Where is SEO the title in WordPress

WordPress SEO - This is how Google will love your WordPress

The times when WordPress was used exclusively for blogs are long gone - 37% of all websites use this CMS for their online presence. Larger websites, companies and online shops are already relying on the CMS, which is also available in the free version. It is all the more important to know and use the basics and SEO-relevant aspects. With the help of this article you will get valuable tips at hand to improve the placement of your content within the Google search results step by step.

As with all other CMS, it is important for WordPress to identify the relevant keywords for your pages. You can read through these basics in detail in other posts, for example how to carry out a detailed keyword analysis, the subsequent keyword strategy and the creation of high-quality content. Helpful articles for this are:

In this article we want to focus on the initial basic settings of WordPress.

Privacy settings in WordPress

The most important and first step in your WordPress search engine optimization is that you first make sure during the installation that you make your WordPress site visible to search engines. From the setting "Search Engine Visibility" depends on whether they crawl your website at all and include it in the index - i.e. whether your website can be found by search engines. If you have already installed WordPress, you will find the setting within the CMS under Settings - reading. First of all, you should check whether the check mark next to "prevent search engines from indexing this website" is set. If so, your first to do is to uncheck this box and save your changes.

illustration 1: Activate search engine visibility in WordPress

WordPress url structure: setting & optimization

You should strive for a speaking URL not only from an SEO point of view - these URLs are also relevant for the user, because he can memorize a speaking URL more easily than one made up of characters and numbers or IDs.

Standard URL for WordPress: www.meinedomain.de/?p=123

Speaking URL on WordPress: www.meinedomain.de/seo-fuer-wordpress

Both urls point to the same article: the first url is a standard url in WordPress, the second a custom / speaking url.

In WordPress you can easily switch from the standard URL to the custom URL: Under Settings - Permalinks you can find out the current status of the settings very quickly.

Figure 2: Conversion to custom URLs in WordPress

If the first point is selected by default, as in this example, you should think about how you want to design your URL structure in the future. If you also want to update a URL from time to time, it is advisable to include the post or page name in the URL. After making your selection, you should save the changes.

When creating a new page or a post, you then have the option of assigning a speaking URL. By default, WordPress sets the title as a URL. With a click on the "Edit" button next to the URL, however, you can still make settings yourself:

Figure 3: Change the URL of a post or a page in WordPress

In most cases it makes sense to use the title for the URL - after all, in the best case you have already made sure to integrate the primary keyword. For example, the URL for an article with the title "The 10 best SEO plugins for WordPress" / wordpress-seo-plugins be.

Make sure that you keep your URL short and crisp: You can safely do without filler words such as “with”, “and”, “or”, “for” as well as adjectives etc. Furthermore, you should use lowercase letters, avoid umlauts (convert these into their description: ä> ae) and spaces with a hyphen (Attention: do not underscore!) replace. If you follow these “rules”, your URL will be displayed in full in the SERPs and will have a positive effect on the click rate.

Warning: If you want to change one of your URLs in WordPress afterwards - be it because you are optimizing them for keywords or shortening them - remember that search engines and website visitors are already familiar with the old version of this page. It is therefore essential to set up a 301 redirect from the old to the new URL. Otherwise, when the old URL is called up (Google has already indexed it and internal and external links have also been entered there), a page with status code 404 will appear. This is not only bad from a user experience point of view, the Googlebot also enters here Nothing. In order to be able to set up redirects for your CMS, you need a plugin. For example, you can use the free plug-in Simple 301 Redirects. After the installation you will find the function under Settings - Set up 301 redirects.

Sensible use of H tags

Headings are marked with so-called H tags in the HTML code. WordPress does this by itself by automatically adding an H1 tag to the title of a page or a post. So you should think carefully about how you call the respective title and - as already mentioned - try to include the primary keyword in it.

Structure the page or article additionally and as best as possible with additional headings. You can use Heading 2 (H2 Tag) and Heading 3 (H3 Tag) for this:

Figure 4: Choice of headings

The H1 tag should only appear once on each page. An article has only one topic and therefore only one main heading. Therefore, heading 1 should no longer be used in the running text. On the other hand, you can use H2 and H3 tags more often - but you should not use them too inflationarily. After all, you want users to read your content - if you have a lot to say about an area and there is a lot of text on a URL, you could consider whether it would be worthwhile to create a separate URL for this area. But that is ultimately your decision, and it always depends on what kind of side it is.

