The Complete Guide for Optimizing the SEO of Your WordPress

Published in Online Marketing.

Is your website made with WordPress and you don’t know how to get more visits
to increase the visibility (SEO) of your business?

Throughout this article you will learn to configure your WordPress website to meet the minimum SEO standards. You will see which are the most used plugins to optimize your website, the main tools that will help you achieve visibility, and the most important factors to work on your strategy.

Let’s start with a small introduction.

What is WordPress And Why is it The Most Used CMS?

WordPress is the leading platform to manage a website. This CMS currently occupies the first position in the market share with more than 60% of impact.

Interest of WordPress and other content managers over time.

Why is it the most popular today?

The numbers speak for themselves. Of every 10 users, 6 decide to use WordPress as a tool to manage their website, because of its many advantages.

Here are some of the advantages that I consider more relevant:

  • It is an ideal platform for all types of sectors: business, magazine, blog, e-commerce, photography, music, sports, etc. There is no topic that does not fit perfectly within this platform.
  • Like many other tools, WordPress is completely free and all you have to pay for is extra features or professional templates.
  • It is fully adapted to achieve good SEO results thanks to the wide range of plugins it has and the ease of use for creating content for our future visitors. Also, if your passion is to be a blogger, with the Nelio Content plugin you will save a lot of time. It allows you to manage the content easily and from a single editorial calendar.
  • Being the leading Internet platform, there are many people interested on finding possible security flaws and take advantage of the vulnerabilities that may appear. However, and thanks to the continuous updates of WordPress, we can avoid almost any problem by generating backups and updating everything to its latest version.

How to Configure WordPress For SEO Improvement

WordPress gives you enough freedom to configure all the factors that we must take into account for SEO.

The first one is the way in which the links on your website are displayed. To do this, in the WordPress dashboard we can find the Permalinks section within Settings:

WordPress permanent links settings
WordPress settings for permalinks.

As you can see, in my blog I have chosen the option “Name of the post” but you can choose the option “Custom structure”. Both options allow you to have a fully friendly URL. Using this last option, you can customize it in two ways:

Structure with /%postname%/ : The structure would be something like this: https://yourdomain.com/first-post/

Structure with /%category%/%postname%/: Unlike the previous one, the URL would include the category associated with the article: https://yourdomain.com/category-name/first-post/

When you create categories you can include a description, as well as the name of the category and the “slug”, which will be the text that we will see in the URL.

Categories in WordPress.
Categories in WordPress.

Let’s now look at the main plugins that we can install to optimize the SEO of our WordPress.

Best Plugins to Increase the Rank Position of Your Website

Finding the ideal plugin to help you in this adventure is not an easy task. Each one has its own configuration and not everyone provides the same functionalities.

Before listing the 3 main plugins that you should know, I invite you to read this article that explains what are the main dangers of installing multiple SEO plugins in your WordPress.

Yoast SEO

Yoast is still the king of SEO plugins, although lately it has been experiencing some problems with its latest updates, which have affected some users.

In Nelio Software you have a complete guide on how to set up Yoast step by step to get the most out of it.

The analysis of you content that Yoast SEO performs and shows with the help of the famous traffic light, and the previews it offers are some of its main features.

Rank Math

Launched less than 1 year ago, this plugin has achieved in a very short time a notorious space among the best SEO plugins for WordPress.

The SEO plugin of Rank Math.
The SEO plugin of Rank Math.

It meets all the features offered by other plugins such as Yoast or All in One SEO, but in a much more accessible and intuitive way.

If you already had another plugin installed, do not worry. Rank Math includes an automatic configuration importer, so you can migrate from one plugin to another without losing any configuration.

All in One SEO

Another option to choose between the different SEO plugins is All in One.

This plugin is also fully optimized, clean and ready to offer you good results. In addition, one of its main functions is its compatibility with WooComerce and Google Analytics, and the ability to generate metatags and meta descriptions automatically.

Now that you know the main plugins in the market, let’s see how we can go one step further with external tools.

These tools will allow us to track the organic evolution of our project, as well as analyze other factors that we’ll mention at the end of the article: SEO On page and Off page.

Professional Tools For SEO

Below, you can see some of the tools that professionals use on a daily basis to analyze the evolution of projects, as well as competitors:

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is to me the quintessential tool to analyze in depth the links of any website. This technique is what we usually call SEO Off Page and at the end of the article I will explain it in more detail.

Ahrefs homepage.

If you want to learn step by step how this SEO tool works, I invite you to read my complete Ahrefs guide, where you will see its most important sections, which will help you to find opportunities that you surely had not taken into account.

If what you want is to do keyword research, SEO audits or content analysis, SEMrush is the ideal tool for this.

SEMrush

SEMrush is also one of the best online marketing tools that will help you manage your SEO strategy. Its strengths are in competitor analysis and in providing a large amount of data that can help you find the keywords on what you need to work.

SEMrush homepage.

The ability to analyze the keywords by which your competitors position and the complete SEO Audit that it performs on your website are some of the other highlights of this marketing and SEO tool.

Do you want to see how your online project evolves as well as the keywords you are working on your content? Then Sistrix is a tool you should now.

Sistrix

Sistrix is one of the most used tools by companies and professionals to measure the evolution and impact of the strategies we carry out in an online project.

Thanks to its visibility index you will be able to know if your marketing strategy has been effective, or, on the contrary, it is not getting good results.

Sistrix homepage.
Sistrix homepage.

As for the keyword analysis, the main page of this tool shows a detailed summary of the keywords evolution. If you want to analyze everything in more detail, the “Keywords” section presents all the keywords that Sistrix collects, their current position in searches, their volume of competitors, etc.

These are the 3 main tools with which any digital marketing professional works to optimize the SEO positioning of a blog, e-commerce or any other type of website.

As I mentioned earlier, there are two main terms we use to refer to the different optimizations or strategies that we can do on our website.

SEO On Page

First, we have the SEO On page, on which we comprise all those factors that we can change ourselves internally.

Some factors can be:

  • Meta tags (title and description)
  • URL structure
  • Images
  • Content Creation
  • Internal linking
  • CSS, JS and HTML code

Before any of these points can be worked on, it is necessary to know what keywords we are going to use. Therefore, we must always do a keyword research.

SEO Off Page

Unlike SEO On Page, when we talk about SEO Off Page we refer to all those aspects that can be worked outside of our website.

This technique refers mainly to the creation of links for our link building strategy.

Working this SEO technique will allow us to:

  • Gain authority in the eyes of Google by creating links.
  • Be known and recognized in our sector.
  • Gain visibility on social networks that fit more with our target audience.
  • Attract traffic from external channels to gain more popularity.

If we want to evaluate how the authority of our website evolves, Ahrefs is one of the tools that allows us to know what the effectiveness of our link building strategy is.

Moz or Majestic SEO are also other tools where we can analyze the popularity of our website.

Conclusion

Getting good results is not something you achieve in a matter of days, or 1 or 2 months. SEO is a strategy to achieve good long-term results. Patience, effort and quality work are the key points to be able to get a place on a top position of the search engine results.

Take advantage of all the WordPress functionalities and the simplicity it provides to optimize everything you need so that your results reach your goals as soon as possible.

Featured image by Campaign Creators on Unsplash.

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