SEO is an important aspect of growing a blog, it is important that you strive to improve your blog as it is the only way to start getting enough organic traffic.
It is the right path to take if you really want to increase your blog traffic;
you need to focus on which SEO practices work for your blog so you won’t be trying hard for any reason.
Although it is hard to get started as a beginner it is alright as this content is going to guide you with step by step methods on
how to get SEO done for your WordPress blog and then triple your blog organic traffic.
WordPress is the best CMS to get started with, it is much SEO friendly and also user-friendly and mobile-friendly.
This is one of the reasons why so many top bloggers prefer recommending others to start a blog or website with WordPress.
WordPress was created SEO friendly to help bloggers get the best of SEO for their blogs, apart from being SEO friendly it is also free and responsive.
To top it all, you have access to various SEO features to get you started; you have the opportunity to use plugins to optimize your site performances.
I am going to list out surefire tips on how to optimize your website SEO and increase traffic flow.
Before I start to list out the tips, let’s talk about the basic introduction to SEO.
SEO is a complicated aspect of getting traffic to your website; it can be regarded as a hard thing to get by for a beginner blogger.
I am not trying to scare you, but I love saying the fact that SEO is not an easy thing to do and yet I have made it easier by gathering helpful tips.
To get started with the entire SEO thing let’s talk know the following:
What is SEO?
SEO is the short word for Search Engine Optimization. It is regarded as a method that is popularly known to be used by
website owners to optimize their site for proper ranking in search engines to get more website traffic.
It is a way to make your website code well optimized and formatted to make it easier for search engine bots to index and rank your website.
This is not a trick but a true guided way to learn about search engines and how they work so you can have proper knowledge on how to make your website accessible to them.
It works in a way that is your website provides content on a certain topic and the website is optimized for search engines
then you will get your content seen by people who are looking for topics pertaining to your site contents.
The more your site content appears to users in search engine results, the more you get click-through the more your website organic traffic booms.
What is the Importance of SEO?
As I have learned so far about SEO, it is the only method that gets you the most powerful traffic source.
Search engines are the largest source of traffic for most online blog and even businesses.
When you perform your SEO duty well that is when search engines such as Google will be able to understand your blog’s content, what your website is all about, and its keyword.
It has been told that search engines use well-designed algorithms to be able to crawl websites, index and understand them and then rank their pages in search results accordingly.
You should know that these algorithms are not perfect to do all these without your help;
you need to help them understand the value of your blog and define the category of your blog.
The importance of SEO is to make sure your blog contents and pages are optimized for search engines and are clearly give the right keywords that match their topic.
Your blog’s contents won’t appear in search results if you are not optimizing the theme with the right codes.
To make sure you are not missing out on the search traffic you need to focus on making your website SEO friendly by doing the right thing.
Basic SEO steps for WordPress blogs
Although SEO can be tough to do sometimes, it can get more technical than you think but is nothing to stress over.
Gathering more basic knowledge on how to do basic SEO can give your blog a good SEO start, it won’t be long when you will begin to see changes.
WordPress is in every way easier than all CMS platforms it gives you it takes to start the SEO journey the easy way.
So here goes my step by step guide to WordPress blog SEO
1. Make sure your site is visible to search engine
This is the first thing to do once you want to get your blog noticed by search engines.
Like I said earlier WordPress makes it easy for you to do anything you wish with your website.
It comes with a built-in option that allows you to make your blog stay hidden from search engines.
This option comes in handy when your website is still in development mode.
You might have your website developer checked the options and you forgot to uncheck.
As long as it remains checked, search engines won’t find your blog .
In case you find out after submitting your blog to search engines that your blog is not showing up in search results,
then you must see to it that the option becomes unchecked.
To modify this option you need to log in to your WordPress site admin area and then navigate to Settings then unto Reading page where you will find the option.
Now you need to scroll down to the bottom and you will see “Search Engine Visibility” area, now you need to be sure that the box “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” remains unchecked.
Now the next thing to do is click on the “Save Changes” button to store all the changes made.
2. Use SEO friendly permalinks
Making sure your website permalinks are SEO friendly is the next thing to do, it is noted that SEO friendly permalinks are crystal clear to both site users and search engines.
Permalinks also define the content of a page and it explains all about the keywords.
Let me show you some example of SEO friendly permalinks
You can see that the above permalinks are easy to read and digest just from its look a user will be to get hints on what they will find on the page.
Here is an example of non-SEO friendly URL
As you can see, the above permalinks are not easy to read and you can’t even get any hints about the content on the page.
These non-SEO friendly permalinks are hard to be indexed by search engines bots,
instead, use SEO friendly permalinks and you are amazed at the position which your blog pages will elevate to in search results.
