Complete WordPress SEO Guide

Are you a blogger who wants to make money blogging?

If you say yes and you keep on ignoring SEO, I can’t help myself from saying that you are making a deadly mistake which can destroy your blogging career.

Every blogger should make their website search-engine friendly to reap benefits in the form of an audience and monetary sum as well. I hope you are a WordPress blogger and, that’s why you are here reading this article.

Few days before I've published Phase 4 in my "how to start a blog" series.

In my previously discussed Phase 4, I revealed all my secret list of WordPress plugins I use on my LoudTechie blog. So that it will save time for newbie bloggers to be more focus on content and optimization. You'll get know about all the important plugins a perfect blog needs to run.

Today in my Phase 5, you are going to get to know about few actionable tips to make your WordPress site search engine optimized. WordPress is already one of the easiest CMS you can get with easy user interface.

It can help you to create and publish your content on the web but you must have plans for your content so that it can be seen by other users. And for that, there is solid competition already.

What if I offer you to cut down 60% of your online competition? Sounds good to you, right?

Yes! that can be done by using pure SEO (Search engine optimization). The term I said pure SEO is for blogger only. If you have a plan to start a micro niche blog you can try out more than just a basic SEO.

But as a blogger who wants to go a long way with his blog, he must not try out SEO tricks on his blog. Just to let you know Google does not allow SEO tricks for ranking. So avoid SEO tricks and start with basic SEO.

So let's start with our Phase 5 - "The complete WordPress SEO guide"

Are you ready? Here you go!

Phase 5 - Complete WordPress SEO Guide

Complete WordPress SEO guide

I know you changed the title of your homepage while installing WordPress on your domain. So, I avoided repeating the same process here.

Note: Some of the guides mentioned here in this article have also been covered in my Phase 3.

#1. Optimize your Permalink Structure

The default permalink structure of WordPress isn’t optimized for search engine. You have to make changes to the default permalink structure of WordPress blog in order to keep it optimized. This should be the first and most important thing to do.

The purpose of changing default permalink structure is that your URL should be SEO friendly. Means your URL should be written in a way that it is easily readable both by humans and search engines. One should get a clear idea of what your content would be related to just by reading your URL slug.

Not SEO friendly URL:

SEO friendly URL:

First, you should decide which permalink you like to go with. Once you come up with a decision, you can change it by following Settings » Permalinks.

No matter which one you choose, make sure it isn’t the default one. The default one goes like "".

As you just see, it isn’t optimized for search engines. And, you can change it to something like "".

You will do better on search results if you follow it.

I have separately explained everything about permalinks structure and which one is best for you. You can follow my permalink guide here.

#2. Update WordPress Ping List

A new blog always takes time to get indexed by the search engine. Everyone finds it difficult to index articles on a new blog.

In such cases, you should ensure that the ping list is updated. Even though WordPress notifies all the ping services by default, you can extend the reach by adding some services in the appropriate field.

Do you know how to update WordPress ping list? Don’t worry! I am going to guide you for doing the same.

Update WordPress Ping List

Once you log into your WordPress dashboard, you must navigate to Settings » Writing.

On the bottom of the page, you can see a text area under Update Services. All you have to do is pasting the links to those pinging services into it.

If this short guide is not helpful, you can visit my detailed guide here.

#3. Configure an XML Sitemap and Submit it to GWT

There are many known ways for faster indexing of your website. But there are few that actually work.

One of the best ways to ensure the fastest indexing of your new blog is to create an XML sitemap and submit it to Google Webmaster Tools. No, it is not a tedious task as most of you may anticipate.

You don’t have to touch even a single line of code. I will tell you how to do it in an effortless way.

First of all, I want you to install the ultimate SEO plugin for WordPress, called Yoast SEO. You can do tons of SEO tasks using the same. Once you are done installing the Yoast, you will have an XML sitemap right away without doing anything.

In order to check your sitemap page, visit ""

I hope you have added your sitemap to your Google search console.

If not, log on to your Webmaster Tools account and choose the site you want to submit the sitemap of. Then go to Crawl » Sitemaps. You can submit your sitemap there.

#4. Double Check Your Site's Search Engine visibility

This one is just to inform you that mistakes can happen by anyone. There is this one option in WordPress system called "search engine visibility" which is used while making big changes to your site and don't want the search engine to crawl it or index it.

But many times bloggers forget to disable it later on. So this should the very first thing you need to do if your site is not getting indexed by any search engines.

Check Your Site's Search Engine visibility

In your WordPress dashboard, go to Settings » Reading, there scroll down to the fifth option "Search Engine Visibility". If it is enabled, uncheck the option "Discourage search engines from indexing this site."

At last "Save changes".

