WordPress makes SEO easy, and if you choose a premium framework such as the Genesis Framework it is even easier.
When you log in to your WordPress dashboard you want to click on the ‘Settings’ link on the left-hand column. This will open up the ‘General Settings’ page. From here enter a tagline, or at least remove the default tagline that WordPress puts in there. If you run a flower shop, your tagline could be something like ‘beautiful, affordable flowers’. This may not be a major factor for search engines, but it helps clarify what your website is about.
Still in the ‘Settings’ area, click on ‘Permalinks’. This defines how your website address/URL looks (e.g. www.mywebsitename.com). When you create a new page or post on your website this new page/post has its own unique URL, and by default WordPress assigns it a number, so it would be something like www.mywebsitename.com/?p= 1.
From the permalinks area of your WordPress dashboard you should click the ‘Post name’ option from the permalink list. This now uses your post title (or page title) in your URL. So let’s say you create an ‘About us’ page for your website, the address of this page would be www.mywebsitename.com/about-us. This instinctively makes more sense to your website visitors.
Even better, if you write a post about flower arrangements (sticking with the flower shop example) your post title might be ‘Best way to arrange flowers for a wedding’, so this posts URL would be www.mywebsitename.com/best-way-to-arrange-flowers-for-wedding. Not only does it look better to a website visitor, but it now contains keywords around your shops identity (i.e. flowers). Also, it focuses down on what are known as long-tail keywords, which are keywords people might search for in search engines. So someone might use the words flowers and weddings in their Google search, and while the URL may not be a major factor it does show to Google that your post is probably related to these search terms, and thus it could give you a boost in the search rankings.
You can go one step further and customise your permalink. When you create new post (or edit an old one), enter a title and when the page auto-updates you’ll see a permalink below the title area. The first part is set in stone (i.e. www.mywebsitename.com), but the rest you can modify. As mentioned, if your post title is ‘Best way to arrange flowers for a wedding’ your URL will be www.mywebsitename.com/best-way-to-arrange-flowers-for-wedding. This is a bit long, but you can edit it. It would be better to trim this down to www.mywebsitename.com/best-wedding-flower-arrangements. As mentioned, the URL is likely to play some part (not a major part but some part) in Google’s website ranking calculations, so if someone searches ‘best wedding flowers’ your website already as an advantage of being found.
We’ll talk more about keywords later, but simply they are single words, or phrases that people search for on search engines, and therefore if Google (and other search engines) thinks your website is good and has pages/posts about a specific keyword or phrase, then it will show it in its list of websites. The URL and page/post title are factors that Google looks at to rank websites. Headings within your posts and pages also help search engines decide what your content is about. The Heading 1 tags (H1) are highly recommended, and the next level down Heading 2 tags (H2) are also a good idea. Only use one H1, and this should be your major heading. Quite often WordPress uses your title as your H1.
I mentioned earlier that the Genesis Framework adds even more core SEO tools, accessible via the standard WordPress dashboard. I won’t discuss these in detail here, but you can watch the short video below for more information.
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