WordPress Basic SEO

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This video is going to cover some of the basics of optimizing your WordPress post for that all-important free search engine traffic.

Now there are a lot of items to deal with in the world of search engine optimization or SEO. And what makes it even more confusing is that the importance of some of these items is going to change. A few years ago, for example, all you needed was a whole bunch of targeted keywords in your site’s head section and in the content area, and boom, you’re on the first page of Google. Well, those days are no more.

But there are some basic steps that you should be taking to help your SEO rankings. And like with many things in WordPress, there’s a plugin that can help us do this. One such plugin is called All in One SEO Pack by Michael Torbert. So let’s go ahead and install and activate this plugin. To do this, we need to log into our Dashboard area. And if you’ve never done this before, it’s super simple. Let’s go on up to the address bar of your browser and enter the URL of your WordPress installation followed by /wp-admin. Hit Enter. And then a box is going to pop up asking you for your username and your password. Put those in, click on Log In, and you’ll be brought to this page. And once you’re here, come over here to the left sidebar and hover over the word ‘Plugins’.

And in the fly-out, click on Add New. Then up here in the Search Plugins box, type in All in One SEO Pack and hit Enter. And it should be one of the first ones to pop up. Go ahead and click on Install Now, and then Activate Plugin. Now as soon as you activate the plugin, you’re going to get this pop-out here. And of course, read these over. But for the most part, you can just dismiss these. And as soon as you activate the plugin, most of the default settings that were done at the point of you activating the plugin are really enough. You’ve really just done a lot more for your search engine optimization than anybody that does not have this type of a plugin installed and activated on their site.

Let’s go ahead and take a look at some of the settings. Now it does appear up at the top on your left sidebar, so we’re going to check out the General Settings. And you get this other fly-out here. You can read that and dismiss it. And I suggest going ahead and signing up for their mailing list, but just coming on down the line here, if you want to learn more about each one of these options, you can just click on the question mark over here on the left, and you’ll get this little drop-down to give you more information. And there are also some clickable links in there as well to learn more. But like I said, most of the default settings are just fine, but I do suggest that you enter a title and a brief description for your homepage. And you have certain limitations here as far as the amount of characters you can use for the title or description.

The keywords, I really won’t worry so much about because they’re not used as much nowadays as they were in days gone by. And having said that, the keyword settings that appear on each of your post editor pages, I myself just disable this because again, they don’t really mean that much anymore. But if you want to go through the trouble of adding keywords, by all means, leave this enabled. Otherwise, you can disable this. And I’ll show you here in just a second where this shows up at on the post pages.

If you scroll down here, the title settings, again, the default settings are just fine. But if you come down here to the Display settings, I like to leave these as is.

But just to point this out, if we were to go into the Post or Pages page where it’s going to display all of the different posts or pages that you have, the All in One SEO Pack adds these different columns. So if you don’t want those columns in there, for some odd reason, then you just untick this box.

Then come on down here to the very bottom and click on Update Options. And just to show you what that looks like, you can see those items have been removed from the Post page. But like I said, I like to leave those on. But at least now you know what those do.

Likewise, with the Display Menu and Admin bar, sometimes that doesn’t work for me. But like I said, I like the default settings. And likewise here, to display menu at the top, it’s checked. If it’s unchecked and you save it, then this is going to appear down at the bottom. But that’s the display

Webmaster verification, I do recommend highly that you put this information in here. And you can learn more about these by clicking on the question mark or the title over here. Having said that though, if there are other plugins installed and activated on your site that already have this information, do not, I repeat, do not put this information in twice. But if you do not have a plugin or have this information installed on your WordPress site anywhere else, by all means, add it. It can only help.

And to generate some additional love from Google, I would suggest checking this information out as well. And by default, or the global settings for these, I would leave these as they are. And I’ll show you how you can adjust that on a post-by-post basis. And any changes you make, just come down here and click on Update Options. And there are some items in the feature manager that you might want to check into as well. Some of these are taken care of by other plugins that you may already have installed. To limit the amount of plugins that you have on your site, I would suggest just checking this out and comparing this to other plugins you may have. If you don’t have any, that handle, XML Sitemaps, go ahead and just click on Activate here. Likewise, with social media, robots.txt, Bad Bot Blocker, and so on. That’s the general settings of the All in One SEO Pack.