#5. Add Your Site to Google Webmaster Tools

Adding your site to Google search console is the most recommended thing any SEO expert would tell you to do. This is a free tool powered by Google itself.

There are so many things you can do with Google search console:

  • lightbulb-o
    Search Appearance overview.
  • lightbulb-o
    Know more about your website search traffic and keywords.
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    Search indexing and crawling settings.
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    Deep analyzing of your website.
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    Critical errors and issues fixing.
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    Make responsive and google friendly website.

Now let's find out how to add a site to Google webmaster tools.

Sign into Webmaster Tools. Next, click on a red button "Add Property" enter your website link and add.

How To Add WordPress Blog In Google Webmaster Tools

After adding your site as a property you own. You need to verify your property. This is required by Google to confirm that you are the sole owner of that property.

There are many ways to verify your site ownership on Google Webmaster Tools:

  • Upload an HTML File
  • Add a Meta Tag to Header
  • Use Yoast WordPress Plugin

The above three mentioned verification guides are already explained in my previous article. Here you can get the detailed guide on adding a site to google search console and different ways to verify your site on Webmaster Tools.

#6. Optimize Your Articles

You must always ensure every article you publish is optimized for search engines. We all target certain keywords in all articles. When you write an article, you should include the main keyword (focus keyword) in the title, content, permalink, image alt text, and meta description as well.

These are few important things need to know before writing an article.

Yoast SEO is the best tool for your on-page SEO needs. It analyzes keyword distribution and gives you an overview of the overall status.

I also recommend to bold important keywords as well. If you can insert your focus keyword in the first and last paragraph of your article, it will be a good notion for SEO.

Note: Don't overdo with your SEO, maintain your keyword density and try to provide a solution to a problem or be resourceful with your content.

#7. Interlink between Your Posts

Interlinks play a vital role in SEO these days. When you are writing an article, you can add a link to another one related to the same topic or content.

If you want to know how important this interlinking of keywords is? I recommend you to read my previously published article on strategies for long-tail keywords.

You need to create a structure of interlinks within your articles. But the important thing to consider while doing interlinking between your posts. You should not interlink keywords only instead interlink the long tail keywords or insert your target keywords naturally in your content.

Sometimes, it becomes a tedious task to interlink posts especially if you have tons of blog posts. The plugins I recommend for interlinking is Yoast Seo and Mentionable.

Using Mentionable: You can add links the same way you mention friends on social media networks using ‘@’ character.

Using Yoast: It provides you a list of best-related articles in your site according to your content, keywords, title and other large numbers of factors. And the list of related articles will keep on updating with each line you write. In Yoast, you can add links just by a single click on any related articles.

Note: Always use your target keywords and long tail keywords as anchor texts for interlinks. Trust me, you will thank me later for telling this.

#8. Make Use of No Follow Tag

When you have to link to a non-authoritative website, you must add a no-follow tag. A no-follow tag instructs the search engine crawlers to overlook that particular link on your website.

I know you don’t always remember to use the same. That’s why I have come up with a plugin.

Whenever you add a link, this plugin shows a checkbox to make it a no-follow one. So, you won’t miss out checking the same.

When it comes to linking to authoritative websites like Wikipedia, I really recommend you don’t use no-follow tag. Some high-quality links are worth keeping as Dofollow links.

In case you want to nofollow all external links in your site. You can use "Nofollow for external link" plugin. It will auto nofollow all your external links.

Google gives more value to a content which includes high authority resource links for their readers. So it's better to add some high-quality links in your article related to your content. But that also should be in limit.

#9. No Index Certain Pages

I have experienced a weird situation of having category and tag pages on top of my real blog post pages. We all know the fact there are no real benefits of indexing pages like archives, pagination, categories, and tags.

In order to avoid such a bizarre thing to happen, you must noindex tags, categories and Taxonomies from search results. So, how can you do it?

I hope you already installed Yoast plugin or else you can also do this with All in One SEO plugin.

For users using Yoast SEO:

Go to Yoast SEO » Titles & Metas.

Select "Taxonomies" from the top menu bar. There you can no-index your tags, categories, and formats.

I have no-indexed my tags and let my categories be indexed.

For users using All in One SEO:

Go to All in One SEO » General Settings.

In general settings page, scroll down to "Noindex settings". And check the options you would like to set as no index for your site.

At last "Save Changes".

In case you want to follow a more detailed guide here you can follow my detailed guide to noindex tags and categories in WordPress.

#10. Manage your WordPress Comments

Getting comments on your articles is the best feelings one can have in the starting days of your blogging. But only if those comments are genuine and not spammy comments.

Spam comments are one big issue with all WordPress blogs. And without an anti-spam system, it could harm your blog quality and affect your search engine ranking.

