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SEO Checklist for WordPress

You must optimize WordPress to rank in search engine results if you use WordPress. 70% of people search companies online before making a purchase or visiting a company. It is crucial that your website ranks well in search results.

But where to start with search engine optimization (SEO)? Our WordPress SEO checklist is a great place to start!

Continue reading to learn how WordPress SEO can help your business.

WordPress SEO checklist: 12 things to do

Learn how to optimize WordPress SEO. This is your guide to optimizing your WordPress website.

1. Find the right web hosting provider

2. Install SEO plug-ins

3. Search for the right keywords

4. Optimize your URLs

5. Increase your WordPress website's loading time

6. Add links to your WordPress pages

7. Check the visibility settings of your site.

8. Submit your XML sitemap

9. Optimize your WordPress page headings

10. Create unique title tags and meta description

11. Add alt texts to images

12. The user's intent

1. Select the right host provider:

The first step in our SEO checklist for WordPress should be choosing the right web hosting provider. To ensure your website is optimized for search engines, you need to select a reliable hosting provider.

You have many web hosting options that you can choose from to host your website. These are the types of website hosting that you can choose from:

Shared Hosting: Your website will be stored on the same server that other websites using shared hosting. Although this option is cheaper as you share the hosting cost with other businesses it can lead to slow website performance.

Dedicated Server Hosting: At the opposite end of shared hosting, is dedicated server hosting. This option allows you to have your own server and host your website. This is a great way for you to control your host but it comes with a price.

Cloud hosting: A cloud hosting option is another way to host your website. Cloud hosting is a great option because you don't have to invest in infrastructure and can distribute your resources across multiple servers. This option can also scale as your business grows.

Managed Hosting: Another way to host your website is managed Hosting. This option allows you to have your hosting set up by a company. They will also take care of the maintenance and upkeep of your hosting.

Cloud or managed hosting are generally the best options for SEO. These hosting options are more affordable and provide enough support to rank your website in search engines.

These are some great options for website hosting:

1. SiteGround

2. WPEngine

3. HostGator

4. BlueHost

5. DreamHost

2. Install SEO plugins:

To optimize your WordPress website, install WordPress SEO plugins. SEO plugins allow you to optimize your website so you rank higher in search results.

Yoast Search Engine Optimization is the most widely used WordPress SEO plugin. This plugin includes everything you need to rank your website in search engines, such as meta tag optimization and page speed improvement.

Other SEO plugins are also available, such as:




W3 Total Cache

It is crucial to integrate an SEO plugin in order to improve your website's ranking in search results.

3. Search for the best keywords:

Next up on our WordPress SEO checklist, we need to identify the correct keywords. To help them find the right keywords, users type keywords in the search bar. Optimize your WordPress pages to include relevant keywords if you want your business appearing in relevant results.

How do you find keywords that are relevant to your pages? To find keywords, you can use a keyword search tool like KeywordsFX. Long-tail keywords that contain three or more words are better for driving qualified traffic.

After you have identified the keywords that are relevant to your pages, you will integrate them into your text. Use keywords in your:

1. Title tag

2. Meta description

3. Headings

4. Subheadings

5. Text

Search engines will notice that you have included your targeted keywords throughout your pages. This allows them to determine if your page is relevant to search results for these keywords. This is one of the best ways to rank your pages higher in relevant results.

4. Optimize your URLs:

Optimize your URLs if you want to succeed with WordPress SEO. Your URLs are crucial in adding context to the locations search engines and visitors are looking at on your site.

Imagine that you click on a page in the search results, and then you look at the URL to find where you are on the company's website. You see only a mixture of numbers and letters in the URL. This leaves you with no idea where your business is.

This is a common scenario if your URLs are not optimized.

Optimizing your URLs will ensure that search engines and visitors to your site have a clear view of the location of your page. 

These steps will allow you to set up an option to create a customized URL:

1. Click Edit to edit your page or post

2. Click on the Gear icon

3. Click on Permalink

4. Modify your URL slug

These steps will allow you to create a unique URL for your pages. This will make it easier for visitors and search engines to find your site.

5. Increase the load time of your WordPress website:

Analyze your website's loading time to learn how to optimize it. This is an important detail to include in your WordPress SEO checklist. Slow-loading websites can cause businesses $2.6 million in revenue losses annually.

