A beginner’s COMPLETE guide to WordPress SEO

Kariuki Maina
By Kariuki Maina 57 Min Read

A tutorial to higher rankings for WordPress sites

One of the top content management systems for SEO is WordPress. Although it does a lot of things properly “out of the box,” there is still plenty you can do to raise your performance. Time to concentrate on WordPress SEO!

A tutorial to higher rankings for WordPress sitesGet your basic WordPress SEO right1.1. Check your site health1.1.1 Check you’re using suitable hosting1.1.2. Upgrade to a recent version of PHP1.1.3. Make sure you’re using SSL and HTTPS1.2. Check your site settings1.3. Pick the right permalink structure1.3.1. Choose WWW or non-WWW2. Optimize your content2.1. Research what your users want and needFocus on search intent2.2. Write great content for your users2.3. Optimize your individual posts and pages2.3.1. Set your focus keyphrase(s)2.3.2. Optimize your permalink2.3.3. Optimize your page title2.3.4. Use headings correctly2.3.5. Optimize your meta description2.3.6. Optimize your images and media2.4. Maintain your content quality2.4.1 Keep your content fresh and up to date2.4.2. Update your cornerstone content2.4.3. Keyword cannibalization2.5. Avoid accidental duplicate content2.5.1. What is duplicate content?2.5.2. Solutions for duplicate content2.6. Support international audiences2.7. Add Schema.org structured data3. Optimize your site structure3.1. Organize your site3.2. Connect your content with contextual internal linking3.3. Manage your categories and tags3.4. Manage your archive pages3.4.1. Pagination3.5. Configure your breadcrumbs3.6. Manage your XML sitemaps4. Speed up your WordPress website4.1. Measure your site speed4.2. Improve your site speed5. Secure your WordPress website5.1. Make regular backups5.2. Harden your setup5.3. Use monitoring and logging6. Cater to your mobile visitors6.1. Make sure your theme is mobile-friendly6.1.1. Use a responsive design6.1.2. Prioritize what’s important to mobile users6.2. Consider using AMP7. Analyze and improve your performance7.1. Set up and integrate Google Analytics7.2. Set up your Google Search Console account7.3. Other useful tools8. Promote your site8.1. Encourage engagement8.2. Grow your reach8.3. Build a mailing list8.4. Amplify your content9. Conclusions

You may boost your ranks, increase your number of subscribers or sales, and create a better website by optimizing your site utilizing the strategies and best practices described in this article.

This article covers a lot of area since you should include excellent SEO into every part of your online marketing and PR! It’s a lengthy read, so feel free to skip around using the table of contents below.

Get your basic WordPress SEO right

WordPress is a rather well-optimized content management system right out of the box. Without considerable modification, theme optimization, and plugins, a simple setup can offer a solid base. With WordPress SEO, beginners can get going rather fast. Nevertheless, there are a few things you can do with WordPress SEO to improve your workflow, boost your chances of ranking, and guarantee that your website is fully optimized.

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You can make sure you have a strong foundation to build upon by making the right fundamental settings and using a few easy approaches!

1.1. Check your site health

It is wise to assess your current position before making any site adjustments. By hosting your website on a server with up-to-date software at a web host that provides exceptional speed, you may benefit greatly. So, consider this: What kind of hardware and software are your websites running on. What’s the strategy for hosting? Are you utilizing a low-cost shared host or have you purchased a dedicated hosting package from a reputable web host whose servers have been optimized for WordPress?

To find out what’s going on behind the scenes of your site, you can visit the Site Health section in WordPress. Also, you could choose to install the Health Check plugin. This plugin provides you with a wealth of technical knowledge and enables you to gather data that other parties may utilize to assist you in improving your website. All of the Health Check plugin’s functions will eventually be included into WordPress itself.

1.1.1 Check you’re using suitable hosting

The recommended hosting plan for running WordPress should include a recent version of PHP, MySQL or MariaDB, and HTTPS support, according to the technical requirements page for WordPress. Although it is feasible, it is not advised to use outdated server software. You may view the installation’s technical specifics by checking your site’s health. Additionally, you should be able to check what kind of plan you are on if you access the dashboard for your hosting company. Keep in mind that investing in quality WordPress hosting pays off. One of the most straightforward upgrades you can do is to upgrade your hosting package.

1.1.2. Upgrade to a recent version of PHP

Although the numbers are rapidly declining, many WordPress websites continue to use obsolete versions of PHP. WordPress statistics show that some websites continue to use PHP versions from the five series even though PHP 8.0 and higher have been available for years. These outdated PHP versions no longer get security updates, making them more open to intrusions.

