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Choose WordPress if You Are a SEO Beginner

Choose WordPress if you are SEO beginner

In the digital age, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become an indispensable tool for anyone looking to establish an online presence in search engines like Google and Bing.

For beginners, understanding and implementing SEO can seem daunting. However, selecting the right Content Management System (CMS) can ease the process – a lot.

Personally I would not recommend any beginner to use anything but WordPress, just because it offers a complete and intuitive that offers full control. 

Table of Contents

Let’s review the concept of SEO

SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization’, the goal is to improve the visibility and ranking of your website on search engines in order to generate valuable traffic that will convert into sales.

In other words, you’re optimizing your website so that a search engine will choose you when a user makes a search related to your business offerings.

The SEO pillars

  1. Keyword research: identifying the most relevant and widely used keywords that your target audience searches for. 
  2. Content creation: developing high-quality, relevant, and informative content that incorporates the targeted keywords. 
  3. On-Page optimization: ensuring that each page on the website is optimised for search engines. 
  4. Off-Page optimization: building the site’s reputation and authority through backlinks from other reputable websites. 
  5. Technical SEO: improving the technical aspects of the website to enhance its ranking in search results

When you start learning SEO, you must consider a few key concepts: visibility, which means how prevalent your site is in search engine results; traffic, which refers to the number of visitors your site receives; and ranking, which is your site’s position on search engine results pages (SERPs) for specific search queries.

Why is SEO so important?

As an online business, it’s crucial to have several traffic sources in today’s digital landscape because everything is evolving so quickly and the competition is so fierce.

Effective SEO ensures that your site is visible to the right audience, increasing the likelihood of attracting qualified traffic interested in your products or services. This is not just about getting more visitors but about enhancing the quality of those visits, which can lead to increased brand recognition and higher conversion rates from visitor to customer.

Search engines also require your website to be user-friendly and easy to navigate in order to improve user experience and satisfaction. This aspect of SEO is vital as search engines increasingly prioritise user experience in their ranking algorithms. Why? Because the search engine itself competes to retain users. 

With good SEO you are not only setting up your website to be successful in the long-run – with a certain amount of guarantee.

Let’s now dive into why choose WordPress for SEO – at any level, I simply chose to target beginners or marketing outsiders with this article.

First of all, what is a Content Management System (CMS)?

A Content Management System (CMS) is software that helps users create, manage, and modify content of a website without the need for specialised technical knowledge or code. Essentially, a CMS provides a user-friendly interface that simplifies website administration, content creation and collaboration.

Common CMS Platforms

The most popular CMS’s include Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress, each with unique features and communities. For beginners in SEO, choosing the right CMS can have great impact on their ease of use and effectiveness in implementing SEO strategies.

Shopify can also be considered a CMS to an extent, but it’s not worthy of mentioning for SEO.

Why is WordPress the best choice for SEO beginners?

When considering a new website or even an upgrade from a different CMS, several factors make it the preferred choice for beginners:

  • User-friendly interface: WordPress is renowned for its intuitive and easy-to-navigate dashboard, which is ideal for SEO beginners. The platform makes it simple to create and publish content, install SEO plugins, and make updates to your site’s structure, all of which are crucial for effective SEO.
  • SEO-friendly features: WordPress inherently supports SEO-friendly features such as clean permalink structures, easy content categorization, and responsive design. These features facilitate the implementation of SEO fundamentals, making it simpler for beginners to optimise their sites for search engines right from the start.
  • Extensive plugin ecosystem: one of the biggest reasons behind why WordPress is a favourite is its vast array of plugins designed specifically for SEO. Plugins like Yoast SEO, RankMath or All in One SEO Pack guide users through the process of optimising their content and provide valuable insights into improving SEO strategies.
  • Robust community support: WordPress has one of the largest user communities, providing an extensive resource pool for beginners. Whether it’s forums, tutorials, or dedicated SEO advice, the WordPress community offers invaluable support for anyone just starting with SEO.
  • Scalability and flexibility: as your skills and site grow, WordPress grows with you. It’s scalable enough to handle increased traffic and content complexity whilst flexible enough to accommodate advanced SEO tactics without switching platforms.

Getting started with SEO in WordPress

Starting with WordPress is an exciting journey into building and optimising your own website and getting a grasp on SEO practices as a beginner. For those new to this platform, the initial setup involves a few key steps:

  • Purchase a domain: ideally a short domain that either clearly identifies the purpose of your website, includes the main keyword of your activity or the name of your brand.
  • Choose a hosting provider: select a reliable hosting service that offers good speed and WordPress support. This is crucial as hosting can affect your site’s performance and SEO.
  • Install WordPress: most hosting providers offer one-click installations for WordPress, making this process very straightforward.
  • Select an SEO-friendly theme: choose a theme that is responsive, fast-loading, and designed with SEO in mind. Themes significantly impact your site’s user experience and search engine ranking. Themes also offer different built-in functionalities.

Configure essential settings

To configure WordPress for SEO effectively, it’s essential to adjust a few settings immediately after installation:

Permalinks

Set your permalinks to a structure that includes post names (e.g., yoursite.com/post-name) as it’s more SEO-friendly than the default numeric settings.

This can be adjusted in the ‘Settings’ > ‘Permalinks’ menu.

Visibility settings

Ensure your site is visible to search engines by unchecking the ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this site’ option under ‘Settings’ > ‘Reading’.

