation is not SEO friendly but WordPress offers you easy option to change the permalink stracture with just a click. To chnage it go to Settings > permalink and select the option marked as post name (%postname%), this will help you to have a cleanpermalink stracture for your blog.
Titles and Descriptions
The title and description are the most important elements as far as the SEO of your blog is concerned because the title and the description o the page will tell search engined about the expected content on the page.
So, you need to make sure that you write th most relevant title and the description for your pages with the focus keyword in it so that you get the love from search engine. Though google by default picks the title and the description of your pages depending on the content you have published, I would recommend you to use Yoast SEO plugin which is free to use. This plugin offers you easy option to update the title and description of your site as well as all other pages and posts you create on your site.
If you use theme framework like Genesis, you will have built-in SEO functionality where you can update your SEO details; and you will not need any external plugin to manage your SEO settings. Also, the Genesis Child Themes are by default gets an edge as far as SEO is concerned because they are well coded.
Rename the Uncategorized Category
WordPress by default creates a category called Uncategorized which the user supposed to edit and make it something which fits the niche, but a number of users leave it unchanged and posts articles under the Uncategorized which looks very unprofessional.
It takes less than one minute to change that and make it something which will be more informative and understandable to the users of your blog. To edit the default category go to WordPress admin > posts > Categories and edit it.
A sitemap is extremely important for any blog, if you are using Yoast SEO; you will not have to install any sitemap plugin for WordPress because Yoast can nicely handle this requirement. Once you install Yoast SEO plugin, there is an option for XML sitemaps which you need to enable and the plugin will create the sitemaps for your pages and posts which you need to submit to Google Search Console and other search engines, so that they can index your posts as soon as they are published.
Also, you can ping the search engined as you publish a new post, WordPress offers you a very easy option to use the ping service. So, once you set it up; you will never have to inform the search engined manually. We have already listed the updated ping list of WordPress and the process which you need to follow to update the ping list.
We have already written a detailed post about perfect one-page SEO for WordPress blogs where you will learn how to optimize your blog posts before they are published. We all know, finally the content is the king and if you can create quality content regularly, sooner or later your blog will be known to all and people will read it.
So, make sure that you create valuable content which will help the user to know something new or solve some of their problems. However, even the best content can go unnoticed if it is not optimized properly because creating the content is one part and how you present the content is another important aspect.
In that tutorial we mentioned you will learn
The appropriate length of the article
- How to use the keywords
- How to optimize the post title
- How to write the SEO description
- How to optimize the post parmalink
- How to use the heading tags
- How to optimize the images
Internal links are part of the on-page SEO stracture, the internal links are very important from the SEO point of view because these links can help you to get other posts on your blog indexed by the search engines as these links tells the search engines about the other important content on your blog.
Also, these links help the readers to get more information from the references you offer. If you have noticed we have linked to a number of posts in SourceWP which we published earlier, I am sure the linked articles will help you to understand this topic about SEO for your blog in a better way.
As you install wordPress in a new site, there are a couple of plugins which you will need to make your blog work perfectly. We have already published an article about the must have WordPress plugins for every blog which you can refer to.
We have already mentioned about the Yoast SEO plugin which I think is a must have plugins for all WordPress blogs because this plugin can handle everything about SEO perfectly. It also can guide you to write SEO friendly post by making sure your on-page SEO is taken care of properly.
Also, you will need a cache plugin which will help you to speed up your WordPress site to a great extent, we have already mentioned the best WordPress cache plugins here. You can refer to that article to understand the cache plugins in a better way.
You Must Read
You must read the folloing articles to understand the process of creating an SEO friendly WordPress blog in a better way, these posts are related to SEO of your site and if you follow them perfecly, I'm sure you will be able to create a SEO friendly WordPress blog easily.
The tips mentioned above is good enough to get starte. However, SEO is an ongoing process, so you will have to keep learning and implementing to improve your blog. We will be adding more ideas on this page to help you create an SEO friendly blog on WordPress, so don't forget to bookmark this page.
There are a number of different WordPress plugins which an help you to optimize your site further which we are regularly publishing and if you know any other idea to optimize a wordPress blog, feel free to share with us by using the comment section below. Or may be you can publish your ideas in the SourceWP WordPress guide if you are interested, do content us.
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