Fortunately, WordPress’s developers no longer support PHP versions prior to 5.6.20. Currently, the project advises using PHP 7.4 or above to operate WordPress.

So, updating your hosting environment to a contemporary version of PHP is one of the most crucial things you can do to enhance the efficiency and security of your site—and subsequently, your WordPress SEO. There are several advantages to this:

  • PHP 7+ offers an incredible speed boost.
  • It runs a lot more efficiently, meaning less stress on your server.
  • Bring loads of modern development features.
  • It’s a much safer and more secure environment.
  • It’s future-proof.

We all desire this right now. You know what your site currently operates on if you looked up your existing hosting configuration in the previous section. Update this if it indicates old server software, such as PHP 5.5. However, before doing so, use extra caution. In particular, if you are a newbie working on your WordPress SEO, ask for assistance if you are unsure of what you are doing.

Here are some steps to take:

  • (Always!) Back up your website.
  • Make a local staging environment based on a modern version of PHP.
  • Install the backup of your site on that server.
  • Test thoroughly to see if everything works properly.
  • Upgrade your live site — most of the time, your hosting provider can do this for you.

1.1.3. Make sure you’re using SSL and HTTPS

In the past, implementing SSL—obtaining an HTTPS URL and a green padlock icon in the browser URL bar—was optional. It may be argued that many websites didn’t require the further protection that SSL offers.

It is now necessary to have a working SSL certificate installed, as search engines may “penalize” sites without them (and/or display warnings next to their search results). Google has acknowledged HTTPS as a ranking factor. Additionally, using SSL on all websites is typically a good idea to stop hackers and other outside parties from intercepting requests and data.

A solid SSL/HTTPS configuration is necessary for many contemporary site speed and performance strategies. Browsers like Google Chrome and Firefox require the website to have a valid SSL certificate in order to take use of faster web standards like HTTP/2 and the impending HTTP/3.

We offer a helpful article with tips & tricks for switching to HTTPS if you wish to shift to SSL and make sure that your site is delivered successfully via HTTPS. WordPress has a simple tool to help with HTTPS detection and migration since version 5.7.

1.2. Check your site settings

Many of the choices in the WordPress Settings menu might affect the SEO of your WordPress site, so it’s worthwhile to take the time to browse through each area.

Check your visibility options under Settings Reading in particular to make sure you aren’t unintentionally blocking search engines from crawling your page. Your exposure and WordPress SEO might suffer as a result.

Additionally, make sure your Writing and Reading settings are configured properly as these determine your homepage’s display options and default categories. In Settings General, don’t forget to give your website a compelling slogan!

Your permalink settings determine the structure of your page and post URLs, which has a big influence on WordPress SEO. Therefore, changing your permalink settings, which are located under Settings Permalinks, should be one of your first priorities when building a new website.

All of your pages and posts will have URLs that look like example.com/?p=123 if you don’t alter your default settings. Although this is totally acceptable, it’s not very pleasant and might affect how consumers and search engines see the value and relevancy of your sites.

The URLs, elements, ordering, and structure of your website are all changed by changing the permalink structure. Therefore, choosing the right format while building your website is crucial since altering it afterwards might have negative effects on SEO.

Depending on how much emphasis they want to place on classifying their material, we often advise customers to choose a structure that generates URLs that look like example.com/post-name/ or example.com/category/post-name/. Both of these selections are ideal for the majority of WordPress sites.

You may choose “Custom Structure” and alter the value to /%category%/%postname%/ to include the category.

WordPress will handle all redirection for you if your previous permalink contained the string?p=postid>. Additionally, if you go from /%postname%/ to /%category%/%postname%/, the same applies.

Consult our article on changing your WordPress permalink structure and the tool you’ll find if you have an established site and decide to switch from any other permalink structure.

1.3.1. Choose WWW or non-WWW

It would be beneficial if you considered what you wanted your website to display as either www.example.com or just example.com. Ensure that the version you wish to display is accurately represented in your general settings, under Settings General:

There isn’t much of a difference from an SEO standpoint either way. In addition, the majority of hosting and server configurations will automatically route requests to the version you have chosen. Which method seems the best for your site, making this essentially a branding issue?

Technically speaking, there isn’t a significant difference either. If the “www” component is omitted, some installations could experience minor difficulties, but these are becoming less common.

