Congrats! If you made it here it means that you managed to build a self-hosted blog, install WordPress and integrate a beautiful WordPress theme. But before you can get started on filling your site with content there is one important thing you need to learn: How to make your blog SEO friendly.
What is SEO?
SEO optimization is the annoying but super important task of improving your visibility on search engines. Quality traffic from organic searches on the internet, improve the performance of your blog and help you share your knowledge with the world. An SEO friendly blog makes it easy for Google, Bing and other search engines to index and crawl your pages. That means to put your information together correctly so that people searching for the kind of content you offer are referred quickly. Luckily, if you chose WordPress that won’t be too hard because it offers multiple free SEO Plugins that help facilitate the optimization. For this tutorial, I will be using Yoast SEO. Got it? Great, then let’s get started and find out
How to make your blog SEO friendly
Step 1: Permalink Settings
The first thing you want to ensure is that the URL of your page, correctly communicates to Google what your blog posts are about. This is done by choosing a generic URL structure for your blog. Go to the left-hand column of your WordPress Dashboard and then navigate to Settings – Permalinks and set the URL structure to “Post name”. From now on when you publish a blog post, the URL will always include your website name followed by the post name: www.mysite.com/mynewestpost.
Step 2: Search Description
When people search for your blog they are redirected to a page that shows each search result. On that page, each website that is linked to the search term is presented, including a search description. This description gives readers an idea of what your blog is about and if it is beneficial to their search. Therefore, that search description should include your main themes, niche keywords or primary products.
Thanks to Yoast SEO, the search description is easily edited under SEO – Title & Metas – Homepage. And while you are already on that page you may as well fill out the Meta description for your Post Types in the next tab. This is the generic description that will show on search engines if you don’t customize it for each post (which you should always do).
Step 3: Categories, Tags, and Archives
Next, you want to make sure that search engines only index your quality pages. These are the pages that are important to your blog and offer the most information and content i.e. your blog posts, homepage etc. To avoid that your categories, tags, and archives are included in Google searches, you must set them as “noindex” pages.
Navigate to SEO – Titles & Metas – Taxonomies. Here you will find the settings for your category, tags, and archive pages, which you should set to “noindex”.
Step 4: Noindex Pages
Step 5: Post optimization
Now that know how to make your blog SEO friendly you can start filling your site with content. However, be sure to use the Yoast SEO plugin to optimize your posts. Follow the plugin’s recommendations for Readability and SEO improvements at the bottom of the page to receive a green light.
Of course, there is way more you can do to make your blog SEO friendly. But if you follow these 5 steps you are on the right track as a beginner.
Let me know what you think of the steps, below.