WordPress Success Tutorials

10-Step Guide To Using Wordpress Software including Creating First Website!
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» Top 7 Ways To Optimize Your WordPress Website part 2


3. Make sure your site is visible to search engines
Months after you launched your website, well outside the normal Google sandbox period, you start wondering why no one still visits your site. You’ve published highly valuable content, but no one’s reading it.

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.

4. Add a sitemap
Having an XML sitemap is good for your website’s SEO. A sitemap is quite literally a map of all important pages on your website. When search engines crawl your website, they can easily access all the other important pages on your website.

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.

5. Use readable and SEO-friendly permalinks
Readable hyperlinks are those that tell you exactly what the content is all about. For example, if your domain name is yourawesomewebsite.com and you’ve got a post about why SEO is important, then the permalink should be something like this:

Yourawesomewebsite.com/why-SEO-is-important, or

Yourawesomewebsite.com/importance-of-SEO

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:

Yourawesomewebsite.com/archives/12345, or

Yourawesomewebsite.com/?p=12345

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.

Next Article: Top 7 Ways To Optimize Your WordPress Website part 3



 




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