In this Post, I’m going to show you how to:
- Optimize your WordPress settings
- Install and setup WordPress plugins for SEO
How To Optimize Your WordPress Settings
Log into your WordPress dashboard and navigate down to the “settings” tab. Within
the settings tab, you’ll see an option for “General” settings. Click on that option and you’ll
see a section asking you for your “site title” and your “tagline.”
Enter your main keyword phrase into the “site title” section. In the “tagline” section
enter your main keyword first followed by a short description of your website. For the site
title, keep the text under 60 characters. For the “tagline” keep the character count under
160 characters. You can use a website like http://www.charactercountonline.com to
count the characters.
I’m going to show you which plugins to install to set your website's “site title” and
description; but sometimes Google will extract your site title and description from this
general settings area. So just in-case, it’s important to set up these general settings
with your keywords as a backup.
By default, the general setting area usually says something like “Just another
WordPress Blog” for the site title. If you don’t change the general settings, Google might
index your website in Google using the phrase “just another WordPress blog.” This
happens to a lot of my clients.
Some of my clients websites get indexed in Google using a title and description that
they don’t recognize. After I log into their website, the problem is with their general
The next settings that you’ll want to check is your permalinks. You’ll find the
“permalinks” option under the settings tab as well. Just click on “settings” and click on the
Select the checkbox next to the option that says “Post name.” This is the best
permalink structure to for SEO.
The default permalink structure doesn’t give search engines information about your
blog posts. The “post name” structure will create permalinks that have the same title as
your blog posts and articles. For example, if I decided to write an article on my website
entitled “How to Blog”:
The default permalink structure will create a link like this: read2learn.net/?
The Post Name permalink structure will create a link this: read2learn.net/how-
WordPress Plugins To Install
- Install the WordPress plugins below to improve your on-page SEO:
- Add Meta Tags
- All In One SEO Pack
- Google XML Sitemaps
- Related Posts Thumbnails
- SSL Insecure Content Fixer (*if you have an SSL certificate installed)
- WP Force SSL (*if you have an SSL certificate installed)
- WP Sitemap Page
- WP Smush
To install these plugins, navigate down the plugins tab, click “Add New”, search for
the recommended plugins, click install, then activate!
we’ll setup is “Add Meta Tags.”
Add Meta Tags
Navigate back over to the settings tab so we can set up these plugins. Under the
“settings” tab, click the link that says “Metadata” which is the Meta Tags plugin.
- Front Page Description
- Front Page Keywords
- Global Keywords
For your front page description, make sure that you enter your most important
keyword phrase first! Search engines give your first keyword phrase more priority than
any other keywords within your site description. Next, you’ll want to use your keyword at
least one more time in the site description.
important keyword phrase first, and then add your other keywords after. Keep in mind
that spammers have abused the “front page keyword” tag, so it doesn’t hold as much
weight as it used too. So don’t waste your time stuffing 100 keywords in this section;
instead just use the ten keywords from your list that you put together earlier.
Leave the “site-wide META tags” option empty. The plugin will handle this feature
automatically. Now scroll down and you’ll see a few “boxes” that you can click. Make sure
that you check the boxes for the following settings if they’re not set already:
- Dublin Core Metadata
- Schema.org Metadata
- Extra SEO Options
Before you click the “save changes” button, you’ll also have the option to click the box
next to the section that says “donations.” By checking that box, the message from the
author at the top of the screen goes away.
Click “save changes.” You’re done with this plugin.
All in One SEO Pack
This plugin is very similar to the Meta Tags plugin. On the top left of your Wordpress
dashboard, click the All in One SEO tab to adjust the general settings. For this plugin,
you’ll need to enter information for:
- Home Title: Enter your most important keyword phrase.
- Home Description: Use the same description as the Meta Tags plugin.
- Home Keywords: Use the same keywords as the Meta Tags plugin.
If you scroll down the page, you’ll see additional options, but you can leave most of
those settings the way they are. There are a few updated settings on this plugin that’ll
make life easier.
For example, you’ll notice that this plugin has a “Webmaster Verification” area
where you can enter your verification code for Google Webmaster Tools , Bing Webmaster
Center, and Pinterest Site Verification.
The Google Webmasters Tool will give you detailed information about your website's
performance. Before the Google Webmasters Tool can give you information about your
website, they’ll give you a verification code to enter on your website to verify your
ownership. The All in One SEO plugin gives you a specific area to enter the verification
code instead of searching through your website's HTML code to find the correct spot.
The All in One SEO plugin also has an area for you to enter your “Google Plus” profile
information, and your Google Analytics ID. Once again, this will make life easier for
you so you don’t have to manually enter HTML code on your website.
Scroll all the way down and click the “Update Options” button to save your settings.
Next I want you to go back to the “settings” tab on your WordPress dashboard. I
mentioned this earlier, but I want to revisit this section.
Click on the “General” option, and in the “Site Title” section, enter the same keyword
phrase that you used for the “site title” on the All In One SEO plugin. For the “Tagline”
section, enter the same paragraph you entered in the “home description” section of the
All in One SEO plugin.
