WordPress SEO Best Practices
Staying relevant to Google can seem a little tricky. Especially for people with brand new sites. However, for those using WordPress, this task has been simplified for thanks to the WordPress community.
All you are going to need is a simple understanding of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to use the plugin. Plugins are extra tools that simplify the process of enhancing your WordPress site. In this case, they will help us with SEO.
Best WordPress SEO Practices
- Meta Data Manager – These will help you keep track of your meta data, give you a place to update it, and help you see the benefits of using meta data. You can use the instructions below to install the WordPress SEO by Yoast. It is very popular despite only being around for 1 year. It makes updating meta data information very easy.
- Page Caching – Page caching takes a dynamic page and turns it static. delivering an save HTML version of a PHP page speeds up your site which most search engines take into account. We use W3 Total Cache. It’s built for WordPress and runs smoothly.
- URL Managing – WordPress comes with a built in way to change the URL structures called “Permalinks”. It’s better to set these up before your site is popular. If you change the URL of a page, people coming to the old URL will get a 404 error. Simple pick out the structure for each of the posts using the WordPress taxonomy and you can make a great SEO URL structure.
- Sitemap – Using a sitemap helps search engines keep up with your newly created pages as well as letting you know if there are some errors in pages you didn’t know about. We use the same Yoast plugin for the Sitemap as well. Use this in conjunction with Google’s Web Master tools to get great feedback on important structural information.
Install WordPress SEO by Yoast
Plugin: WordPress SEO
WordPress Plugin Page: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-seo/
Installation: Through WP dashboard or FTP
Difficulty: Easy, with some advanced knowledge required
Rating: High (Over 800 Ratings)
To install the All in One SEO Pack:
- To find the right plugin, sign into your WordPress dashboard
- On the left side panel scroll down to plugins and click “Add New”
- You will see a search area. Type in “WordPress SEO” (there are several other plugins with similar names but the best one is as written above. To verify check the number of ratings by hovering your mouse over the stars to see if it reaches above 800 ratings)
- After you have found the correct plugin click “Install Now”. Make sure to activate the plugin after installed.
To configure WordPress SEO:
- look under at the bottom of the admin bar for “SEO”
- Scroll down until you see plugin Status then click the radio button to “Enabled”
- Fill out the necessary boxes and review the options to your liking
- To finish, scroll to the bottom and click “Update Options”.
This is not a quick fix, and your WordPress site probably won’t suddenly appear on Google’s top search results just because of the installation and setup. But over time, if you are careful and disciplined with this plugin, it will help you increase your overall performance by a lot.
Also, every time you update a page or add a post, down at the bottom of the editor you will see a box that says, “All in One SEO Pack”. This will help you, if you remember to fill it out for every post.
*Note that if you have WordPress.com, and not a hosted website with WordPress.org application installed, you will not be able to add any plugins.
David writes for a couple different websites that work with hosting and consumer reviews. He brings real-world application to harder to understand concepts in order to help people learn about specific subject matter. He also knows HTML, CSS and PHP to help out with building and configuring sites.