WordPress SEO for Beginners (Search Engine Optimization Basics):2020

So you’re new to WordPress and you want to get more search traffic through SEO. Ok, I’ve collect some better news and some bad news for you. The bad news is that WordPress alone isn’t going to help you rank in Google.It’s just a tool.But the good news is that WordPress make sit dead simple to implement search engine optimization best practices. So even if you’re a complete beginner, you can optimize your website for higher Google rankings easily. And you’re about to find out how to do it
in this WordPress SEO tutorial. Stay tuned on this blog.
What’s up, guys,
Devraj is here with Ahrefs, the SEO tool that helps you grow your search traffic, research your competitors and dominate your niche.Now first, I want to clear up any confusion. WordPress is a Content Management System that’sbasically the industry standard for bloggers. But it’s developed quite a bit over time where you can now create all sorts of websites from e-commerce to forums to essentially whatever you want.
Now, WordPress SEO is no different than just regular search engine optimization. So what I’m referring to is using WordPress as a tool to make traditional SEO techniques and strategies easier to implement and technically sound. So for the most part, we’ll be covering the on-page optimization best practices while other off-page strategies like link building will all be the same whether you use WordPress or anything else.
So let’s get to it. Before we get into the WordPress interface, I just try  to  review  a quick article on theme selection on the wordpress. Now there are a ton of free and premium templates you can get, so here are two things that you should look for. First, the theme should be mobile responsive. And this is important because as Google said, mobile-friendly content may perform better for those who are searching on mobile.
And second, you should avoid themes that are bloated with plugins or third-party scripts that you really don’t need.So read through the theme descriptions to see what’s included and you could also run the theme demo URL through page speed tools like Google’s Page Speed insights, Pingdom or GTmetrix. Important WordPress settings.First, we have to confirm whether we decide to keep and use just domain.com or www.domain.com. And the reason for this is because Google will look at these two pages separately. Now the good thing about WordPress is that
it’ll automatically redirect the other version to the one that you choose.
So, if you have a new website, then it doesn’t really matter which one you select. But if you’ve ever used both protocols, or you have an issue like this website, where you can access the same page from different
URLs then you’ll want to see which version has more backlinks pointing at it.You can check this by using Ahrefs’ Site Explorer tool. Just enter your domain, then you’ll want to take note of the number of referring domains
pointing at your website. Then take the other version of the URL and do the same thing.And in this case, there’s a clear winner,but for other sites, where it’s not so obvious,you would want to manually do a full backlinks
analysis using the backlinks report.You can change your URL by clicking on settings.And then edit both your WordPress Address
URL and Site Address URL.Now, if you have existing content on your
website and you change your URL, there are issues that can arise so I’d recommend having access to a developer you can contact if needed.
Alright, next we want to make sure our permalinks are set up optimally.
So click on “permalinks” under “settings”in the sidebar. And you can see from the previews that permalinks are basically just the URLs for your posts and pages.The one and only that I suggest using is “post name”
and that’s for two reasons.
#1. People can look at your URL and know immediately
what it’s about.
So take a look at these links from our blog, and guess what they’re about.
And #2. It keeps the URL short. In my on-page SEO blog, we got that short
URLs would be better rank  in Google as you can see from this graph.Now, it’s important to note that if you already
have content using a different permalink structure,
then changing it to a different option may
cause broken pages, which is a bad thing,
particularly if you have backlinks pointing
at them.
But if you want to set up your structure this
way, then you may need to add redirects, which
you can do with a plugin like Redirection.
The other plugin that I highly recommend installing
is Yoast SEO.
Now this plugin is the industry standard and should
work great for you out of the box.
If your website is just new, hence you can over
the SEO menu in the sidebar, and go to XML sitemaps.
You’ll want to make sure that this checkbox
is checked and that you generate an XML sitemap
which you can submit to search engines like
Google and Bing.
As a simple rule of thumb, you can only to include pages that you want Google to find
on your website here.
So I’ve disabled the author sitemap, excluded
any pages, as well as tags and format pages.
We’ll touch on some of the other advanced
settings in the second video from a technical
SEO standpoint, which you won’t want to miss
out on.
Alright on to the meat of the tutorial, and
that’s the on-page optimization tips you should
use for every single piece of content you
create.
You can create a new piece of content as a
post or a page.
And by default, posts are used for your blog.
And pages, on the other hand, are more commonly
used for static pages that don’t really change
often like your About Us page, Contact page,
or Services pages.
So let’s create a post.
In the use in terms of SEO, there are mainly Four parts here.
The title of the blog, your URL, body of the content, and
meta tags.
And we’ll tackle these in this order.
This part here is where you set a title for
your post.
