So you're new to WordPress and you want toget more search traffic through SEO.
Well, I've got some good news and some badnews for you.
The bad news is that WordPress alone isn'tgoing to help you rank in Google.
It's just a tool.
But the good news is that WordPress makesit dead simple to implement search engine optimization best practices.
So even if you're a complete beginner, youcan optimize your website for higher Google rankings easily.
And you're about to find out how to do itin this WordPress SEO tutorial.
[music] What's up, guys? Sam Oh here with Ahrefs, the SEO tool thathelps you grow your search traffic, research your competitors and dominate your niche.
Now first, I want to clear up any confusion.
WordPress is a Content Management System that'sbasically the industry standard for bloggers.
But it's developed quite a bit over time whereyou can now create all sorts of websites from e-commerce to forums to essentially whateveryou want.
Now, WordPress SEO is no different than justregular search engine optimization.
So what I'm referring to is using WordPressas a tool to make traditional SEO techniques and strategies easier to implement and technicallysound.
So for the most part, we'll be covering theon-page optimization best practices while other off-page strategies like link buildingwill all be the same whether you use WordPress or anything else.
So let's get to it.
Before we get into the WordPress interface, I just want to make a quick note on theme selection.
Now there are a ton of free and premium templatesyou can get, so here are two things that you should look for.
First, the theme should be mobile responsive.
And this is important because as Google said, mobile-friendly content may perform better for those who are searching on mobile.
And second, you should avoid themes that arebloated with plugins or third-party scripts that you really don't need.
So read through the theme descriptions tosee what's included and you could also run the theme demo URL through page speed toolslike Google's PageSpeed insights, Pingdom or GTmetrix.
Alright, let's move on to some important WordPresssettings.
First, we need to decide whether we want touse just domain.
com or www.
And the reason for this is because Googlewill look at these two pages separately.
Now the good thing about WordPress is thatit'll automatically redirect the other version to the one that you choose.
So, if you have a new website, then it doesn'treally matter which one you select.
But if you've ever used both protocols, oryou have an issue like this website, where you can access the same page from differentURLs then you'll want to see which version has more backlinks pointing at it.
You can check this by using Ahrefs' Site Explorertool.
Just enter your domain, then you'll want totake note of the number of referring domains pointing at your website.
Then take the other version of the URL anddo the same thing.
And in this case, there's a clear winner, but for other sites, where it's not so obvious, you would want to manually do a full backlinkanalysis using the backlinks report.
You can change your URL by clicking on settings.
And then edit both your WordPress AddressURL and Site Address URL.
Now, if you have existing content on yourwebsite and you change your URL, there are issues that can arise so I'd recommendhaving access to a developer you can contact if need be.
Alright, next we want to make sure our permalinksare set up optimally.
So click on “permalinks” under “settings”in the sidebar.
And you can see from the previews that permalinksare basically just the URLs for your posts and pages.
The one that I prefer using is “post name”and that's for two reasons.
People can look at your URL and know immediatelywhat it's about.
So take a look at these links from our blog, and guess what they're about.
It keeps the URL short.
In our on-page SEO study, we found that shortURLs tend to rank better in Google as you can see from this graph.
Now, it's important to note that if you alreadyhave content using a different permalink structure, then changing it to a different option maycause broken pages, which is a bad thing, particularly if you have backlinks pointingat them.
But if you want to set up your structure thisway, then you may need to add redirects, which you can do with a plugin like Redirection.
The other plugin that I highly recommend installingis Yoast SEO.
Now this plugin is the industry standard and shouldwork great for you out of the box.
If your site is new, then you can hover overthe SEO menu in the sidebar, and go to XML sitemaps.
You'll want to make sure that this checkboxis checked and that you generate an XML sitemap which you can submit to search engines likeGoogle and Bing.
As a general rule of thumb, you only wantto include pages that you want Google to find on your website here.
So I've disabled the author sitemap, excludedmedia pages, as well as tags and format pages.
We'll touch on some of the other advancedsettings in the second video from a technical SEO standpoint, which you won't want to missout on.
Alright on to the meat of the tutorial, andthat's the on-page optimization tips you should use for every single piece of content youcreate.
You can create a new piece of content as apost or a page.
And by default, posts are used for your blog.
And pages, on the other hand, are more commonlyused for static pages that don't really change often like your About Us page, Contact page, or Services pages.
So let's create a post.
In terms of SEO, there are 4 main parts here.
The title, URL, body of the content, and yourmeta tags.
And we'll tackle these in this order.
This part here is where you set a title foryour post.