Google page speed insights can be used to check the load time of your website. This tool is free and will give you a detailed report about what's causing slowdowns on your website.

Are you unsure how to implement Google’s suggestions? You might consider investing in Page Speed Services to get a team of experts to help improve the speed of your website's loading.

6. Your WordPress pages can be enhanced with internal links:

Internal links are another important component of your SEO checklist. Internal Links Help Google find other pages on your site so that it can index them in search results.

You can also keep your visitors interested in your site and encourage them to visit other pages of your company.

Here are some tips to make internal linking work.

So users don't miss your anchor text, make sure it is at least 2 words long

Make sure the anchor text is appropriate to the link

Only one link to individual pages

Do not overload your content with hyperlinks and make it difficult to read

7. Verify the visibility settings of your website:

You can add one quick thing to your WordPress SEO checklist: make sure your website is visible on search engines. Search engines can't crawl or index websites that aren't visible.

Go to Settings, and click Reading to check if your site is visible.

A checkbox will appear under the category "Search Engine Visibility". You'll need to uncheck the checkbox if it has a checkmark so search engines can crawl your site and index it.

8. Submit your XML sitemap:

The next step in optimizing your WordPress website is to submit your XML sitemap. An XML sitemap, which is a blueprint listing all pages on your website that are important to Google, allows Google to crawl and index them.

WordPress automatically creates an XML websitemap for you website. However, this feature is limited. It is difficult to control what pages appear and are not on your sitemap.

Instead, you can use your SEO plugin for help in creating a custom XML websitemap. Many of the best SEO plugins are available for sitemap customization.

It's easy to submit an XML sitemap if you use Yoast SEO plugin. These steps are easy to follow:

1. Log in to your WordPress website

2. In the left-hand menu, click SEO

3. Click General

4. Select Features

5. Click on the XML Sitemaps toggle button

6. Click Save

Your SEO plugin can make it easier to modify your XML sitemap for search engine optimization.

9. Optimize the headings of your WordPress pages:

Optimizing page headings is the next step in your WordPress SEO checklist. Your page headings will be the first thing that your visitors see when they visit your website. Your headings provide context, regardless of the page they visit.

To understand the context of your pages, search engines can also crawl headings. It's therefore important to optimize them.

These best practices will help you create SEO-friendly headings:

1. Include your target keyword at the top of your heading

2. Give detailed headings to show the reader what to expect from the page

3. Avoid overstuffing your headings by using keywords

4. Only one H1 tag should be used for the page title

These best practices will allow you to create headings that positively impact your WordPress SEO.

10. Create unique meta descriptions and title tags:

Optimize your meta descriptions and title tags to get people to your WordPress website. Optimizing your meta descriptions and title tags is key to WordPress SEO success. This will make it more appealing to people to click on your listing instead of the others.

How can you optimize these tags for more clicks?

These are the best practices for title tags:

1. To show relevance, place your key keyword as close as possible to the front of the page.

2. Keep your title under 60 characters so it looks polished

3. Your title tag should be relevant to the content of your page.

4. So prospects click, make it eye-catching and creative.

5. To get prospects to click, use buzzwords such as "Free" or "Amazing".

These are the best practices for meta description:

1. Include your core keyword in your description

2. Do not exceed the limit of 155 characters

3. Make a summary of the things visitors can expect from your page

4. Keywords are not enough.

11. Images can be given alt text:

Next on your WordPress SEO checklist: Add alt text to images. Alt text provides context and is crucial for website visitors as well as search engines.

Although search engines cannot read images, alt text can help them "read" the image. Search engines can understand the context of your page by allowing you to detail the contents of the photo.

The benefits for users are double-edged. The alt text will be displayed if an image fails to load. This provides context and allows users to understand what the picture is supposed to look like. Screen readers that can read alt text on images can be used to inform users of what is on the page.

Alt text should be descriptive and focus on the details of the image. If it isn't natural, don't try to add keywords.

12. Identify the intended use for each page:

Last on your SEO checklist for WordPress: Identify the user intention for every page. Your pages must be able to rank high in search results.

How do you know what intent is?

Take a look at the current ranking of search results. What information does each website share? You can get an idea of the information you should include by looking at which pages rank high in search results.


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