WordPress is search-friendly, but there’s still a need for search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts to make your website a success. Here’s a WordPress search engine optimisation tutorial you can start with.
As expected, this post is longer than what I usually publish here. The steps included here are ideally meant for those who haven’t posted anything yet on their website. My upcoming posts in this series can help those who already have content. Tweet me if you have any questions.
WordPress Search Engine Optimisation Tutorial 1 for Beginners
Important Note: Depending on how you set up your WordPress – whether your hosting partner like GoDaddy did it for you or you installed everything by yourself – there can be pre-installed plugins and a whole load of cappuccino you might not need. First deactivate those, if you can. If (and when) you are sure those files won’t affect your website in their absence, delete them and free up some space.
Such a tongue twister! This is where you start once your website is up and running. Canonicalisation simply means choosing what you want your website to show up as – anksimage.com or www.anksimage.com
In WordPress, go to Settings -> General and fill out the following fields as per your choice:
WordPress Address (URL)
Site Address (URL)
ALSO: In Google Search Console (formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools), set the preferred domain by visiting Site Settings > Preferred Domain.
In my case, both are http://www.anksimage.com
If you want good easy-to-read URLs instead of &*^#(!%1243, you need to customise your URLs within WordPress. This also boosts your SEO because you can use your keyword in the URL, giving more weight to the page for that keyword.
In WordPress, go to Settings -> Permalinks. Whatever the default is, click on “Custom Structure” and add “/%postname%/” in the blank field. This way your title will be your URL, which you can further change it and optimise it as per the keyword.
Once you’ve set up your website (pages are ready but haven’t started publishing posts yet), go to Google Search Console and submit your sitemap. You’ll be submitting your sitemap periodically by yourself or via some WordPress plugin.
If you don’t have any plugin set up to handle sitemaps, go to the Online XML Sitemap Generator and create your free sitemap. Follow the instructions on how to install it in your web directory and then submit at Google Search Console.
Once you have the sitemap installed in your web directory, create the robots.txt file. This is a file that has to be present in the root directory of your website. Spider bots from search engines look for this file and this usually includes the location of the sitemap, redirects, etc. among other important stuff.
So create a blank text file, name is robots.txt and add the following line of text.
Then upload it to the root directory of your website. And you’re set.
Remember not to mess around with this file, EVER! If you have to add something to it, use a plugin instead. And always back up your files.
This was WordPress Search Engine Optimisation Tutorial 1. Feel free to ask questions in the comments below. And stay tuned for the next part of this series.
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