You’ve heard the term “SEO,” but what does it really mean, and how can it help you grow your business? SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization. It’s a strategy used to help you show up higher in search engine results (think about the list of items that show up when you type something into Google!).
SEO can help you increase traffic on your website by ranking your listing higher in search engines. Basically, it helps people find YOUR website when they are searching for topics or resources similar to your own! When people search for products you sell, services you offer, or topics you write about, it helps to boost your website to the top of the search results.
Of course, there are so many SEO resources out there that make SEO sound super complicated — but we want to keep it simple for you. If you use a WordPress site, here are the best SEO basics for you to know.
WordPress SEO Basics to Help You Show Up More Online
1 | Basics of WordPress SEO
The very first thing you need to do is make sure that your site is visible to search engines!
You want to double check that this box is unchecked and make sure to save the changes.
Second, you want to be sure to use friendly URLs. SEO favors user friendly URLs — ones that the reader will know what they are clicking on before they click! For example: http://www.yourwebsite.com/how-to-meal-prep
The user knows that they will be reading something about meal prep! Compare that URL to this one — http://www.yourwebsite.com/2Pq21 — and you see the difference.
The numbers in this URL have nothing to do with the actual content, and the user will have no idea what she is actually clicking on. Plus, Google’s engine won’t know to index the URL for a specific keyword or phrase! So, make sure to check your permalink settings by going to the settings tab on your site and viewing the various permalink settings.
We recommend choosing the “Post name” option as it will give the user the most information before they even click on your site!
The last basic tip we have is to make sure that your site URL and WordPress URL are the same. If they are not, search engines will consider them to be 2 different sites, which is not good for your SEO efforts!
It doesn’t really matter if you use “www.yoursitename.com” or “yoursitename.com” without the “www.” You just want to be sure they are identical!
Related post: How to get Started with SEO
2 | Choosing the Best WordPress Plugins
Now, let’s talk about making your site built for great SEO. Our favorite way to boost SEO is to use the right tools — like plugins.
Simply put, a plugin is a piece of software that adds functionality to your site, and we recommend installing Yoast first and foremost. Why?? Because Yoast helps you see how your optimization efforts “measure up,” by including red, orange, and green color codes for keyword use and proper lengths for things like meta titles and meta description (more on this in a bit).
Yoast also helps you choose better keywords when you are writing articles or blogs, so that you choose a keyword or phrase that resonates with how people search. It also has a page analysis feature so you don’t miss any tags or subheadings!
To install the Yoast plugin, simply click “Plugins” on your dashboard, and then “Add New.” You can then search for Yoast and install it right away.
Then all you will have left to do is click “Activate” once it has downloaded, and you are good to go!
Yoast isn’t the only plugin available to you, but it is our favorite. Just keep in mind that other plugins may not have seamless updates, and can even slow down your site. We at Bluchic use Yoast, and many of our theme users do, too!
Related post: Top WordPress Plugins
3 | Best SEO Practices
You are already ahead of the game by utilizing the basics SEO and installing Yoast! However, if you want to increase your SEO rankings even more, we definitely recommend following a few of these best practices!
Optimize your Google preview
Using Yoast or a similar SEO plugin, you can actually optimize the way your listed result shows up in Google search. Instead of letting Google pull “whatever it wants,” you can let their crawlers know “these are the keywords, titles, and descriptions” I’d like to share.
Use a specific keyword (which you include in Yoast as well), and then optimize your title, URL, and meta description. SEO titles should be under 60 characters (45 characters to adapt for mobile users), and descriptions should be 145-160 characters. Your URL can include your keyword phrase or title — just make sure it connects with what the content is actually about!
Use headers, rather than just fonts size
One of the biggest mistakes we see new website owners make is making every “headline” or subtitle an image. Other times, they simply increase the size of a font.
For SEO purposes, you really need to use header codes — which are built right into your WordPress editor. The H1 heading should be the name/title of the page or post.
Once you get into the body of your blog or page, you may have to include other headlines, like H2s or H3s. It’s important to use headlines to break up your copy, and to also provide Google and other search engines content to “scan.”
To change the header, all you have to do is hit the formatting tool in WordPress.
Note: These are views from the Gutenberg editor on the latest WordPress 5.7. Your version of WordPress may look different.
Note: These are views from the Elementor editor. Your version of WordPress may look different.
We love Elementor because it makes these kinds of updates easy. That’s why all our Bluchic WordPress themes and sales funnel templates can be edited using just WordPress Elementor (and you’ll even have all the headers coded into the design for you!).
Use categories and tags
WordPress allows you to sort your blog posts into categories and tags, which makes it easy for you to organize your content and even easier for your reader to find what they are looking for! Choose a few categories for your content and then utilize tags at the bottom of each post.
Link to your own content
Make it a habit of yours to link to other posts you have written in your own content! This improves the score that SEO gives each page of content and also will keep your reader on your site, exploring and reading all related content. You want them to stay on your site as long as possible!
Don’t ignore comments
Comments on your posts, while less popular than they were back in the early 2000s, still indicate engagement from your readers and can potentially boost your site on SEO! Although, it’s important that they are real comments and not spam. Akismet is one of the pre-downloaded plugins that comes with every WordPress site. It helps to filter through comments and flag all potential spam for you without you having to do a thing!You want to increase traffic on your site but feel so intimidated by SEO? Become a SEO expert with these WordPress SEO Basics to bring your site to the top of the search!Click To Tweet
We know you spend so much time and effort creating content for your site, and we want you to feel empowered to use SEO to draw more eyes to your content! SEO can feel so overwhelming and complicated, but we hope these basic tips can help you focus on the content that you love to create instead of spending more time trying to boost your posts!
Running a product based business and need a helping hand designing your site? Check out our ChicShop WordPress theme! This theme is fully customizable for all our incredible female entrepreneurs, whether your products are available physically or digitally! Create your dream website without any hassle.