After going around the interesting plugins to install on his WordPress blog, we will see today how to optimize it for search engines. Configuration of SEO plugins, creation and submission of a sitemap to Google, best practices … Here are a few steps to follow to appear well in the results of Google & co …
Before starting the optimization …
It is important to know the phrases that your potential readers type in the search engines. To do this, a semantic audit.
Start by noting down all the keywords that come to mind, ask your loved ones also what keywords they would type to find your blog. Also take a look at the keywords of your main competitors. Once this first brainstorming has taken place, go toGoogle’s Keyword Tool. Fill in the keywords or URLs of similar sites so that the tool suggests a list of expressions. Export the different results in Excel to sort them out and keep only the most relevant keywords in relation to your activity.
Your keyword list finished, keep it in front of you during the optimization work. For more details on the semantic audit, you can read the article “Choosing the right keywords for optimization: semantic audit”From our file“Tips and tricks for successful SEO”Dating from 2007 but still containing a lot of useful information.
1st step: install and configure WordPress plugins dedicated to SEO…
In the previous post “Selection of the 15 most useful WordPress plugins”, I told you about two essential seo plugins: All in one SEO and Google XML Sitemap. The first will optimize the pages of your blog and the second will create a sitemap file to submit to the search engines.
All in one SEO settings
Once the plugin is installed, go to the “settings” section of your WordPress blog, click on All in one SEO.
First make sure to activate the plugin by selecting “Enabled” in plugin status. Next, you need to fill in 3 fields corresponding to the different meta and title tags on your home page.
The home page, unlike posts, will be optimized by hand. Write a Title and a description containing the keywords found during the semantic audit. For the keywords tag, it is not necessary to fill it. If you absolutely want to enter it, indicate the 10 most searched keywords of your selection.
Check “Canonical URLs” and “Rewrite Titles”. You then come to the part dynamically optimizing the different posts and pages of your blog:
- Post Title Format : Indicate in this field% post_title% | % blog_title% which will dynamically populate the titles of your posts with the title of the article followed by the name of your blog;
- Page Title Format : in the same way you will indicate for this field:% page_title% | % blog_title%;
- Category Title Format :% category_title% | % blog_title%;
- Archive Title Format :% date% | % blog_title%, for archives we will use the date of the archive followed by the name of the blog;
- Tag Title Format :% tag% | % blog_title%;
- Search Title Format :% search% | % blog_title%;
- Description Format :% description% by indicating this field the plugin will fill the meta tag with the description given in the All in one SEO section visible on the article creation / modification page in WordPress admin.
Then make sure that the following fields are checked:
- Use Categories for META keywords;
- Use Tags for META keywords;
- Dynamically Generate Keywords for Posts Page;
- Autogenerate Descriptions. By checking this box, this will allow the plugin to take the first characters of the article as a description if it is not completed.
You just have to click on “Update Options” for your changes to be taken into account.
Now let’s go to the configuration of the second seo plugin.
arming Google XML Sitemap
After installing the plugin, click on “XML-Sitemap”. You can keep the default settings for this plugin. Make sure the fields are filled in this way:
- “Write normal XML file” checked;
- “Generate sitemap when blog content changes” checked;
- “Notify Google of blog updates” checked;
- “Notify Bing of blog updates” checked;
- “Notify Ask.com of blog updates” checked;
- “Notify Yahoo of blog updates” checked only if you have a Yahoo ID;
- “Add the sitemap URL to the virtual robots.txt file” checked;
- “Generate sitemap in the background (no waiting when saving an article)” checked;
- “Do not do automatic calculation” selected;
- In the location of your selected “Automatic detection” sitemap file and “sitemap.xml” entered in “Sitemap file name ”;
- Check all in the “Sitemap content” section.
Then save the changes and verify that the sitemap file has been generated at www.monsite.com/sitemap.xml.
The sitemap generated, we will now submit it to Google.
2nd step: Create a Google tools account for webmaster and submit the sitemap…
See you on Google Webmaster Tools, then click “Add a site” and enter the URL for your blog.
You must now validate the fact that you own your site. Several methods exist: transferring an HTML file, adding a meta tag … Choose the one that is easiest for you.
Once the site is validated, go to “Site configuration”> “Sitemap”, then click on “Submit a sitemap” and enter the URL of the latter (www.monsite.com/sitemap.xml for example). Click on “Send”.
Wait a few minutes for Google to scan your sitemap. If an error message is returned, make the necessary changes. Logically with the WordPress plugin, you should not have to worry.
3rd step: Follow some good practices when creating articles…
The first thing to do is to define a link structure suitable for natural referencing. To do this, go to “Settings> Permalinks”. WordPress then offers 4 types of links. The structures “Date and Title” and “Month and title” are both suitable, you choose the one you prefer.
Take this opportunity to enter the category prefix with your main keyword. Indeed, the prefix will appear in all the URLs of the category pages, which will improve your positioning on the said keyword.
Example : https://www.webmarketing-com.com/Web marketing/viral marketing
Please note, these modifications must be made as soon as your blog is launched. Avoid modifying the structure of URLs once the site is indexed in Google.
Title and URLs of articles
When you start writing your posts, be sure to include your keywords in titles and URLs.
If you don’t have the option to include the keyword in your title for editorial purposes, you can make up for it by modifying the URL of your article to add the keyword.
If your Title is not optimized for seo, remember to fill in the title tag by hand using the All in one SEO section at the bottom of the page.
Similarly, when adding images to your posts, remember to name the files and enter the alt and title attributes using your semantics. Example: my-keyword.jpg
Integration of keywords in the text
Finally, try to incorporate the keywords into your text in a natural way. Be careful not to abuse key phrases, be sure to maintain an adequate density.
4th step: Create links to your blog…
The links pointing to your blog, whether they are links from partner sites or those from different shares via social networks, will play an important role in your SEO.
Before you start canvassing other bloggers or sites for link exchanges, wait a few months, making sure to write regularly during this period. Your blog will have gained the credibility to attract the attention of potential partners. For more information on netlinking, I recommend reading articles 13 to 20 of our file “Tips and tricks for successful SEO” as well as that of the article “Ideal link to improve your SEO”!
Finally, sharing via different social networks is now part of the signals taken into account by search engines for their ranking, it is crucial to “socialize” your blog. This is what we will see in our next post: promoting a blog via social networks.
What are your feedback on SEO experiences? Have you successfully positioned a blog in serps? If you plan to start blogging what will be your first actions? Feel free to bring your point of view via the comments.
How to start your first blog:
To read on the subject:
/>Successful professional blog : Affirm your online presence and control your communication: from strategic choices to daily management, all the keys to blog effectively with confidence! Define your communication strategy. Adapt your technical choices accordingly. Attract customers and recruiters by sharing your expertise, strengthening your identity or communicating with your employees. Animate your blog by exchanging with your readers via comments … Order on Amazon.
To rediscover: An eye on the blogosphere, series of interviews with bloggers carried out in 2009 …
// Click on the portrait to see the interview //