Now let’s head on over to a new post and go through the creation process of an optimized post. Of course, you want to put in the title here and the content here. So with the title and the demonstration post in here… And if you scroll on down, you can see that All in One SEO Pack has added this additional module to our post editor page. And this gives us an example of how this post will appear in the SERP, the search engine results page, speaking of which, let me go and show you an example of a search engine’s results page. So if somebody were to do a search for garden tools, this is a typical search engine results page for those keywords.

Not all the time, but sometimes over here on the right, you’ll have some sponsored or some advertisements for that particular keyword likewise along the top. And then you have what’s called organic search results. And this is pretty much what you’re looking for. You’ve got the title, you’ve got the URL, and you’ve got the description. So where does Google or Bing or Yahoo get these? By default, the search engines grab the title of your post from here, the URL from here, and the description from here. So what if the first item in your post is an image? What all the search engines are going to get is maybe some meta information like the size or the dimensions of that image.

Or if you have a title attribute to that image, it might pick that up. Well, you’re not really going to want that. You want to have more control over what the search engines are going to put in the search engine results page.

And that is where All in One SEO Pack comes into play. The title, you can put whatever you want in here to replace this if you don’t want that to be the title on your search engine results page. You’ve got 60 characters to go right here. In the URL, if you have not yet adjusted what’s called the permalinks, if you have not yet adjusted that from the time that you first installed WordPress, now is a good time to do that. Let’s go ahead and come on down to Settings. And in the fly-out, click on Permalinks. And I’m going to open this in a new tab.

And depending upon the installation process you went through on your WordPress site, you may have the day and name as your permalink settings, which is not that bad. But if you’ve got default, which is basically http://example.com/?p=N, where N is the post number, that’s not very user-friendly or search engine friendly, for that matter, because a human being or a search engine will look at this and not have any clue what this is referencing by simply looking at this. Of all of these options, my favorite, or the one I would suggest that you use, is post name. So if you do make any adjustments here in the permalinks, be sure to click on the adjustment you want to make.

Come on down here and click on Save Changes. Now adjusting the permalinks is best done as soon after you install WordPress as possible. If you adjust the permalinks on a seasoned site, one that has a whole bunch of different posts, you might be taking a chance of breaking some of those links or the URLs within your post. So just knowing that, you might want to have a full backup prior to making this adjustment, just in case that happens. Now there are plugins like 301 Redirects that can help fix that problem. So you might want to do a little reading up on that if that’s the case. But again, if it’s a brandnew WordPress site, by all means, come on in here and adjust your permalinks as soon as possible. You can see here the URL or the permalink. Let’s go ahead and refresh this. And you can see here it’s dropped the date part, and now it just has the domain name and the title.

Now if you wanted to have a different title, be sure to type it in here. Again, 60 characters max. And again, as far as the description, you’ve got 160 characters. Make good use of it. That gives you an idea anyway. And I would go as much into the 160 characters as possible. And as I mentioned earlier, keywords here in meta information is not that important anymore, but keywords in the actual content and the title is very important. So make sure that whatever somebody types in here in order to get to your post or your content, you have those keywords ideally in both the title and at least a couple of spots throughout the content of your post. And if you do have images, which I highly suggest that you do, then you might want to go ahead and add the keywords into the title of your images as well. Even the Alternate Text, that’s a good place to put some keywords also. But the keywords down here are not so important. And the No Index and No Follow boxes down here at the bottom, the only time I would check these boxes is if you do not want this content to be seen by the general public. In other words, if you do not want the search engines to index this content, tell them not to by checking these boxes. Otherwise, leave them unchecked.

Come on up here. Click on Update. And your post is now search engine friendly

And that’s going to bring us to the end of this video on optimizing your post for search engine traffic. Thanks for watching and you have a great day.

 

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