To make changes to your WordPress site permalinks structure follow the below instruction
First, you need to be logged in, then you need to navigate to Settings and then unto the Permalinks page.
Now you should select the post name option and make sure the changes made are stored click on the Save Changes button.
Strong Warning: To make changes to your website permalinks, make sure your site is still new. I have done this on a live website and I saw a great drop-in site ranking.
If your website has been running for 6-12 months I will advise you not to change but continue using the default permalink structure which is Date and name.
Changing your website permalink structure will make you lose all the social media share count and also backlinks.
In case it is important you must change your website permalink talk to someone who knows about this or follow our guide on how to change your WordPress website permalinks successfully.
3. Make use of the best SEO plugin
Another benefit you will get from using WordPress is its provision of plugins that help you handle things easily.
To top it all WordPress gives you access to use SEO plugin which will help optimize your blog easily with no hard work.
We have thousands of WordPress SEO plugins ready and this makes it less simple to know which one is the best.
I will be helping you choose the best SEO plugin that contains all features you may need from any SEO tool.
This will save you time and space from installing separate SEO plugins for each SEO feature.
Based on my experience, I will list out the three SEO plugins you can get started with now.
- Yoast SEO
- All in One SEO Pack
- Rank Math
These three are the most used SEO plugins and I must say that they are good at doing their work.
This site currently uses Rank Math and I have no reason to look into other plugins as this one works well.
I always recommend people to use Rank Math plugin because of the simplicity and great features.
4. Make sure you create an XML sitemap
Using an XML sitemap is essential for every blog, it is a specially formatted file that includes every single page on your blog and categorizes them based on how you set it.
Making use of an XML sitemap makes search engines find your blog contents easily and then begin to rank them quickly.
Although it doesn’t directly boost your blog’s search rankings it helps search engines to find your site’s pages faster than ever.
Another benefit of using Rank Math is that it creates an XML sitemap for your website automatically.
Finding your sitemap is easy, just type and go to the below URL.
You should change the site “yoursitename.com” URL above to your blog name to see the right sitemap.
Now it is time you learned about how to add an XML sitemap to Google.
5. Add your site to Google Search Console
Now, this is the best part, Google Search Console is the place to add your blog to get discovered by Google search engine it is known as Webmaster Tools
because it gives access to sets of tools provided by Google to help website owners manage and control how their site contents are being seen by the search engine.
This gives you access to reports and data which will help you understand how your site pages are being shown in search results.
You will also learn about the numbers of clicks your pages are getting, the actual search terms people are using to reach your website,
and also how each page appears in search results based on their position.
With all these statistics you will be able to understand how your site is performing, what to do, and what is not recommended to do.
You will get notified when something goes wrong with your site, how to solve it using its community, and also be able to make amendments.
When you make use of the Rank Math plugin, you will be able to integrate your website to Google Search Console easily.
As soon as you integrate your website to Google Search Console you need to wait to get your site updated.
After you will have access to various features, one of them is where you can add your XML sitemap to crawl your site pages.
To submit your sitemap click on the sitemap button by the left and then paste the last part of XML sitemap URL which is sitemap_index.xml
Then you complete the submission by clicking on the submit button.
After the submission, Google Search Console will check your sitemap and then start using it to improve your blog crawling activities.
You should take note that after the submission is done you will see that it will appear as pending.
My best bet is that you wait for Google to crawl your website and this takes an hour.
After the crawl session, you will be able to see the number of links that were found in your sitemap and you will see how many of them got indexed.
Keep a tab on the Search Console to make sure you are not missing anything.
6. Optimize your Blog Posts for SEO
This is another huge step to take when doing a proper SEO for your blog , most of the website owners still think once you install and activate the SEO plugin that it does all the necessary work easily.
They are all wrong, SEO doesn’t stop it evolves. That is why you must keep working on your blog’s SEO to make sure it is compatible with all updates.
I have mentioned before that a good SEO will contain all the necessary features your blog need ranging from access to add focus keyword, title, description to your site pages, and blog post.
And also it shows you how people will see it when your blog post appears in search results.
To get the best of your blog post position in search results you must make sure you optimized both your blog post title and description to maximize click-through rate.
Using Rank Math as an example, anytime you write a blog post you will have your SEO section at the bottom and then you can modify all necessary.
Make sure you do your research before choosing a focus keyword or focus key-phrase.
Know how to use the best title to attract users’ attention and also give the best Meta description that will make users click your blog post for more details.
7. More extensive keyword research
As a new blogger, I have always created lots of posts and then find out no one is visiting them.
This was because I was doing the wrong thing, then all I do is just guess topic, write content, and then published.
It took me years to realize that this is wrong; it is like throwing a net into the wrong part of a river with the hope of catching fishes whereas there are no fishes there.
