Powering more than 74 million websites and counting, WordPress is the world’s leading contenet management system (CMS). It’s fast, efficient, easy to modify, and offers a plethora of features. But if you’re looking to generate organic search traffic, you’ll need to make a few small changes to your WordPress website.
If You’re Looking To Create a Search Engine-Friendly WordPress Site Follow These Quick Tips:
Change the Permalinks
One of the first things you should do after installing WordPress on your domain is change the permalinks structure. The default settings use a generic URL structure (e.g. yourdomain.com/?p=123), which doesn’t exactly look professional, nor does it help search engines understand the page’s content.
While you can always specify a custom URL when creating a new post or page in WordPress, there’s an easier solution available: log into your dashboard as the admin and choose Settings > Permalinks > Post Name. All new posts and pages will now use the title as their URL. If you publish a blog post titled “How to Market Your Local Business,” WordPress will automatically make the URL yoursite.com/how-to-market-your-local-business.
Delete the ‘Hello World’ Post and Sample Page
Go into your WordPress dashboard and see if the default “Hello World” post and sample page are present. WordPress automatically includes these in all new installations, simply because it helps first-time users understand the hierarchy and how it all works. There’s no rule – written or otherwise – stating that you must delete this default post and page, but doing so will make your website look more professional and possibly even boost its search rankings. So if you haven’t done so already, go into your WordPress dashboard and delete the “Hello World” post and sample page.
Install an SEO Plugin
If there’s one plugin you don’t want to miss, it’s Yoast SEO. Developed by Joost de Valk, it’s become the de-facto standard for WordPress search optimization. Yoast SEO features snippet previews, Page Analysis, meta tag creation, breadcrumb navigation, RSS optimization, import/export functionality, .htaccess and robots.txt file editing, and much more. Oh yeah, did I mention it’s free to download and use?
Create an XML Sitemap
Another essential item for creating a search engine-friendly WordPress site will be to create an XML sitemap. Sitemaps function as road maps for search engines, revealing the URL location of each page so search engines can find them more easily. And when search engines are able to find all of your pages, you’ll notice an increase in rankings. It’s just that simple. XML sitemaps can be created manually, using an online tool (search for XML sitemap creator in Google), or you can download a WordPress plugin to create them. Actually, if you downloaded the Yoast SEO plugin, I believe that has a sitemap generator built in.
Build Your Interior Linking Structure
Last but not least, download and install the SEO Smart Links plugin. Linking contextual phrases to other relevant pages on your site is something that Google loves and this plugin makes that job a whole lot easier.
SEO Smart Links can automatically link keywords and phrases in your posts and comments with corresponding posts, pages, categories and tags on your blog.
Further SEO Smart links allows you to set up your own keywords and set of matching URLs. Finally SEO Smart links allows you to set nofollow attribute and open links in new window.
If you’ve got some WordPress Tips of your own, share them in the comments section below.