In general, the title that you enter herewill act as your H1 tag from an on-page SEO standpoint.
Now, the main goal of the title is to enticevisitors to click through to your article, while accurately describing what the contenton the page is about.
So you want to create something that's “click-worthy”and not “clickbait.
” The second basic tip is to include your primarykeyword phrase in your title.
For example, if we were writing a post onthe “best nike running shoes, ” then our title might be: “17 Best Nike Running Shoes For Optimal Performanceand Comfort (2018 Guide)” By default, WordPress will change your URLslug to the full name of the post.
But we can edit it and change it to our primarykeyword target, where dashes would replace the spaces.
So I'll change it to best-nike-running-shoesand click ok.
Next is the body.
Since we're talking specifically about WordPressSEO, I want to focus on the editor, rather than on-page ranking factors.
And we have a good video on that, so I'll linkit up in the card and description.
Now, your editor will likely look differentfrom mine, since themes and plugins can add additional features.
The first drop-down is very important becauseit includes text formatting styles.
So you can include H2s, H3s, and other subheadingsinto your post with the click of a mouse.
So in this case, our H1 is the title thatwe already set up here and an H2 would be a sub-heading like Zoom Running Shoes, whichis a brand line.
And if we wanted to include specific modelswithin the Zoom line, then we can create an H3 like Nike Zoom Fly and elaborate on themodel.
Using headings helps create a structure, whichcan help Google better understand your content, and also improves readability for your users.
The other two SEO relevant features are hyperlinksand images.
To create a hyperlink, select the text youwant to create a link from, then click on the link icon, and enter in the URL you wantto link to.
The selected text will then act as what wecall anchor text.
You can click on the gear icon to get moreoptions.
I highly recommend selecting the “Open linkin a new tab” checkbox, which will do exactly what it says when a visitor clicks the link.
This is good for keeping visitors on yoursite, while still being able to direct them to helpful resources.
And the final feature in here is the “Add Media” button.
This is used to insert images into your post.
You can just drag and drop your photos inhere, and WordPress will upload it to your server.
After it's done uploading, I highly recommendfilling in the “Alt Text.
” And this is good to add for a few reasons.
First, it adds more context to the page, tellingGoogle what the image is about and it may be helpful for ranking your images in Google Images.
Second, it's helpful for people who are usingscreen readers, like the visually impaired.
And third, if your image breaks, then thealternative text will show to replace the broken image.
Alright, let's move on to the Yoast SEO settings.
Since we installed the plugin, you'll havea few fields that you can enter in at the bottom of the post or page.
The first part is the title tag.
This is the part that would show up in Google'ssearch results, as well as in the browser tab.
So rather than leaving it as the default, I recommend pasting your title in here.
You'll notice thatit's highlighted in red, which tells us that our title tag is too long.
This will result in truncation in the Googlesearch results, which isn't that appealing, so we can actually alter this without changingthe title of the actual article, or your H1 tag.
So, let's remove the word “optimal, ” clickout of the textbox, and it looks like we're good to go.
Now, we'll want to write a meta description.
And this part is meant to support your titleand further entice someone to click through.
Generally, I don't bother with the focus keyword, as it doesn't do anything aside from giving you some “SEO scores” from Yoast.
So feel free to add it if you'd like, butknow that it doesn't make a difference for your actual search engine optimization efforts.
After you've finished your post, you can publishit and have an “SEO friendly” post done without touching a line of code.
Now, creating a page would be the exact same, but there's one main feature difference worth noting.
Assuming that you have your permalink structureas the “post name, ” both page and post URLs will show up like this.
But with pages, you can actually create themwith different levels, using subfolders.
So let's say that you're a digital marketingagency using WordPress and you have 5 different services.
You do SEO, paid advertising, social mediamarketing, public relations, and email marketing.
Then what you can do is create a serviceslanding page, where you would talk about the different services you provide and naturally, you'd probably add links to your individual services pages.
Now rather than having each service page asdomain.
com/service-name, you can nest them under the “services” subfolder.
So let's do that right now.
You can see that I'm creating a page on SEOservices, so I'll just click on the parent dropdown and choose the “Services” page.
Finally, I'll save our page as a draft.
And now you can see that the URL is accessibleas domain.
WordPress is my favorite CMS to use, simplybecause it makes on-page SEO a cinch, but there's a lot more you can do with it froma technical SEO standpoint.
And that's what we're going to be talkingabout in the next video.
So make sure to like, share, subscribe, andif you have any questions about using WordPress for SEO, then leave a comment, and I'd behappy to jump in.
So keep grinding away and let's get to thesecond tutorial.