As I mentioned earlier, this will be your backup just in-case Google decides to ignore
your All In One SEO plugin settings and look somewhere else for your site title and
description. Google does this all the time. Sometimes Google will even change your site
title in their search results because they think their version is better.
So keep your site title, homepage description, and keywords exactly the same in the
general settings area, All in One SEO settings, and Add Meta Tags settings. This will
ensure that no matter where Google goes to extract information about your website; it
will be the same every time.
Under the settings tab, click the “CommentLuv” link and make sure that the plugin is
enabled. You don’t really have to change anything else with this plugin. Just scroll down
and click the “save settings” button.
When someone leaves a comment on your blog and enters in their website's URL; this
plugin will display a backlink to that person’s website showing the title to their latest
article. That’s why it’s called “CommentLuv” because you’re showing “LUV” to your
commentators by promoting their blog articles too.
To use this plugin for SEO, reply to all your commentators from the article page and
not from your WordPress dashboard. If you reply to comments from your WordPress
dashboard, then you won’t be able to take advantage of “CommentLuv.” But when you
reply to your comments from the article page, you’ll get to use the CommentLuv feature
You can actually choose which blog post to display under your comments. You’ll have
the option to choose from 10 of your most recent blog posts. That’s perfect because
you can promote a different article for each “reply” that you leave on your blog. This is
good for two reasons:
You’re linking to other articles within your website. (Deep linking)
If people click on your links, they’ll stay on your website longer.
If you can get people to stay on your website longer, Google will rank your website
higher. Google wants to provide their users with quality content, and they’ll assume your
website is good if people click around to read more articles.
Some people prefer to include multiple links to other articles within the body text. I
don’t recommend this for a few reasons:
People get annoyed when their reading an article full of links that link to other articles. (Bad
You’ll overwhelm your readers if you link them to a new article before they’re finished
reading the current article. (Bad user experience.)
Most bloggers unwittingly set their links to open in the same window. (bad user
If you want to link to other articles within your body text, then only add one link per
100 words. Just don’t go overboard and make sure that your links open in a new tab.
Google XML Sitemaps
Under the settings tab, look for the link that says “XML-Sitemap.” This will probably be
the last item within your settings tab. Click the link to go to your Google XML Sitemap
The only thing you need to do with this plugin is click the link that says “Build
sitemap” or “Build my first sitemap.”
This plugin will automatically build a sitemap for you. An xml sitemap will help
search engines find all the pages on your website and index them to Google.
Related Posts Thumbnails
This plugin uses the same concept as CommentLuv. At the end of your article, the
Related Posts Thumbnails plugin will display 3 related posts with a small thumbnail
from the featured image of the articles.
This plugin is designed to keep people on your website and reading more articles. If
you set up unique categories and tags for each article, then you’ll need to set this plugin
The random settings will display related posts randomly. If you set this plugin to only
show related posts based on categories or tags, then this plugin might only show one
related post or nothing at all depending on how you “tag” and categorise your articles.
This is a social sharing plugin that allows people to share your website articles on
Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, and other social media websites. You don’t have to
use this specific plugin, but you need to make sure that you have some type of social
sharing buttons on your website.
Google will notice if your website is being shared through social networks. If people
share your website with friends through social networks, then your website will seem
important to Google and you’ll rank higher.
I personally like Shareaholic because I think it looks cool. After you install this plugin,
just make sure that you activate it, and the default setting will work just fine.
SSL Insecure Content Fixer & WP Force SSL (*if you have an SSL certificate installed)
You only need to activate these plugins for them to work. These plugins will make
sure that your website is directing your visitors to the secure pages (https://).
WP Sitemap Page
An HTML sitemap allows site visitors to easily navigate your website. It’s a bulleted
outline text version of the site navigation. The anchor text displayed in the outline is
linked to the page it references.
Site visitors can go to the sitemap page to locate a topic they are unable to find by
searching the site or navigating through the site menus. Using the sitemap, search
engines become aware of every page on the site, including any URLs that are not
discovered through the normal crawling process used by the search engine.
Sitemaps are helpful if a website has dynamic content, is new and doesn’t have
many links to it, or contains a lot of archived content that is not well-linked.
After you activate this plugin, create a page on your website, name the page
“Sitemap”, and paste this shortcode on the page: [wp_sitemap_page]
Next, publish the page and link to the page on the footer of your homepage.
If you have a website with a lot of images or large images, they can slow down your
website. WP Smush is a plugin that compresses your images as you upload them. If
you’re installing the plugin for the first time, you can use it to compress images that
you’ve already uploaded to your website.
To find WP Smush, click on the “media” tab on your dashboard, and then click on the
“WP Smush” link. You’ll see an option to “bulk smush” all your current uploaded images.
After your images are compressed, this plugin will show you how much your images were
Summary & Action Plan
- Install the WordPress plugins below:
- Add Meta Tags
- All In One SEO Pack
- Google XML Sitemaps
- Related Posts Thumbnails
- SSL Insecure Content Fixer (*if you have an SSL certificate)
- WP Force SSL (*if you have an SSL certificate)
- WP Sitemap Page
- WP Smush
In the next Post, I’ll show you how to optimize your homepage.