SEO guide for WordPress sites | WordPress SEO

SEO guide for WordPress

You may have heard a lot that WordPress helps to improve the visibility of a site in search engines, so you don’t get the phrase wrong; Let’s make it clear to you that WordPress is only an aid to improve your site’s visibility in search engines, but it is not considered the key to improving your site. 

There are a lot of modifications and important things that you should take care of in your site in order to have multiple opportunities to appear on the first search pages to users who are interested in the content that you provide on your site. 

You also have to understand that the content that you provide on your site may be very important and contain a lot of things that hundreds, thousands, and even millions of users are searching for, but if you don’t care about SEO improvement within your site you probably won’t pay any attention at all due to the difficulty of accessing content Your site through search engines. 


What does WordPress SEO mean?

 The WordPress system is built on the grounds to be ready to help site owners and administrators improve and develop their sites’ visibility in the search results of many different search engines.

 WordPress SEO is in short the work of adjusting the settings of your WordPress site and configuring the internal content in a way that helps search engines show that content to searchers easily. 

The stages of WordPress SEO improvement:
As we mentioned that there are a lot of procedures and settings that you must adhere to and adjust properly so that search engines start showing your site to searchers for the content published within it, and to simplify things for you, we will divide the stages of WordPress SEO improvement into three main stages . 

We delve into each stage and explain it in detail so that you can begin to improve your site and meet the requests of search engines properly, and thus gain more visitors to your site. 

1- Site settings and make sure that they are correct

This stage starts from the birthday of your site, where you must adjust all the settings that we will explain at this stage before you think about launching the site completely. 

The first thing that you should check is the correctness of the site and its software. Through the WordPress control panel, you can easily identify this; By entering ( Tools >> Site Health ) from the Control Panel Tools menu, a simplified report on the status of the site opens in front of you, telling you the necessary and necessary things to follow in order for your site to be in the best possible condition. 

In the image above, you find that it tells us that the PHP files are outdated and must be updated, which prompts you when you see this alert to contact the hosting company for your site and ask them to update these files for importance. 

As well as the rest of the notes and warnings, such as: deleting inactive plugins on your site that cause a noticeable slowdown in the site’s loading, so making sure that the site is correct is the first and most important step to improving WordPress SEO. 

You should also go to the ( Settings >> Read ) menu of the WordPress dashboard, and make sure that the “ Prevent search engines from archiving this site ” option is not marked; You should never choose it; Because if you tick this option, you are telling search engines to ignore your site and not archive it completely. So leave it as shown in the following image: 

2- Choose a hosting company that helps you build a strong, fast and secure website

The security and speed of your site is one of the most important factors that search engines take when looking at your site and deciding whether to archive it within their search results or not, so when you choose a hosting company, you should choose a company that provides you with security and speed options to a large extent. 

The hosting of your site must contain the updated programming files, such as PHP must be in the latest version. 

Also, your site must have an SSL certificate, which you also get from the hosting company for your site, make sure you get that certificate that makes your site appear inside browsers in a safe way. Not having this certificate causes some browsers to show a security alert to visitors that your site may “not be secure”, and search engines may also overlook archiving some or all of your site’s content because you don’t have an SSL certificate. 

Also Read: ordPress Plugins Every Website

3- Install the fastest, safest and most mobile-compatible theme 

Images from: https://ahrefs.com/blog/wordpress-seo/

Many search engines, the most famous of which is the “Google” search engine, have begun to release updates that prioritize sites that are compatible with mobile devices to appear in search results more than those that are not compatible with mobile. Therefore, before installing the theme on your site, you must test it if it is compatible with the mobile or not . Site speed . The template must be suitable for mobile, and the following image shows you an example of one of the templates that we put the link to in the tool and the result appeared that it is compatible with the mobile, and therefore this template is a suitable choice to install it on our site.


4- Install important plugins to improve WordPress SEO


Images from: https://ahrefs.com/blog/wordpress-seo/

You can improve the performance of your site and improve the SEO of your entire site without having to install a specialized plugin, but as a start, you should use one of the important plugins that helps you adjust the SEO of your entire site and alerts you if there are some parts that need improvement. 

One of the most famous and most important WordPress SEO plugins is Yoast . You can search for it in the “Plugins” field in the WordPress dashboard and install it on your site.

The image above shows how to search for the plugin by entering (Add-ons >> Add New), then search for the name of the Yoast SEO plugin and click on “Install Now” as shown. 

After you install and activate the tool, a dashboard will open for you asking you for some data about your site, such as the name and address of the site and some things that you must answer in order for the performance to start working properly on your site.

We will talk in more detail about how the tool works and how to take advantage of it in later parts of the article.


5- Add the site in the Google search console 

Google Webmaster Tools or the Google console for short is the most important tool you should start with from the very first day of your site.

