The Ultimate Guide to WordPress SEO

The Ultimate Guide to WordPress SEO
The Ultimate Guide to WordPress SEO

Improving SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is crucial to get more traffic, however, most SEO guides are too technical for newbies. In this article, we'll share key WordPress SEO tips to help you improve your search rankings and get more natural traffic.

You may have heard that WordPress itself offers good support for SEO, and as a result, many people (including our Top 10 reviews) choose WordPress to create blogs and other websites. That said, there's a lot more you can do if you want to maximize your SEO results.

For simplicity, we have created a directory to easily navigate the final WordPress SEO tutorial at

1. Introduction

  1. What is SEO
  2. Why SEO is important
  3. 2. WordPress SEO basics
  4. Check the visibility settings of the website
  5. Use SEO friendly URL structure
  6. WWW vs. non-WWW
  7. 3. the best WordPress SEO plugins
  8. Choose the best SEO plugin
  9. Add XML site map
  10. Submit your website to Google Search Console
  11. Optimize blog posts
  12. Keyword Research
  13. 4. WordPress SEO Best Practices
  14. Correct use of categories and labels
  15. Add internal links
  16. Optimize website comments
  17. Add NoFollow attribute to outbound links
  18. Full article vs. summary
  19. 5. Speed and security
  20. Optimize the speed and performance of your website
  21. Optimize images
  22. Security
  23. Using SSL/HTTPS
  24. Introduction

The idea of targeting WordPress for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can be intimidating for beginners, especially if you don't have any skills or experience. But don't worry, this operation is not complicated, start with this article to learn the basics and then apply it to your own website.

What is SEO

The full name is Search Engine Optimization, which is a strategy used to get better search result ranking in search engines.

SEO is not about cheating or cheating, it is simply about creating web pages with optimized content and formatting so that search engines can identify and index them more easily. When people search for relevant topics on the web, well-optimized web pages will rank higher in the search results, thus attracting more people to click on them.

Why SEO is important

Search engines are usually the largest source of traffic to most websites.

Google and other search engines use advanced algorithms to properly understand and rank pages on the Internet. However, these algorithms are not perfect, and they still need your help to better understand your content.

If your content is not optimized, search engines will have no idea how to rank it. When people search for related topics, your site will likely not appear in the search results, which can cause you to miss out on countless valuable traffic.

  1. WordPress SEO basics

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can be related to technology, but it is not necessary. Just learning some basic techniques that can be used to optimize your website can significantly increase search engine traffic.

Check the visibility settings of the website

WordPress comes with a built-in option to hide your site from search engines, the purpose of this option is to give you time to design your site before it is made public, but sometimes the option can be checked by accident and this can prevent search engines from indexing your site. So, if your site does not appear in the search results, the first thing you need to do is to check if this option is checked.

Simply log into your WordPress dashboard and go to Settings → Reading menu and make sure the box next to Suggest search engines not to index this site is unchecked:.

Don't forget to click the Save Changes button.

Use SEO friendly URL structure

SEO-friendly URLs contain words that clearly explain the content of the page, making it easier for both search engines and users to understand. Here are some examples of good URLs.

  4. Note that all of the above URLs are easy to read, and users can guess what the corresponding page will probably be about simply by looking at the URL text. So, what does an SEO-unfriendly URL look like? As shown below.
  7. These URLs use numbers that are not related to the content, and by simply looking at the URL, the user cannot guess what content will be included on the page.
  8. Using an SEO-friendly permalink structure will help improve your chances of ranking better in search results. For WordPress sites, simply visit the Settings → Fixed Links menu, select the Post Name option, and then click the Save Changes button to store your settings at
  9. Note: If your site has been up and running for more than 6 months, then please do not change the structure of the fixed links unless you are using the plain or numeric type option. If you are using the date and name type or month and name type, go ahead and use it.
  10. If you change the permanent link structure that has been established on your website, you will lose all social media share counts and risk losing your existing SEO rankings. If permanent links must be changed, consult or hire a professional in order to set up the proper 301 redirects, however, you will still lose social share counts.

WWW vs. non-WWW

If you are just starting a website, you will need to select whether the website link will use www or non-www, i.e.

