WordPress SEO Checklist: 11 Things for Success in 2022

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In order to increase traffic to your website, you must improve your WordPress SEO.

To increase your website traffic, you should follow the WordPress SEO best practices.

The purpose of this guide is to help you get more organic traffic to your WordPress site by utilizing the top WordPress SEO tips.

WordPress is often mentioned as an SEO-friendly platform by experts. WordPress is actually one of the most popular platforms for creating blogs and websites.

In spite of WordPress automatically generating SEO-friendly code, there are still plenty of things you need to do in order to maximize your SEO.

You don’t have to worry – it isn’t difficult. It’s best to start by learning the basics, then apply them to your own website.

Let’s get started.

What Is WordPress?

WordPress SEO - What Is WordPress

Many of the websites you visit every day, such as BBC America, Time.com, and TechCrunch, are powered by WordPress, which is the world’s most popular content management system.

In fact, The Rolling Stones have an official website powered by WordPress. Seeing as it works for these global giants, it makes sense why many website developers use it.

Did you know? There are 43% of websites on the internet that uses WordPress, from simple personal blogs to the largest media sites.

What is SEO?

WordPress SEO - What is SEO

The term SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In order to rank higher in search engine results, website owners use this strategy to get more traffic.

In search engine optimization, you’re not trying to trick Google or game the system. Making your website search engine-friendly simply means coding and formatting it in such a way that search engines find it easily.

The goal of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), is to increase the volume and quality of organic traffic by optimizing a website.

WordPress SEO Tips for 2022

So here are 11 best and actionable WordPress SEO tips that you can use to grow your website traffic.

Let’s look at them.

1. Use an SEO-friendly WordPress theme

WordPress SEO - Use an SEO-friendly WordPress theme

WordPress comes with the Twenty Twenty theme by default when you install it. This is probably not one you’ll want to use for your site.

With thousands of free themes available directly from the dashboard, as well as hundreds of premium themes within the WordPress library or you can also download some good themes from other deals, you should choose carefully so you don’t end up with a non-SEO-friendly theme.

Many themes purport to be SEO-friendly, but they often include scripts and plugins you won’t use, which will slow down your site’s performance.

You can check for potential performance and SEO issues before installing a theme by running its demo through Google’s web.dev tool.

WordPress SEO - Google Web Dev Tool

As a result, you should at least feel confident that the theme you choose will not be a hindrance.

2. Install a WordPress SEO Plugin

The SEO capabilities of WordPress are pretty good out of the box. It is always a good idea to also install an SEO plugin.

It allows you to completely control what Google sees when your website is indexed.

Stromonic uses Yoast SEO for search engine optimization, which has numerous optimization features. Despite its impressive five-star rating, Yoast has more than five million installations.

The free plugin can be downloaded from the WordPress repository, or you can install it from the WordPress dashboard by following the steps below.

Step 1: Open your WordPress Dashboard.

Step 2: Go to, Plugins > Add New > search for Yoast SEO then click on Install Now.

Step 3: Once it is installed, click on the Activate button.

You’ve successfully installed the Yoast SEO plugin.

3. Set Up Friendly Permalinks

WordPress SEO - Set Up Friendly Permalinks

When WordPress creates permalinks by default, they are messy and unclean. By default, the URL includes the date and post or page name, as follows:

https://stromonic.com/2020/03/31/sample-post/

Short URLs are generally better than long ones since they contain your content’s title and/or keywords. Post name permalinks are clean, easy to remember, and can improve SEO on your site:

https://stromonic.com/sample-post/

You can easily change to a Post name permalink structure,

In your WordPress dashboard, click on Permalinks under Settings. When you have selected the Post name, click on Save Changes:

WordPress SEO - Set Up Friendly Permalinks

The only thing you need to note is that if you change your permalink structure after a post has gone live, all of your previous links might be broken.

Be sure to redirect previous URLs to the new ones when changing the permalink structure on an older site.

4. Install an SSL Certificate

WordPress SEO - Install an SSL Certificate

Google has officially confirmed that HTTPS affects rankings. There’s nothing new about that. Google also uses HTTPS as part of its Page Experience metric.

Installing an SSL certificate on your website is required to use it. HTTPS has become a standard across the internet, even if it is only a small ranking factor.

Chrome, Firefox, and other browsers will display warnings when visiting a site without an SSL certificate.

WordPress SEO - Browser SSL Warning

You don’t need need to worry about it because Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates are included with all Stromonic hosting plans.

And the best part is that you will get an SSL certificate for absolutely free.

5. Set Your Preferred Domain

WordPress SEO - Set Your Preferred Domain

It won’t affect your SEO if you choose https://domain.com or https://www.domain.com, but you do need to ensure that your site is accessible from just one of these, since Google considers these to be different URLs.

You can select your preferred domain easily.

You can find it under Settings > General. Select the domain of your choice here.