The best recommended anti-spam plugin for WordPress blogs is Akismet. Nowadays it is pre installed on every WordPress blog. In case anyone wants to disable comments from all WordPress posts here is a detailed guide about it.

You should read more about blog comments and why are they so important.

#11. Optimize Your Images in WordPress

You should optimize your images to increase the search engine visibility of your website. Whenever you publish a blog post, you must include at least one image in it.

Visual content is more engaging than plain textual content

Click to Tweet

Adding alt tags to the images has a significant role in getting you top positions in search results. And, it is an undeniable fact that sometimes we forget to do the same.

I suggest you install SEO Friendly Images plugin on your blog to automatically add "alt" and "title" to every image you upload on your WordPress blog.

Another thing you can do to optimize your WordPress images is by reducing the size of your images without affecting your image quality. This can be done by using these image optimization plugins which will automatically reduce the image sizes for better optimization and faster loading of images.

#12. Use Affiliate Link Cloaking Plugins

Some of you won't find it fit in this article. But this is one important kind of plugin we should use in our WordPress Blog. Link cloaking feature is good for your site's SEO. Cloaking your affiliate links will hide stuffing extra outbound links in your site.

And yes, these links are search engine optimized. Google won't going to penalize your site for using affiliate link cloaking plugins. Many people have a misconception about link cloaking plugins.

But after getting deep into this topic, I have found it interesting and helpful for your WordPress site. I also suggest it as for your WordPress blog's SEO and better affiliate marketing.

#13. Stay Protected with Best WordPress Security Measures

When it comes to WordPress security there are so many things to cover. All these security measures can't be done in a short period of time or can say at the starting of your new blog.

But there are few that can be done in the early days of your blogging career. Let's talk about those for now.

Always set a strong username and password for your WordPress login. You can also rename your WordPress login urls which by default is "/wp-login.php" the same way you can change your new registration url and admin panel url.

Set auto backup of your WordPress blog on regular basis. For this, you can ask your hosting providers or can use Updraft plugin. I use both approaches for my WordPress database security Updraft for regular backups and alternative days backups by my hosting providers.

And never ignore your WordPress updates or plugin updates. They are essential for the better security of your WordPress blog.

For more WordPress security tips you can read my article on Tips To Protect Your WordPress Blog Like The Great Wall of China.

Wrapping Up

In this Phase 5 of my "how to start a blog" series. I have given you 13 actionable tips to follow as a WordPress blogger. Of course, these are not the only SEO tips for WordPress given that Google keeps changing their search algorithm.

In this article, I've mostly covered all basic and essential WordPress SEO guides. In near future, I will try to write one detailed article on WordPress SEO Guide including all advanced SEO guides.

Don’t forget to scribble down your doubts in the comment section if you have any.

Do you know any other important SEO tip? Mind sharing it with us?

In our next phase, I'll be writing on how to write SEO friendly articles which can boost your blog SERP. Better optimization of your article will get you good ranking positions in search engine results which lead to more traffic and better conversions.

So stay tuned for next Phase 6 of our how to start a blog series. To know more about how an SEO friendly article looks like? What things to be concerned when writing an article to engage better readership?

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Alok Rana founder of LoudTechie. Like to share his blogging experience and resources with readers. Offering best money making blogging opportunities to new bloggers. He loves to talk about how to blog, SEO, Traffic Strategies and Marketing.

  • Sadhan Pal says:

    Hi Rana ,

    Thank you for providing a total seo of wordpress blog. It’s awesome. This will help others to optimize their wordpress blog easily and properly. Keep it up guy. But I think something is missing here. Please add some more topic to make it total.

    Thank you
    Sadhan Pal

    • Alok says:

      Hey Sadhan,

      Thanks for your feedback. And yes I already have an idea to keep it up to date always. I will add some more points to it soon.


  • Shafi Khan says:

    Hi Alok,

    A very good article for newbies who are finding it difficult to understand and apply SEO on WordPress blog. Thanks for sharing.

    • Alok says:

      Thanks Shafi and will keep updating this one time to time. It will be a tree article for all new bloggers.

  • juan says:

    a great and un-depth article. thanks a lot

  • Laura says:

    I am so useless when it comes to SEO, I really do need to start trying harder. It’s so important to optimise your blog, I could do way better if I learned to grasp the concept of SEO.

    • Alok says:

      Hey Laura, SEO is what most of the blogs lack. And if one can take care of the basic required SEO a blog needs. He/she can do a lot with their blog. That is the main reason for my this article to let everyone know about all basic things they can do without hiring any SEO expert.

      I have provided detailed guides for almost every basic SEO tasks here in this article. You should implement these ASAP.