2. Optimize your content

The greatest information on your selected subject should be available on your website, according to WordPress SEO. People are searching for interesting, knowledgeable information and reliable solutions to their queries. Writing excellent content for your WordPress website starts with your original thoughts or different perspective on a given subject. But it also entails organizing and making these concepts understandable. You’ll be able to draw in and maintain the audience you want by doing this.

2.1. Research what your users want and need

Consider the search phrases you want to be found for before you start creating your article. The next step is to keyphrase optimize each page and article.

But how do you choose the keyword you want to rank for? You must do keyword research to learn the answer. What terms do I want to rank for? are questions you should be asking yourself throughout this process. Is it possible for me to rank for these terms?

Consider that you run a blog about baking and are enthusiastic about sharing your favorite recipes and baking methods. Because [best cake recipe] is such a broad word, optimizing for it isn’t a practical objective. Such broad words are highly competitive.  Instead, it would help if you thought about finding your niche. This niche could be [healthy, low-sugar cake recipes] or [French patisserie you can make at home].

Focus on search intent

It’s also crucial to consider what your audience hopes to accomplish by typing in a certain phrase. We refer to this as search intent. They could, for instance, be trying to find an answer to a certain query, and you can provide them the details they want. Or they could wish to purchase a specific item that you have to sell. Consider your visitors’ demands and tailor your content to meet their needs.

2.2. Write great content for your users

You need to start writing once you’ve done your keyword research and decided on the subjects you want to write about. That’s generally easier said than done. Most likely, you’ll need to go through a cycle of drafting, writing, editing, and rewriting to transform a concept into a fantastic piece of content.

An outline of your framework may be included in your initial draft. At this stage, you don’t have to write everything out in flawless writing, but you should still adhere to a logical order. The majority of essays will include an introduction, a body with your key claims, and a conclusion. Naturally, this will fluctuate depending on the genre—a recipe will have a totally different structure.

In the writing stage, when you strive to create a first full version of your content, you might further develop the points. In the editing stage, you should assess if your essay is interesting and simple to read. Although your audience is likely not an authority on your issue, you may be (yet). Therefore, make your writing as approachable as you can. Readability is important. Yoast SEO’s readability study aids in writing improvement.

Writing might be challenging for beginners, but assistance is readily available. When in doubt, it’s advisable to seek advice from a friend or coworker. It’s also a good idea to read your content aloud to yourself. Even your computer can say it for you. It will give you a better idea of whether everything flows nicely.

2.3. Optimize your individual posts and pages

You must pay special attention to a few things while creating or modifying an article for your WordPress website in order to make it SEO-friendly. These components, which also include your subheadings, SEO title, and meta description, must all accurately reflect the subject of the particular content.

Remember that being SEO-friendly refers to more than simply how simple it is for a search engine to understand the content of a page. It also implies that your visitors may quickly and easily understand what your page is about.

Whether users click on your page in the search results in the first place may depend on your meta description and SEO title. Subheadings, for example, might be important for visitors to determine whether they want to continue on your website after they have already seen it.

2.3.1. Set your focus keyphrase(s)

A focus keyphrase should never be used on more than one page. This is a crucial requirement. If not, you can find yourself eating yourself. The majority of the time, ranking for numerous sites under the same keyword indicates that you are positioning yourself as a rival.

Important parts of your content, like as the introduction, the subheadings, and the meta description, should all contain the focus keyphrase. These components all serve as indicators of the topic of your post. It makes sense that you should ensure that this topic is reflected in each of these aspects since your focus keyphrase is, in reality, the major topic of your website.

The same reasoning applies to your writing as a whole: be careful not to veer off subject; if you do, your keyphrase should naturally appear several times throughout your article. However, refrain from overusing your keyphrase in your content. It can be a clue that you should approach the subject differently if you find it difficult to use your keyphrase in your text a sufficient number of times.

You can utilize synonyms and related keyphrases to cut down on repetition. Synonyms have the same meaning as your keyphrase or a similar meaning. The terms “film” and “movie” are an illustration of this. If you search for movie, film will also be highlighted in the results, and vice versa, so search engines will realize that they have the same meaning. You may also confirm this by looking at the search results.

To optimize a single page for related, comparable searches, you may also employ related keyphrases. These can be used to set the scene for your keyphrase. For instance, if “pumpkin soup” is one of your keywords, “winter weeknight meals” may be a linked keyword. This second, more general word provides more details about your subject. By generating a connection to related sites on your article, it may help bring consistency to the content.

