Invest in Your Future with an Seo Company That Has Achieved Results
Table of Contents
Why SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is Important
Search Engine Optimization has become a very popular topic in recent years. Creating a blog with WordPress is fun, but after that, it is very wise to make your website search engine friendly. More and more website owners are realizing the effect this can have on visibility in search results.
You can get paid visitors through Google by advertising with Google Adwords, but you can also get visitors to your website through Google through the free search results.
SEO plays an important factor in getting high in the search results. It can be just the difference to achieve a top 3 ranking for a certain search term. You can get a lot of free visitors to your website and every visitor you receive for free can help you further with the goal of your website free of charge.
So it makes quite a difference to your website whether the visitors come in via Adwords or via the free search results. Taking SEO seriously is therefore definitely worth it and can make a world of difference for your website.
You Have To Learn WordPress SEO
I like to immerse myself in WordPress SEO and regularly test things out on one of my websites. I also learned a lot by following WordPress SEO blogs like Yoast and Moz. These are highly recommended if you want to stay up to date with the latest SEO developments.
Since you are reading this article, you also want to get higher in Google and learn as much as possible about search engine optimization in combination with WordPress. I, therefore, advise you to take the time to read this article and apply everything to your website.
I have tried to explain everything as simple as possible, but sometimes some technical knowledge is required to do certain things.
WordPress SEO: The Basics
I will start with the basic settings that just need to be done on all WordPress websites. Later in this article, some other WordPress SEO tips you can use to rank better in Google.
The first thing you should always do by default after installing WordPress is to change the permalinks (URLs). By default, a permalink will look like https://dgsol.co.uk/.
This does not give Google and your visitors any information about the page. It is therefore better to change the permalink in the post title and possibly also the category in the URL.
The new permalink structure will ensure that the URL immediately gives a hint of what the page is about. The keywords in the URL will also be bold in Google search results when it matches a search query.
To edit your permalinks you just need to go to “ Settings» Permalinks ”. You can then choose a format.
I usually choose post name to keep the links short. However, if you also want the category to be included in the URL (which is also a good option), you have to choose “Custom structure” and enter /% category% /% postname% / there.
It is best to set the permalinks if you have just installed WordPress. If you want to adjust the permalinks on an existing website, where you already have blog posts and articles on it, you have to check carefully whether the old URLs point to the new one.
WordPress should take care of this automatically, but if not, you will need to install a redirection plugin. The plugin Quick Page / Post Redirect DEV is an example of this. With this plugin, you can redirect the old URLs to the new URLs via a 301 redirect.
Your visitors will always end up on the right page in this way and Google will understand that the page has been moved so that you will not lose any ranking in Google.
The next section is about page permalinks if you also want to create a knowledge base on your website. I will briefly tell you why this works differently than described above.
Permalinks For Pages
The permalinks for pages are different from the permalinks for messages. I am referring in particular to subpages, sub-subpages, and so on.
For example, if you have a main page “Manuals” and create a subpage for all manuals, just like I did for this WordPress manual, you will get a link like https://dgsol.co.uk/wordpress-seo/
In this way, the entire URL perfectly shows the structure of your website for both your visitors and Google.
However, if you want to change it, you do not have any permalink settings in WordPress for this. When you create a subpage, the main page will always appear in the URL. If you are very technical, you can do something about this, but it is actually not worthwhile to invest time in this. It’s fine.
The only drawback to being aware of is that the URLs of subpages and sub-subpages don’t get super long. It is better to have short URLs because this is the friendliest for your visitors and therefore automatically also for Google.
Whether Or Not WWW
In WordPress, you can set whether or not you want www in front of your domain name. It is wise to set this up properly so that no problems arise in Google.
You can set your choice in “ Settings» General ”. All you have to do is enter the correct address (with or without www).
You can also set here whether you want to use HTTP or HTTPS, but do not forget that you first need an SSL certificate for HTTPS.
After you have set your preference, you can submit the preferred domain to Google through the webmaster tool. (more about Google’s webmaster tools later in this article)
HTTP or HTTPS (SSL)?
