As you might already be aware, WordPress is the most popular CMS (Content Management System) right now. If you have not already, there are pretty high chances that you’ll have to work on a website that is based on WordPress. Knowing WordPress thoroughly is a plus whether you’re a writer, business owner, PPC expert, designer, SEO consultant, or a developer.
After WordPress was launched, more and more people chose it as their CMS because compared to other content management systems, it was simpler to use, flexible, and easier to maintain and customize. It is especially a better choice when your purpose is to optimize a website for organic search.
This article will serve as a complete SEO guide for WordPress by discussing in detail, the process of adding and optimizing blog posts using Yoast SEO and WordPress.
BEFORE WE GET STARTED
Given below two things you need to be familiar with before you can start off with following the guide. When you have some background information, it will be easier to understand what are we doing and why.
While there are a wide variety of SEO plugins that are available for WordPress, Yoast SEO is the most preferred and most widely used amongst them. This is why we will be regarding it as an essential plugin throughout this article. For those who do not have Yoast installed, you can either download it from their website or just type “Yoast SEO” in WordPress search so you can install it from there directly. If you are interested, we also have a thorough guide to mastering the Yoast SEO for WordPress available for you, as well.
Pages and posts
There are two basic sections of WordPress for uploading your content: One is posts, which are basically the blog posts, and the other are pages, which are commonly defined as the landing pages of a site. This article will focus on the uploading and optimization of the blog posts on your website for optimizing SEO.
Uploading your blog post
Prior to optimizing the posts on your website for organic searching, you will have to get these posts live on your site. Once you know how exactly uploading a blog post on WordPress works, you will be able to move ahead to the optimization of the content.
- Log in to your site
- Hover over ‘Posts’ then choose ‘Add New’
- Copy the main heading of your post and paste it in the section that says ‘Enter title here’
- In the section below, add the body text of your blog post. Make sure you do not add the images yet
It is a good idea to first write the entire post in a separate software like Ulysses or Microsoft Word, then when it is complete and ready, copy the text from there and paste it in the WordPress section. A lot of people write their blogs in the WordPress and save it as a copy until it is ready to be published. However, if you wish to maintain local copies of your articles, it is recommended to write the post in a separate program.
You have the choice between text and visual editor. The text editor is advised for those who are familiar with HTML because you will have more control and will be able to detect errors directly in the code. If you do not have a good know-how of HTML, the visual editor would work just as perfectly.
Double check and make sure that all the links in your blog post are added properly and correctly. If there are any problems, you can add a link with the WYSIWYG editor. Generally, you should always aim to include at least 3 relevant internal links in every blog post you write. It is always a plus to add some external links as well. However, remember that each of these links should be useful for the reader, and they do not seem to be forcefully added.
- If you want to add any images, put your cursor where you want an image, select the ‘Add Media’ option, and click on ‘Upload Files’.
- You will find multiple options and settings for the alignments and sizing of images. Choose your preferred settings then select ‘insert into post’ so the image is added in the post.
It is always advised to compress the pictures before uploading the post to avoid long load times on your website, which may divert your traffic as the users are dissatisfied.
- Move down a bit on the page and on the right side of the screen, there will be a section for ‘Categories’. It is never necessary to add a category, but if you want, you can categorize your post. If you add a category, WordPress makes category pages and add the posts that fall under that category.
- There is a ‘Tags’ section below the ‘Categories’ one. Just like categories, you are not bound to use tags. In fact, it is recommended that you always ‘noindex’ the tagged pages that WordPress generates automatically. This is done to avoid duplication issues. However, you can use this section to include tags in your post.
- Upon scrolling down further, you will see the ‘Author’ section. Here, you can select the author of your post.
- Scroll back upwards and get to the ‘Preview’ section. This will give you an idea that everything is up to the mark and you can move to optimizing and uploading the post. Make any edits if required, then publish.
You will now reach the point where you are ready to optimize the blog post. This is covered in the following section.
