For your website to receive more traffic, you must improve your WordPress SEO. Unfortunately, most WordPress SEO guides need to be simpler for beginners to understand.

You must consider the best WordPress SEO techniques to increase your website's traffic.

The best WordPress SEO advice will be provided in this guide to help you optimize WordPress for search engines and increase organic traffic.

WordPress SEO for Beginners

To optimize your WordPress SEO properly, you must follow a few of our specific recommendations.

Optimizing for SEO can be intimidating for newcomers, particularly those who aren't tech nerds.

But don’t worry — this article has all you need.


What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s a strategy website owners use to rank higher in search engines and get more traffic.

What is SEO (Definition)

SEO is about creating a website with optimized code and formatting, making it easy for search engines to locate your website.

Your search-engine-optimized content will rank higher when people search the web for the subjects you write about, increasing the number of people who visit your website.

Why SEO is important

Search engines are often the most significant source of traffic for most websites.

Google and other search engines use sophisticated algorithms to comprehend and rank pages correctly in search results. These algorithms aren't flawless, so you'll still need to explain what your content is all about to them.

Without optimization, search engines won't know how to rank your content, and your website won't appear in search results pages when people look for the topics you write about, losing you out on all that traffic.

All business owners need to make their website search engine friendly to maximize traffic.

Basics of WordPress SEO

Although SEO can become technical, it doesn't have to. You can significantly increase your website traffic by simply learning a few basic SEO best practices.

You don't have to be a genius in tech to use the strategies below. If you already use WordPress, you already possess the necessary skills.

Let's get your website optimized now.

Check Your Site’s Visibility Settings

WordPress has a built-in feature that allows you to block search engines from seeing your website. This choice is meant to give you extra time to finish your website before it is ready for the general public.

However, occasionally this option may be inadvertently selected, rendering your website invisible to search engines.

Making sure this option is unchecked is the first thing you should do if your website isn't appearing in search results.

Visit the Settings » Reading page after logging in to the WordPress admin area.

Search engine visibility settings in WordPress

To prevent search engines from indexing this site, ensure the box next to it is unchecked by scrolling down to the Search Engine Visibility section.

Remember to save your changes by clicking the Save Changes button.

Using SEO-Friendly URL Structures in WordPress

SEO-friendly URLs contain words that explain the page content and are easy to read by humans and search engines.

An example of an SEO-friendly URL is:

Users can tell from the URL what they will see on the page because it is readable.

A non-SEO-friendly URL look like?

Here, the URL uses numbers unrelated to the content; a user cannot tell from the URL what they will see on the page because it is not readable.

Your search engine ranking will improve if your permalink structure is SEO-friendly.

The permalink structure of your WordPress website can be checked and updated using these steps.

Visit the Settings » Permalinks page, please. Click the Save Changes button after selecting the Post Name option to save your selections.

SEO friendly URL structure in WordPress

Please refrain from changing your permalink structure unless you use the numbers option if your website has been running for more than six months. If you're already using Day and Name or Month and Name, keep doing so.

On a well-established website, changing the permalink structure will result in losing all social media share counts and a possible drop in SEO position.

Hire a specialist to set up appropriate redirects if you need to change your permalink structure.

The Best WordPress SEO plugin

WordPress has a plugin for everything, and SEO is no exception. This is one of its best features. Since there are so many WordPress SEO plugins available, it can take time for beginners to select the best one.

We will assist you in selecting the best WordPress SEO plugin, which does everything and is entirely free, instead of installing separate plugins for various SEO tasks.

Choosing the Best WordPress SEO Plugin

AIOSEO vs Yoast

You should limit your options to the top two WordPress SEO plugins when selecting: All-in-One SEO (AIOSEO) or Yoast SEO.

AIOSEO is the original WordPress SEO plugin used on over 3 million websites.

It has powerful features like TruSEO on-page analysis, social media integration, local SEO, advanced eCommerce SEO support for WooCommerce, and more.

To put it simply, the technical SEO optimizations for your WordPress site are all handled by AIOSEO.

For screenshots and examples throughout this tutorial, we'll use AIOSEO.


Add XML Sitemaps in WordPress

Add XML sitemap in WordPress

A specially formatted file called an XML Sitemap contains a list of the pages on your website. Thanks to this, search engines can quickly find all of your content.

Although including an XML sitemap does not improve your website's search rankings, it does make it easier for search engines to discover the pages and begin ranking them.

An XML sitemap will be generated for you automatically if you're using the AIOSEO plugin. Visit this link to find your sitemap (remember to replace with your domain name):

Next, we'll walk you through submitting your XML sitemap to Google.

Add Your Site to Google Search Console

Google Search Console

Webmaster Tools, which is also known as Google Search Console, offers tools to help website owners understand how Google perceives their content.

You can use the data and reports to understand better how your pages appear in search results. Additionally, you can see the search results for each page, how frequently people click on your pages, and the keywords people use to find your website.

You can better understand how your website is performing with the aid of all this information. Afterward, you can adjust your content strategy as necessary.

Additionally, Google Search Console notifies you when there are issues with your website, such as when search crawlers cannot access it, when duplicate content is discovered, or when resources are restricted.