Google openly stated in August 2014 that HTTPS is a ranking factor ( read it here ). As a result, you see more and more websites switching to HTTPS and besides that, it can influence your ranking, it is also good for the safety of your visitors and website.
Browsers also always show whether you are on an HTTPS website by displaying a lock. With DGSol I use HTTPS and when you view the website in Google Chrome you see the following:
HTTPS currently has very little influence on the position of your website in Google. Less than 1% of rankings are affected by the HTTPS ranking factor and other ranking factors currently weigh more heavily in giving webmasters time to transition to HTTPS.
Over time, however, Google may change this and make it count more heavily. With this information, you can say that now (or in the future) it is wise to purchase an SSL certificate and migrate your website to HTTPS.
A Title tag is seen as the most important factor in telling Google what a page is about.
To gain control over this, you can install a WordPress SEO plugin like WordPress SEO by Yoast. With the plugin, you can easily set how a title tag is displayed on your website by default.
You can set this at SEO »Titles & Metas» post types and for your front page, you can set it separately under the heading Home.
I always fill it in as follows:
- Frontpage title: What your website is about – your website name
- Posts Title: %% title %% %% page %% %% sep %% %% Sitename %%
- Page Title: %% title %% %% page %% %% sep %% %% Sitename %%
I choose the above title tags because of course the title has to be in Google anyway and nowadays Google increasingly mentions the site name itself.
If it does not fit once, I will of course delete the website name on the relevant page and only enter the title of the message. For more information about the WordPress SEO plugin, I recommend that you read the manual “ Setting up the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin ”.
Despite the fact that you enter the title tag yourself, it is possible that Google puts the wrong title in the search results. The reason for this is that sometimes Google just thinks it knows better. So it doesn’t matter how good your title is, Google can just do this.
When you search for something in Google you will see a piece of information under the title and URL.
You generally have full control over this yourself. You can easily edit the description tag per blog post with a WordPress SEO plugin.
You could fully automate what the description tag looks like per blog post. For example, it can always be the first few sentences of your article. However, the best descriptions always remain descriptions that you come up with yourself and that describe the article well.
You also have the option to add meta keywords with various WordPress SEO plugins. The point is that meta keywords have not been used by Google for a number of years to improve your ranking.
Too much abuse has been made of meta keywords in the past so that it no longer has any value in search engine optimization. So you don’t have to waste time on this.
Focus On One Search Term Per Article
It is a good idea to optimize your website for search terms (keywords) that you can get visitors from via Google. Ideally, you should create a separate article for all keywords you want to score on.
So focus on one search term per article. A good article is not about multiple topics, it is about one topic.
Joost’s WordPress SEO plugin has a separate functionality for entering a focus search term. When you have done this, the page will be analyzed and you can see how well your page is optimized for your chosen keyword.
To find out which keywords many people search for, it is best to use the Google keyword planner.
Make sure to select “Netherlands” at the location if your website focuses on the Dutch market.
When you have chosen a search term you can use it in:
- The title of the article;
- The title tag of your article;
- The content of your article;
- The heading tags;
- Anchor texts of links that link to the article.
Optimize Your Images
Google has no idea what is in an image, after all, a Googlebot does not have the eyes of a human. It’s up to you to tell Google what the image is about by means of the file name, title, and alt attribute.
For example, I have an image at the very top of this article that says WordPress SEO. The filename I called WordPress-seo.png and the alt attribute is WordPress SEO.
This not only ensures that visitors can come to my website via Google images, but it also helps with the ranking of this article itself on the keyword WordPress SEO.
However, don’t take advantage of the options you have. When there is an apple on an image, it is not wise to name the image “learn-to-play guitar.png” and attach an alt attribute to it.
Google may not have eyes, but Google is certainly not retarded and this will not be appreciated. Google will notice soon enough that you get very few clicks because your image apparently says something completely different.
WordPress Search Engine Visibility
This is a short WordPress SEO tip that is very valuable for some people whose website is not being indexed.
It may be that during the creation of your website you have set in “ Settings» Reading ” that Google and other search engines are not allowed to index your website.
When your website is finished, don’t forget to uncheck “block search engines from indexing this site” to make sure you get in the search results.