Optimizing Your Blog Post
This section will break down everything that you need for optimizing your WordPress blog post in the best manner possible. Following these tips will help you ensure that everything from the keywords to the metadata contributes towards an improved SEO for your website:
- Go to the same ‘Edit Post’ page if you’re not already there. Move down on the page and find the section named ‘Yoast SEO’. If you are not able to see this option, check if you have installed the correct plugin. If there are no issues with the plugin and you still can’t see this section, move up to the right most corner of the screen. Select ‘Screen Options’ and check ‘WordPress SEO by Yoast’ from here.
- In the Yoast SEO section, select the ‘Edit Snippet’ option. There will be a ‘SEO title’ box, where you can add your title tag.
Generally, you take a start with your main keyword first, then comes your website name or company name. Note that you have to make sure that you keep the text 40 to 65 characters long.
- There is a ‘Meta Description’ section where you will add the meta description of your website.
Even though it is not imperative, it would be impressive if you include your main keyword in the meta description, only if the reader feels it to be in flow with the rest of the content. Google has clearly stated that meta descriptions do not impact the search engine ranking of a website. However, using a keyword will still help users click on your post. This is why you should aim to have a meta description that fully engages a potential user. Tell them why your blog post is better than the others available in the SERP. Moreover, make sure your meta description is neither too short nor too long; it is a general rule to keep it in between 70-156 characters.
- WordPress automatically adds the title of the blog post in the URL, which makes the URL good to go. However, if you wish to edit the URL, you can do it from the ‘Slug’ section, which is a recent addition to Yoast SEO.
Including relevant keywords in the URL, keeping it short, and making it as such that it describes the subject of the post, are some standard practice tips for optimizing the URL. These practices are not necessarily followed to improve the rankings, but they convey the topic of your post to search engines and users.
- Within the Yoast SEO section, you will see a gear icon tab. Upon clicking it, you will be able to see options including canonical URL and meta robots. Usually, these options are set on a global scale by default, but if you wish to override those for specific posts, you can do it here.
- Click on the ‘Share’ button to override the current metadata including titles and images so they fit for your Twitter and Facebook profiles. If you want, you can also leave them blank. However, if you want to optimize your post for different types of audiences or test different images, you can do it all in this section.
- Another important on-page element that we haven’t discussed yet is the <h1> tag. This tag plays a crucial role in letting the search engines know what your post or page is about. Usually, the title of your post will automatically become the <h1> tag.
There are various sites that have copies of the same <h1> tag across the site, and many others have more than one <h1> tags on a single page. A lot of times, the phone number or logo is wrapped in this tag. Therefore, do not forget to ensure that there is one <h1> tag for each page, and all the <h1> tags you add are unique.
- WordPress makes adding alt tags to pictures very simple and easy. There are multiple methods of doing this, but they depend on whether you’re using the text editor or the visual editor.
For visual editor: Go to the image you have to add alt text too. Click on the image, then click on the ‘Edit’ icon. The ‘Alternative Text’ box is where you have to add your alt text. Do not forget to ‘Update’ once you’re done.
For text editor: Go to the image tag and just add the alt=”” snippet of code. For example: <img src=”http://www.mybrand.com/pictures/2″ alt=”keyword comes here”>
The general purpose of alt tags is to provide a description of the image. So let’s say your blog post is about room cleaners and there is a photo of a woman using a room cleaner, then the best alt tag for that image would be something like “Woman Using a Room Cleaner”.
- It is essential to go through the internal links in your post. Make sure they are all relevant to the content. As mentioned earlier, try to include 3 or 4 links that take the user to your internal pages, and see if you can add some good external links too.
- The next step is to ensure that your post has a clear call to action. Many times your CTA can be a ‘Sign up for regular updates’ button or a call to ‘Read more posts like this’. Though if your content is about some product, a ‘Buy now’ CTA could be more appropriate and rewarding.
- Once you have followed all the above steps, take a look at everything before you publish the post. In case you publish your writing then find out that something has to be changed, simply go back to the editor, make required changes, and click on ‘Update’. Top of Form
If you are the owner of a WordPress website, then you will know the importance of optimizing your website for search engines, a process commonly known as SEO. It is important to pay close attention to the SEO of your website because it helps you improve the amount and quality of traffic on your website. In this comprehensive guide, we take a look at how you can optimize the web pages and blog posts on your WordPress website for achieving a high ranking on search engines.