This tool helps track your site and provides you with periodic reports on the performance of the site and the results that it was able to appear in Google search, in addition to the most search words that your site appeared on in Google search. The tool also alerts you in the event of an error or a major problem that prevents the archiving of some site links in Google, and thus fixes these problems to avoid any problem that affects the appearance of the site in search results.

You can enter the Webmaster Tool link and start adding your site link, and then follow the instructions that appear to you to complete the process of adding the site properly.

After adding the site completely, you start adding your sitemap to the webmaster tool, and you can add your sitemap easily by entering the “sitemap” highlighted in red in the image above, and the following page will open for you: 

In this box, highlighted in red, you add a sitemap link for a site, and the link is in this form http://www.example.com/sitemap.xml   , taking into account that you replace example.com with your real site link and press submit. 

After that, some statistics begin to appear to you, such as the number of clicks your site got from search, the number of times it appears in front of Google searches, and other statistics that help you greatly to evaluate the performance of your site and work to improve it continuously. 

Also Read Explaining WordPress for beginners

Explanation of the sitema file

In the previous step we added the sitemap of the site to the Webmaster Tool, and explained that it is a necessary step for the search engine to start archiving the site pages and showing them in the search results, so what is a sitemap?  

A sitemap is a file that is automatically created within your site if you install Yoast, as we explained earlier. This file helps provide descriptive information about your site to search engines, for example a sitemap tells search engines how many internal pages and sections it contains It contains your site and the way to coordinate and arrange it, and then this information helps search engines to archive the site and its pages properly. The following image shows an example of the sitemap file: 

Note : It is not necessary to create the sitemap file manually, because the SEO plugins create them for you automatically without your intervention. All you have to do is add the link to the file inside the Google Webmaster Tool as we explained in the previous step.

6- Optimizing the internal content of the site 

It is the next stage of WordPress SEO. I will explain to you in detail all the things that you must improve regarding the content of your site in order to be optimized and ready to appear within the search engines. 

The content of the site includes (articles – pages – images – links – multimedia files – any visual content that appears in front of site visitors). 

Configure the permanent link correctly .

When you publish an article or page on your site, a link is built to access the content of this article automatically. But the way this link is configured, you can control and customize it so that the link appears as you want. 

But the look of the link must be appropriate and optimized for search engines, the more the link contains one or more words that the searcher uses to reach the content he wants, the more chance your site will have to appear in the first search results. 

As you can see in the image above, you can choose the custom link to contain the “Article Title” as shown, and you can access this via the site control panel menu (Settings >> Permalinks). 

Now notice the following image showing how the article link is displayed and it contains the article title written in the “Title” field.

Improve your SEO Score with Yoast 

One of the most important benefits that Yoast gives you is that it helps to provide suggestions on improving the content of your site. When you write an article within the WordPress editor, you can scroll to the bottom of the page to find the Yoast stats that provide you with a full report on the degree of optimization of your content SEO Score as well. It provides you with editing suggestions that you should do in order for your content to get a high degree of optimization.

You must write the target keyword Keyword in the Focus Keyword field as shown in the image above, and the tool will start preparing a comprehensive report on the performance of your content and the degree of quality of the target word within it, you can move between the (SEO) and (Readability) box to see all the suggestions provided by the tool In order to get fully optimized content. 

The extension uses 3 colors to evaluate the quality of the content as follows:

Red color : It means that there is a big mistake that must be fixed so that it does not negatively affect the visibility of your site in search engines. 
Yellow : There are some improvements that need to be done to get a higher search ranking. 
Green : means that it is good and does not need further improvement. 

The tool provides a lot of tips and suggestions for improving content, including the following: 

  • Content must be at least 300 words long. 
  • Internal links must be included between the various articles of the site. 
  • The image must be optimized to contain a Meta title text description. 
  • The number of times the target word is mentioned within the article should be moderate.
  • You must add a text description for the article to appear on the search results page meta description.
  • The target keyword should be mentioned in the first paragraph of the article. 

Note : Adding SEO provides you with suggestions only, but it does not guarantee that your site will appear on the first search pages once you have applied all the modifications suggested by the plugin. There are many other factors that affect the appearance of your site, such as the age of your site’s domain, the number of backlinks, and many other factors. Others, but the Yoast extension provides you the main directory in order for your site to be eligible for search engines to appear in their search results. 

Optimize image descriptions and media files within content 

When you insert an image into the content, you must tell the search engines what this image or media file refers to, whatever it is, in order to help the search engines show your content to searchers who are very interested in it, and in order to tell the search engines what the images contain, you must select The meta description of the images, called ALT text, title text, and description, all of these descriptions are written to describe what the image contains so that the search engine accesses what the image indicates through the descriptive content that you write.

