SEO is without a doubt one of the main sources of traffic that we can find on the Internet. There are countless blogs related to search engine positioning -especially Google- where techniques, strategies, tricks and all kinds of information on how to be in the first places are shared.
Much of this content is related to “external” aspects of SEO, such as link generation tricks, how to create blog networks, how to create quality content to attract readers, tricks not to be penalized by Google, how to be immune to Search engine updates and much more.
All this information is very good and it certainly helps. But before focusing on this and putting into practice so many good advice, you have to start with the basics: a good internal configuration.
SEO is divided into two main categories:
- On-page SEO – internal optimization of your site
- Off-page SEO – external optimization and activity
In order to take full advantage of the Off page strategies, it is very important to have a good foundation and SEO foundation within our WordPress site.
It’s how to want to compete in a car race. To have the possibility of being in first place, it is necessary first to have a well-equipped vehicle with everything necessary to give us a great performance during the competition.
In this WordPress SEO guide we will see how to optimize your vehicle (blog or website) to win the race (the first places of Google).
WordPress SEO – Practical and illustrative manual
There are many SEO plugins that we can use to optimize a WordPress site or blog. Although undoubtedly the most popular and more functional features is WordPress SEO by Yoast.
Before you start, go to your WordPress desktop in the Plugins section > Add new . Search for ” WordPress SEO by Yoast” , install and activate the plugin.
Now we are ready to start.
WordPress SEO by Yoast – Step by step configuration
When activating the plugin you will notice on the left side a new menu with an orange logo that says SEO. That’s where we’re going to configure the plugin and all the options it offers.
Later we will review the section that offers us in the edition of entries and pages (for a content well optimized for search engines).
The SEO section of the plugin on the WordPress desktop includes the following options:
- Control Panel
- Title and Meta Tags
- XML Sitemaps
- Permanent links
- Internal Links
- Import and export
- Bulk Editor
- Edit Files
We will look at each of these sections and the different options offered.
NOTE: To make it easier to implement this guide, I recommend guiding you in the screenshots of each section and leave it the same on your blog. I have studied the plugin in different tutorials and the configuration shown is the correct and appropriate
Many of the default settings are ready and without the need to modify them, however, there are other parts where it is necessary to change some elements.
If you have any special needs or need to make any changes, do not hesitate to do so.
In this first part we can find basic plugin options that will help us better understand how it works and everything it offers. These are:
- General. A tour that explains quickly the use of the plugin and its components and the option to reset default settings (in case of making an error or a similar scenario where it is required to have everything again as if the plugin was newly installed).
- Tracking. A simple button where we can allow our activity to be tracked by the creators of the plugin and thus improve the user experience. Not very important
- Security. By activating this option you have more control over other blog authors by not allowing them to redirect entries or not index them. I recommend you activate this box.
- Google Webmaster Tools. To check different Webmaster tools, such as Alexa, Bing, Google and Yandex. It also includes the pinterest option.
Title and meta tags
This is one of the most important sections of the plugin where we define the title, meta description, keywords and some other important aspects of our site and how it appears in Google results.
This includes entries, pages, the home page, categories, labels and much more.
To modify the titles, descriptions and keywords of entries and pages, we can use the section that appears in the content editing menu in WordPress, where there is also the text editor and everything related to the publication.
But for the other components of the blog, everything can be modified from the part of Titles and meta tags in the SEO options of the plugin.
This section contains the following tabs:
General – Here I do not recommend modifying anything since the plugin is adapted to what your site needs or with the correct configuration from the factory. If you need to change something for some special reason, go ahead.
Home – Change the title and description of your home page. If in your case it is a custom that you created, then enter that page and modify the title and description in the part of up to below.
Type of entry – modify the template by default of the title and description of the entries pages and objectives. It can also be modified in a personalized way within each entry or page.
Taxonomies – To modify the title and description templates in categories, labels, format and photo label.
To create templates in each of these tabs you can use the variables that come by default and that can be found if you click on the Help tab at the top of the desktop.
%% sitename %% – site name (can be configured in Settings> General)
%% page %% %% sep %% – page number and separation
%% sitedesc %% – site description (can be configured in Settings> General)
As well as these you can find others more.
This section is dedicated to the configuration of the plugin with social networks (Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus).
In the first tab we are going to configure Facebook and your fan page.
Activate the first box that says Add Open Graph metadata . This will allow Facebook to “extract” the data from the pages of your blog that you share with your fans correctly (title, meta description, etc.)
Then click on the button that says Add a Facebook administrator to access Facebook insights . You can be a user or if you have a dedicated application you can also use it.
Below add the URL of your Facebook page and fill in the settings of the main page (url of the image, title and description).
When finished, click on Save Changes.
In this tab you can check the Add meta data box of Twitter Card, which will allow the social network to know that this site belongs to your profile and that you publish by that means.
It’s like a form of authentication.
For this also add your Twitter username in the bottom part.
Finally, in the Google Plus option we can also check the box to correctly extract the information from our page and entries and add the URL of our Google Publisher page.
Good branding and optimization for Google’s social network (preferred by Webmasters than by “normal” people ).
A sitemap consists of a document in .XML format which creates a structure of all the components and pages of your site or blog.
The purpose of a sitemap is to inform the search engines of this structure so that it is easier to index each and every one of your pages.
In this section of WordPress SEO by Yoast we can activate the sitemaps and configure so that different search engines are notified about the changes that are made over time.
We also have the option to exclude types of entries (entries, pages or categories), taxonomies and select the number of entries per page.
It is possible that you have a plugin installed 100% dedicated to sitemaps (for example, Google XML Sitemaps); if this is the case, disable the plugin or disable the option of sitemaps in WordPress SEO by Yoast.
