WordPress SEO To Do List 2020 (5 Steps)

September 3, 2020

Not getting the traffic you would like for your WordPress website?

Follow these 5 steps to kick start your website's SEO!

1. Search Engine Visibility

The first check you should always perform when beginning your SEO journey is to make sure that the "Discourage search engines from indexing this site" setting is turned off under your WordPress reading settings.

If this setting is turned on then your website will not be allowed to be indexed (shown) in any search engine. Therefore this is vital to check.

Screenshot of the "Discourage search engines from indexing this site" setting

This is particularity important to check this setting if your website is a recent build as often in development this will be turned on.

2. Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is an essential plugin to have for WordPress when it comes to improving your website's SEO.

The plugin automatically generates an XML sitemap and keeps this up to date with any changes made on your site.

This is essentially a map/listing of all the pages on your website and this is helpful for search engines to be able to efficiently index your website.

Once you install and activate Yoast SEO a sitemap is automatically created so you do not need to do anything. You can find this sitemap by browsing to /sitemap_index.xml.

Yoast SEO also allows you to easily add title tags and meta descriptions to your pages. This allows you to control how your pages appear in search engines, with the title tag being the blue/purple title and the black description text below being the meta description.

Screenshot example of Bison Grid title tag and meta description

You can find the Yoast SEO plugin here for free: https://yoast.com/wordpress/plugins/seo/

3. Google Search Console

You will also want to create a Google Search Console property for your website.

You can create this for free here: https://search.google.com/search-console/

Google Search Console is a powerful tool that will tell you if your website has any issues that could be negatively affecting your SEO or stopping your site from indexing altogether.

What's more is that Google Search Console provides tons useful of analytic data such as website visits, impressions and which search queries users are using to find which pages on your website.

Screenshot of the Google Search Console property dashboard

Google Search Console has too many useful features to cover in this blog, but apart from the ones already mentioned, the ability to upload your sitemap directly to Google is great and the Mobile Usability report plus the Inspect URL tool are both super useful.

4. Google My Business & Bing Places for Business

Google My Business is what allows your business to appear on Google Maps and the Google search results as a listing.

Bison Grid Google My Business listing
Bison Grid on Google Maps

Therefore Google My Business is an invaluable asset for improving your Local SEO presence. And it's free!

You can create a Google My Business here: https://www.google.com/intl/en_uk/business/

Although, Google is the most popular search engine bar far, it is also worth creating a Bing Places for Business listing which is essentially the same as a Google My Business listing but for the Bing search engine. Doing so will broaden your local SEO reach even further and Bing Places for Business is also free.

You can create a Bing Places for Business here: https://www.bingplaces.com/

5. Page Speed

Website speed matters a big deal for SEO, more than you probably think.

Studies have also shown the negative impact poor performance can have on business goals. For example, the BBC found they lost an additional 10% of users for every additional second their site took to load.

That is why page speed is important for SEO.

If you would like to find out how you can improve page speed for your website in depth, please check out our other blog here: https://www.bisongrid.uk/blog/how-to-speed-up-your-web-page-loading-time-and-why-you-should/

Final Thoughts

To sum up, there are plenty more ways to improve your SEO but if you follow these 5 steps to improve your website's SEO, you will be well on your way to hitting your goals.

Need help with your SEO? We can help.

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