Your emphasis keyword should typically appear in your post’s URL to make it clear from the link what your page is about. Your permalinks should always be concise, detailed, and clear; avoid using extra words just for the sake of it.

Additionally, you might want to think about deleting “function words” from your URL before publishing new articles or pages. These include letters like “a,” “and,” and “the.” When done correctly, this might make your permalinks easier to use and read. This strategy can be useful for posts with really long names.

2.3.3. Optimize your page title

One of the most important elements for doing well in search results is the title of each page, which is the text included in the HTML title> tag. In addition to serving as the tab’s or browser window’s actual title, it also serves as the first line of the search results. It serves as an advertisement to get people to click by describing what your page is or is about.

The default post and page structures on many websites may not be the best strategy for SEO. The headline “My 20-minute excellent carbonara recipe | My Blog” is more intriguing than “My blog » Cooking » Carbonara recipe.”

You need to consider the organization of your titles as well as their content on each page. Ordinarily, it’s worth considering that:

  • Search engines may put more weight on the early words, so getting your keywords near the start of the title might make you more likely to rank well.
  • People scanning result pages see the early words first. If your keywords are at the start of your listing, your page is more likely to get clicked on.

Remember that if search engines believe they can better explain your content, they may modify elements like SEO titles and meta descriptions.

2.3.4. Use headings correctly

Headings are great for structuring your content and helping readers process information in bite-sized chunks. They can also help describe a page’s layout and focus on search engines.

WordPress transforms the headings you put in your content into their respective HTML tags (<h1><h2><h3> and so on). That makes it important to think about which type of headings you use and in which order. Getting that wrong can make your content harder to understand.

Although most themes for WordPress get the basics right, it’s worth making sure that your template sets your post title is an <h1> tag, and that you’re not using <h1> tags anywhere else on your page or in your post content. Your post content should then ‘flow’ naturally; for example, large, significant headings should use <h2> tags, subsections should use <h3> tags, and then subsequent new sections should use <h2>.

2.3.5. Optimize your meta description

In the search engine results, often beneath your page title, search engines primarily employ a meta description to describe your content. Even if you’re not necessary in the top spot, providing a compelling meta description can persuade consumers to click your search engine results. It’s an advertisement and your chance to make a good impression.

Writing engaging, educational page content descriptions for each page on your website is smart practice and helps you draw in more visitors. Writing descriptions for each page and post may seem like a lot of work, but it’s worthwhile.

If you don’t provide a meta description, the search engine will often attempt to locate the keyword entered on your website, choose a string based on that, and bold the entered phrase on the results page. Google may occasionally create your meta description for you.

2.3.6. Optimize your images and media

The management of your photos, videos, and media content is a sometimes forgotten aspect of WordPress SEO. You should consider how you name and structure your files to make sure that search engines can interpret your photographs. Make careful to optimize each image and choose the appropriate format. Additionally, check to find whether WordPress can support emerging picture formats like WebP. Making your photographs more clear through the use of accessible, descriptive text may greatly enhance your performance. You are also assisting readers who use assistive technology like screen readers as an extra bonus.

2.4. Maintain your content quality

2.4.1 Keep your content fresh and up to date

You should maintain track of your material and update it frequently since you don’t want to present your website visitors with obsolete, redundant, or wrong information. Google works hard to display its users the greatest and most up-to-date information.

This is more difficult said than done if you consistently publish and have hundreds or thousands of blog pieces. In order to avoid term cannibalization, we suggest concentrating on two particular areas for content maintenance: upgrading cornerstone content.

2.4.2. Update your cornerstone content

Your website has some pages that are more crucial than others. Cornerstone content is the most important information on your website. Cornerstone pieces and how they can raise your rankings have been the subject of a lot of our writing.

These articles or pages, in brief:

  • contain essential information for your audience;
  • are complete, up-to-date, and well-written;
  • show authority;
  • get the most links from related posts within your site;
  • rank higher than your other articles on the same topic;
  • get the most organic traffic to your site.

Always give your cornerstone material first priority when deciding where to begin improving your website’s content. They are essential to your company and shouldn’t go stale.

2.4.3. Keyword cannibalization

By writing too many articles for the same or very related keywords, you are essentially cannibalizing your ranks. Search engines are unable to determine which of a dozen articles on the same subject should be ranked first, for instance. You’ll thus have to fight with your content for a top spot in the search results.