  • Star harford says:

    This is a really useful article, thanks! I am on WordPress and had no clue I could do any of these things!

    • Alok says:

      Hey Harford, all things mentioned here in this article are easy to implement. One can easily follow all these guides and get a good use of SEO for their blog. All the best!

  • Dee says:

    Another reminder that I need to get started with my SEO! Its been a few month now that I am serious with my blog but I have been too lazy or anytime to tackle the SEO! I should do it as my writing routine.

    • Alok says:

      Yes! you need to focus on your blog SEO first, quality content is sure good for your site but for your content to reach to more readers your SEO is also very important part of your site.

      Following this article guide, you won’t need any SEO expert for your SEO work.

  • Selda Eigler says:

    Very helpful report. I’ll take a closer look.

  • Jen S says:

    A lot of SEO tutorial pages have really generic info that isn’t too helpful but this went way more in depth! Thank you for sharing.

    • Alok says:

      Hey Jen, glad you like it. Feel free to ask any doubt or any SEO question you have in mind.

  • brit says:

    These are awesome tips. I use WordPress so this would be very useful to me. I can’t wait to try some of these out then.

    • Alok says:

      Hey Brit, good to know that you find it useful. I would love to get your feedback or doubts after using these mentioned guides. You can also ask if you want me to add any specific SEO guide or if you think any missing guide should be included in it.

  • jhilmil says:

    Ahh, that’s something really elaborative and must for starters to read! So many important pointers which newbies forget to implement!

    • Alok says:

      Appreciate your feedback on this Jhilmil. Glad you like it.

  • Aditi says:

    This is such a helpful post for so many technical things, I’m always looking for ways to improve my blog at the backend. I’ve already bookmarked it to be used in future. Thanks a lot for sharing all this information! 🙂

  • Yukti says:

    As I use wordpress your article is very helpful for me. I am saving it as being a newbie in YoastSEO I have to read again to make changes as suggested by you. Please help that some of the images of my posts are coming on google search images but not the site on 2nd or 3rd page also. Why? Also why not to use index?

    • Alok says:

      Do you mean you can see your images on “Google image search” by using your keyword but you can’t find your post link on search results?

      This is normal. It’s because images with your keyword have less competition but the content has too much competition to get ranked so fast. Besides this images can also drive traffic to your blog. Try to create long articles to get better ranking on Google search results. And make good use of your Yoast SEO.

      Learn to maintain keyword density, better interlinking, and best focus keyword for your article.

  • I do try to do what I can. I’m in the learning stages at the moment. I have Yoast but I am not sure if I have set it up properly.

    • Alok says:

      Yoast is sure one all in one SEO plugin. I’m also using Yoast on my blog. Using Yoast only you can do almost 60% of your blog on-page SEO. Try to follow these mentioned guides I have described everything in the best and easiest way.

      Let me know if you have any kind of doubts related to SEO or Yoast.

  • Mary says:

    I’ve not progressed this far in my blogging experience. It all sounds a bit Greek to me (that’s a saying right), but I’m sure it’s super helpful!

    • Alok says:

      Hey, Mary. You’ll find these guides pretty simple. I have tried to make it simple for all beginners to SEO. You should be concerned about your blog SEO.

  • Kallia says:

    Very helpful article on the technical part of the blogging process! I enjoy the writing and picture taking, but I have to be honest, I am not great when it comes to SEO nor the technical part of how to set up the page, etc! Thank you for sharing!

    • Alok says:

      My this guide is mostly for those who are new to SEO and I have tried to make it as simple as I can. You should not ignore your blog SEO. Try to follow the guides and ask questions if you want to.

  • I am definitely going to be keeping this for further use in the future. I definitely need to review how things are going with my SEO.

    • Alok says:

      Glad you like it, David. SEO is important and one should not ignore it.

  • Claire says:

    I am not a WordPress blogger but I think this content seems really well-written and useful to other bloggers out there! Great job.

    • Alok says:

      Hi Claire, Glad you find it helpful for WordPress users. Try to share it with your blogging circle.

  • Vlad says:

    Thank you so much for the advices! Most of the things seem so simple but they are so effective and I’ve never thought about them haha 🙂 Good post!

    • Alok says:

      Hey Vlad, really good to know that you like some of my tips for better SEO. I hope it will help you or anyone in your network.

  • This is really useful and as a wordpress blogger I can see it helping lots of people as they begin their wordpress journey.

  • Joanna says:

    This is a very helpful guide, especially on explaining what follow and no follow links are. If a link is natural in a post it should be do follow, unless it is paid. Google loves organic follow links.

    • Alok says:

      Hey Joanna, appreciate your feedback on this. And Yes I mostly dofollow only high authority links and other low-quality links stay nofollow.

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