What is SEO and Why does it matter for you?
No matter how visually appealing, user-friendly and engaging your website is, if it is not search engine friendly, it’s not useful. Websites that are search engine friendly can be easily found on the internet by your targeted audience. The higher your search engine rank, the better it is as according to several studies, internet users only browse through the first two pages of their keyword search results. This means you need to focus on search engine optimization to improve your business website’s online presence. SEO affects the visibility of your website in search engine organic search results. If you optimize your website, and it frequently appears in the top 10 search engine results, more visitors will click through your link which will bring heavy web traffic to your website. And if your website is attention grabbing with eye-catching features, then there’s nothing like it as it can increase your chances of converting these leads into sales.
How To Ensure Your Website Ranks High in Search Results?
If you have a WordPress website, the first step in achieving a good ranking on search engines including Google and Yahoo is through the use of the SEO WordPress plugin by Yoast. This is the most sought after plugin by WordPress users. It entails everything that is needed to optimize web pages for search engines. It includes features like snippet preview and page analysis that enables you to improve and optimize page content, Meta titles and descriptions, sitemaps and image titles too.
Installation of Yoast SEO WordPress
For installation of SEO WordPress by Yoast, here’s what you need to do: Step #1. Log into your website’s WordPress dashboard by inserting WordPress username and password. Step#2. Under the menu bar to the left hand side, you will see the plug-ins option, click on it. Now click on Add new option. That you will see after you click on Plug-ins. Step#3. Now under the search option, search for “WordPress SEO by Yoast”. Step#4. Click on “Install Now” Step#5. After the installation is complete, click on ‘Activate Plugin’. Step#6. Once the plugin is activated, you will see a new panel on the left side menu bar by the name SEO. Under this section you will see high functional features like dashboard, Titles and Meta, social, permalinks and more. Now explore the options to learn more about them and how these can get you high search engine results.
An Overview of Yoast SEO WordPress Functions
Nobody does it better than the man himself, read Yoast’s guide The Definitive Guide To Higher Rankings For WordPress Sites
When you click on dashboard, you will see three functions here tracking, security and webmaster tools. Tracking and Security enables you to track issues related to privacy. Under security function you will see Webmaster Tools. Through these tools you can verify your website’s ownership. This can be done by using Google and Bing Meta code. You can also verify your website for Alexa through webmaster tools.
Titles & Metas
This option is the most important for improving your website’s SEO. This is because the Meta titles are displayed in the browser’s title and Meta descriptions in the search engine results. This plugin section is divided into 6 categories called general, home, post types, taxonomies, other and help. Under general, you will find three features:
- Title settings
- Sitewide Meta Settings
- Clean Up the Head
The force rewrite title under the title settings should normally be checked. This plugin option means that the Yoast SEO plugin needs to modify the installed theme’s title tag as per your settings. While under sitewide Meta settings, make sure you check the ‘non-index subpages of archives’ box as this option helps the homepage of your website to retain its significance. Also check the ‘use Meta keywords tag’ as it can improve your ranking on Yahoo and Bing. Under the Home tab, you can define attributes of your homepage. Here you will need to insert a compelling title, Meta description and Meta keywords. Fill it according to your domain name and its niche without exceeding the character limit specified. Post types, taxonomies and other tabs enable you to configure Meta titles and descriptions across different web pages of your site. It also allows you to set Meta details for posts and various taxonomies on your website. You can also use feature like Meta robots to non-index taxonomy on any of the pages that you feel has no relevance.
This feature of Yoast SEO plugin enables you to integrate your website with all popular social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Here you can configure ‘Twitter Meta tags’ and ‘Facebook Open Graph’.
This feature helps search engine spiders navigate your site and optimize it easily. It contains a complete list of web pages on your website that you need to index on search engines. With Yoast, creation and automatic update of your website sitemap can be done in just one click.
This feature handles and adjusts your permalinks settings. With this feature, you can enforce a trailing slash on all the categories tag URLs. This SEO WordPress Plugin also allows you to redirect URL attachment to a URL of parent’s post. WordPress creates a new separate post for the image. This is carried to increase SEO of the post. The search engine finds the URL which is redirected to the parent page and so the actual page gets indexed on the search engine.
Using this feature, you can specify the navigational structure of your website through ‘Breadcrumbs’. You can set your navigation path that is both search engine and user friendly. This feature should be utilized to boost your search engine ranking.
With the use of RSS function, you can place dynamic and rich content before and after your post that can be viewed via RSS. You can link back to your blogs easily.
Import & Export
It enables you to import and export search engine optimized data from other plug-in themes. This feature comes handy when you are switching from another product to WordPress. Using this feature, you can avoid starting from scratch.
Using the Edit Files function, you can easily and swiftly edit 2 of the most important files for search engine optimization, .htaccess files and robots.txt. Try it now to improve your website’s SEO!