Use of categories and tags for SEO

The use of categories and tags has great potential for search engine optimization, which is often not used at all.

Every well-structured WordPress blog consists of different categories in order to better cluster articles. In addition, as a website operator, you can add several tags to the various posts in order to be able to find them under a related keyword. If you use categories and tags sensibly, you can also use the resulting landing pages - these then have changing, current and growing content and are therefore often displayed by Google in the SERPs. However, you should make sure to only assign meaningful categories and tags. Accordingly, the alignment must not overlap and should always be understood as a bundling of articles.

Theoretically, that sounds good, but in practice the pages usually lack the basics of SEO such as unique content and well-optimized meta tags. So the challenge is that you enrich category and tag pages with additional content and ultimately create added value with these independent URLs and not duplicate content for users and search engines. With the help of the plugin Rich Text Tags you can enrich categories and tags with unique content. An example: You can fill a category page "Holidays in Bavaria", in which all related articles such as "Top 10 sights in Munich" are bundled with unique content and thus increase the value of this page compared to Google.

Figure 5: Create or edit categories in WordPress.

You can maintain the title and description of category and tag pages with the help of the Yoast SEO plugin. This plugin will be discussed in more detail later in this article.

Use rich snippets for WordPress websites

Rich snippets offer a good opportunity to visually stand out from the competition directly in the search results, for example with rating asterisks or recipe images. In order to be displayed with Rich Snippets in Google Search, you have to use markups with the help of schema.org. This supports you within WordPress Plugin All in One Schema.org Rich Snippets. After the installation you will find the Configure rich snippet box - there you can select the snippet type and add information.

Figure 6: Configure rich snippets in WordPress.

For example, if you select "Recipe" for a recipe, you can add information to the existing recipe that Google understands. With the award, the results are then rewarded with the recipe photo or information within the search results.

Figure 7: Recipe with photo & rating through rich snippet awards in search results.

Optimization of images in WordPress

Images add value to the content of your website. In addition, visitors can be acquired with images via the Google image search. However, according to the current status, Google cannot yet fully interpret an image. For this reason, there are three things that you should definitely consider from an SEO point of view when optimizing the images:

1. Images should always have a descriptive file name. This file name can be found in the URL of the image and is read out accordingly by Google. Tip: Connect individual words with hyphens here as well.

2. You should also maintain the alternative text (alt tag) when uploading the image. With the help of this information, Google understands what information the image has ready for the user.

3. Make sure that your image files are not too large, because this affects the loading time of your website on the one hand and ultimately your SEO performance on the other. But you can find out more about this below in the article.

In WordPress you can adjust the alt tag either directly when uploading an image or within the media library (menu item: Media) by clicking on the respective image. In addition to the alternative text, you can also maintain the title there. This appears when a visitor moves the mouse over the image. Under URL or file name you can also make sure that the keyword is included in the file name of the image.

Figure 8: Add alternative texts to images

Of course, the dimensions and file size of your images are also important - you can also find this information in the file attachment detail window. Here you can also see what type of file the respective image is about.

Plugin tip for WordPress images: It is not uncommon for several people or different employees to work on the same website. In this case it is often difficult to be able to guarantee that every employee maintains the alternative texts of the pictures. This is what the plugin is for SEO Friendly Images to recommend. This plugin assigns an automatic alt and title tag for all images. The rules for the automatism can of course be defined in advance. The automated alt and title tag can also be manually overwritten at any time.

You can find more tips in terms of image optimization for websites in our magazine article: Image SEO: How can you insert your images with HTML to create relevance for SEO?

Use the Yoast SEO plugin

For WordPress there are some plugins on the topic of SEO that can support you in your daily work. One of the most popular all-in-one SEO plugins for WordPress is Yoast SEO. The basic version of this plugin is free and combines many of the setting options that you need for good OnPage SEO.