2.5. Avoid accidental duplicate content

2.5.1. What is duplicate content?

When search engines come across many URLs with the same or extremely similar information, duplicate content problems occur. The effect is lower ranks since search engines are unable to determine which URLs to rank higher.

In the last section, we discussed term cannibalization brought on by writing about the same subject too frequently. However, the main cause of identical material is frequently technical and can occur without your knowledge. For example, some content management systems provide parameters or session IDs to monitor URLs. Alternatively, you could have indexed both the www and non-www versions of a specific page. Consequently, you will have many URLs displaying the same content.

2.5.2. Solutions for duplicate content

The root of the problem will determine how you should address the duplicate content issue. There are generally three approaches to take, listed in the following order of preference:

  • Whenever possible, avoid creating duplicate content. If your system creates session IDs in the URL, try to turn that off.
  • Can’t avoid creating them? Redirect those URLs with a 301 to the original version.
  • Need to keep a duplicate article? Make sure to add a canonical link to the original version in the <head> section of the duplicate article. It will show search engines what the original version of the article is to pass the link juice on to the original version.

2.6. Support international audiences

You must optimize both your technical setup and your content if you want your site to be accessible to users in different areas or languages. Let’s start by talking about the content-related components of global SEO.

It’s essential to conduct focused keyword research and create original content for each audience. Consider clothes as an example. An American vest is completely different from a vest made in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Spain, etc. We advise against the use of machine translations. To maximize your keywords and text, put time and money into thorough research and translations.

2.7. Add Schema.org structured data

For search engines, structured data functions somewhat like a dictionary. You may quickly make it clear what a certain piece of material is about by expressing it in code. Additionally, you can determine who published it, when, and on which website. Also, you might inform search engines whether this post included recipe, FAQ, or how-to information. Search engines will better comprehend your website as a result. They can utilize this to aid in the rich results your website receives.

3. Optimize your site structure

A well-designed website makes it easier for people and search engines to navigate it. Additionally, it will be evident which pages on your website are the most crucial. A solid site structure is supported by two factors: structuring your website and internal contextual connections.

3.1. Organize your site

You may create a path from your homepage to your posts and pages by organizing your site. The addition of categories and subcategories will arrange the disarray. Your website should ideally be structured as follows:

The ideal site structure should follow a strict hierarchy
The ideal site structure should follow a strict hierarchy


Always make sure it’s easy to browse via your homepage. Your website will be more challenging to navigate if the homepage is cluttered with too many alternatives. Wherever your user is, they may easily browse your site by adding a clear menu and breadcrumbs.

3.2. Connect your content with contextual internal linking

You must link your material inside your prose in addition to arranging your website. Because these connections always exist in the context of a text, we refer to them as contextual internal linking. One of the most crucial elements of WordPress SEO is internal linking.

A network of pages is created by contextual internal connections that direct users to relevant material. For instance, it makes perfect sense to link to an article on SEO copywriting in a piece about keyword research. These links give search engines information about the relationships between pages.

Make sure that a page’s prominence is always reflected in the amount of links that point to it. Many links to our comprehensive guides come from individual postings on relevant subjects. This makes it clearer to visitors and search engines that these guidelines are important foundational pieces of our website.

Make sure the link makes sense within the context of the current page before adding it as a contextual internal link. Use anchor texts that appropriately describe the website you are connecting to at all times as well. This gives users and search engines the background they need to determine whether the link is legitimate.

3.3. Manage your categories and tags

Categories and tags are WordPress’ two built-in content organization tools. Your material is given hierarchy through categories, which also broadly classify subjects. Pasta might be a category on a website dedicated to cookery. Tags, which are not hierarchical, can be used to more fully define your article. Themes for dinner parties, for instance, may be tagged.

Choose a few primary categories while putting up your website’s structure. If you merely have a blog, adding them to your menu may be a smart idea. If you sell many things in addition to a blog, a different approach could be more appropriate. Ensure that the sizes of your categories are nearly the same. Create subcategories if your categories grow to be too large. Your category pages, particularly for e-commerce websites, may make excellent landing pages.

Although they are frequently misused, tags are useful for users who are investigating themes. It’s vital to avoid using tags excessively frequently or more than once or twice. Keep in mind that grouping your stuff is preferable to just describing it.

WordPress also lets you make your own taxonomy if you wish to organize your material differently. Always carefully assess if the way your custom taxonomy arranges material makes sense and is helpful to your users.

3.4. Manage your archive pages

Utilizing tags and categories will cause archive pages to be generated automatically. These pages include a list of the articles and web sites that fall under a given category or tag. Along with categories and tags, there are author archives and date-based archive sites. If you don’t manage these archive sites, they will hurt your SEO.

