You want readers to find your site when they search for your topic. Before you upload your first page or post, prepare to be loved by search engines.
- Determine your ideal blog focus and structure using the Blogging Startup Planner and stick with it.
- Install Yoast SEO if you didn’t previously.
- Use Yoast SEO to create a Sitemap and submit it to the major search engines, Google and Bing.
- Use SEMrush to find and target profitable keywords.
- Make sure your permalinks are set up to create SEO- and reader-friendly page and post titles (See Part 4).
- Set up your post tags and categories. Stick to just 3 – 5 categories and make sure that every post you publish falls within one.
- Use Yoast SEO to write content that’s focused on a single keyword for each page or post.
- Aim for a minimum of 750 – 1250 words for your average post, and aim for 2000+ words for your cornerstone content.
And don’t forget, as you begin to accumulate dozens of pages and posts, make sure that it’s easy for readers to follow the kind of path you think they should follow.
Rather than assuming they will read your most recent blog and work their way backwards from there, you need to provide them with internal links, both deep links and forward links, as well as clear calls to action and next steps.
For instance, at the bottom of every article in this series on WordPress Basics you will find links to all ten articles, in order, so that no matter how someone discovers the series, they can easily see the rest of the articles and read what they want. Those are followed by 4 specific steps every new blogger needs to take next.
It’s also a good idea to create “Start Here” pages that let specific segments of your readers know where to begin their journey so that you can outline their next steps and next posts to read easily.
With these basic techniques at play, you will be well on your way to creating a blog that’s highly optimized for search engines.
WordPress Basics for Bloggers Series
- What Is WordPress
- How To Get Started With WordPress
- How To Use The WordPress Dashboard
- How To Use WordPress Themes
- How To Use WordPress Plugins
- Understanding WordPress Site Security
- WordPress Blogs: It’s All About The Content
- How To Optimize WordPress For Speed
- How To Prepare Your Blog To Build Traffic From Search (you are here)
- How To Prepare Your Blog To Build Traffic From Social
Next Steps For New Bloggers
- Validate your blogging idea and create a plan using the Blogging Startup Planner.
- Follow the steps outlined in How To Start A Blog: The Ultimate Free Guide.
- Use the Ultimate Blogging Planner to plan your blog content and strategy for the coming year.
- Use the Blog Promotion Checklist to get maximum visibility to your blog posts each and every time.