SEO for WordPress

Best Practice SEO for WordPress


Note – this is for the paid-version of WordPress at – my blog uses the free version

According to many-a-tutorial, the best plugin for SEO purposes is Yoast.
Go to Plugins on the side-bar menu and search for “yoast” and click Install Now and then Activate Plugin

Yoast SEO plugin wordpress

“SEO” should now show on the sidebar

Wordpress and SEO


Click on SEO (as show/pointed to with a big red arrow above)

You’ll see a number of options and check boxes –

Leave tracking off – apparently this can slow your website down.
Add your webmaster tools information if you wish.

Click on “Titles & Metas”
I would recommend ticking – “Noindex subpages of archives” to prevent duplicate content etc
Do NOT check meta keywords, they are not really used anymore. They just show competitors what keywords you are trying to target
Leave the last boxes 2 unchecked, getting listed in DMOZ and Yahoo would be great for your site:

seo menu screenshot

Leave the <head> options unchecked too


On the Social option, add your FaceBook, Twitter and Google+URL if applicable

Under the XML sitemaps settings, I’d recommend leaving them like this:

yoast wordpress


Permalinks – really important you don’t mess too much with this. I would leave all options unchecked, or just leave the “remove stop words” option ticked if you have a brand new blog/website.


Leave the Internal Links and RSS settings

Import and Export – if you’ve used another SEO plugin in the past, you can import the details via this page’s settings
The Bulk Title Editor and Bulk Description Editor –
You should definitely edit these settings.
Write in your titles and descriptions for each page.

Meta Description Tips:
These should provide a short explanation of what is on each page and what each page is about
Remember that these will often show on search engine results pages, so a call to action may help to increase click through rate.
Make descriptions around 155-160 characters
Include keywords, in a relevant manner in the description (do NOT keyword stuff)
Each page should have a unique description


Meta Title Tips:
Also, often shown on search engine results pages but nearly always show at the top of a browser
Include 2 keywords and brand name (best practice according to Moz is Primary Keyword then Secondary Keyword then Brand Name)
Keep Meta Titles 50-60 characters


Now Yoast is done. You need a sitemap.
Go back to the Plugins section, on the WordPress side-menu and click on Add New…
Then search “XML sitemap”.  I installed the XML Sitemap – XML plugin.
Then click Activate


There should now be a new sitemap option at the bottom of your wordpress side-menu. Click on it and click on View Sitemap to have a look what it is and what the URL is.


Image Alt Tags:
For all the images you have uploaded, make sure the alt tags and descriptions are filled in, preferably with keywords included

Sign up for Google analytics, and install Google Analytics via a plugin called Google Analyticator (or another plugin).

Make sure Google Webmaster tools is set up as well.  The Search Traffic -> Search Queries report is really useful:

SEO webmaster tools

Use the keyword research tool to get keyword ideas:

keyword tool google


Then put in a list of your head keywords, separated by commas, and click “Get ideas”
This can give you an idea of what keywords to target, and what you should be writing articles about etc.


Use Open Site Explorer to see where competitors are getting links. When you start “off-page optimisation” (link-building in a Penguin friendly manner); check out the best way to build links article

Make sure to have 1 <h1> tag per page, and have a keyword within it

Use Screaming Frog to check for broken links and other technical issues

Make sure you use internal links, with descriptive anchor text

Make sure you have no duplicate content

Check your site speed with the Google Site Speed Tool

Set up Authorship where applicable. Use other “rich snippets” where applicable

Add the “WP Robots Txt” plugin if you wish to edit which pages are accessible by Google and other Search Engines


Article written by Drew Griffiths

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