SEO Basics: 7 Essentials When Optimizing Your WordPress Website

WordPress is arguably the  best content management system (CMS) for creating different types of websites. The thing that continues to make WordPress popular is that it is SEO friendly from the beginning. It makes it easy for search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo to crawl your posts, and pages to help your website become visible on search results.

Having said that, there are plenty of ways you can improve your WordPress site’s SEO to get more search engine traffic and boost your sales or donations.

Below are 7 useful SEO tips you need to follow when creating a WordPress Site.

SEO Basics for Your New WordPress Website

For those of us who only have what feels like 5 minutes of spare time a day we’ve highlighted the key take-a-ways from this article. However we do strongly recommend you read (or skim) the entire article to find out the reasons behind our suggestions.

  • Choose an SEO friendly domain name
  • Invest in quality WordPress hosting
  • Use premium WordPress themes
  • Install an SSL certificate
  • Install the Google Analytics plugin
  • Use WordPress SEO plugins
  • Don’t Discourage Search Engines from Indexing Your Site

1. Choose an SEO friendly domain name

Choosing the perfect domain name for your website is crucial as adding a relevant keyword in a domain name does have a distinct advantage when it comes website SEO. Even Google has claimed that using a keyword in your domain gives your website a little benefit.

Here are some useful tips when choosing your SEO-friendly domain name:

  • Always include a relevant keyword in your domain name to what you offer.
  • Make the keyword  easy to remember
  • Keep the domain name short as much as possible
  • For the majority of companies it’s wise to stick with .COM endings although a few may choose to go with .NET. If you are a nonprofit try to stick with .ORG names
  • Avoid hyphens and don’t repeat the same letter, i.e. dommmmain.com and dom-ain.com
  • If your business is local or regional, consider adding the area’s name into your domain name

2. Invest in quality WordPress Hosting

Website speed has a great impact on search engine ranking. If your website doesn’t load quickly (under 3 seconds), then you won’t rank on Google.

However, website speed mainly depends on the quality of your hosting.

This is why it’s imperative that you host your WordPress site with a reputable hosting company who offers good service and quality customer care. This company will probably be familiar with WordPress and provide additional help if needed. A company that AmDee recommends is WPEngine.

3. Use premium WordPress themes

Like a good WordPress hosting, you also need to be careful when choosing a theme for your WordPress site. There are thousands of themes available in the WordPress theme gallery.

Unfortunately, not all of the themes are SEO friendly. On top of that, they don’t all get updated regularly. Before choosing a theme it’s important to:

  • Make sure the theme is regularly updated by the creators.
  • It has at least 1000+ active installs
  • The theme has at least a rating of 4 out of 5

However, if you choose a premium WordPress theme, then you don’t have to worry about that as they are made by professional coders, and provide good email support. If you’re still confused about the difference in themes our article on Free, Premium or Custom will help explain it in more detail.

4. Install an SSL Certificate

Beginning in July 2018, all the websites which did not have an SSL certificate installed were displayed as insecure on search engine results pages.

In popular browsers began displaying a message that they were not secure if you came upon the link directly.

This will more than likely keep an essential proportion of potential clients away from your website.

Besides for this update, Google had also already announced that they will give more priority to HTTPS enabled websites. Simply, those with HTTPS will get a ranking boost.

Luckily, it’s very easy to acquire an SSL certificate and nowadays most of the web hosting providers offer free SSL certificates.

5. Install the Google Analytics Plugin

Google Analytics is one of the most popular analytics services. It is offered by Google and enables us to know all the details of our website traffic including the total number of page views, what specific pages users visit, how long they stay, where they were referred from and many other bits of information.

By using this data it allows you to ascertain if your optimization efforts are bringing traffic to the pages that are ideal for them, check which pages are performing better and make improvements to get more search traffic. You can also monitor what percentage of your web traffic is converting to sales.

6. Use WordPress SEO Plugins

There’s a lot of data supporting the importance of Search Engine Optimization. But it has made the term “SEO” become a bit of a buzzword. There are many SEO plugins available in the WordPress plugin gallery which can also improve your site’s optimization for being displayed by search engines. Two of the most popular plugins are Yoast SEO and W3 Total Cache.

Yoast SEO: Yoast SEO is a great WordPress plugin that helps you to ensure the content you write is SEO-friendly. Within a few keystrokes you can focus on a keyword for your article, and it will check whether you have used the keyword frequently enough (or if you have over used it) within the post title, article content, in Meta description.

W3 Total Cache: Caching is very important for your users. It is the process of saving some files to the users machine so that upon a reload the static content is loaded first instead of from the original server. This is especially important for repeat visitors. W3 Total Cache is totally free and helps prioritize what is cached. It also saves your server resources thereby improving website loading time.

7. Don’t Discourage Search Engines from Indexing Your Site

By default, WordPress allows you to unpublish your site. This is very useful when your website is under construction or you are modifying your site. It enables you to tell search engines not to index your site. If you are planning to do work on your website you can locate this particular option by going to Settings> Reading > and Uncheck “Discourage Search engines from indexing this site”.

However if your website is already running, make sure to check whether the option is unchecked or not. In the case the option is checked, Google will not crawl your pages. As a result, you may lose the search engine positions you’ve achieved, and it can be hard work to acquire those positions back.

Conclusion

That’s it. We hope you’ve found this article discussing 7 SEO basics for your new WordPress site to be helpful. Now it’s time to apply them to your WordPress site.

Have a question, remember we’re just a quick tweet away.