After you have added your website to Google Search Console by clicking the Sitemap link in the left menu, the last portion of the sitemap URL should be pasted.

Adding sitemap in Google Search Console

The submit button must be clicked to save your changes.

Your sitemap will be reviewed by Google Search Console, which will use it to enhance the crawling of your website.

Once your sitemap has been successfully added, it will appear pending. Google does take a while to crawl your website. After a few hours, you can see some stats about your sitemap. You can see how many links were discovered in your sitemap, how many of them were indexed, the proportion of images to web pages, and other information.

To gain knowledge and track the SEO development of your website, we advise you to check your Search Console once a month.

Use MonsterInsights in conjunction with Google Search Console to examine your organic traffic. With the help of MonsterInsights, viewing Google Analytics insights directly from your WordPress dashboard is simple.

Optimizing Your Blog Posts for SEO

Beginners frequently believe that all that is required is to install and activate a WordPress SEO plugin. To get the best results from SEO, you must continue to work at it.

Using a top SEO plugin, every blog post and web page can have an SEO title, focus keyword, and meta description. It also shows you what users see when they Google your website.

We suggest optimizing your title and description to get more clicks in search engine results.

Scroll down to the SEO section while writing your blog post and make the most of it.

Optimize your blog posts with AIOSEO


Doing Keyword Research for Your Website

Many newbies base what they think the public is interested in and what they should include on their blogs and websites on their best assumptions.

You don't need to do that if you can determine what people are searching for using actual data.

SEO specialists and content producers both use the research technique of keyword research. It assists you in learning the search terms people use to find information, goods, and services related to your industry.

Afterward, you can use those terms on your website to increase search traffic.

Numerous tools are available for both free and paid keyword research. We advise using SEMRush because it can help you find keywords and see which ones your rivals rank for.

Using Semrush to check that your blog is ranking for the right keywords

Properly Using Categories and Tags in WordPress


Category vs Tag

Your blog posts can be categorized and tagged using WordPress. This facilitates your ability to manage your content by topics and the ability of your users to locate the content they need.

Additionally, tags and categories aid search engines in deciphering the organization and content of your website.

Beginners frequently need guidance on how to use categories and tags effectively. Here's how we go about categorizing and tagging content after explaining this to thousands of readers.

The purpose of categories is to group your posts broadly. The table of contents of your blog would be its categories.

For instance, you could have categories for music, food, travel, etc., on a personal blog. Because they are hierarchical, categories can have additional children.

The contents of a single post are described by tags, which are more precise keywords. For instance, a blog post categorized under "food" may have tags for things like salad, breakfast, pancakes, etc. Think of these as index sections in a textbook.

It's simple for users to browse your website when categories and tags are used correctly. Because it's simple for users, it's also simple for search engines to navigate your website.

Make Internal Linking a Habit

Adding internal links in WordPress

Each page on your website receives a ranking (page authority) from search engines. To prevent cheating, the recipe for this score is kept a secret. Links, however, are the most typical power signals.

You must include links to your content in other blog posts and web pages.

The ideal situation would be for you always to interlink your posts. If you have multiple authors, make a checklist for pre-publishing blog posts that requires them to link to at least three other blogs.

By doing this, you'll be able to increase the number of visitors to your site, their average time on it, and ultimately the SEO ranking of your blog posts and web pages.

The All in One SEO plugin team has developed a featured WordPress Link Assistant to improve accessibility for internal linking further.

AIOSEO internal link assistant example

With just one click, you can add appropriate internal linking suggestions to your content after Link Assistant automatically crawls the links on your WordPress website.

Simply put, it saves a ton of time by automating the mass addition of internal links.

Optimize WordPress Comments

Get More Comments in WordPress

The number of comments on your website can be a good indicator of user engagement. Engaged users result in more links pointing to your website, more visitors, and better SEO.

It's best to ensure that your comments are factual and not spam. Spammers post comments with incorrect links, which may harm or even destroy your search rankings.

We advise everyone to start using Akismet because of this. One of the two plugins pre-installed on every WordPress website, it aids in preventing comment spam.

Check out these WordPress comment spam prevention strategies and tools if Akismet cannot handle it all.

You should congratulate yourself on creating such an exciting website if your blog posts receive many sincere, spam-free comments.

A post's load time may be slowed down by too many comments, which could harm your position in search results.

Total Posts vs. Summaries or Excerpts

WordPress links to and displays your posts on various pages, including the home page, author pages, category archives, tags archives, and date archives.

The full article content is displayed on all these pages by default. The possibility of duplicate content issues has an impact on the SEO of your website. A full article also slows down the loading of your archive pages.

Your page views will be impacted by everywhere showing full articles. For instance, customers who subscribe to your RSS feed can read the entire article in their feed reader without going to your website.

The simplest solution is to display excerpts or summaries rather than the entire articles.

You can do this by selecting excerpt under Settings » Reading.

Full posts vs summary or excerpts

This article taught you how to make your WordPress site SEO-friendly. Implement these WordPress SEO tips now, and as the search engines consider your changes, you should see an increase in traffic within a few months.

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