If you are ready to drive traffic to your site through SEO, you can use this guide. You must accept two things before you start reading this guide. WordPress will not give you a guaranteed ranking on Google. WordPress will help you implement the SEO methods you encounter without any problems.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open source content management system. It helps you perform site configuration, manage, and publish steps even if you don’t have HTML knowledge.
When it comes to WordPress, the first thing that comes to mind is blog and similar approaches. WordPress is not only used for blog type sites. WordPress powers 32% of all existing sites. The best known are TechCrunch, Sony PlayStation Blog and Mercedes Benz.
One of the biggest reasons why such big names prefer WordPress is that WordPress is SEO friendly. To be SEO friendly, WordPress is the best way to implement it by itself. In addition, it offers you the opportunity to take more comprehensive steps with the help of various add-ons.
When you install WordPress, you don’t have almost perfect SEO performance. You’il only be halfway. WordPress is a tool that will help you in implementing classic SEO techniques and strategies easily.
WordPress SEO work is no different from classic SEO work. This guide will help you in implementing the best in-site and technical SEO methods. In addition, it will guide you through the application of off-site SEO techniques such as link building.
WordPress SEO : Front End
If you want to start SEO work on your WordPress site, there are 5-6 important add-ons you need to install:
- Yoast SEO or All in One SEO Pack
- W3 Total Cache or WP Rocket
- Smush Image Compression and Optimization or ShortPixel
After installing these plug-ins, you must wait until you enable them. This guide will tell you step by step what you need to do. If you have already installed these plug-ins, you can skip to the next step.
1. SEO Friendly Theme Download
It is not possible to say that the default theme WordPress has provided you is good. Therefore, you should choose a different theme. Although many themes call themselves SEO friendly, this may not actually be the case.
You need to do your own checks without leaving your job to chance. There are two important features that make a WordPress theme SEO friendly:
Responsive design: Mobile-friendly content is always much better for mobile users. You should comply with this policy because Google says it.
Lightweight: Third-party add-ons and scripts complicated with themes are not very useful. These themes will slow down your site.
If you want to test a site, you must test it on Googleındas Mobile Compatibility Test and PageSpeed Insights tools. The good scores you get here will show that the theme is truly SEO friendly.
Some sites have www at the beginning, while others do not. For example, WordPress’s site is https://wordpress.org. The address of this site is https://www.ayhankaraman.com/. You will need to make your general selection, since Google is going to evaluate the www and non-www versions differently.
2. With WWW or without WWW
After you have made your choice, you need to change the addresses of your WordPress site. You need to go to Settings in WordPress and change your WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) to your preferred format.
WordPress will accept the version you choose as the basic version and direct the others directly to the basic version. This choice has no direct impact on SEO. It is only possible to say that it is a personal preference.
If both the www and the non-www version of your site are accessible, Google will choose to include both indexes. In this case, complexity may occur in your directory presence. For example, you can perform a search in the following two ways:
- site:wordpressmatters.com -inurl:www
After searching your own site in this way, it is much more accurate to choose the version that has the most records.
3. Identifying Permanent Connections
First, you should review the following URLs. Even if they both show the same page, the search engine will look different on the results page:
You should choose which of these URLs is more readable to you. Visitors are more willing to log in to URLs they can understand. Therefore, the choice should always be the second.
You can change the persistent connection option in Settings -> Persistent Connections. You can choose any of the options you’ll see here, but in general the Text Name option is one of the most SEO-friendly options:
- People searching can see what the page is about by looking at the URL. This improves the clickthrough rate from the search engine results page and helps you get more organic traffic.
- Setting persistent links as text names can help you get keyword-linked links. So you can target them with the right anchor text to create links that Google likes.
If you have a certain amount of content on your site, you should consider it several times before changing the permanent link structure. If you change the persistent link structure without thinking about it, the pages on your site will get corrupted. This is a very bad situation for your site. If you want to make changes to get the right URL structure, you should use one of the redirect plugins developed for WordPress.
4. Breadcrumbs Activation
Breadcrumbs is an important element to show visitors where they are on the site. You don’t have to use them. However, if you use them, you can get certain benefits:
- It helps search engines understand the site structure and hierarchy.
- It contributes to your site by creating an internal link structure.
- Helps users.
- They appear in Google search results.
Breadcrumbs, which appear especially in search engines, will make the page content much more understandable. You should remember that you can increase your site’s clickthrough rate. This is an extremely important contribution to your site.
Yoast offers you great convenience. While Yoast is an SEO plugin, WordPress is one of the most important tools that can help you with SEO. However, this plug-in has several special settings.
