I’ve spent a long time reading up on SEO and how to make the best use it for my blog, so I thought I’d share my knowledge with you.
In case you aren’t aware, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. If you have a self-hosted WordPress site, then you should install the Yoast plugin to make your SEO really easy.
SEO can be split into two categories for a blog. There’s SEO you can apply to your site as a whole and SEO that can be applied to individual blog posts. Read more about 5 Ways To Optimise Your Blog Posts For SEO, here.
Both have their own part to play, and it can be a bit long winded, so I’ll explain the first one in detail for you, in this post.
SEO For Your Site
The overall SEO of your site is important for how you rank in search results, how it displays on search engines and social media.
The first thing you’ll need is a SSL certificate for your site. A lot of hosts provide this for free as part of your hosting and they can help you get them installed and working properly too. This certificate proves to Google that your site can be trusted, and if you have an online shop, this provides an extra layer of security too.
Drastically improve your SEO by removing any unused plugins or themes from your site. These slow your site down and in some instances can prevent parts of your site from working properly, if at all.
Another top tip is to delete any old blog posts or pages that you’ve sent to the ‘trash’. It’s a bit like emptying the bin on your laptop or computer; they take up valuable space on your server which can slow down the loading time of your site. Deleting these will mean your pages load faster as it’s not pulling through outdated data every time.
Images need to be optimised, for pages to load quickly, for both screen readers and mobile phones. I use the Smush plugin which does this automatically for me.
I also recently discovered Site Kit by Google; an official Google WordPress plugin. This can give you insights into how people find your site and how to improve it too. I haven’t tried this one out myself yet.
Ensuring that all of these things have been implemented can make a huge difference in the user experience.
There was a time when Google ranked non-responsive sites lower than ones which were optimised. While you may think usability is a separate issue from SEO they actually go hand in hand. SEO is what gets a reader to your site and usability is what keeps them there.
Upload a sitemap
If you’re a bit more tech savvy, you can upload a sitemap to Google Search Console and other browser webmaster tools. This is created with Yoast, downloaded and then uploaded to various sites.
Strictly speaking, this isn’t a true benefit to SEO but it can help with faster indexing of your site by Google.
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