  3. Search engines see them as two different sites, so you need to choose one and stick to it. Visit the Settings → General menu to set your preferred link to.
  4. Regardless of what others may say, from an SEO perspective, the use of www or not has no impact.
  5. the best WordPress SEO plugins

One of the biggest advantages about WordPress is that there are plugins for almost every feature you can think of, and SEO is no exception. However, there are a large number of SEO plugins on the market, which makes it difficult for beginners to make the right choice.

No need to install separate plugins for each SEO task, we'll help you choose an option that does it all, and it's 100% free.

Choose the best SEO plugin

When choosing the best SEO plugin, you will most likely narrow down your choices to two of the most popular solutions: Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack. in this article, we will use Yoast SEO to explain.

  1. The best WordPress SEO plugins recommended

Add XML site map

An XML sitemap is a specially formatted file that lists every page of a website, which makes it easy for search engines to find all the content.

If you use the Yoast SEO plugin, it will automatically create an XML sitemap for you. To find your map, simply go to the following URL (don't forget to replace with your own domain name).


Submit your website to Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free set of tools provided by Google for webmasters in order to give you an idea of how search engines view website content.

This tool will provide reports and data to help you understand how pages are displayed in the search results. You will also see the actual search terms that people use to find, how each page ranks in the search results, and how often the page is clicked on. All of this information can help you understand what content is working on your site, and then you can develop a content strategy accordingly.

Google Search Console will send you email alerts when your website has problems, such as search tools failing to crawl, duplicate page content, limited resources, and other abnormalities. After adding your website to this platform, please click on Sitemap from the left menu and paste the last part of the Sitemap URL as follows.

Click the Submit button to save your changes.

After successfully adding a sitemap, the initial status will show as pending and Google will need some time to crawl your site. Wait a few hours and you will be able to see some statistics about the site, including the total number of links, the number of links indexed, the ratio of images to pages, etc. We recommend that you check Search Console at least once a month to gather data and see the progress of your site's SEO.

Optimize blog posts

Often, beginners mistakenly believe that installing and activating SEO plugins is enough. However, SEO is an ongoing process that must be persevered with if you want to see the best results.

All top SEO plugins allow you to add titles, descriptions and keywords to each post and page, and will also display a preview of the content users will see when they visit the site. We recommend optimizing titles and descriptions to get maximum clicks. When writing a blog post, simply scroll down to the SEO section and take full advantage of.

Keyword Research

Many beginners will do their best to guess what topics people are looking for and what content they should add to their blogs and websites. But it's like feeling your way across the river, and you don't need to do that when you can use real data to figure out what people are looking for.

Keyword research is a technique used by content creators and SEO experts to discover what content, products and services users are looking for in search engines, and then, you can use such phrases and phrases in your own website to get more search traffic. As of today, there are a large number of SEO tools available on the market, and we've sifted through some of the best options, almost all of which can help you discover keywords and even find out what keywords your competitors are ranking for.

  1. The best Google SEO tools recommended
  2. WordPress SEO Best Practices

If you follow the basics of WordPress SEO and use the best SEO plugins, then you are already ahead of most websites. However, to get better results and more traffic, you also have to follow the following best practices.

Correct use of categories and labels

WordPress allows you to categorize your posts by categories (taxonomies) and tags to better organize the structure of your website and also to make it easy for users to find the content they need. In addition, categories and tags can help search engines understand your site structure and content.

Categories are used to group posts on a large scale, if your blog was a book, the categories would be the table of contents in it. For example, on a personal blog you can have categories like music, food, travel, etc. Categories can be hierarchically structured so that sub-categories can be added to them.

On the other hand, tags are keywords that describe the content of individual articles more specifically. For example, articles submitted under the food category can have tags such as salad, breakfast, pancakes, etc. You can think of them as indexed sections in a textbook.

By using categories and tags correctly, users will be able to navigate your site more easily. Since it is easy for the user, search engines will also be able to index your site better.

Add internal links

Search engines assign a score (page weight) to each page on your site, and the calculation of this score is confidential, so we basically cannot interfere with the results, but the most common signal of empowerment is a link, so it is important to link to your own content from other blog posts and pages.

You should make it a habit to link your multiple articles together whenever possible. If you have multiple authors or editors on your site, create a checklist of articles to be published and ask them to link to at least 3 other pages. This will help you increase page views, increase the amount of time users spend on your site, and ultimately improve the SEO score of your articles and pages.