WordPress SEO - WordPress Site URL

Once you choose your preferred domain, the other domain version will be redirected to it. Choosing either option is okay if you’re starting a new website, but if you’re replacing an existing one, use the version you’ve been using.

6. Check Your Site’s Visibility Settings

WordPress SEO - Site Visibility Settings

It is possible to ‘discourage search engines from indexing your WordPress site, which means that it won’t rank in search engines for certain keywords.

The purpose of this is to prevent pages and content from being indexed while the site is in development.

The block is often left in place after launch more often than you might think. Under Settings > Reading, you can check your site’s visibility settings.

Just below the page, you’ll see a checkbox:

WordPress SEO - Search Engine Visibility

7. Set Up an XML Sitemap

WordPress SEO - Set Up an XML Sitemap

You can tell search engines how your WordPress site is structured and organized by creating an XML sitemap. This allows search engines to better understand and crawl your site.

Creating a sitemap isn’t necessary, but it gives you access to more reporting information about your site.

It’s for this reason that we recommend utilizing an XML sitemap. You will increase your chances of scoring Google sitelinks by providing a clear picture of your site’s structure to search engines.

You can automatically generate sitemaps with the Yoast SEO plugin.

Simply open Yoast SEO and go to the General setting, then toggle it to On.

WordPress SEO - Yoast SEO Setup

Ensure that automatically-generated files have been successfully created by double-checking. By adding sitemap_index.xml to your domain, you can view your sitemap index:

https://domain.com/sitemap_index.xml

As you can see how easy it is to generate an XML sitemap, thanks to Yoast SEO.

8. Submit Your Sitemap to Google Search Console

WordPress SEO - Submit Your Sitemap to Google Search Console

In order to access additional data on your WordPress site, you should submit your XML sitemap file to Google Search Console once you have one. In this case, we will assume you already have a Google Search Console account.

Go to the Index section of Google Search Console and click Sitemaps. Once you have entered the location of your sitemap file, click on the Submit button.

WordPress SEO - Google Search Console Sitemap

You will then be able to see how many posts and pages have been submitted and indexed. Now, Google will automatically crawl your sitemap file on a regular basis.

9. Check for Crawl Errors

WordPress SEO - Check for Crawl Errors

There are crawl errors when crawlers can’t access a page (search engines, bots, etc.).

The reason for this can range from broken links, caused by incorrectly set up links or by removing content without redirects, to server errors, where your server could not respond to the crawl request.

Go to your Google Search Console account to check for crawl errors. You can find details about any errors Google encountered while crawling your site in the Coverage report.

WordPress SEO - Site Crawler Error

The URLs that encountered the error can be found by clicking through on any error type. For more information about how Google discovered each URL, click on the inspect URL icon next to each link.

10. Improve Your Core Web Vitals

WordPress SEO - Google Core Web Vitals

In terms of user experience, the Core Web Vitals represent a set of measurable performance indicators. The factors that determine them are as follows:

  • Performance during loading
  • Interactivity on the page
  • Stabilization of visual perception
  • Based on Google Chrome data.

Furthermore, Core Web Vitals checks whether your pages are mobile-friendly, use HTTPS, and contain intrusive interstitials.

With Google Search Console’s Core Web Vitals report, you can check how well your pages are performing, which grades them as either ‘Good,’ ‘Needs Improvement,’ or ‘Poor.’

What Are the Core Web Vitals Metrics?

The report is made up of 3 factors:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
  • First Input Delay (FID)
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

Google has taken a significant step toward incorporating User Experience into its ranking algorithms.

11. Mark Up Your Pages with Schema

WordPress SEO - Mark Up Your Pages with Schema

By adding context to your content and data, schema markup can enhance your SEO efforts.

It allows Google to understand and present your content in a more useful and interesting way, which enhances the experience of a searcher.

You are increasing your chances of not only ranking higher on search engines but also getting clicks when your page receives impressions by adding context to your pages.

You can mark up specific blocks within WordPress in some cases with Yoast, it generates a structured data graph automatically for every post or page.

Conclusion

I hope you found this article helpful in learning how to optimize your WordPress site for SEO. Within a few months, the search engines will begin to process your changes as you implement these WordPress SEO tips.

It’s an ongoing “game” with many aspects to keep an eye on in SEO. Therefore, you can set up your business for success by learning SEO tips.

Is there anything you would like to know about WordPress SEO? Comment below and let us know what you think!

If you enjoyed this article, then you’ll love Stromonic’s WordPress Hosting platform. Turbocharge your website and get 24/7 support from our veteran team. Our world-class hosting infrastructure focuses on auto-scaling, performance, and security. Let us show you the Stromonic difference! Check out our plans.

About the author

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at Stromonic Blog is a team of WordPress experts who Eat, Drink, & Sleep WordPress 24/7.

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