There is no benefit in creating posts and not targeting the right people that are meant to read those posts, it wastes your time and effort.
To make sure you are targeting those people that are interested in your blog posts you need to do proper keyword research.
Keyword research more of a technique that helps you as a website owner or content creator discover words that users enter into search engines to find content, products, and services based on your niche.
Then you can start using the words or phrases in your blog post or website to reach more people interested and drive more organic traffic.
To make it easier for you to find the right keywords for your blog you can use both free and paid keyword research tools.
To use the right the keyword research tool, I recommend you to use SemRush as it is of more features,
it helps you get more related keywords and also keywords to outrank your site’s competitor.
8. Make use of Categories and Tags
Categories and tags are another way to optimize your blog SEO, it is important you make use of both to make your site indexing easier.
Luckily for you, WordPress offers these features it allows you to sort your blog posts.
This is a great opportunity for you to manage your site contents by topics and also help your website users to get access to the content they want to see.
Like I said above, categories and tags help search engines understand your website structure and help them sort your content in the right way.
Categories and tags can be confusing and one might regard them as the same thing while they are different from each other.
Categories are a broad grouping of your posts.
It represents the broader area of a website, each category covers all about a topic or its name.
Let’s say a category is with the name “Gaming” under it we will have all information that explains gaming and also we might have subcategories that will separate gaming into several parts such as Virtual Gaming, Online Gaming, and so on.
Tags are more focused keywords that specify each post.
Let’s say you have a post under Gaming then you will have tags such as online games, best games online, and so on.
When you use both properly then you can always make it easier for search engines to crawl and sort your site blog posts and also users will be able to navigate through your website well.
9. Optimize your blog images
Writing content without including images is too boring, images make your post more lively and engaging with users at the same time.
Just as they help explain more to users they also slow down site loading time.
If you are not optimizing your blog images sizes and quality then you are slowing down your site.
Monitoring and finding the best images quality and sizes for your website is crucial, if you upload large-sized images then it can slow your site speed.
We have many image optimizing plugins that do the job perfectly by slashing your blog images size moderately.
To make your site images optimized for SEO you need to make sure your blog images contain alt tags and descriptive title.
Although search engines make use of advanced bots yet they find it difficult to understand the image as human do,
to make them understand what your blog images are all about then you need to add alt tags.
With WordPress, you can always add title and alt tags to each image at any time.
10. Build authoritative links
There is no how we will talk about SEO without mentioning link building, it one of the ranking factors used by Google.
Each blog has its own authority and it is being used by search engines to rank them.
There are two types of link building
- Internal linking
- External linking
Both link building methods are useful and needed to grow your blog ranking.
To get started with link building you need to start from your own blog which is known as internal linking,
it requires you to start linking an existing post in your new post using a proper keyword and new post into an existing one.
This helps pass page authority to another post of the same blog to aid ranking and also it helps increase page views and reduce bounce rate which is known as a good signal.
Using external link building is a great thing to do, it is also known as backlinks and it is crucial to get quality ones.
These are the links you get from other blogs in your niche when this blog links to you in good faith.
They pass along link juice and it helps increase site authority.
However, these links are hard to get constantly but you can follow my methods on how to get quality backlinks.
With these, you will be able to increase your site ranking in search engines and gain more authority in your field.
11. Speed up your blog loading time
Another point worth looking at is the speed of your website; humans are impatient when looking for answers to their questions.
People determine whether to stay or go in seconds, if your website loads fast and shows them a promising solution then they’ll stay.
Search engines such as Google noticed this too, that’s why speed became one of their ranking signals.
It has been known for quite a time now that if your website loads over 3 seconds then you might see an increase in bounce rate and this might reduce your site ranking and visitors.
This leaves you as a website owner to speed up your site loading time by making use of speed optimizing plugins and best hosting service providers.
We have already created a post with a full guide on how to speed up your blog easily.
12. Make your website secure
Website security indirectly helps your site SEO and also assures your site users not to panic.
Based on research, Google check for phishing and spamming site every day and they filter them out.
Once a site is filtered out of the search result ii is highly unlikely that it will show up ever again so it is recommended that you take your site security seriously.
Keep your website safe by making use of helpful security plugins to stop hackers and spammer from taking over your site or affecting your site rankings.
There are lots of free security plugins out there to make your site secured from attackers.
Now that you have learned about the step by step guide on how to make your blog SEO optimized.
It is time to take action by working on these steps one by one until you start seeing changes.
Note that these steps have been used by me and I find them good to implement on any site to increase the chance of ranking in search engines.
To get more of this helpful post, you can always subscribe to this blog to get the latest SEO updates and other blogging resources you can get for free.
Kindly like, share if you find this post helpful and also comment if you have any issue implementing any of these steps and I will respond to you as soon as possible.
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