Improving your WordPress SEO is crucial for getting more traffic to your website. Sadly, most WordPress SEO guides are too technical for new users to get started.
If you are serious about increasing your website traffic, then you need to pay attention to the WordPress SEO best practices.
In this guide, we will share the top WordPress SEO tips to help you improve your WordPress SEO and get more organic traffic.
You might have heard experts saying that WordPress is SEO friendly. This is actually why a lot of people choose WordPress to start a blog or a website.
While WordPress makes sure that the code it generates follows the SEO best practices, there is a lot more you need to do if you want to maximize your SEO efforts.
We have a number of actionable steps that you need to take to properly optimize your WordPress SEO.
To make it easy, we have created a table of contents to help you easily navigate through our ultimate WordPress SEO guide.
We know the idea of optimizing for WordPress SEO can be intimidating for beginners, especially if you’re not a tech geek.
But don’t worry — it doesn’t have to be complicated. Start here to learn the basics, and then you can start applying them to your own website.
What is SEO?
SEO is an acronym that stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s a strategy used by website owners to get more traffic by ranking higher in search engines.
Search engine optimization isn’t about tricking Google or gaming the system. It’s simply about creating a website that has optimized code and formatting which makes it easy for search engines to find your website.
When people search the web for the topics you write about, your search-engine-optimized content will appear higher in the search results, and you’ll get more people clicking through to your website.
Why SEO is important
Search engines are often the biggest source of traffic for most websites.
Google and other search engines use advanced algorithms to understand and rank pages appropriately in search results. However, those algorithms aren’t perfect — they still need your help to understand what your content is about.
If your content isn’t optimized, then search engines won’t know how to rank it. When people search for the topics you write about, your website won’t appear in the search results pages, and you’ll miss out on all that traffic.
It is really important for all business owners to make their website search engine friendly, so that they can maximize their search traffic.
Basics of WordPress SEO
SEO can get technical, but it doesn’t have to be. Just learning a few basic SEO tips to optimize your site can give you a noticeable boost in your website traffic.
You don’t have to be a tech genius to use the techniques below. If you’re already using WordPress, then you’ve got what it takes!
Let’s get started optimizing your website.
Using SEO Friendly URL Structures in WordPress
SEO friendly URLs contain words that clearly explain the content of the page, and they’re easy to read by both humans and search engines.
Some examples of SEO friendly URLs are:
Notice that these URLs are readable and a user can guess what they will see on the page just by looking at the URL text.
So what does a non-SEO friendly URL look like?
Notice that these URLs use numbers unrelated to the content, and a user cannot guess what they will find on the page by looking at the URL.
Using SEO friendly permalink structure improves your chances of getting better positions in search results.
Here is how you can check and update your WordPress site’s permalink structure.
You need to visit the Settings » Permalinks page. Select the post name option and then click on the ‘Save Changes’ button to store your settings.
Note: If your website has been running for more than 6 months, then please don’t change your permalink structure unless you’re using the numbers option. If you’re using Day and Name or Month and Name, continue using that.
By changing your permalink structure on an established site, you will lose all of your social media share counts and run the risk of losing your existing SEO ranking.
If you must change your permalink structure, then hire a professional, so they can set up proper redirects. You’ll still lose your social share counts on the pages.
Speed and Security for WordPress SEO
Even if you follow all the WordPress SEO tips and best practices above, if your site is slow or gets taken down by a hacker, your search engine rankings will take a big hit.
Here’s how to prevent your site from losing search engine traffic due to slow performance or lax security.
The Best WordPress SEO plugin
One of the best parts about WordPress is that there’s a plugin for everything, and SEO is no exception. There are thousands of WordPress SEO plugins which makes it harder for beginners to choose the best WordPress SEO plugin.
Instead of installing separate plugins for individual SEO tasks, we will help you choose the best WordPress SEO plugin that does it all, and it’s 100% free.
Choosing the Best WordPress SEO Plugin
When it comes to choosing the best WordPress SEO plugin, you will most likely narrow your choices down to the two most popular solutions: All in One SEO (AIOSEO) or Yoast SEO.
AIOSEO is the original WordPress SEO plugin that’s used on over 3 million websites.
This is the plugin that we use on WPBeginner website.
It comes with powerful features like TruSEO on-page analysis, rich snippets schema markup, social media integration, breadcrumb navigation, advanced eCommerce SEO support for WooCommerce, local SEO, internal link assistant, and much more.
Simply put, AIOSEO handles all of the technical SEO optimization for your WordPress site.