WordPress is great for SEO, I regularly find my sites rank well in Google with little to no work. However, lately I have found that using the right plugin means that my web sites hit number #1 in Google faster! I have tried a few different WordPress SEO plugins, but I have to say in my experience that Yoast’s SEO plugin is by far the easiest and the best, this blog gives you a quick run down on how to use this plugin to improve your website’s SEO dramatically!
Install the plugin
First of all you will need to install the plugin, in your WordPress dashboard go to Plugins -> Add New. Now just type in “SEO” in the search bar and install the “Wordpress SEO by Yoast” plugin.
Optimising your title tags is the fastest way to improve your websites SEO. I am really surprised by the number of websites that fail to do this simple task! To optimise your title tags, go to the “Titles” option under the WordPress SEO plugin. Generally I set up my title tags as follows:
“%%title%% |Site Name”
Make sure to replace ‘Site Name’ with your website or brands name, e.g. Green and Gold Solar. This will optimise your pages titles in Google.
Handling the way your site is indexed by Google has a major effect over your SEO. WordPress has the annoying habit of setting up multiple directories for pages and posts, which can result in duplicate content – Google hates duplicate content!
To alter your sites indexation settings, go to the ‘Indexation’ tab in the Yoast plugin. In my experience I have found the following indexation rules helpful:
- If your site only has one author – don’t index author archives
- For most blogs don’t index date based archives – this is only useful for news sites.
- If you don’t use tags for your posts – don’t index tag archives
Yoast’swordpress plugin has a great little feature built into it to dynamically generate a sitemap. All you need to do is go to the ‘Sitemaps’ tab and check the ‘Enable sitemaps functionality’ box.
Bonus tip: Permalinks
For some reason the default WordPress permalink setting creates really ugly post and page permalinks. For example a post called, ‘how to sail around the world’ might show up in Google as www.sailing-tips.com/?p=123
In the newer versions of WordPress this is fixed thankfully, but just to be certain, go to the ‘Permalinks’ tab within WordPress settings. If ‘Post Name’ is an option select it, if not select ‘Custom Structure’ and enter ‘/%postname%/’.
There you go, 4 easy ways to drastically improve your websites SEO, good luck with your rankings!
Author Bio:- Rhys Clay is the Media Relations specialist at Green and Gold Solar, and an all-round tech head. Check out Rhys’s latest project, an online solar calculator application built using jQuery.