After successful installation, the plugin appears in the WordPress sidebar with the title "SEO". If you open the menu, 8 different submenus appear, in each of which different settings can be made:

Dashboard - Here you have the opportunity to start the introductory tour, understand the latest changes and restore the default settings. However, information about yourself or the company can also be inserted, which is later output as semantic information for Google. You also have the option of registering your own website with all webmaster tools.

Title & Metas - As the name suggests, everything here revolves around the title tag and various meta tags. Title and description can be created automatically and indexing rules can be set here. Thus, all sub-pages automatically receive a unique title and description without much maintenance effort and you can specifically keep content away from the indexing within the search engine.

Social - Here you can make the settings that influence the appearance of the articles in social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus) and link social profiles directly with the website.

XML sitemaps - With the help of this menu it is possible to create an XML sitemap and to exclude certain content areas or individual articles. The XML sitemap lists all pages in a so-called XML file format. This enables search engines to identify the complete page structure as well as all sub-pages and thus also include them in the index.

Extended - Here you have the opportunity to make further settings for URL naming. A breadcrumb navigation can also be activated. The breadcrumb navigation (in German: breadcrumbs) shows the user the current path of the page above the articles or pages. It can help you to make your search results look more attractive and thus be clicked more often.

Tools - Yoast offers four different tools that allow you, for example, to easily change the robots.txt or .htaccess file in an editor or to change all the titles and descriptions of your pages by mass editing within a very short time.

Search Console - This feature imports the website's crawling data directly from the Google Search Console. This gives you an overview of the problems Google had when crawling your own website at any time, directly in WordPress.

Premium - Finally, in this menu item you will find an overview of all premium extensions within Yoast SEO.

The plugin is not only displayed in the WordPress sidebar. A box for individual settings for the respective article also appears under the article in pages and posts. Settings can be made here in a total of three different tabs.

In the tab Content you can assign an individual title and a description. The snippet preview is particularly advantageous here. At a glance you can see what the result can look like later on Google. There is also the option of selecting a so-called focus keyword. The plugin uses this keyword to check whether all OnPage relevant factors have been met. The primary keyword should therefore be set as the focus keyword so that all factors can be checked.

Figure 9: Snippet preview using the Yoast SEO plugin

You should try to give each line of the checklist a green dot. This can ensure that you have done a good job in the OnPage optimization of the page or the post.

Under Extended the indexing setting can be specified and, for example, a canonical tag can be assigned.

In the last tab Social you have the opportunity to influence the appearance in social networks. So far, these settings have no direct influence on the SEO ranking. However, if the website has a strong presence in social media, it would be worthwhile to maintain these settings.

Optimize page speed for WordPress websites

The loading time of a website has been an official SEO ranking factor since 2010. Google justified this decision with the fact that fast websites automatically mean more satisfied visitors and thus better search results.

The loading time of a website can be evaluated with the help of Google PageSpeed. This tool rates a desired page with a value between 0 and 100 and gives tips on how this value and, of course, the loading time can be improved. More information: Page Speed ​​Optimizing Websites

Here are the most important factors in connection with WordPress and a lower loading time, which should be heeded in any case:

Use browser caching for WordPress

When you visit a page, the browser saves it in the cache. If you visit the page again, the browser asks the server whether the respective files have changed. If this is the case, the page will be requested again. However, if the files have not changed, the browser reads the page directly from the cache.This makes it possible to save a large number of HTTP requests.

However, querying whether the page is in the cache takes valuable time. Since such a query is made for each file, the time used adds up. Time is also consumed by querying the server as to whether the respective file has changed. Browser caching tells the browser from the server that it should refrain from these queries for a certain period of time.

For browser caching, it is necessary to add a code to the .htaccess, the so-called system file. You can use this code either directly within web hosting or conveniently via WordPress with the help of the plugin SEO Yoast - Tools - File Editor Add.