3.4.1. Pagination

If your WordPress website contains a lot of content, you might want to consider how your pagination seems and functions. Otherwise, consumers and search engines can have trouble finding your finest material since it is “hidden” deep inside your website. It would be beneficial if you also thought about modifying the way your pagination appears and functions to make it more beneficial for consumers and search engines.

3.5. Configure your breadcrumbs

Adding breadcrumbs to your articles and pages is usually a good idea. Breadcrumbs are links that often appear above the post’s title and resemble something like “Home > SEO blog > WordPress SEO.” There are two uses for breadcrumbs:

  • They allow your users to navigate your site easily.
  • They allow search engines to determine the structure of your site more easily.

Backlinks to the homepage and the post’s category should be included in these breadcrumbs. If a post is in more than one category, only one should be chosen.

3.6. Manage your XML sitemaps

To notify Google and the other search engines that your site has been updated, utilize XML sitemaps. WordPress now supports built-in XML sitemaps, however our technique is more effective. Your XML sitemaps are automatically configured by our WordPress SEO plugin, so you don’t need to worry about anything. We create sitemaps for each of your various post formats, including photos, and make sure they load swiftly.

When a post is published, Google only has to request one new XML “sub”-sitemap since we automatically divided your sitemaps into smaller chunks.

4. Speed up your WordPress website

You run the danger of driving visitors away from your website. They are less inclined to interact, browse, buy, or return. They may be less willing to connect to your website, spread your information, or advocate for your company as a result. In essence, speed plays a critical role in both the user experience and WordPress SEO. Therefore, it’s important to monitor and control your performance, especially for consumers with mobile devices or slower connections.

Page performance and user experiences are at the forefront of Google’s Page Experience upgrade. Delivering exceptional performance will become more and more important over time.

4.1. Measure your site speed

It might be difficult to gauge how quickly your site is loading. Different instruments produce varying outcomes and ratings, and occasionally even contradictory data.

4.2. Improve your site speed

Making hosting, theme, plugin, and performance changes to speed things up is the next task after figuring out what and where your bottlenecks are.

Beyond WordPress SEO, page performance optimization is a discipline all on its own. Therefore, the most advantageous chances will differ from one place and scenario to another. For some websites, the quickest gains may come from switching hosting providers or using a CDN; for others, it may include reevaluating their usage of plugins or modifying how CSS and JavaScript are loaded.

5. Secure your WordPress website

The most popular platform for managing websites worldwide is WordPress. It drives about 42% of the web (June 2021). While it is fantastic, it also means that WordPress is the platform that hackers are most interested in attacking. Basic security for WordPress websites is taken care of by the CMS, but you may take steps to make your website more safe on your own.

Your login is where it all begins. Change the username first because admin is WordPress’s default. Otherwise, it would be too simple for a hacker to guess your login. Likewise with your password. Passwords like welcome01 and 123456 are just insufficient. Instead, use a password of 20 characters or more and use a password manager like 1Password or LastPass. WordPress also has several plugins for two-factor verification, so adding that to your website is easy as pie as well. Please do it.

5.1. Make regular backups

The next thing we ask of you is to regularly generate backups. You must immediately undo that update in case your website is compromised or anything else goes wrong, such as when updating a plugin or theme. Regular backups guarantee that this is possible.

There are several backup solutions available with WordPress. You no longer need to deal with the technical headache of that backup because several plugin developers have produced outstanding software solutions for you.

5.2. Harden your setup

The first step in hardening your setup is choosing the best hosting provider for your WordPress website. Every host will try to assist you, but it will be your obligation to harden your setup after that. That’s only the beginning. Additionally, solutions like Cloudflare are helpful allies for any business or website.

Limiting login attempts is a simple first step. You may protect your installation against brute force attacks and other harmful actions that target your login form by restricting the number of times someone can attempt to log in to your website – dismissing your login form after five unsuccessful attempts, for example.

Making sure that your WordPress installation, including plugins and themes, is constantly up to date is the next thing you must do. Updates may also address security problems. Keep your WordPress installation updated by routinely checking for updates.

Another crucial point to understand is that every time you add a new user or writer to your WordPress installation, security issues come up. You should read an article on roles and capabilities in the WordPress Codex. It all boils down to granting permissions only to those who want it, at the moment they request it, and for the duration of that request. No need to let a guest blogger access to your website’s backend, you say?

