How to optimize a WordPress website for SEO

Wordpress SEO Image by PrempalSingh.Com

Prempal Singh, Best SEO Expert in India, the author of the blog at PrempalSingh.Com, wrote a column for the blog “SEO For WordPress“, in which he described how not understanding SEO to optimize your WordPress site for search engines.

If you thought that to optimize your website on WordPress you need a good understanding of SEO, then it is not so. WordPress is originally a search engine friendly platform.

But WordPress is not all plain sailing with such important parameters for SEO as duplicate content control of the page title and its description. All this, coupled with the pagination of comments and the lack of a site map makes it difficult to promote the site in search engines.

I tell you how to 5 steps to optimize your website on WordPress for search engines.

1. Buy SEO friendly theme

Website optimization is better to start with the purchase of a friendly SEO theme. How to determine if a theme is created with SEO in mind:

   Layout in accordance with HTML 5 and CSS 3 standards;

   Correct placement of the first and second level headings;

   The site loads quickly;

   Adaptive layout-the site is displayed correctly on the phone, tablet and computer.

You might think, ” Sounds great, but how do you find a suitable theme without focusing on SEO and web programming?”. The answer is simple: the developers in the description of templates and write “Optimized for search engines” or “SEO friendly”.

2. Decide whether you are with WWW OR not

Choose which address you want to see the site at: www.prempalsingh.com or just prempalsingh.com ahhh! Both options are acceptable.

In the WordPress admin panel, go to Settings > General and specify your site address. My blog is displayed without WWW, so I have the following options:

The choice of the main site address is important, otherwise the search engines will perceive the site with WWW and without WWW as different.

To be sure, enter the main address of the site in “Google Search Console” and “Webmaster Yandex” . If you do not have accounts in these services, get them.

This sets the primary address of the website in the “Yandex.Webmaster»:

Check the Search Console is through a Google account. You need to click on the “Add resource” button in the “toolbar” and confirm the ownership of the domain.

Important: add both versions of the domain with www and without www

Then click on the gear in the upper right corner of the screen and select ” site Settings»:

Specify the primary domain:

Now search engines will not be confused with the address of your site.

   To check for changes, enter your non-primary domain in the browser address bar. If all goes well, you will be automatically redirected to the main site address.

3. Decide on the format of links

The default url of WordPress site look like this: prempalsingh.com/?p=123. On such a URL, the user will not know what is this page. This address is more informative: prempalsingh.com/seo-for-wordpress

To customize the display of links, go to Settings > Persistent links. It is better to choose the ” record Name — option – then the article name will be displayed after the domain:

I use a different way : first comes the blog category, then the article title. If you want the same structure, select “Arbitrary” and write the following entry in the field: /%category%/%postname%.html

4. Displaying links in Latin letters

The next step in the setup is to display the URL in Latin letters. From the previous step, we remember that the URL is formed by the page title and category. So, the URL for the article called “Influence of links on website promotion 2019” is: http://prempalsingh.com/influence-links-website-promotion-2019/

5. Configure SEO plugin

There are two most functional WordPress optimization plugins:  Yoast SEO and All in one Seo Pack.

In my way Yoast SEO plugin is the best for SEO and I always follow this plugin.

But in this blog,I will show you how to optimize your site using the plugin all in one SEO Pack. If you want to use Yoast SEO, read our next blog.

Install the all in one SEO Pack plugin –

To install the plugin, go to Plugins > Add new. In the search form, set the name All in one Seo Pack. Install and activate. In the admin panel will be a section all in one SEO, go there: you need to make basic settings plugin.

Basic plugin settings –

To protect the site from duplicate content, put a tick next to the Canonical URL, Prohibit pagination for canonical URLS, Enable custom canonical URLS. Otherwise, search engines will swear at the duplicate content on the site.

Then put down the following settings:

   Use default title — Disable (to set the title and description of the site through the plugin);

   Use markup Schema.org -Check mark (to allow search engines to create extended snippets of the site in search results).

The next in line is “home page setup”.

The Title, Description, and Keywords fields must be set to title, description, and keywords, respectively. That’s what it is:

Title and description (meta tags) are important for search engines and visitors. Search engines use meta tags to determine the subject of the content on the page. Users also get acquainted with them in the search results and if they are attractive, go to the site.

Making competent meta tags is also important for site optimization, because the better you do it, the more visitors you get from search engines. I’ll tell you how to create good meta tags.

For example, if you have a blog about personal Finance, you can write the following title: “ready-made formulas for effective personal Finance management” or “Blog about effective personal Finance management”.

   You need to keep within 60 characters. Also come up with a short description — description) – here you are limited to 160 characters. Keywords (keywords) can not specify — they no longer affect the ranking of sites.

