What is the use of a visually-stunning, feature-rich website if it isn’t optimized for search engines? In fact, search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo care more about quality content, file names, alt tags and keywords than they do about how nice a site is to look at. If you’re building a website in WordPress, understanding what search engines are looking for on your site can help your online venture become a resounding success. 

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Why Is SEO Necessary?

If you already have a WordPress website, you probably know just how important it is to ensure that your site is well-optimized for search engines. It doesn’t matter how nice the design is, without proper SEO, you’re simply not going to get the results that you want. An SEO-friendly website has a much higher chance of appearing on the first page of search results for relevant keywords, driving constant organic traffic to your website. These resources can help you better understand SEO and where to get started. 

Set Permalinks:

Permalinks are the URLs of your website pages and posts. They are what users type into their address bar to reach your website and visit relevant pages. They might also be used by search engines and other websites to link to pages on your website. WordPress comes with default permalink settings that allow you to change them depending on your needs. You can find these in settings > permalinks. 

Create a Sitemap:

Your website might contain hundreds of different pages, and it’s important to tell Google your website structure in order to get these pages indexed by Google. You can create a Google XML sitemap, which is relatively simple. To do this, all you need to do is use the Google XML Sitemaps plugin, which you can link with your site to automatically generate a sitemap and make it easier for search engines to better index your site. 

Use Google Analytics:

This popular analytics tool is free to use and invaluable for helping you keep track of your website traffic and determine what you’re doing well and what could be improved. You can use it to find out more about traffic sources, user behavior, and various other important factors that you need to understand in order to better reach your target audience. You can use it to locate 404 error pages, combat referral spam and more. 

Choose an SEO-Friendly Theme:

WordPress offers a huge variety of both paid and free themes, which you can use to influence the design, look and feel of your site. However, don’t just think about appearance when choosing your theme. While looking good is important, you should also select a theme that has been optimized for search engines. Make sure that your theme uses meta title tags and headings appropriately, has a neat, clean structure with valid HTML, and is responsive to all devices. 

There are plenty of factors to think about when it comes to ensuring that your WordPress website is SEO friendly. Keep these tips in mind in order to lay a good foundation when building your site. 

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