‘SEO’ gets chucked around the internet a lot. Mainly by people like us who love it, and want to talk about it. But if it’s no something you’re familiar with, it can feel like a real minefield. In this post, we’re talking about SEO for WordPress websites, but if you don’t have a WordPress website, you can skip to the end – there’s a bit for you, too!
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. This is a fancy way of saying, structuring your website content so that Google (other search engines are available) likes it, and wants to show your website in their search results before everyone else’s.
How do I get my website ranking on Google?
It sounds simple, ‘do what Google wants, and they’ll put you at the top of the rankings’ but in reality, there are hundreds if not thousands of criteria that Google use in order to determine the order that search engine rankings are shown and, because that’s not enough of a challenge, lots of these are a mystery.
The best way to rank on Google, is create and publish great content that people visiting your website are interested in, and make sure that all of your website pages and blog posts adhere to basic SEO principles. You can either spend time that you probably don’t have, finding out what these are, or, if you have a WordPress website like the ones we make, you can download a plugin which clearly tells you which information you need to input.
There are a number of different WordPress plugins you can download and use for this, but we use a brilliant one called Rank Math.
How to use Rank Math SEO to get SEO for WordPress websites
First of all, you’ll need to install and activate the Rank Math plugin from your WordPress dashboard. They’ve got some pretty great instructions here.
Then, when you go to write a blog post, you’ll see this:
In this image, I haven’t written anything yet or created a keyword.
Each and every post and page on your website, should have its own unique keyword in Rank Math. Setting them all as ‘The Best Estate Agent in London’ will, unfortunately, not mean you’re more likely to rank at the top of the pile when someone searches for that. In fact, you’ll get penalised for it and may not even show at all.
For the purposes of this example, I’m going to use ‘SEO’ as my keyword.
Here I’ve added my keyword, and I’ve also added the blog post title at the top of the page: ‘How to get SEO on your WordPress website.’
As you can see, our score is now 48/100. Although it’s still red, so not great, it’s a good start seeing as I haven’t yet added any content.
If we scroll down a bit, we can see that a couple of pointers in our Basic SEO list have now turned green, yay!
Now I’m going to add in the content, which are these words you’re reading right now, and as if by magic:
I’ve not finished writing the post yet, so we’re not yet at 600 words which is the only red point we have left on our basic SEO points, but it will have turned green by the end.
So now we’re going to move on to the ‘additional’ pointers, below the basic ones.
Adding subheadings for SEO
When you write content on the internet, the headings you use are important. If you have any experience with online content already, you may have seen different headings marked as H1, H2, H3, H4 and so forth.
This doesn’t just control the size of your headings to make the page look pretty, it also tells Google how the information on your page is structured.
Your H1 heading is your main post title.
Then you can split long posts into H2 headings, and under each H2 heading, you might have smaller subheadings, like the one above these few paragraphs. That’s a H4 heading, sitting under the H3 heading which is ‘How to use Rank Math SEO to get SEO for WordPress websites’ and the H2 heading is ‘How to get my website ranking on Google’. Genius – we love a bit of organisation here!
You can tell WordPress what kind of heading your text is, by highlighting the text, and selecting your chosen heading from this drop down menu:
Adding image alt text
Now I’m going to add images to my post, the very ones you’ve been looking at. I’ve added a brief description to each image for people using screen readers, and made sure a couple contain my keyword, which tells both the reader and Google, that the image is relevant to the post.
Hey presto, we’re now all green, and our overall score is 83/100
We can look at the pointers and continue tweaking to improve this, but that’s a great SEO score to be working with.
What if I don’t have a WordPress website?
If you don’t have a WordPress website, then an article about SEO for WordPress websites might not seem like it should be useful to you. But hopefully it helps illustrate why having a website built using a platform with flexibility to add plugins like Rank Math, will be of great benefit to you, even if you’re delegating your content creation to a member of staff, or to someone like us! If you have a website built using a custom CMS, it might look good on the outside, but the chances are it’s not going to do you many favours when it comes to being shown on search engines.
And what’s the point of having a gorgeous shop window, when your shop may as well be in the middle of a muddy field, where no-one ever visits?
If you want to learn more about SEO for WordPress websites and how we can help get you noticed, fill in the form below and let’s have a chat!