WordPress SEO: Optimize Theme
After the above WordPress SEO settings and tips, you are not there yet. Your WordPress theme also affects the search engine optimization of your WordPress website.
If there are some things wrong with your theme, this can negatively affect your ranking. Therefore, always pay attention to the following points with your WordPress theme.
Responsive Design For A Mobile-Friendly Website
Nowadays it is extremely important that your WordPress theme has a responsive design. This is because people nowadays look on the internet on all kinds of different devices and your website must of course be legible on all devices.
If you don’t have a responsive design and you only focus on people with a computer or laptop, then people have to zoom in on a smartphone and tablet to read the text.
It is therefore a must for the user-friendliness of your website to take a responsive design to ensure that your website scales on a smaller device.
Google naturally wants to reward user-friendly websites as much as possible, a responsive design also influences the search results.
This is because a “For mobile” label can be seen when searching via a mobile device. If you do not have this label on your website, you can expect that you will receive fewer and fewer mobile visitors to your website in the near future.
Provide Neat And Clean Code
What is neat code and what does it have to do with WordPress SEO? Google looks at the readability of your website and the code of your website is an important part of this. Google does not view your website the way visitors to your website do, Google only views your website via the code.
Also, try to keep the code of your theme as clean as possible. By this, I mean that it should have as few HTML errors as possible. You can use the W3 HTML validator to check what errors your website has and how to fix them.
It does not have to be exactly zero (it is a plus), but at least try to brush away as many errors as possible. It is only easier for Google to search your website when you have neat and clean code.
Heading tags, also called headers in WordPress, give headings and subheadings extra value. This is a very valuable WordPress SEO option.
You should always give the H1 tag (<h1>) to the title of the page because the title has the most value and tells the best what the page is about.
On your front page, you can possibly give this to the name of your blog, but on all other pages, you just have to put it on the title of the page.
An important fact is that you only use the H1 tag for really important things. In almost all cases you can only use the H1 tag once per page.
You can use the H2, H3, H4, H5 and H6 tag more often per page. The value of heading tags go from H1 to H6, the H1 tag has the highest value and the H6 tag has the lowest value.
I always use my heading tags in my blog posts and articles like this:
- H1: Title of the page;
- H2: Intermediate headings;
- H3: Sub subheadings.
In the single.php and page.php files of your theme (file names can differ per theme) you can set that the h1 tag should be placed on the title.
The heading tag you want to use in your articles can be set with the subheadings available in the WordPress visual editor.
Website Speed Is Becoming Increasingly Important
Speed has also become an important WordPress SEO factor these days. The faster your website, the more appreciation you get from Google and the faster the Googlebot can go through your website. Google prefers to see your website fully loaded in less than 2 seconds.
There are several websites to see what you can do to improve your website speed. There are also plugins like WP Smush.it to keep your images as small as possible in KBs and WP Super Cache to cache your website making it a lot faster.
Hosting is also very important for the speed of your website. The speed of your website can differ to a greater or lesser extent per hosting company.
If you have a slow website and think this is due to your hosting company, you would do well to consider whether it is better to move your website to another hosting provider.
There are plenty of hosting companies that offer WordPress hosting. So you have enough choice to select a hosting provider with good speed.
Due to the popularity of WordPress, various hosting providers have chosen to focus entirely on WordPress. These hosting providers often offer Managed WordPress hosting.
With Managed WordPress hosting, the server where your website is located is fully set up for a WordPress website. This way your website is a lot faster and more secure than most other hosting companies.
Breadcrumbs (Improved Version Of Hansel And Gretel)
To make it even more clear what the structure of your website looks like, you can use breadcrumbs.
I don’t understand why many websites still don’t have this. Breadcrumbs indicate in a simple way exactly the structure of your website and your visitor knows exactly where he or she is located on your website.
The literal translation of breadcrumbs is breadcrumbs. So you leave a trail of breadcrumbs on your website so that everyone can find their way back.
Fortunately, it is an improved version of breadcrumbs than in the fairytale Hansel and Gretel. You don’t get lost and can always find your way back.