If you are using a static home page, enable the appropriate setting:

Go to “Configure headers”.

The first option in this settings section is “overwrite header”. I suggest you turn it on. So you can set a separate title (title) for each page. In the following paragraph — “to Capitalize on the label” box to check that the header begin with an uppercase letter.

In the “page header Format” item, I advise you to leave only %page_title%. Otherwise, the title of your blog will be added to the page titles and the title will exceed 60 characters. If you want to see the title of the blog in the title of the page, you can add it through a vertical dash or hyphen. So this looks I have:

In search results, it looks like this:

In the last two paragraphs I advise you to write the text in Russian so that the headings of “pages 404” and navigation were clear to readers.

Next, go to “custom record types”. In this section, we include the ability to manage WordPress SEO settings for different elements of The site. To specify titles and descriptions for each post and page in the site, specify the following settings:

In the “webmaster Verification” section you can synchronize the plugin with Google Search Console. To do this, enter the verification code in the field, which is issued at the verification stage in Search Console:

In the next section — “Google Settings”, you can:

   Link your Google+ account to the website (recommended for website promotion);

   Display the main links of your site in the search results (recommended for quick transition of users from search to the desired section of the site);

   Google is the preferred name of your website (recommended for ranking for branded queries);

   Enable advanced authoring settings;

   To Connect With Google Analytics.

It looks like the settings I have:

Next is a very important section – “indexing Settings”. Important, because here you can close certain sections of your site from indexing.

Small educational program:

Close from indexing means asking search engines not to add a particular page to their database. But why is it necessary?

First, the search engines don’t like to add to your database useless for users of the web page.

Secondly, WordPress is a duplicate content that is not very fond of search engines. For example, announcements of articles can be in headings, tags, archives of dates, archives of authors.

I suggest to close from indexing the archives of dates, archives, authors, archives, tags, search pages, 404 page, posts and pages with pagination.

To the weight of the pages did not go into closed from indexing sections, place links from the footer, menu and sidebar (sitewide links).

Do not forget to save the changes by clicking on the “Update settings”button.

XML sitemap

Next you need to create an XML-map of the site-it will help search engines to index our site faster. This is done using the All in one SEO add-on in the WordPress admin panel. Go to the section all in one SEO > manage modules and turn on the map button Activate:

If desired, you can make additional configuration of the site map by going to all in one SEO > XML sitemap. For full SEO optimization you need to include modules “Social meta”, ” Robots.txt ” and “file Editor” by clicking on the same Activate button.

Social meta

In the previous step, we have configured the display of the site in the search, now we will do the same for social networks.

Go to all in one SEO > Social meta. In the “home page Settings” section, set the parameters for displaying the home page of the site in social networks. Put a tick in front of the item “Use AIOSEO” (standard title and description will be used), specify the name of the site and the default image.

In the section “Social links” indicate your profiles in social networks, name, surname, name of the organization.

In “Facebook Settings” you need:

   Specify the id of your page in Facebook;

   Allow to automatically generate tags for articles;

   Use keywords in article tags;

   Use the categories in the labels article;

   Use publication labels in article labels.

In the “Twitter Settings” you need to specify a short or long display option, username and website name:

That’s all she wrote. This is how the repost of my article in Facebook looks like:

Robots.txt

So, we are at the finish line of the all in one SEO plugin. It remains to configure the Robots file.txt.

To do this, go to all in one SEO > file Editor. Next, copy the entries below and paste in the Robots.txt. Instead site.ru enter your website domain with or without WWW:

User-agent: * Host: prempalsingh.com Allow:/wp-content/themes/*.css

Allow:/wp-content/plugins/*.css

Allow:/wp-content/uploads/*.css

Allow:/wp-content/themes/*.js

Allow:/wp-content/plugins/*.js

Allow:/wp-content/uploads/*.js

User-agent: YandexImages

Allow: / wp-content/uploads/

User-agent: Googlebot-Image

Allow: / wp-content/uploads/

Disallow: / wp-admin/

Disallow: / wp-feed/

Disallow: / wp-includes/

Disallow: / wp-content/cache

Disallow: / wp-content/plugins

Disallow: / wp-content/themes

Disallow: / xmlrpc.php

Disallow: /cgi-bin

Disallow: / wp-login.php

Disallow:/?author=*

Sitemap: http://prempalsingh.com/sitemap.xml

Using entries in the Robots file.txt we have indicated to search engines which parts of our site can be indexed and which cannot. We also provided a preferred address for our website (without www).

So you learned how to optimize your WordPress site.

When you create an article or page below the editor you will see the plugin settings where you can set your title, description and social meta:

You can specify a separate title and description for search engines and social networks. Moreover, you can close pages from indexing and add nofollow attribute.

4 thoughts on “How to optimize a WordPress website for SEO

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