For all the great things there are to be said about WordPress, though, out-of-the-box SEO certainly isn’t one of its strong points. As I use the software so much and make a lot of my income thanks to search engine traffic, I have come to learn what works best in terms of optimising your WordPress setup.

 

SEO is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to your website from search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. via “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results in search engines. The theory is that the earlier (or higher) a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search and so on.

On a technical level, SEO resolves into taking care of several aspects like the title of your pages, meta descriptions, headings, links, keywords, website hierarchy, and many others I'm covering in a minute. SEO is a matter of different elements and tactics combined that all fall under two main areas within SEO: on-page SEO and off-page SEO.

Setting up WordPress sites is easy, properly optimizing them for SEO isn’t. WordPress is decent for SEO Hull out of the box, especially the new versions. But there are still scopes to transform that ‘decent’ bit into ‘excellent’. SEO is not limited to low quality link building and blatant keyword stuffing any more

There are a range of WordPress plugins that will help you to optimize your content and it’s really essential that you use one - do the maths!. When you create a post you specify ‘focus keywords’. These are keywords you want to rank on. When you write your content this plugin does an analysis of your content to see if it’s optimized correctly. It will then tell you the areas that you need to resolve.

The URLs of your website pages and posts are called Permalinks. In layman’s language, they are what users use in their address bars to reach to your website and view relevant page. They are also used by other websites and search engines to link to your website. WordPress comes with a default permalink settings to allow you to change them as per your convenience and needs. These settings can be found in settings -> permalinks

A site auditing tool will automatically monitor your site weekly or monthly. Things break all the time. Particularly if you are not the only one who access to your site. The other thing is, the internet is never stagnant, you are always vulnerable.

When it comes to WordPress SEO, it is important to remember that Google is still a computer algorithm, and that is why keywords still matter in 2016 and 2017. You definitely should be writing for your visitors and customers as Google recommends, but write smart. You can easily write for your audience as well as keeping the best SEO optimizations in mind. And remember, other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo rely sometimes even more on what some may call outdated SEO practices.

By default, WordPress provides settings on how to deal with image thumbnails. I’m not a fan of the default settings – I like to set my own dimensions for all three available image sizes (thumbnail, medium and large) per WordPress install; and more importantly I like my thumbnails not to be cropped exactly to the dimensions. I don’t like this as, more often that not, I want to upload images that maintain their proportion when resized.

SEO is a long-term investment which requires regular content creation along with the right website structure. WordPress makes both these tasks very easy through its search engine friendly options and diverse plugins that simplify content creation to a great extent.

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