Breadcrumbs are good for your website usability and also very useful for Google. It looks like this on my website:
Advanced WordPress SEO Tips
bove you have read most of the basic tips and techniques about WordPress SEO. Now is the time to dig into it a little deeper and provide some more advanced WordPress SEO tips.
If you only follow the above tips, you are already a long way on the way, but there are still things you can improve.
Noindex Archive, Category And Tag Pages
Plenty of people use categories, date archives, and tag pages. This may be user-friendly, but it has no added value for Google.
It is wise to ensure that irrelevant archive pages are not indexed. For example, I have completely disabled the archives based on date, because I don’t use these archives. All links related to date archives will be forwarded to my front page.
If you are the only writer on your website you can also turn off the author archives. After all, you are the only one writing on the website. If you would leave the author archives on, Google will encounter exactly the same messages as if Google searches your blog posts from the front page. So this has no added value at all.
Do you also have to disable archives when they are not visible on the website? Yes, if you don’t do this and someone links to your archives, Google has found them too and that is not good for your WordPress SEO. It does not matter whether or not you have a link to your archives on your website.
You can easily manage archives with the WordPress SEO plugin from Joost de Valk (Yoast).
By default, WordPress moves forward or backward one page at a time in the archives of your blog posts. This way, Google might have to go back 10 pages to get to one of your best articles that you wrote and posted a few months ago. To fix this you can use the plugin WP-PageNavi.
WP-Pagenavi is a good plugin that ensures that both your visitors and Google can easily find and view your older articles. If you are using WP-Paganavi, the pagination of your website may look like this:
By the way, you may not need this plugin at all because your WordPress theme already has a built-in function to achieve the same. More and more themes have this function.
Internal links are links that link to articles within your own website. Take a look at the first word of the previous sentence as an example, this word is linked to another article about internal links on my website.
Not only is this good WordPress SEO, but it also gives readers an opportunity to read more information about the word. Your page views and the time people spend on your website will increase as a result.
Google and other search engines crawl websites from link to link. Broken links can cause SEO problems for your site. When Google crawls (searches) your website and runs into a broken link, Google’s crawler cannot continue and will leave your website.
If this occurs too often, Google will experience this as poor user-friendliness. It can also reduce crawl speed and crawl depth, making your website index worse and causing ranking problems.
Unfortunately, broken links can also be caused by other websites linking to your site. While you cannot prevent other websites from accidentally causing a broken link, it is easy for you to fix the broken links with a 301 redirect.
To satisfy both your visitors and search engines, you should regularly check that your site has no broken links. You can check this using Google’s Webmaster Tools in the ” Health -> ” section.
If you have a WordPress website you can easily check if there are broken links on your website with the help of the plugin Broken Link Checker.
Advanced WordPress SEO Tips
Every now and then I get questions through this website or come across questions about WordPress SEO on forums.
I come across certain questions quite often, so I will address these questions in this section of the article.
Do I Benefit From SEO With A WordPress Website?
No, with a WordPress website you have no extra advantage over another website. Every website has equal opportunities.
The advantage of WordPress is that you don’t have to be a programmer to handle certain technical matters of search engine optimization. For example, you can control with a simple mouse button that your website gets search engine friendly URLs.
In addition, plugins like WordPress SEO by Yoast can help you enormously in optimizing your articles and a plugin like WP super cache can drastically improve the speed of your website.
So it is not the case that WordPress websites rank better by default. It is only easier for the user to take care of the technical matters with a number of settings and the help of WordPress SEO plugins.
Which Is Better For Your WordPress SEO, Post Or Page?
This shouldn’t even be an SEO question. From a technical point of view, it makes no difference to the search engines whether you use a message or page. Both variants are just a URL with content on it for Google.
If you’re trying to decide whether to create a post or page, you must first understand how this works in WordPress. A page is generally an article that you place in the navigation menu. Think of pages such as about me, a photo gallery or a contact page.
In addition, you can of course also create a knowledge base with pages and it is also possible to make a page your homepage. On the other hand, you cannot make a homepage of a message unless you perform technical tricks yourself.
You can create a message for all your blog or news items. All posts you create in WordPress will be placed on your blog and in a category and archive. Pages cannot do this, they can only be reached when you place a link to the page.
