WordPress SEO Checklist: What You Should Do To Optimize Your Website for SEO

WordPress has evolved as one of the best CMS offering great user experience. It owns almost 28% of total websites. And, it is anticipated to attain the most astounding score in web development industry.

So, you are ready to leverage the qualities and functionalities of your powerful WordPress website. For sure, you must have added all the functions to it and made it worth using as an ideal business solution.

Let me ask you a question! What have you done to make your WordPress website SEO optimized? We know that at the time of website launch, nobody emphasizes on it. But, this is not the phase to overlook especially, when your business entirely depends on your website.

WordPress SEO checklist
WordPress SEO checklist

Make your mind and try to implement a few WordPress SEO tactics for better outcomes. If you launch your website by keeping SEO factors in mind, believe us, you will never face failure in your venture. SEO is the pathway which if precisely executed can consistently bring quality prospects to the website. Further, it aids a business to establish a renowned digital presence over the web.

No matter, how good or functional your website is. There are still a few aspects that you need to make sure are integrated right. However, WordPress in itself comes with good SEO features, but the integrated ones are not enough to get excellent results. You can make it happen by following the significant steps of WordPress SEO.

Let’s have a brief look at influential WordPress SEO checklist:

Setting Up Google Analytics & Google Search Console

Google analytics quickly generates statistical information about a website and it’s web traffic. It also provides appropriate insights of the traffic sources. It means you can focus more on the regions and try to cover other ones for SEO lucrative results. On the other hand, Google Search Console  works on analyzing the visibility factors and performance of a website. It has various features that find out how a website performs on web browsers. You can also attain the information about the keywords and associated queries to boost ranking of the pages. SEO experts use this tool to grab additional information and check whether there is any negative effect of these on website’s ranking.

If you want us to explain the way of setting up Google Analytics and Google Search Console, here’s the process you can follow:

How to set up Google Analytics?

  • First of all, you need to sign up to Google Analytics. If you have a Google account, it would be easy for you to proceed.
  • For creating a new account on Google Analytics, you will be asked to enter your website or organization name. This step is mandatory to get a unique tracking ID from Google.
  • Post entering the information into the required fields, you will be redirected to the page where you will have to first agree to the Google Analytics Terms of Service.

get google analytics code

  • By doing so, you will be redirected to the page where your website’s Tracking ID, which is a small code is given.
  • Now install the plugin Insert Headers and Footers. Then go to Settings → Insert Headers and Footers and paste the code given by Google Analytics.

You can verify the code is added to your website by viewing the page source. In the below image, you can have a look at the small script code of Tracking ID:

insert google analytics code

How to set up Google Search Console?

Now, it’s time to set up a Google search console for your website.

  • For this, you need to create a new account on Google Search Console. To proceed it, we can use the same email id that we used at the time of Google Analytics account creation.
  • In the next phase, you need to put your website URL under the “Add Property” Here, we only need to verify our website is already registered in Google Analytics and the Tracking ID has also been put between the website’s head tag.

add a website to google search console

  • You can find the site verification code under the alternate method section of analytics function.

verify ownership

If you want to register your website with Google Analytics and Google Search Console, these are the easiest and simplest ways to follow.

Set 301 redirects to old pages

It is common to change the domain of the website and modifications in certain age URLs. But, it shouldn’t affect your ranking factors. The best way to maintain the previous rank with the new domain is to set 301 redirects which let users know that they can still reap the benefits of previous website’s information. This 301 redirect ensures that the database, information and each aspect will remain intact even after the modification made in page URLs or website domain.

There is a systematic method for setting up 301 redirects for a particular WordPress website. Let’s have a look along:

In WordPress, it’s very easy to integrate 301 redirects with the help of 301 redirects plugin. This is the plugin which lets you conveniently add 301 redirects.

  • Firstly, install the WordPress simple 301 redirects plugin from the repository directory.
  • After plugin activation, go to the Settings → 301 Redirects page.
  • Here, you will find two clear boxes where you need to put OLD URL in the Request box and the New URL to the Destination box.
  • Now, click save changes. Doing this will automatically add a 301 redirects type for your given URLs.

set 301 redirects

Appropriately place keywords, titles and descriptions

Creating meta tags for a page or website is considered crucial for executing astute SEO. These tags are a great way for a webmaster to provide most sorted information about their websites. Sometimes, the tags prove useful for offering the information to all sorts of webmasters. It works by sustaining the consistency in each page so that all the search engines could index the websites correctly. It’s easy to create and run meta tags for a website. Apart from doing it manually, you can also do it by using the Yoast SEO Plugin.

Here is the result how the meta tags are displayed in the page source code:

adding meta tags

Page URLs should be structured

Page URLs can be referred as permalinks. These are the specific links that users enter to make searches for the elements. Just after entering the URLs, search engine finds out the best link and display it to the users’ screen. Hence, it is clear that the more you optimize your page URLs, the quicker your pages get displayed to meet the search results. This phase can be handled at the time of website set up so that no re-work is needed to optimize the links.

Go to Settings → Permalink and setup the permalink structure to %postname% as follows:

setup permalinks in WordPress

Proper image optimization

Images that are defining the purpose along with creative information are more likely to be on top searches. Everyone needs to get this done. And for that, it’s essential that you keenly optimize all your images by setting and linking specific image URLs to them. This is the best SEO practice webmasters mostly apply to make their campaigns successful. To apply this technique, you need to give your images the unique naming conventions. It would be an added advantage if your images are having the relevant page content. Users may get the links of these images by entering the best-searched keywords for something. If your optimized image appears in the top 10, you can expect much more praise for your business offerings.

We have written a detailed guide on image optimization in WordPress, please read it to know how to do that.

Check broken links

Links are the backbone of a website, thus need to be maintained with care. There are many online tools that let you create relevant and accurate links as per tailored needs of clients. If you take this practice in use, you will have the option to create URLs that are relevant to your web pages. There are various broken links checking tools over the web, you can start checking your website’s dead links with brokenlinkcheck.com or deadlinkchecker.com. Using the reliable tool, you can also check the broken or dead links that restrict the traffic from diverting to your website. It’s not that you can only link your pages to the images, rather you can link another relevant post to the images or on a single page. The tool will also work for checking these links too.

check broken links

Set up XML Sitemap for better insights

XML Sitemaps are the structure which let the search engines understand the page framework and information. By creating the XML Sitemap of your website you will be able to tell all the search engines including Google that your website has been updated. The Yoast SEO plugin has come up with an XML Sitemap module which needs to be enabled in settings.

The steps are: go to SEO → General and enable the XML sitemap module if that is not already on.

Ending Note:

The above-mentioned 7 tricks may seem daunting to you but provide exceptional results in terms of high website rank. You must have heard of most of the hacks and undoubtedly might have implemented them. Then it’s not necessary to bring the results in front of you. Following this SEO checklist while initiating and developing a WordPress project can help your website achieve immense success and visitors reach.

Author Bio

Tom Hardy has hands on experience as an SEO Expert. He currently works at Sparx IT Solutions: SEO Services Provider and offers exceptional SEO auditing services to the global clientele. Also, he writes informative blogs and articles on varied SEO related subjects and helps readers know the best tips how to optimize a website over the web using SEO tools and techniques.


Also published on Medium.

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