Optimize website comments

Comments can be a good indication of how engaged users are on the site, and dedicated users mean more backlinks, more traffic and better SEO. however, you need to make sure the comments are genuine and error-free, and spammers submit comments using incorrect links, which can negatively affect your search rankings.

To solve this problem, we recommend using Akismet Anti-Spam, one of the two plugins pre-installed on all WordPress sites (the other one is called Hello Dolly and can be simply removed), which can help you filter spam comments effectively. If Akismet alone can't handle it, you can also install the best security plugins for better protection against cyber attacks.

When your site attracts a lot of genuine, watertight comments, you should be pumped up about having such an engaging site! However, too many comments can slow down page loading, which can also affect search result rankings. For this reason, you can paginate your comments.

Add NoFollow attribute to outbound links

As mentioned above, links help search engines determine which pages are important. When you link to another site, it is equivalent to passing the SEO score of the current page to that outbound link. In order to get good search rankings, you need to make sure you get more external link scores from other sites than you give out.

Adding the nofollow attribute to outbound links is equivalent to telling search engines not to pass page weight to them, which can help you save on link scores.

  1. Common outbound links: Example site
  2. Outbound links with nofollow attribute: Example site
  3. By default, WordPress does not add the nofollow attribute to incoming links, however, you can do this by manually modifying the links. Simply select the block containing the link in the editor and click on the 3 vertical dots icon on the top bar, this will open a menu, click as the HTML edit option at.
  4. Now, you will see the HTML code for the link, go ahead and add the rel="nofollow" attribute to the link element.
  5. If you see the rel="noopener noreferrer" attribute in the HTML code, add a space after the noreferrer and then add the nofollow.

Full article vs. summary

WordPress displays and links to your posts on many pages, such as the home page, category archives, tag archives, date archives, author pages, and so on. By default, all of these pages display the full post content, which can negatively impact SEO because search engines think there is duplicate content everywhere.

Full article content can slow down the loading of archived pages. In addition, displaying full articles everywhere can affect your page views; for example, RSS subscribers will be able to view full articles in an RSS reader without having to visit your site.

The easiest way to solve this problem is to display a summary instead of the full text. You can do this by going to the Settings → Reading menu and selecting Summary:.

  1. Speed and security

Even if you follow all of the above SEO tips and best practices, your website's search result rankings can take a big hit if it is running slowly or has been hacked. For this reason, we've summarized some effective ways to prevent your site from losing search engine traffic due to degraded performance or lax security.

Optimize the speed and performance of your website

Studies show that in the Internet age, the average human attention span is getting shorter and shorter. Web usability experts believe that within seconds of visiting a website, users can decide whether to stay or leave.

This means that as a website owner, you only have a few seconds to present content and engage users. You certainly don't want to waste valuable time by making visitors wait for slow pages to load. And, search engines like Google give better rankings to faster websites.

Optimize images

Images are more appealing than text, but they also take more time to load, and if you're negligent about image size and quality, the site is likely to get slower and slower.

You need to make sure you use optimized images, see this guide on how to speed up WordPress by optimizing images. in addition, another tip is to use descriptive titles and alt tags (alternative text), which helps search engines understand the meaning of the images and also helps users with visual impairments, as screen readers can read alternative text to them.

If you are a photographer or need to add a large number of images to your WordPress site, you need to use the Portfolio plugin. During our speed tests, Envira Gallery was the fastest WordPress portfolio plugin out of the box, with a fully responsive design and great SEO support.

  1. The best WordPress portfolio plugins recommended


Each week, Google will blacklist about 20,000 websites for malware and list about 50,000 websites for phishing. After this, all these sites will not show up in any search results. This means that the security of your WordPress site is crucial to ranking well, and all your hard work on SEO can go down the drain if the site is hacked.

The good news is that protecting your WordPress site is not difficult, see the step-by-step instructions in our WordPress Security Guide. At Ten Best Reviews, we use Sucuri to protect websites from cyber attacks, to see why we recommend this service, check out this review.

  1. The best WordPress security plugins recommended


SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a technology that encrypts the network connection between the browser and the server, which can add an extra layer of security to your WordPress website. Sites protected with SSL will be indicated by a padlock symbol in your browser's address bar, which makes your site more trustworthy and is a necessity if you are running an online store and handling sensitive payment information.

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