September 25, 2015

WordPress SEO Essentials (Plus Plugins to Use!)

Awesome design and unique content are not always enough for your website to grow online. Instead, what matters is the size of the audience that interacts with it.

To reach out to your audience, you need to optimize your site for the channel your audience uses the most: Google.

This is done by tweaking technical aspects, publishing great content, and others; most of which can be a challenge for novice bloggers. This is why most of them choose WordPress, the most widely used CMS out there.

Its simplicity, clean code, and availability of SEO features make WordPress a great platform for both novice and experienced webmasters.

Among the most useful features, its built-in content optimization functionalities and the availability of different SEO plugins help you develop your website from the day one.

The infographic below outlines the most important stats related to the use of WordPress, as well as the plugins that you should use to improve the visibility of your site in search.

WordPress SEO Essentials

 

A single plugin can do the most of the options featured above: WordPress SEO by Yoast.

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By installing the plugin to your site, you can optimize the meta tags of your blog posts using your target keyword.

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You can also view the Page Analytics to see the Readability Index, heading tags, keyword density, and other ranking factors of your post.

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There are other ways that you can use the WordPress SEO to optimize your entire site. You learn more about those by reading the definitive guide for this plugin here.

For creating a mobile-friendly version of your site, you cannot go wrong with WPtouch.

free wordpress mobile plugin

Compared to other plugins, WPtouch offers a sleek appearance to your site or blog when viewed using mobile devices. You can choose from more themes and options if you upgrade your account. Doing this gives you access to custom features and designs that help make your site stand out on smartphones and tablets.

For caching plugins, two stand out: WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache.

Regardless of which between the two you use, you can expect to run a faster and more efficient site that your visitors will enjoy. According to KISSmetrics, 25% of your visitors will have left your site if it loads four seconds or more.

After downloading either plugin, you will need to optimize its settings depending on your site needs.

image-1

We have featured how you can optimize WP Super Cache for your site. I suggest you read this post to get a better understanding how each of the features work.

For W3 Total Cache, you can check out this tutorial for a detailed explanation of setting up the plugin.

You can do the other options mentioned in the infographic manually and without using any plugins.

For editing your permalink, click on the “Edit” button in the permalink section below the blog post title. For best practices, enter your keyword phrase here. Place a hyphen in between words of your chosen phrase and limit the number of words of your keyword phrase to five.

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For creating categories, find the Categories section on the sidebar of your text editor screen and choose the appropriate one for your post. Add a new category if the existing ones do not fit in the context of your new article.

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Ideally, the category should contain your target keyword, if not related, to keep your content organized within WordPress. This concept is called soloing, which refers to the process of organizing blog posts according to their appropriate categories for easy reference. You can learn more about siloing by reading this comprehensive (but very technical) post by Bruce Clay.

Final thoughts

SEO is one of the many ways to drive your target audience to your site. For beginners, following the simple tips above should increase your chances of ranking for your target keyword for your search result.

Pallavi Gupta

Wordpress | BuddyPress | WooCommerce Developer : I have developed a wide range of websites using Wordpress, PHP, HTML, CSS, jQuery and MySQL.