The code below first activates the expires.c module, which is necessary for browser caching. Then it sets all values ​​to "1 week" and defines different periods of validity for individual file types:

<IfModule mod_expires.c>
ExpiresActive On
ExpiresDefault "access plus 1 week"
ExpiresByType text / css "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType application / javascript "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType application / x-javascript "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType text / javascript "access plus 3 month"
ExpiresByType image / png "access plus 3 month"
ExpiresByType image / gif "access plus 3 month"
ExpiresByType image / ico "access plus 3 month"
ExpiresByType image / jpeg "access plus 3 month"
ExpiresByType image / jpg "access plus 3 month"
</IfModule>

At your own discretion, you can change the code and, in particular, adjust the validity of various files.

Enable compression in WordPress

The goal of compressing data is to make the content available on the server or to deliver it as small as possible. This means that the content can be loaded and processed more quickly by the browser.

As with browser caching, you should also insert a code within the .htaccess file for compression. The following code activates the deflate.c module, which is necessary for compression. The code then captures all relevant file formats:

& ltIfModule mod_deflate.c & gt
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text / plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text / html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text / xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text / css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text / javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application / xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application / xhtml + xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application / rss + xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application / atom_xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application / javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application / x-javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application / x-shockwave-flash
& lt / IfModule & gt

Reduce CSS and JavaScript

CSS and JavaScript files consist of many code fragments and therefore also many spaces, comments and unneeded characters. With the help of a so-called Minify method you can remove all unnecessary content from these files and save quite a bit of file size. The Better WordPress Minify Plugin takes over this work and reliably reduces the CSS and JavaScript code of the website.

Optimize images

The optimization of the images does not take place directly in WordPress for the time being. You should optimize images with the help of a graphics tool before you upload them to WordPress. This is possible, for example, with Photoshop or the free version of Gimp.

When optimizing images, it is important to select the correct image format and to save the image in the correct image dimensions. In addition, the file size of the image should be kept as small as possible.

Image format - When choosing the right image format, you should choose between JPEG and PNG. JPEG has the advantage that the format can be compressed. You can reduce the file size, but you also reduce the quality of the image. PNG does not change the quality of the image, but it is also larger than JPEG. The great advantage of PNG is also the transparency, which JPEG does not support.

Image dimension - Basically, you should upload an image to WordPress in the image dimensions in which you need it. Otherwise the browser has to manually adjust the image afterwards and consumes valuable time. In addition, an image in the 800x400px format, for example, is significantly larger than in the 400x200px format.

Image compression - In Photoshop, an optimized web version of an image can be saved with the "Save for web" function. This saves you quite a bit of image size. In addition, you can reduce the compression to 80% of the quality for JPEG images, for example. At 80% you will find almost no difference in quality. However, you can clearly feel the difference in the file size.

Plugin tip: The WordPress plugin Optimus promises lossless image compression and a simple option WebP images to be delivered within WordPress. WebP is Google's own image format, which can compress images of higher quality and more memory-saving than JPG. The plugin is especially interesting if you have a lot of pictures on your own website and many of the visitors come to your own page with the Chrome browser. It does a very good job and automatically delivers the compressed format to all Chrome users, which is very space-saving.

Mobile SEO

Mobile first is the motto. Therefore, your website should also be displayed optimally for smartphone users without any problems.

In this post we explain in more detail how you can test whether your website is mobile friendly and what you have to consider: Mobile Friendly: Tips for your successful mobile website

The easiest way to change the terms of Mobile first To fulfill is to choose a WordPress theme with a responsive version. Google recognizes this version automatically and there is no further maintenance effort. All modern themes are already equipped with the so-called responsive design.

WordPress Mobile Plugin Tip: If you want to keep your current theme, various mobile plugins for WordPress are suitable. Here you should, for example, the plugin WPtouch take a closer look.

Conclusion

With the optimization measures within WordPress presented here, you can now prepare your content even better for the search engine and gain more visitors via Google & Co. in the future. The aspects are not just pure SEO measures but also help to make your online presence more user-friendly for visitors, for example through faster loading times and a simpler structure. It is precisely this optimization, both for the search engine and for the user, that should be the goal of every SEO measure. If you don't know where to start with all these topics: Ryte will help you. Use our free version of the Ryte Suite and get all the information you need to carry out your SEO for WordPress websites. We'll even show you in an overview which topics you should definitely tackle first.

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