Although I do not think it will affect much to have both activated, it is better to keep one
Permanent links or permalinks
Permanent links refers to the configuration and structure of the URLs and addresses of your website.
One of the basic WordPress configurations that should be done right after the installation is to put the permanent links in a format with the name of the entry; that is, with keywords related to the content that is published.
They can also be configured with dates and other attributes, but the name of the entry is recommended.
In this WordPress SEO by Yoast menu we can find some modifications related to permanent links:
In the first option, by checking the box we can delete the word “category” from the URL of the categories.
This way if you have a category called Shopping Guide, the url would become http://www.tudominio.com/guia-de-compras instead of http://www.tudominio.com/category/guía-de -purchases
This first box is optional and it is up to each user to activate or deactivate it.
The other option that you can modify is to redirect the URLs of the attached file (attachment) to the URL of the parent post. This is useful if you have many images or attachments and do not want your visitors to reach the page of each of these files (since it does not help).
The other options in this section of Permanent Links are a bit more advanced and I do not recommend modifying them unless you need something specific since they can cause some problems in your site (if you do not know what you do when you activate them).
The best thing is to leave them like this
In this option you can add and configure the calls “Breadcrumbs” or in English known as Breadcrumbs. This is a series of links where the navigation is displayed and in which part of the site a user is located.
For example, if I am reading a post called “How to write a book in 5 days”, the breadcrumb shown could be:
The blog of the writer (name of the blog)> Blog> Beginners guides (category of entry)> How to write a book in 5 days (name of the entry)
This gives us a better idea of where we are and how we can return to the previous section easily.
The breadcrumbs in WordPress SEO by Yoast are more advanced functionality and to use them it is necessary to know about development and programming , since each topic is different and the placement of these links will vary a lot.
At the bottom of this menu appears a link that explains how to add them or if you already know how, simply copy and paste the code that is provided in your theme.
Many themes or templates include the automatic option of adding Breadcrumbs, so if you do not know very well about programming, better use this option.
In this part you can configure the content that is displayed before or after the entries when using an RSS Feed.
Import and export
If before using WordPress SEO by Yoast you used another SEO plugin like All in One SEO Pack or the Woothemes framework, you can import the titles and descriptions in this menu.
You will also have the option to export the configurations for future use in another installation, in case you are going to move your domain blog or any similar need.
If you need to edit titles or descriptions of several entries or pages, this menu will save you a lot of time. Make the necessary modifications and click Save or Save All.
Only for advanced users. Editing the .htaccess file is not recommended if you do not have experience or you do not know how it can damage and / or damage the functionality of the entire site.
Extensions and other things offered by Yoast as a complement to the plugin.
These are all the options offered by the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin. Review each of them, follow the recommendations and successfully complete the configuration within your site
It is not complicated and does not have to be modified too much since many parts are pre-configured.
WordPress SEO – A look at the optimization of entries and pages
As I mentioned, in addition to all these options offered by the plugin we can also find a section in the entries and pages that allows us to optimize our content based on a main keyword that we add manually.
There is also another tab where suggestions are made to further optimize the content.
When the main keyword is added, we can see that it measures us where it is present and what is the frequency of appearance within the entry or page.
To have a good SEO qualification and be green, make sure that the main keyword is present in:
- The meta description
- Depending on the length of the entry, between 5 and 15 times in the main content
- URL of the page
If you keep in mind the keyword and meet these requirements, your score will be positive
I recommend you always take the time to optimize your entries and pages . You will have much better results in terms of SEO and Web traffic
Tips for writing content optimized for Google
To close with a flourish this excellent guide, I share some tips to create better content and combine them with everything we’ve seen so far.
1. Quality and length
Priority # 1 write long, detailed and best quality content possible. Not all of your articles have to have more than 1,000 or 2,000 words; However, if you publish this type of posts frequently, both Google and your readers will thank you very much.
This involves more work, but the results are worth it.
2. Create a previous structure
Before writing, create a structure for the entire article. Define what are the main sections and the subtopics that you will include.
In this way the final result will be a much more organized entry and you will also have much more clarity and effectiveness when writing.
3. Good format
In the WordPress editor, add labels in the titles and subtitles. This helps both for SEO and for the content to be more readable.
It also uses paragraphs in an appropriate and intelligent way. Not so long but neither of a line all
4. Spell check
When we are writing, it is very common for us to miss some spelling mistakes that may remain forever if we do not give a prior review to publish.
Create the habit of reading your content always before. You can also ask someone else to read it and you will also have an additional opinion
5. Internal links
Making links to other articles and publications of your blog is a good way to create an internal structure of links, to provide extra content for your readers and to relate your similar content or topics of the same category.
An excellent strategy is to create articles or “pillars” pages, where you write about an important or general topic in your niche or industry, information is provided and also a list of links to other similar articles of the same blog.
These types of pages are very well seen by Google and are more likely to position themselves in the first places.
6. Create a strategy in social networks
Social networks are a sign of authority and reputation that helps Google consider whether or not to put a site in the first places. The more an article is shared on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, the more likely it is to move up positions.
In addition to this they also work to generate traffic and branding.
7. Alliances and links
Research in your niche other blogs that have information similar to yours and start to create a good relationship with them.
Exchange links, publish as a guest in your blogs and create alliances that can give you excellent results not only in SEO, but also in your overall Internet marketing strategy.
Now, after reading this guide, you are ready to optimize your WordPress site or blog, create user friendly content with Google and start enjoying the benefits of traffic and SEO positioning.
Remember that SEO is a continuous process that gives results longer than in the short term. That is why we must be very patient and work with perseverance, establish concrete goals and thus conquer the first positions.
What other WordPress SEO tips do you apply to your blog?
Share your knowledge and also the article on Twitter, many WordPress sites need optimization