Your cookies and passwords are secured while being sent between the browser and web server thanks to the cooperation of authentication keys and salts. When setting up a fresh WordPress instance, be careful to swap out these keys.

Make sure that your template files can’t be modified from the WordPress backend as another quick repair that we’d like to highlight. This is possible in Editor under Appearance. This is the simplest way for a hacker to upload harmful code to your website once they’ve gotten past your login form. To harden this, you must modify your wp-config file.

5.3. Use monitoring and logging

The process of security is ongoing. You must keep a close look out for any breaches and maintain the highest level of website security. For example, you may entrust a provider like Sucuri with a portion of your WordPress security. They’ll immediately repair this if there is a hack. With their Sitecheck tool, you may monitor your site on a regular basis. A few plugins, such as WordFence, iThemes, or Sucuri, can assist you in securing your WordPress website by, for example, keeping track of the files on your server. Choose your preferred plugin as long as security is being kept an eye on.

Additionally, keeping tabs on website activity, such as file modifications and logged-in users, might be useful. For such, there are several plugins and solutions available, such as WP Security Audit Log. By keeping track of these details, you may identify any anomalies in your installation and take appropriate action, or you can determine what transpired when a security issue occurred.

6. Cater to your mobile visitors

If you look around, you’ll see that we increasingly browse the web on our mobile devices, even while we’re at home, curled up on the sofa. However, we browse websites, not mobile websites. Consider your desktop and mobile websites as a one entity. As the owner of a website, you must accommodate your users.

The market share for mobile devices surpassed that of desktops a few years ago. You are not optimizing for the majority of your visitors if you solely optimize for desktop users. Of course, because such figures could vary, it relies on your particular specialty. The precise statistics for your website may be seen in Google Analytics.

6.1. Make sure your theme is mobile-friendly

After ensuring that your website loads quickly, check to see if your theme, or rather your website, is mobile-friendly. Making your website mobile-friendly begins with making sure the links are spaced out and the buttons are simple to click. Your photos shouldn’t be excessively large, both in terms of file size and dimensions, and your typeface should be consistent and not too tiny.

Below, we’d like to draw attention to two in particular mobile theme enhancements.

6.1.1. Use a responsive design

Having a responsive design is a given in 2022. The term “responsive design” refers to a website’s layout that changes depending on the visitor’s device and screen size. Use certain CSS media queries to do this. You must consider and plan for certain screen width ranges. WordPress themes are now generally responsive.

You might want to adjust a few things based on the region of the world you are targeting and how quickly their mobile internet is. Consider your website’s image use. Do you use any text modifications or font variations that could impair the mobile website’s superb functionality? You may create a website with greater attention by using responsive design. This leads to the second point.

6.1.2. Prioritize what’s important to mobile users

Step back and consider what your website’s visitors want to do. Focus on the four to six primary tasks that users complete on your website. Give the most important assignment a huge, massive call to action button, if possible.

Here’s an illustration: The two key jobs at a local firm can be phoning you or figuring out how to get there. This implies that you may include them in a special mobile menu, some of which would always be visible. Make sure to concentrate on the chores that will take up the majority of your visitor’s time. How are these top tasks located? Consult your audience! Additionally, look up the most popular pages on your mobile website in Google Analytics. More information about analytics is provided below.

6.2. Consider using AMP

You might provide Accelerated Mobile Pages using WordPress (AMP). Google and other significant publishers launched the AMP project in 2015. By removing some of the design, it enables quick mobile pages. Check out  the official AMP plugin if you want to launch the AMP version of your WordPress website. Following the installation of the plugin, this will add an AMP version of your website.

7. Analyze and improve your performance

A successful SEO campaign depends on both making adjustments and assessing their effects to determine what works and what doesn’t. Google has created two special tools that monitor the performance of your website and point up potential future areas of improvement.

Google Analytics is the first one to use for outcomes analysis. All user data will be saved in your account after Google Analytics is added to your website. For example, you may see how many people visit your pages, how many of them convert, how many people abandon your website right away after seeing a certain page, and much more.

The second tool checks how people find you in search engines and analyzes how well your website performs. That tool is Google Search Console. It’s simple to find areas where you may work on boosting clickthrough rates, content, and/or rankings by exporting and sifting through your search queries and impression data.

7.1. Set up and integrate Google Analytics

You must must establish an account in order to use Google Analytics. To begin, click the “Start Free” button. You must first add an Account Name before you can set up your account. This may be the name of your business. However, we advise using a more general Account Name when you add other websites to your account. Additionally, you may always modify your Account Name at a later time.

