Why You Always Want To Have Your Site SEO Optimized
So, what is Search Engine Optimization, and why do you want it? It’s all about getting the search engines (like Google) to place your website within their search results (ideally, really high up on their search results) for certain keywords which are relevant to your site or blog. In order to do this however, Google needs to know where to place your website (as in, which keywords to make your site it show up for in the searches).
Having your site’s On-Page SEO done (which is the SEO which takes place on your site itself) is what tells Google and other search engines, what keywords your site is relevant to. This, ultimately, will give you more free traffic from the search engines (if done properly, that’s the goal).
Setting Up Your Permalinks
Permalinks are a key to good SEO. The permalinks are the links which lead to different blog posts or pages, and you can setup for yourself how you want them to read. By default, they’re just a generic number, but this is terrible for your SEO. You’re going to want to change your permalinks so that they’ll reflect your blog posts name. The reason for this is that Google and the other search engines look at these permalinks, and factor them into where your website should show up in their search engine result pages (also known as, their SERP’s).
The way to change the permalinks is to go to the “Settings” tab on your sidebar within WordPress’s backend. Underneath the Settings tab, at the bottom, you’ll see a “Permalinks” sub-tab. What you’re going to want to do is click on that, and then go down to where it says “Custom”. To make it reflect each post’s name, what you want to do is change that field to say %postname%, then save your changes. You can even add in BOTH the category and post name to every post by typing in “%category%/%postname%”.
If you do it that way, it’ll make it so that the main title of every post, and its category, will show up in the actual link to every single post, which is great for SEO. You only have to do this once on your blog, and then you’re good to go.
Before you optimize your site for particular keywords, you have to know which keywords you’re going to want to use. The only way to do that, is to do some keyword research beforehand. What you’ll want to do is open up Google AdWords, and underneath the “Tools” section, find the Keyword Tool to begin finding your keywords. What you want to do is simply search for a keyword which is related to your content, and then look for keywords which have certain values attached to them.
You’re going to see three values for each keyword, a CPC, a search volume, and competition. Competition is pretty self-explanatory, and search volume tells you how many people on average, will search for that keyword in a given month. CPC on the other hand, is going to tell you how much that keyword would be worth if you were to pay for it using Google AdWords (how much it would cost for an individual click).
I’d recommend you find keywords which have at least 1,000 search volume per month, and ideally low competition (though medium is acceptable as well, just make sure you’re not trying to target too many high competition keywords). The CPC should be at least $1, though ideally more. Remember, you can set these minimums when you’re doing your searches, so take advantage of these search functions. Keyword research can be a bit more complex, but I just wanted to give you a quick overview of how it works. Still, it’s usually fairly simple overall, and you can pick it up fairly quickly with a bit of practice.
Installing a Plugin
The next step we’re going to take, is to use a plugin to help us optimize our On-Page SEO, but, before we do that, it’s important for you to know exactly HOW to install a plugin properly, so we can get it setup. Luckily, installing a plugin in WordPress is actually quite easy to do.
On the main nav bar on the left of the WordPress backend, you’ll see a primary tab called “Plugins”, so the first thing you’re going to want to do, it to click on that. Then, you’ll see a sub-tab which says “Add New”, and you’ll want to then want to click on that. Once you’ve done that, you’ll arrive at a page which has a search bar on it. In that search bar, you want to either type in the name of the plugin you’re looking for (if you already know it) or type in something a bit more generic, if you’re searching for different plugins.
In this case, we want to add a plugin called “SEO by Yoast”, so type that into the search bar, and click search. You should then see the plugin pop up at the top, The next step is to click the install button, which will get that plugin installed on your site.
Once that’s done, the next thing you’re going to want to do is go back to your main plugins page, by clicking Plugins again, and you should then see the plugin there in your plugins list. Underneath the name of that plugin, you should see the word “Activate” which will be clickable, so you’ll want to click that to actually activate the plugin on your blog. You can use the activate and deactivate feature to quickly enable or disable any plugin in particular, without needing to uninstall or reinstall it. Once that’s done, the plugin is installed, and you’re good to go.
Using SEO By Yoast
Now, anytime you go to a new page or post within WordPress, you’re going to see the SEO by Yoast section at the bottom, where you can punch in a title, a description, and some keywords which are relevant to that page. Doing the actual On-Page SEO is as simple as coming up with a title for each post, a quick description of it, and keywords for it (based on your keyword research) and then filling these into the proper fields. It only takes a moment to do for each page, and then you’re all done.
You don’t want to stuff as many keywords as possible into your title or description, as you want to make sure it sounds natural, even to a manual reviewers (some people work for Google and actively review website content manually to make sure it’s high quality). Simply fill in this key information for every post, and that’s it, your On-Page is done.
I think you have a great idea of how to do On-Page SEO now, as you can clearly see, it’s really not that difficult. It is however, necessary if you ever intend to get any good search engine rankings. Best of luck!