  • Give your site a title and a description.
  • Select which should be the homepage and which page will be used as the blog post feed page.

Add logo and favicon

Brand your website in the Appearance settings so it can be easily recognised. 

This is a favicon

WordPress beginner tips for SEO

For beginners looking to optimise their WordPress site, here are some foundational tips:

  • Install an SEO plugin: plugins like Yoast SEO or RankMath are invaluable for beginners. They help you manage and optimise your meta descriptions, titles, and keywords efficiently. Yoast offers a more comprehensive guide to optimising your content for SEO, RankMath offers more functions.
  • Optimise your content: focus on creating quality content that’s useful for your audience. Use your target keywords naturally, ensure your headings are clear, and your paragraphs are concise.
  • Optimise images: use alt text for your images, and ensure they are optimised for fast loading. This not only helps with SEO but also improves user experience.

How to Monitor and improve SEO

  • Google Search Console: submit your sitemap to help Google effectively discover and index your pages. Track how your site appears in search results, analyze queries and click-through rates to understand what’s working. Use the URL Inspection tool to check the index status of individual pages and keep an eye on the Index Coverage report to identify and resolve any issues that prevent pages from being indexed.
  • Google analytics: set up Google Analytics to track your website’s traffic and user behaviour, which can provide insights into your SEO performance with regards to user behaviour and organic business development.
  • Regular updates and improvements: keep your WordPress themes and plugins updated, these can cause underperformance and open security breaches. Regularly review your SEO strategy and adjust based on performance metrics and SEO updates.

Basic SEO best practices in WordPress

WordPress’s flexibility allows for various SEO enhancements directly from its dashboard.

  • SEO plugins: install and configure plugins like WP Rocket or Lightspeed Caché for technical SEO. The previously discussed SEO plugins like Yoast are a must.
  • Responsive design: choose themes that are responsive and mobile-friendly. Google prioritises mobile-first indexing, so having a site that performs well on mobile devices is crucial for SEO.
  • XML sitemaps: use plugins to generate XML sitemaps and submit them to search engines. This helps ensure that all your pages are found and indexed.

Enhance your website’s security

Security is often overlooked in SEO discussions, but a secure site is crucial for maintaining your rankings:

  • Implementing HTTPS: switching from HTTP to HTTPS not only secures your site but also gives it a minor ranking boost. For example, if you run an e-commerce site, securing it with HTTPS assures your customers their connection is safe, which is crucial for building trust and improving conversion rates. 
  • Regularly updating software: keep your WordPress version, themes, and plugins updated to avoid security vulnerabilities. An example here would be a recent update to a popular plugin that patches a known security flaw, which could potentially lead to a site being hacked and losing SEO ranking if left unaddressed.
  • Security plugins: Wordfence and Akismet Anti-Spam are free WordPress security plugins that have everything you need.

To conclude

SEO is a dynamic and ongoing process. The digital landscape is continually evolving, and so are the strategies that drive SEO success. Don’t be discouraged by the complexities; instead, embrace the learning curve. Experiment with different techniques, monitor the outcomes, and always be on the lookout for ways to improve.

Remember, every step you take to enhance your SEO skills not only boosts your site’s performance but also adds to your value as a digital marketer.

Additional resources

To further your education and ensure you stay on top of the latest trends and techniques in SEO, here are some valuable resources:

  • Moz Blog: Insights from one of the leading SEO software providers.
  • Search Engine Journal: Offers the latest news and tutorials in SEO.
  • Yoast SEO Blog: Great for beginners wanting to learn more about SEO specifically for WordPress.
  • Google Analytics: Essential for monitoring your site’s traffic and SEO performance.
  • Google Search Console: Helps you understand and improve how Google sees your site.
  • Ahrefs: A toolset for SEO & marketing running on Big Data.

Glossary of WordPress SEO terms

The practice of improving and promoting a website to increase the number of visitors it receives from search engines by achieving higher rankings in search results.

Software that helps users create, manage, and modify content on a website without needing specialised technical knowledge.

The permanent URLs to individual posts, pages, or other content on your website. They are used to link to specific web pages.

Tools that extend and expand the functionality of WordPress. Plugins allow users to add new features to their website without needing to write any code.

Snippets of text that describe a page’s content; the meta tags don’t appear on the page itself, but only in the page’s code. Common meta tags are Meta descriptions and Meta keywords.

A brief description of a page’s content, which is often displayed in search engine results beneath the page title.

Links from one website to a page on another website. Google and other major search engines consider backlinks as votes for a specific page, which can improve a site’s ranking in search engine results.

A file that helps search engines better understand your website by providing a roadmap of all important pages and posts available for crawling.

A popular WordPress plugin used for improving SEO by handling technical optimization of your site and assisting with the management of SEO content.

A description of an image in your content that allows search engines and screen readers used by visually impaired individuals to better understand an image.

A web address that the site owner considers to be the definitive address for a page that might be accessible by multiple URLs.

Picture of Myles Dalmain-Jones

Myles Dalmain-Jones

With more than 7 years of experience in Marketing, Online Sales & Digital Advertising, Myles provides sustainable online business growth by addressing the main fields of organic and paid growth. His experience comes from the following sectors: Retail, Ecommerce, B2C Tourism, Dentistry, Real Estate & Accommodation, B2B Pharmaceuticals, Solar energy installations, Recruiting and more.

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