10-Step Guide To Using Wordpress Software including Creating First Website!
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If you don’t want to run into this problem in the future, then you need to make sure you make your site visible to search engines. When your site is brand new, and you don’t have any content up, then you don’t need to make your website visible to search engines yet.
However, once you’ve added content and you’re ready to receive some traffic, then head on over to Settings > Reading > Search Engine Visibility.
Make sure to untick the box ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this site.’
Here’s a screenshot:
Lastly, don’t forget to hit the ‘Save Changes’ button for your changes to take effect.
There are plenty of XML sitemap plugins available on the WordPress Plugin Directory, including dedicated sitemap plugins. But for starters, I recommend you use Yoast SEO plugin. This is a very powerful plugin and installing it on your website helps get your SEO in order.
To use the XML sitemap feature on Yoast, all you have to do is go to SEO > General > Features, and then scroll down a bit to where it says XML Sitemaps. Click on On to activate this feature.
Here’s a screenshot:
At the bottom of the page, don’t forget to hit the blue ‘Save’ button to save your changes.
If you want to see how your XML sitemap looks, you can click on the link (please refer to screenshot) that says ‘See the XML sitemap.’
Instead of waiting for Google to find your sitemap, which can take a while if your site is new, you can take the proactive route and add your sitemap to the Google Search Console. Doing so allows Google to crawl your web pages and posts. If there are errors in the sitemap, you will know about it right away.
Just by looking at the link, you can already tell what the content of the page is going to be all about, right? Now, how about if your links look something like this:
These links don’t really mean anything, and it’s impossible for you to guess what the content is.
Well, guess what? Google doesn’t like these kinds of links either which is why if you want to optimize your website, then you better make sure you’re using the correct format for your permalinks.
In Guide 3, I already showed you how you to change your permalink settings. To recap, click on Settings > Permalinks, then choose Post name as you can see in the screenshot below:
What’s important to mention here is that once your content is already a few months old, and your pages are already appearing on Google, then you need to be careful when you change your permalink structure.
You’ll need to redirect the old links to the new links so you don’t lose your existing SEO ranking. Redirecting links can get quite complicated, so it may be best if you hire an SEO professional to make sure you don’t destroy your site by accident.