In WordPress, you can specify the descriptive text for images and media files with ease. When you upload an image to your article, it shows you this panel that allows you to write image descriptions: 

As you can see, you must write (alt text – title – caption words – description) in order for the image to be SEO optimized and thus increase the chance of your content appearing in search engines. 


7- Improve the browsing experience within the site User Experience 

Improving the user’s browsing experience within your site is very important, and has a significant impact on the quality of your site and its evaluation for search engines, and we will provide you with one of the things that help improve the browsing experience of the visitor within your site as follows: 

Organize and coordinate the content of your site in a convenient way for visitors

Dividing the content into headlines, sub-headings, paragraphs, and images is one of the most important things that keep the visitor’s experience improving within your site, thus gaining the trust of search engines and having a greater chance of appearing in search results. 

The following image shows an article written and formatted in a way that is comfortable for the visitor and is neatly and well divided: 

But the following image shows overlapping content without sub-headings and paragraphs, which is difficult to read and browse, and therefore the visitor will not stay with you for a long time and may not return to you again. 

The toolbar with the WordPress editor helps in applying the formats you want with ease, where you can choose the layout from the toolbar and apply it to the desired text simply, keep in mind that the content within your articles is divided in a comfortable way for the visitor so that the topic contains h2 or subheadings What is called “Header 2” comes after a “paragraph” explaining the subtitle, then “Header 2” and then a paragraph, then “Header 3” and then a paragraph..and so on until you finish your entire topic. 

You should design the list of your site pages in an orderly and organized manner (main sections and subsections) so that it is easier for the visitor to navigate between them easily and with greater flexibility. More than those sites that do not make the process of navigating between their internal pages easy for the visitor. 

Manually review comments

When you publish an article or page within your site, you start receiving comments from visitors below your articles. But the annoying thing is that someone publishes dozens of annoying comments that contain links to his site, and thus this cause annoyance to your site visitors and negatively affect the browsing experience within the site. 

Therefore, you must activate the option to review visitors’ comments before publishing them directly on your site’s pages, and in order to activate this option, from within the WordPress control panel, you enter (Settings >> Discussion) and activate the option to review comments manually as shown: 

Enable fast AMP web pages on your site

In (2015) Google launched the AMP Fast Web Pages initiative, which helps mobile visitors to open website pages much faster than the desktop version and other devices. Browse the site and open its internal pages very quickly. 

You can use the official WordPress plugin to create a quick-open version of your AMP pages with ease. 


Various questions and answers

Does WordPress help a site to appear in Google search results? 
Your site will not appear in the first Google search results once you install WordPress on it, but you must do dozens of internal improvements on your site, which WordPress helps to accomplish in the required manner in order to appear in the first search results. 

What do Breadcrumbs mean and are they useful for WordPress SEO? 
Breadcrumbs is a feature that helps your site’s internal links appear in search engines in a neat and organized manner, like the following image: 

Instead of appearing in the normal position as follows in the following image: 

In order to activate this feature on your site links, you can do this clearly from within the settings of the Yoast tool and activate it easily by pressing Enable or activate as shown:

Images from: https://ahrefs.com/blog/wordpress-seo/

How does updating website content affect SEO? 
Updating the internal content of the site is one of the things that search engines love the most, as the information that was written a year ago is now outdated and must be updated in order to provide the visitor with the highest possible benefit by updating the content whenever there is something new that must be added. 

What does Keyword cannibalization mean? 
Dispersal of target words occurs within your site when there is more than one article that talks about the same target word, and thus those articles compete with each other within the search engines, so your site links compete with each other in the search engines, which is not in your favor in many cases, so make sure To focus on the target word within one article so that the focus on it is stronger and become more competitive within the search engines and appear in the first results more quickly.

What does internal linking mean on my site and how can I benefit from it?
The internal linking between the articles of the site is one of the most useful things for SEO in your site, in a very large way. As the internal link helps the visitor to navigate between the topics and articles of your site in a way that helps him to obtain the greatest possible benefit, for example, when you write an article in which you talk about “healthy foods useful for diabetics” and you have another article on the site that talks about “how to make cake suitable for patients with diabetes.” Sugar.” Linking the two articles will be very useful to the reader and help him get the most benefit possible. 

Is wordpress file compression useful in improving site seo? 
Site loading speed is one of the first and most important factors for ranking your site in search engines, compressing WordPress files such as CSS and Javascript files and other things that help speed up site loading and thus your site gets a higher ranking in search results or is a candidate for that. File compression is the W3 Total Cache plugin on the WordPress plugin store.

Does posting my site’s content on social media improve my SEO? 
Publishing and sharing content on social networking sites is one of the most important strategies that help in strengthening your site’s SEO and getting it to rank better in search engines, so make sharing your site’s content on social media platforms one of your top priorities to get noticeable progress in search results, as the rate of Publishing your content determines the number of social signals that are the most important factors in ranking sites in search engines.

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