WordPress Site Optimization Beyond SEO Plugins

wordpress seo optimization

Before we indulge in the nitty-gritty of SEO Let’s first understand what SEO is. It’s basic terminology. What Google says about SEO  How to do it in a WordPress site with or without plugins.

Let us understand that in today’s world when the technology has become simple and there are various Content Management Softwares available, having a website is not a big deal.

But ranking it on search results is! Have you ever clicked on the 2nd or 3rd page of google search results? Do you remember when you clicked the 5th or 6th shown result even on the first page of google search? 97% of searchers prefer to click on the 1st result.

Adding salt to it. Paid results are shown on the top of the results. So As an SEO expert, you have to fight for what is called “Zeroth Position” We are starting with the basic terminology of SEO.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization.

As the name suggests we have to optimize our sites for search engines. Google having the major shares of the search engine market, we will be discussing more it only.

If you master Google search, the same practices can be followed on other engines like Yahoo, Bing, Baidu, etc. Google takes into consideration more than 200 factors to rank a website. We will discuss a few of them in the latter part of the post.

Spiders – The Internet is a web and robots which crawl the web are called Spiders. Also known as crawlers or Google bots. They are very essential for Google search.

These bots crawl around the web to search for the new information uploaded across the web. After they fetch the new information it can be shown in the search results.

Crawling: The process of roaming around the web by these crawlers to gather new information uploaded on the internet is called crawling. Crawling is very crucial for SEO.

Without crawling, the search result will not appear. That’s why while setting up a blog and writing articles for the first time in the blog it is recommended to crawl them manually.

Indexing: So after the crawling is done it is followed by the process called Indexing. As the name says it indexes the found results into the search pages.

It arranges them in a particular ranking with the help of a sitemap. There are many other concepts but the basic one to start are these three which deal with on-page SEO.  Now before we move up to the difficult part let’s know the easiest way of doing it. You guessed it right. 

SEO of WordPress Sites Through Plugins. 

  1. Sitekit By Google
  2. Yoast SEO
  3. All in One SEO

Sitekit By Google: It’s a newly launched Google’s plugin to put different stats and recommendations under one roof. You just need a WordPress site, a Gmail id, and Sitekit Plugin. It gives you the option to connect

  • Google Search Console
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Adsense and 
  • Google Page speed Insight through a single plugin. Follow the procedure and you are good to go.

Yoast SEO: Most favored and downloaded SEO plugin for WordPress SEO. It also has an academy to teach you the basics of SEO. On installing Yoast you will get a setup wizard of 10 points which will perform the basic function of SEO site setup  Its configuration goes like this

  • Is your site ready to be indexed?
  • What kind of site do you have?
  • Is it you or an organization?
  • To show or not show posts and pages?
  • How many people are publishing content on your pages?
  • Optimizing your page title
  • Boost your SEO efforts even more!
  • Become a pro-Yoast SEO user

(Source:Yoast.com) Yoast also has the option to connect search console, analytics to connect with your blog. It also shows the recommendations of title length, meta description, breadcrumbs.

All in One SEO: With the help of All In One Seo plugin one can easily do the setup of robot.txt files and submit sitemaps. Install All in One SEO  To configure Robot.txt file Open site/wp-admin

  • In Dashboard Open ALL in One Seo
  • In All in One Seo menu Click Feature Manager
  • In Feature Manager click robot.txt
  • Click on Activate
  • Under user agent put Google, yahoo, bing
  • Under rules -Click Allow
  • Under Directory Path put /blog

Click Add rules. To Setup sitemap XML 

  • Open site/wp-admin
  • In Dashboard Open ALL in One Seo
  • In All in One Seo menu Click Feature Manager
  • In Feature, Manager click XML sitemap
  • Click on Activate
  • Make Changes if necessary
  • Click Update Sitemap.

You will get more options under feature manager, just click activate  for features which are required for your website. It is easy to use. So by now, you would have known the basics of SEO and how to set it up with the help of Plugins.

But remember the number of plugins you add the more it will increase the load time of sites, which again is a factor that affects the SEO and ranking of the website in the search result. So if possible then avoid or use minimum plugins.  Let’s take a scenario that we are not allowed to use plugins at all. Now what? 

Is SEO Possible Without Plugins?

Yes! It is. We will follow the guidelines of Google webmaster for SEO and implement it on our WordPress site. It will give the same results even without the plugins. Before Starting SEO just find out, is your site available on Google?

To know that, if your site is let’s say xyz.com, then search for “site:xyz.com” Usually, it takes 24 hrs to crawl and appear in the search results, if your content is not shown on search then probably there is some issue in SEO.

Now let’s start exploring and doing SEO in deep. Google itself says that create a website for users not for search engine bots. “Make your content as if there is no search engine, you have to focus only and only on user experience.”

Apart from technicalities, create content that is unique, engaging, and helpful to site visitors. It adds some value to their time spent on site.  You don’t have to trick google but comply with its guidelines.

Always avoid article spinners, do not follow the false practices of a link exchange, hiding texts, cloaking, Doorway, excessive keyword stuffing, and placing affiliate links without adding more content. Don’t create content with malware.

Some of the Best Practices to Follow in SEO

  • Page titles- they help both bot and users about the page, So create them unique and correctly.
  • Create good titles and snippets for better results.
  • Make use of description meta tag. 
  • Make the titles brief but descriptive. Do not stuff keywords unnecessarily.
  • Add a structured data markup. this will help you to appear in google’s rich snippet results.
  • Optimize Google My Business profile.
  • Organize the site’s URL in the following format- protocol://hostname/path/filename?querystring#fragment
  • Structure the website URL with either “www” or without www, it’s your choice but use only one and redirect another version to primary preference.
  • Define your root pages, home pages, and navigation. Apart from user’s ease Google also wants to know the status of the page in the user journey.
  • Use breadcrumbs – Breadcrumb is the internal links that allow a user to move to the previous /next topic or the root page.
  • Use Pillar content – Pillar content is the central content that can be linked internally to its subtopics as a separate blog.
  • Make the search icon always visible.
  • Create a custom 404 page to make sure the user is not annoyed.
  • Optimize your content and always take the help of Google keyword planner and Question hub to make it better.
  • Though there is no golden rule for the number of words in an article, the longer a content the more a user will spend time reading it spending time on your site, which gives Google a signal about site’s content quality. The content should be interesting, easy flowing and valuable.
  • Write a good text link.
  • Format links in a way that they are easy to recognize.
  • Take care of anchor text while writing your text, it helps in internal linking and better navigation.
  • Link juice matters – So always be careful while linking back. Use “no-follow” and “do-follow” wisely.
  • Use the “alt” attribute for images, crawlers don’t understand images. 
  • Most of the traffic comes from mobile. So make your site mobile-first or better responsive in nature.
  • Make use of AMP and PWA technology.
  • Make use of listing sites.
  • Make social media profiles and share your link. Social media links also come in search results.

Conclusion If you follow these inputs religiously and can perform the SEO without plugins then no need to install any plugin. But if you face the problem by doing on your own, or your developer can’t make it , use Plugins.

That is the beauty of the WordPress ecosystem – you have plugins for every functionality. I hope this article gives you a clear idea of how to perform SEO practice in a WordPress site.

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Reference Source: 

1) Google Webmaster Guidelines https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7451184

2) WordPress SEO Guidelines https://wordpress.org/support/article/search-engine-optimization/