WordPress SEO guide for 2022
8 minute(s) read
Published on: Jul 19, 2022
Updated on: Jul 19, 2022
The truth is you can’t fight the algorithm, but you can improve your rankings with a well-executed strategy.
If you're using WordPress to host and manage your site, you’re in luck. WordPress powers 43.3% of all websites on the internet and it’s the best content management software for SEO. This popular CMS is very easy to use and it offers built-in features to customize and design your site from scratch.
Do you want to get on the first page of Google and outrank your competitors? Keep reading and discover how to get more traffic and customers with this WordPress SEO guide for 2022.
Is WordPress good for SEO?
Source: Business Magazine.
WordPress is great for SEO.
It’s an open-source platform that allows users to build websites in a few minutes with no technical experience required. This means that you don’t need to know about coding to create a blog or an online store.
Google’s site crawlers love WordPress. The CMS ticks all the SEO boxes for a Google-friendly site:
- In WordPress sites, content is displayed following a logical structure
- Visitors enjoy an intuitive user experience
- Metadata is easy to implement
- Images are optimized with alt tags and descriptions
- Permalinks are 100% customizable
- WordPress sends an update to Google every time you make changes to your site
There’s no evidence that Google favors WordPress sites, but it certainly likes the website’s designs and on-page SEO.
WordPress covers all the SEO basic tasks you need to rank high in 2022. If you want to add more personalization to your site, you may need to hire WordPress development services.
According to Dmitriy Maschenko, the head of a division at PSD2HTML "it is always much better to personalize your website. This will help you stand out and build your brand's identity. Plus, it will be easier to optimize a customized website than the one built from a template."
How do I set up SEO for my WordPress website in 2022?
Follow these steps to get your WordPress SEO on point:
- Check your WordPress settings
- Create an SEO-friendly URL
- Generate XML sitemaps in WordPress
- Use a WordPress SEO plugin
- Do an extensive keyword research
- Check your WordPress settings
The first step to improving your SEO performance is to check your site settings. Make sure to explore these options:
- Visibility settings — go to Settings » Reading page in your WordPress dashboard. Scroll down and verify that the ‘Search Engine Visibility’ feature is unchecked. This way, search engines can index your site and make it visible to users on result pages.
- Permalink settings — go to Settings » Permalink page in your WordPress dashboard. Choose the ‘Post name’ or ‘Custom structure’ option to personalize your URLs. Instead of having a predefined structure like mywebsite.com/?p=123, your site’s URLs can display keywords or page categories.
- URL settings — go to Settings » General page in your WordPress dashboard. Set your URL structure in the ‘WordPress Address (URL)’ and ‘Site Address (URL)’ boxes. You might want to omit the www.mywebsite.com structure and simply leave it as mywebsite.com. Is not that crucial for SEO, but it’s relevant for branding purposes.
Create an SEO-friendly URL
Optimize your WordPress site URLs to get a better SEO score and to enhance your customer's user experience.
Search engines want to know what your website is about to drive customers to your blog or eCommerce store. Describe your content or product in the URL so that engine spiders and users can find you easily.
Keep it short and use keywords to boost traffic to your website. See the example below:
- Good practice: https://www.mywebsite.com/blog/seo-tips-startups
- Bad practice: https://www.mywebsite.com/blog/the-best-seo-tips-for-startups-businesses
Remember to use lowercase letters and hyphens to separate words. Search engines can read both uppercase and lowercase letters, so it’s important that you follow the traditional lowercase URL structure. It’s easier to type and less confusing.
The same happens with hyphens (-) and underscores (_). Google reads hyphens as a separation between words and underscores as one big and clunky word.
- Good practice: https://www.mywebsite.com/about-us
- Bad practice: https://www.mywebsite.com/blog/About_Us
Generate XML sitemaps in this
An XML sitemap is a file that shows the search engine all the crawlable pages on your site. This is a full list of the existing URLs on your WordPress website.
If you want Google to find and access the most important pages on your online store, you need to generate an XML sitemap. If you're using WordPress version 5.5 or greater, you have already an autogenerated XML sitemap for your site.
To check it, type your site’s URL in the search bar and add the suffix ‘wp-/sitemap.xml’. For example, https://www.mywebsite.com/wp-sitemap.xml. If you installed an SEO plugin to manage your sitemap, verify your URL list by adding the suffix ‘/sitemap_index.xml’.
Once you’ve checked your XML sitemap, you need to add it to Google Search Console. This way, you can start ranking your pages on Google.
Follow these steps to complete the process:
Sign in to Google Search ConsoleChoose your website in the sidebarFind the section ‘Sitemaps’ in the sidebar and click on itEnter /sitemap_index.xml on the ‘Add a new sitemap’ fieldClick ‘Submit’
Use a this SEO plugin
WordPress SEO plugins can help you improve your site’s performance and search visibility. These complements have become crucial for online businesses that want to turn their websites into traffic and conversion machines.
Use WordPress SEO plugins to:
- Generate and manage your sitemaps
- Check your content readability
- Analyze your SEO score and performance
- Monitor your click-through rate
- Keep an eye on your competitors
- See what keywords are your site ranking for
- Check relevant SEO data like bounce rate or traffic sources
- Fix 404 errors and redirect these pages
- Upgrade your local SEO presence
- Improve your page speed
… and more.
Here’s a list of the best free WordPress SEO plugins in 2022. Feel free to download the ones that best suit your needs:
- Yoast SEO
- WP Rocket
- All in One SEO (AIOSEO)
- Rank Math
- SEMrush Writing Assistant
- Premium SEO Pack
- SEO Squirrly
- Broken Link Checker
Do an extensive keyword research
Source: Jharkhand IT Solutions.
Before you start creating content for your WordPress website, you must know what your audience is looking for.
The best way to do so is to start extensive keyword research. Use tools like SEMrush or Google Keyword Planner to find keywords you can easily rank for. These platforms give you valuable information that can help you grow your organic traffic, such as:
• Content ideas
• User’s search intent
• Your competitor’s search rankings
• Keyword reports
• Questions and phrases your audience type in search engines
The data and insights from your keyword research can get your site to the top of Google’s search results. 67.7% of all clicks go to the first five page results, so it’s essential that you plan a keyword strategy to polish your SEO content writing.
WordPress is the most popular CMS in 2022. Business owners and blog writers love it because it’s easy to use and it’s SEO-friendly.
To shape up your WordPress site’s SEO, you need to follow a road map. Think about applying these tactics to your company:
• Monitor your WordPress settings — check the visibility settings, permalink and URL structure
• Configure an SEO-friendly URL — add keywords to your URL, keep it short and use lowercase letters and hyphens to separate words
• Manage your XML sitemaps — check if your sitemap is complete and upload it to Google Search Console
• Use WordPress SEO plugins — install plugins like Yoast or WP Rocket to automate SEO activities
• Look for keywords — build content based on the keywords your site is ranking for and on your audience's search intent
Feel free to use the tips on this WordPress SEO guide for 2022 to boost your SEO performance!