As you can read, messages and pages function completely differently. You have to base your decision on this because it does not matter for the search engine optimization of your website. For the search engines, it is only about the content of your post or page.
Are Tags Good For SEO?
It depends on how you use tags to determine if tags can help with your WordPress SEO.
Your website needs a structure and you create this with a WordPress website with taxonomies (tag, category or custom taxonomy). The problem is that taxonomies are often misused.
What you often see is that a website has, for example, a WordPress tag and a WordPress category. You then have two pages that are exactly the same while one page is enough.
In principle, you can compare tags with categories. The difference is that categories are generally easier to find on a website.
I myself do not use tags on purpose because I have categories that name my subjects. I recommend that you also do it this way because you can easily keep an overview.
If you do want to use tags on your website, it is best to do this as follows: Make a category of all main topics and a tag of all more specific topics. Each category and tag has a unique subject so that the structure of your website is clear.
Should I Write For Google Or My Visitors?
Google always tries to show the best results on all searches it performs. Who uses Google? Right, we humans make use of this.
So the answer to the question is simple. Google tries to give the best results to its visitors. The best results for Google visitors are articles that help the visitor. So you have to write your articles for your visitors.
A common mistake in search engine optimization is that people think too much about Google when writing. If you want to achieve success in the long term, this is of no use to you.
Of course, you can apply the things you just read in this article. Just make sure it doesn’t affect your writing style or your message gets lost.
In the long run, your unique writing style and good communication of your message are worth more than an article optimized to perfection. Always think of your visitors first and only after that of Google.
SEO Tips That Go Beyond Your Website
When you have properly set up and processed all WordPress SEO tips, you are still not there. Besides WordPress, many more factors play a role in the search engine optimization of your website.
Make Use Of Google Webmaster Tools
It is a must to register for the Google webmaster tools and add your website (s).
In this program, you can see how you rank for certain keywords in Google and you can add a sitemap so that Google knows when you have posted a new article.
These are, of course, just two examples of what you can do with the webmaster tools. It is also useful that Google warns you when your website has been hacked or when some links do not work.
Don't Forget Link Building
It would be crazy if I didn’t mention link building in an article about WordPress SEO, after all, this is about search engine optimization and link building still plays an important role in this.
You have to provide backlinks, but what are backlinks anyway? Backlinks are links from other websites to your website. If you do this correctly, your ranking in Google can increase. You just have to be careful with backlinks if you want to get a good result.
You can have thousands of backlinks from websites unrelated to yours and of very low quality. However, this is of little use to you in the long term.
The time that this was still possible is long gone, Google is a lot wiser today and will punish your website for this after a while.
Dozens of well-rated backlinks from top-rated websites will be a lot more valuable and Google will reward you for this more quickly.
I won’t describe every possible way to get backlinks, but below are four different ways to get backlinks.
- Write great articles that people love to link to;
- Write a guest message for another website with a link to your own website;
- Give other websites in your industry a link, you will increase the chance of getting a link back;
- Collaborate with other people. For example, interview an influential person in your industry. The person you interviewed will likely link to you when you post the interview online on your website.
Easily Check Your Rankings In The Search Engines
Now that you are working hard on the search engine optimization of your website, you naturally also want to know how high your website ranks in Google on certain search terms.
You could do this manually, but if you do this incorrectly you may not get the current results. This may be because you are logged in to your Google account and the cookies that Google uses.
If you want to manually check the ranking of your website, you should always do this with a browser with cookies disabled or in private mode.
The best way to view your ranking is to use a program like Rank Tracker or Rankerizer. All you have to do is enter the keywords once and then press the start button. I don’t have to tell you that this can also save a lot of time.
WordPress SEO: Conclusion
This guide gives you many WordPress SEO tips that can help you improve your website. If you do even half of what is stated here, you are probably already ahead of most websites in the market in which you operate.
The most important point remains that you should always write for your visitors. Without good articles you can do as much WordPress SEO as you want, the result will usually be disappointing.
Good WordPress SEO + great content is the perfect combination to become successful in Google and help your visitors move forward.
I wish you a lot of success with the search engine optimization of your website.