Activate the Yoast SEO plug-in you’ve already installed, and go to Search View> Breadcrumbs from the SEO menu that appears on the left sidebar.
5. Manually Approve Comments
Many blog reviews will be able to make you happy. Usually people go to comment to ask questions or say something about what you write. Some of them may contain completely unwanted messages.
In these messages, the name of the commentator is usually included as a keyword and the address of the site address is written. The main purpose of such comments is to provide links from your site and these messages are usually generated automatically.
Google released the nofollow tag in 2005 to be able to fight for such comments. All WordPress comments are nofollow. Therefore, none of them carry the PageRank value from one site to another.
According to Google, unwanted comments can still have some effect on SEO:
- Low-quality content on certain parts of your site may affect your site’s ranking.
- This will lower your site’s reputation, as unwanted comments can distract and annoy users.
- You may lose search engine rankings because of user-generated content on your site because they lower quality.
After installing WordPress, the default comment setting is to automatically approve all comments. Therefore, you must switch off the setting. To do this, you must switch to Settings -> Discussion and activate the setting that requires comments to be manually approved.
Now imagine that you have created the title: ” Top 10 Protein Powders for Men in 2018 “
WordPress will try to format a post with this title as follows and convert the URL of the page to:
This configuration for the search engine results page is quite long. Therefore, there may be various reductions in clickthrough rates and visits to your site. As WordPress gives you the freedom to do so, you should first try to convert the long page URL to a short one: wordpressmatters.com/blog/best-protein-powders/
6. Using Alt Text in Images
You should definitely use alt text in images. The main reason for this is that screen readers are not able to read images. Instead, the readers of Erkan prefer to read the sub texts that can give information about the visual.
When you go to review any media file on your WordPress site, you will see that the Alt Text section is empty unless you have edited it. You must fill in this Alt Text part to be relevant to the image.
Subtexts are especially valued by search engines. As search engines do not yet have the ability to understand the images, they get the information about them from the names of the images or sub-text. It is also possible to enter search results in Google Images.
7. Optimizing Images
In general, a site has a page size of 3MB. It is inevitable that blog posts that have a long form will be much larger. Because more visual can take place in these articles.
According to Google, mobile visitors prefer to open a page within 3 seconds at the latest. Therefore, you need to optimize the images on your site. If your site is opened in more than 3 seconds, it will be inevitable for visitors to leave your site.
You can take the first step by activating the Smush Image Compression and Optimization plugin that you have previously installed. This plugin will compress and reduce the size of all images on your site.
If you want to compress existing images, you should enter the Smush menu on the left and click the Bulk Smush Now button. This option will compress 50 images on your site. Then press this bot again to compress the remaining images in groups of 50. For large sites this can be extremely frustrating.
You can then resize the images to fit your site if you wish. Here you have to specify the maximum width and maximum height. You need to select these values specifically based on the theme on your site.
8. Adding Noindex to Low Content
You can use the tags on your WordPress site to group articles. If a tag contains only a few articles, it will not have any value for search engines. However, as this tag sheet can be valuable to users, you should continue to use them.
Therefore, you should prevent tags from appearing in the search engine. Yoast automatically configures the “text format” and “media” pages as “noindex”. Use a similar approach for labels.
You can change this setting by going to SEO> Search View> Taxonomies.
You can also activate the noindex feature for Archive, Tag, Numbered Pages and 404 pages in the General settings section of the All in One SEO side.
9. Correcting Copy Contents
If two of the pages on your site are almost identical, you may experience a copy content problem. You can solve this problem in two different ways:
- Noindex – Removes a page from the search engine index. You can select this option if the copy content does not add any value to the visitor. In particular, you can choose to set the landing pages that you use as test to noindex.
- Canonical – You can standardize by linking pages that are similar to each other. Search engines will index your preferred page. Contents that are or are close to copy should be marked as canonical instead of noindex.
Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack can help you in performing all these settings individually for each page. You can specify your preferred settings here by going to the advanced settings section in the Yoast SEO section, General settings in the All in One SEO Pack.
You must create a content quality report for your site before editing the settings here. Ahrefs can help you with this. The report will instantly show you what pages are appearing as copy content.
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems used throughout the world. It is easy to use, flexible and extremely convenient for SEO. WordPress is not fully optimized from the very beginning. You need to go with a few plug-ins to support it.
10. Using WYSIWYG Editor for Page and Text Formatting
You should not publish content on the page into large text columns. Instead, you should use the HTML elements to configure the page. You can do this by using H tags, referring to lists, and typing text.
That’s why you need to use the WYSIWYG editor that WordPress offers. This editor is very simple to use. Moreover, if you go from one place to another, this editor allows you to automatically fetch all formatting.
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