In general, the title that you enter here
will act as your H1 tag from an on-page SEO standpoint.
Now, the main goal of the title is to entice
visitors to click through to your article,
while accurately describing what the content
on the page is about.
So you want to create something that’s “click-worthy”
and not “clickbait.”
The second basic tip is to include your primary
keyword phrase in your title.
For example, if we were writing a post on
the “best nike running shoes,” then our title
might be:
“17 Best Nike Running Shoes For Optimal Performance
and Comfort (2018 Guide)”
By default, WordPress will change your URL
slug to the full name of the post.
But we can edit it and change it to our primary
keyword target, where dashes would replace
the spaces.
So I’ll change it to best-nike-running-shoes
and click ok.
Next is the body.
Since we’re talking specifically about WordPress
search engine optimization( SEO), I like to focus on the editor, rather
than on-page ranking factors.
And we have a good video on that, so I’ll link
it up in the card and description.
Now, your editor will likely look different
from mine, since themes and plugins can add
additional features.
The first drop-down is very important because
it includes text formatting styles.
So you can include H2s, H3s, and other subheadings
into your post with the click of a mouse.
So in this case, our H1 is the title that
we already set up here and an H2 would be
a sub-heading like Zoom Running Shoes, which
is a brand line.
And if we wanted to include specific models
within the Zoom line, then we can create an
H3 like Nike Zoom Fly and elaborate on the
model.
Using headings helps create a structure, which
can help Google better understand your content,
and also improves readability for your users.
The other two SEO relevant features are hyperlinks
and images.
To create a hyperlink, select the text you
like to develop a link from, then click on
the given link tab, and then enter in the URL you want
to link to.
The selected word will then work as what we
call anchor text.
You can click on the gear icon to get more
options.
I highly recommend selecting the “Open link
in new tab” checkbox, where we can do exactly
what it says when a visitor clicks the link.
This is good for keeping visitors on your
site, while still being able to direct them
to helpful resources.
And the last feature is the “Add Media” button.
This is used to insert images into your post.
You can just drag and drop your photos in blog, and WordPress will upload it.
After it’s done uploading, I highly recommend
filling in the “Alt Text.”
And this is good to add for a few reasons.
First, it merge context to the page, saying
Google what image is for and it would
be very helpful for ranking your images in Google Images.
Second, it’s helpful for people who are using
screen readers, like the visually impaired.
And third, if your image breaks, then the
alternative text will show to replace the
broken image.
Alright, let’s move on to the Yoast SEO settings.
Since we installed the plugin, you’ll have
a few fields that you can enter in at the
bottom of the post or page.
The first part is the title tag.
This is the part that would show up in Google’s
search results, and in the browser tab.
So rather than leaving it as the default,
I recommend pasting your title in here.
You’ll notice that
it’s highlighted in red, which tells us that
our title tag is too long.
This will result in truncation in the Google
search results, which isn’t that appealing,
so we can actually alter this without changing
the title of the actual article, or your H1 tag.
So, let’s remove the word “optimal,” click
out of the textbox, and it looks like we’re
good to go.
Now, we’ll want to write a meta description.
And this part is meant to support your title
and further entice someone to click through.
Generally, I don’t bother with the focus keyword,
as it doesn’t do anything aside from giving
you some “SEO scores” from Yoast.
So feel free to add it if you’d like, but
know that it doesn’t make a difference for
your actual search engine optimization efforts.
After you’ve finished your post, you can publish
and have an “SEO friendly” post done without
touching a line of code.
Now, creating a page would be the exact same,
but there’s one main feature difference worth noting.
Assuming that you have your permalink structure
like  “post name,” both page and post URLs
will show up like this.
But with pages, you can actually create them
with different levels, using subfolders.
So let’s say that you’re a digital marketing
agency using WordPress and you have 5 different
services.
You do SEO, paid advertising, social media
marketing, public relations, and email marketing.
Then what you can do is create a services
landing page, where you would talk about the
different services you provide and naturally,
you’d probably add links to your individual
services pages.
Now rather than having each service page as
domain.com/service-name, you can nest them
under the “services” subfolder.
So let’s do that right now.
You can see that I’m creating a page on SEO
services, so I’ll just click on the parent
dropdown and choose the “Services” page.
Finally, I’ll save our page as a draft.
And now you can see that the URL is accessible
as domain.com/services/seo.
WordPress is my favorite CMS to use, simply
because it makes on-page SEO a cinch, but
there’s a lot more you can do with it from
a technical SEO standpoint.
And that’s what we’re going to be talking
about in the next video.
So make sure to like, share, subscribe, and
if you have any questions about using WordPress
for the SEO, then definitely leave us comment, and I’d be
happy to go through.

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