SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a huge deal for any website — or at least should be a huge deal. The fact is, for most websites, the vast majority of your visitors will come from Google – and the higher up in the Google results your site can rank, the more traffic your site will get! It’s that simple.
So how do you go about ranking higher? What steps can you do to give your site’s content the best possible chance of appearing at the top of Google? Let’s take a look at ten absolutely fundamental steps for people using WordPress…
Hi! This is Topher with WinningWP. In this video, we’re going to take a look at absolutely essential WordPress SEO tips and tricks. Now, some of these aren’t WordPress-specific. They’re just great ideas for any website. But some of them are very much WordPress-specific. So let’s take a look. Number one. Create great content that people will actually want to read, focusing on words and phrases that people will actually be searching for in Google. This one is far and away the most important on this entire list, more important than all of the others put together. If you have poor content and you try to trick Google into making it rise to the top, eventually it’ll catch up to you and it’ll backfire. On the other hand, if you have great content, you don’t have to resort to any tricks, really. Just set up your tools properly and the machine will do its job. Let me show you an example. This is a blog post about a young woman in India with dyslexia who overcame it and took a position of respect in society. Her parents were told that she would never amount to anything, and this is her story of how she did amount to something great. Now, this speaks to people with dyslexia, it speaks to people in India, where she is from, it has a great message for a wide variety of people. There’s nothing special done to this content to make it SEO-ready. It’s just good content, and that’s where you start. Now, remember we said you should use good keywords that people are going to search for in your title? You should also have them in your first paragraph as well. Let’s take a look here. The keyword we’re going to focus on most is dyslexic. So here it is in the title, and here it is in the first paragraph. Now, we could also, if we wanted to, make WordCamp Mumbai a keyword that’s important, and it does appear lower down in the essay. So it could work. But what Google’s going to focus on first is dyslexic because it’s in both places here. Number three, use those keywords in subheadings as well. So not only do we have it in the title, and the first paragraph, but it’s in a subheading as well. Now, it doesn’t have to be in a subheading near the top. It could be one lower down. For example, if we had wanted to make WordCamp Mumbai a keyword, you could see it here. Number four, include images with alt text that uses the same keywords. Now, in this particular post, there wasn’t an image that fit those keywords. But rather than go hunting for one, and try and force it, I just didn’t do that particular one. You don’t have to follow every single SEO rule in every single post. Just most of them most of the time and you’ll be fine. But let me show you what I’m talking about. If I go to edit this essay, and find an image, and I click this little pencil to edit, you’ll see here Alternative Text, and this one says WordCamp Mumbai . Alternative text is used by screen readers for blind people, and descriptive text for Google. You always want to include alternative text for every image you put up because it’s important for people who use the web. The fact that it’s also good for Google and your SEO is beside the fact. Do it because it’s right and Google will reward you. Number five, use a good SEO plugin. There are a number of things that you should do to every post and page, and if you had to do them all manually, it would be painful. Fortunately, there are great plugins for WordPress to help you deal with this. I recommend Yoast SEO. It asks you questions on every post and page, and then applies the answers in the proper way throughout your entire site. It’ll take your featured image and put it in the proper place. It knows how to talk to Google and Twitter and Facebook and all of those other sites. Number six, set a good focus keyword. Let me show you what I mean here. We’re back looking at this essay, and if we scroll down, past the content, you’ll find the Yoast SEO box. And right here, they want a focus keyword. And Yoast knows how to take this keyword and put it in your website’s code in just the right place so that Google knows that this is the most important word on the entire page. Not the site, just the page. You have the option right here to say this is cornerstone content, which means that it communicates to Google that this is an important keyword for the entire site. Number seven, create a good Google snippet. Let me show you what I mean here. Again, right here in the Yoast box, you’ll see something that looks like a Google search result. This text right here is the snippet, and you can edit it by clicking this button and simply type it here. If you watch, I can make a change here and it immediately appears here. Now, this does not guarantee that this is what Google is going to use. This is Yoast SEO suggesting to Google that this is perhaps what they should use, and actually, nine times out of , that’s exactly what happens. But, it’s not a promise. So just because you type something here doesn’t mean it’s absolutely going to appear in Google. But as I said, nine times out of , it does, and so you get to control how each search result appears on Google. Number eight, link to other content on your own site. Related Posts is good for this. Now, it’s convenient if you can link from your content to another page on your own site, but it doesn’t always work that way. So I have a plugin called Related Posts. This is part of Jetpack, and it simply makes links to related posts. Additionally, in my side bar, I have links to past essays by different people. So while my core content does not have links to other parts of my site, each page does actually have links to other parts of my site. This helps Google know how the content on your site relates to each other. Number nine, have a good XML sitemap. This is super complicated and Yoast SEO makes it super simple. If we go to our admin area, under the Yoast SEO button, there’s XML Sitemaps, and all you have to do is turn it on, and it does an enormous amount of complicated things that I don’t even want to describe to you. The end result is that there is one file with a list of every piece of content on your entire site, and then you get to tell Google where your sitemap is. And Google loves that. They love having a list of all your content. It helps them find all of your stuff. Once it’s created, there’s a link right here for you to look at it. This is not the actual code that’s making your sitemap. This is Chrome rendering it very pretty. But you can see here, there’s a sitemap for my posts and my pages and my essays, and all kinds of things. Number ten, use Google Search Console to configure how Google views your site. Simply search for Google Search Console and it will bring you to this page, and you’ll need to create an account and configure it, but once you’re done, you can do things like tell Google where your sitemap is. And they will tell you if there any issues. You can fetch a page as Google and see what it looks like, and see if there are any errors. You can check your robots.txt file, and it says Google can search my site. You can help configure how your site looks in Google results. You can look at statistics and analytics. There’s all kinds of things in here. The most important key, though, is that you can come in here and tell Google to get your website and then request indexing. If you don’t come request indexing, Google may or may not find your website. It’s possible that Google will never know your website exists. But with Google Search Console, you can come in here and say, “Please index my site. “Here it is, here’s my sitemap, “here’s all my stuff,” and in a relatively short period of time, they will crawl your entire site and they will know everything about your content. And there you have it, absolutely essential WordPress SEO tips and tricks. Google is, of course, a fickle beast, and we can’t make any promises about how they’re going to handle the information you give them. But generally speaking, these are good rules to follow and they should absolutely help your site move up in the Google ranking. If you’d like to learn more about WordPress, check out WinningWP.com.
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