It’s time to add a property, or the website you wish to add, after creating your account. Include the URL and the website name. For accurate data collection, be careful to provide the exact URL: http:// or https:// and with or without www.

You have the option to enable some of the data-sharing settings after configuring your property. Each data sharing option allows you to choose what information you want to share and provides a clear explanation.

You’re almost ready to leave now! The tracking code must be added to your website as the final step in linking it to your new Google Analytics account. You’ll see this page with your Google Analytics tracking code on top after successfully registering your account and adding a new property:

This tag needs to be added to your website. The easiest way to do this within WordPress is by installing a Google Analytics plugin such as the MonsterInsights Plugin for WordPress. You may connect to Google Analytics without touching your website’s real code by installing this plugin. Insert your tracking ID, install and activate the plugin, and you’re ready to go! Additionally, you can get data from Analytics and Search Console into your backend by using the Google Site Kit WordPress plugin.

7.2. Set up your Google Search Console account

Google Search Console is the second tool that we believe is crucial to set up. We advise following each step so that you are prepared. These are the actions you must do, in brief:

  • Create or sign in to your Google Search Console account.
  • Click ‘Add a property’ under the search drop-down.
  • Enter your website URL in the box and click ‘Continue’.
  • Verify your website.

After connecting your website to Google Search Console, it will start collecting data about the performance of your website.

7.3. Other useful tools

Of course, there are a ton of additional beneficial tools you can use to learn more about your website and identify SEO chances. Everyone has their preferred tools, therefore it’s crucial to experiment with a variety of tools to see which one best meets your needs.

Both comprehensive SEO tools that provide you with an overall picture of your performance and more detailed tools that provide you with more detailed information are available. Consider tools for site speed, detecting duplicate material, analysis, keyword research, etc.

List of alternatives for Google Analytics and Google Search Console:

  • Microsoft Clarity
  • Microsoft Bing Webmaster Tools
  • Semrush
  • Google Lighthouse
  • Hotjar

8. Promote your site

You spend a lot of time and attention into the content of your website and make sure that people can find it via search engines thanks to WordPress SEO. But there are additional strategies you may use to get readers to your WordPress blog. But how can you attract and build such a following? It won’t work to only create content and publish them; you also need to advertise your website!

8.1. Encourage engagement

Interacting with readers is always enjoyable, but how can you get them interested? We refer to all the various methods that readers can engage with your piece. It could involve making a comment, disseminating it via social media, or engaging with the subject directly.

But how do you engage people? Always feel free to ask them! Engaging writing should be followed with a question to your audience. In order to continue the dialogue and create relationships with your readers, reply to these comments.

WordPress SEO benefits from engagement since it demonstrates that your website is live and active.

8.2. Grow your reach

The greatest strategy to expand and reach your blog’s readership is through social networking. On the social media platforms where your (possible) audience is present, you should be engaged. Several well-known social media platforms include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

8.3. Build a mailing list

It’s frequently a good idea to invest in a newsletter in addition to using social media to advertise your site. Allow folks to subscribe so you may send emails with your newest blog entries and other interesting information.

Make sure to provide a subscription area underneath your content and in other prominent locations on your website. Make sure your newsletter is responsive to mobile devices. But most importantly, make sure your newsletter is actually unique!

8.4. Amplify your content

Because there are so many blog entries written every day, it’s getting more difficult to stand out. There’s a good probability that your articles may get lost in the deluge of content. You must magnify your material if you want it to live up to its full potential.

Your chances of reaching new audiences increase if your material is unique and well-organized. Examine your options for acquiring new viewers outside of your organic audience.

Perhaps running ads on Facebook or Instagram would be a fantastic method to expose your content to new audiences? Examine the channels you currently employ and decide where you can increase your efforts to reach a wider audience.

9. Conclusions

You can perform a lot of things with WordPress SEO for your website after reading this article. It covers a wide range of topics, including conversion, content, discussion, and technical SEO suggestions. But there’s a catch: you’ll need to put in a lot of effort and produce excellent content if you want to rank for highly competitive phrases.

For attention, customers, and sales, you are up against every other website and company. This calls for a lot of effort on your part to maintain the SEO health of your website. Have you recently ignored your SEO? Don’t be alarmed; even the best of us can experience it.

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Kariuki Maina
By Kariuki Maina Kariuki Maina
In a world full of worriers, be the warrior.