Are you getting ready to launch a new WordPress website that you have created? If the answer to this question is a yes, then ask yourself as to whether you have considered all of the SEO steps for the new website so that you receive the best results. The aim of this post is to provide you with an SEO checklist for new websites, covering all of the major aspects, so that you are able to derive maximum benefits right from the start.
#1: Google Webmaster Tools Setup and Analytics:
Google Analytics provides you with statistical information with regards to web traffic and sources of traffic. On the other hand, the Webmaster tool helps you to optimise the visibility of your website. In addition, it tells you how your site is doing. The tool also provides information related to keywords and the queries that are contributing to boosting the page rank. Therefore, you should add the tools to your website.
Canonicalization is the approach taken by Google in selecting the best URLs. If you do it properly, it enables search engines to crawl more pages on your website. In addition, it gives an indication of link authority and page ranking (PR) consolidation. This also helps to make the link profile strong. You just have to specify the preferred URLs after adding canonical tags. This improves your website’s ranking.
#3: Keyword, Content and Pages Title:
It is important to have unique pages and titles. The pages should be created with on-page optimization practices such as keyword density, keyword placement, HTML codes, meta tags, etc. The titles must be limited to 50 to 65 characters. As far as keywords are concerned, it is recommended that you include 10 keywords in a page. Further, it is important to provide good quality content on all pages. Google checks relevance and uniqueness before ranking your pages. Additionally, keyword relevancy is also checked by Google for better search ranking.
#4: Meta Description and Keywords:
Meta description refers to the information about a page. It tells the search engine as to what the page is all about. Meta description must be limited to 165 characters. Users read the meta description and find out it is a related page before they actually visit the page. Some of the WordPress SEO Plugins that could be used in this regard are WP Meta SEO, Yoast SEO, All in One SEO Pack, etc.
#5: Header Tags:
On a web page, the headers tags (H1, H2, H3, and H4) are placed at various locations so that the search engines can provide the most relevant search results.
H1 – This tag is kept at the top of a page.
H2 – This tag denotes different sections on a page.
H3 and H4 – These tags used in subheadings provide specific links to sources.
#6: Page URLs:
The URLs of pages available on your WordPress websites are referred to as permalinks. It is these links that the users enter into browsers at the time of searching specific elements. As and when the search engines find out the best match, they display the result on screen. It is because of this reason optimization of the permalinks using the most relevant and frequently searched keywords is very important.
#7: Optimisation of Images:
Images that have been provided with specific, relevant content will more likely get a higher ranking in search engine listings. Setting specific URLs for images, referred to as image optimisation, is an additional job, but it helps to improve page ranking.
However, this approach requires you to ensure that the files are properly named and have relevant content. The most searched keyword for a topic should be used in the best possible manner. This will enable your pages to rank higher among the pages related to the topic on the web.
Another important aspect related to image optimisation is making sure that the file size is maintained low for faster loading. The WordPress plugin EWWW Image Optimiser will automatically optimise your images as and when you upload them on to your website.
#8: Speed of Page Loading:
The speed at which your web pages load on your site is very important when it comes their ranking. Users will not have the patience to wait if the pages do not load in about 3 seconds. Therefore, it is important that you include the online page speed tool, such as Disable Page Revision, which will help in loading pages faster. Users may abandon your website if they have to wait for a long period of time for pages to load. This could lead to a loss of business for you. You can also make use of tools such as Google Pagespeed Insights. The tool will analyse the elements of your website and gives you suggestions on improving your site’s loading speed.
#9: Optimise Internal Linking:
Plugins such as Internal Links Lite provided for free by WordPress allows you to create links that ensure best results in search engine listings. It allows you to specify the URLs of pages related to each other. The search engine crawls on the related post, fetching some key information when you link a related post and a specific page. This, in turn, contributes to improving your page rank.
#10: Use WordPress Plugins:
You must make use of a wide range of plugins provided by WordPress to improve your website’s ranking, ward off security concerns, resolve file backup issues, and store data. The plugins provided for these purposes include the `Yoast SEO plugin, BackUPWordPress, and BulletProof Security. These plugins make your job easy and ensure better results.
Summarizing, the above-mentioned SEO checklist for new websites will provide your WordPress website with a competitive advantage over other websites in the niche. So, pause and check to ensure that you have included all of these aspects prior to launching your new WordPress website. If you pay heed to these recommendations, there is no doubt that your website will show higher up in the search engine listings for specific keywords.