You set up a blog. The design is great, your selected niche is perfect, but … visitors just won’t start rolling in?!
Why is that? Thing is, you need to also do SEO.
Yeah, I know what you may say. You’re already building links and doing a whole lot of other sorts of things. What you may have not done is making sure that your WordPress site is properly fine-tuned in terms of on-page SEO and your WordPress setup in general.
It goes without saying that building links is a primal must for every single blogger, but at the same time you may be leaving money on the table just because your WordPress is not setup as it’s supposed to be. Why not get the biggest bang possible for your buck? That’s exactly what the post is about.
WordPress SEO by Yoast
There are tons of SEO plugins out there, but just a few of them are really robust and feature-rich. WordPress SEO by Yoast is one of them. This plugin takes care about a slew of SEO aspects, such as tracking your site’s SEO performance, social networks, XML sitemap, you name it. One of the most kick-butt features is that you can both import and export settings for your SEO plugin.
That means that having set it up once, you’ll be able to just import your settings file to your new WordPress installation and you’re good to go. It’s extremely crucial for those of you who either have lots of your own sites or manage a bunch of client sites. Just imagine how much time you can save with it! The bottom line is that you need to install the Yoast plugin in order to make things right in a timely manner.
As you probably know, it’s the file that you can use for telling Google and other search engines for that matter which content on your site you want to be indexed and which not. Coming from a non-WordPress background, I personally was having a really hard time trying to find my robots.txt file on the FTP server.
Don’t try it at home! Problem is, WordPress does not have a physical robots.txt file among its files on the FTP server. WordPress dynamically (on the fly) generates your robots.txt file every time a user comes to your site. I’m not exactly sure why it’s working like that and what are the benefits. Go figure.
Perhaps, you guys know something about it?
Anyways, it’s no biggie for the most part, but what are we supposed to do if we want to edit the robots.txt file? How can you edit something that does not exist neither on the FTP server nor in your WordPress admin panel? The solution is genial as most things in the world of WordPress. You just need to install the right plugin. The plugin that you need to install for being able to edit your robots.txt file is called .. wait for it … wait for it … WP Robots.txt. This is amazing!
WordPress plugin developers always come up with all sorts of whimsical plugin names (wink-wink).
You also want to keep track of the traffic that your site receives because it allows to both pinpoint issues and fine-tune your content so that your visitors like your site even more. You can basically just obtain your Google Analytics ID and paste it in the first section of the WordPress SEO plugin (SEO -> Dashboard -> Webmaster Tools). It’ll connect your website with your Google Analytics account.
Alternatively, you can just install the Jetpack Lite plugin for the WordPress Stats feature that allows to see basic traffic data, such as visits, referrals, used keywords, etc. The drawback of this approach is that you’ll be missing out on a whole lot of useful info. That’s why you may want to use both Google Analytics and WordPress Stats at the same time. The latter as a supplementary feature that allows to quickly check your daily traffic stats.
Google Webmaster Tools
Just like Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools is a must-have tool for every site owner. You just need to go to your account on Google Webmaster Tools and add your site. Other than that, you’ll have to verify your ownership using one of the available methods. The easiest method is to just upload the HTML file they offer to your FTP server.
Having verified your site, you’ll have access to a whole bunch of really snazzy tools. Just to name a few, you’ll be able to see what keywords bring traffic to your site, the amount and source of your inbound links, issues with your site indexing (if any) and stuff like that.
BONUS VIDEO FROM MS. ILEANE: How to Connect Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools for Basic SEO
Though you definitely want to cater for the user in the first place, you still need to make sure that you keep search engines happy. No, I’m not talking about some human sacrifice because luckily for you search engines feed on just content. You need to use your XML sitemap in order to keep Google in the know what content you have on your site. Should you want to really dive into the nitty gritty of the issue, be sure to check SiteMaps.org.
As long as you have WordPress SEO by Yoast installed on your site, you’re not even supposed to set up one more plugin. The only thing that you need to do is go to the SEO drop-down menu and select the XML Sitemaps option. That done, make sure that you have the Check this box to enable XML sitemap functionality checkbox ticked. It’s a set it and forget it thing. Once you enable the functionality and tweak other available options, you won’t have to get back here any time soon.
As an alternative, you can try the Google XML Sitemaps Plugin.
To make your SERP snippets really stand out of the crowd, you want to use Schema.org additional markup that allows to do the trick. It basically helps search engines to wrap their heads around what is what on your site and display that info in Google snippets. Say you own a pizza place and manage a website for it. Using Schema.org, you’ll be able to not only show title and description in your Google snippet, but also rating, time required for cooking your pizza, amount of calories, etc. Bottom line is it makes your snippet more advanced and hopefully more preferable for potential site visitors.
Don't get me wrong. There are all sorts of SEO plugins and widget sets for every particular case. I just tried to outline the most basic plugins that you need to make sure that your site is properly configured in terms of WordPress SEO. That's basically what I use on WebDesy.com. What SEO plugins do you happen to us on your own site?
VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: CONNECT GOOGLE ANALYTICS TO GOOGLE WEBMASTER TOOLS
Hey Guys, It's Ileane and I started a new blog it's called Ms. Ileane Speaks and it's over on Blogger.
And I just wanted to show you really quickly how to connect your Webmaster Tools into your Google Analytics account. Now when you don't have your Google Webmaster Tools and your Google Analytics accounts connected this is what will happen. When you go over here under Search Engine Optimization and you go to look for Queries – Landing pages – and Geographical Summary – You won't have any information you'll have this error message that lets you know that you need to set that up.
Let's set up that connection so we won't have a blank page!
All I have so far on Ms. Ileane Speaks is one post. Just posted one episode of my podcast here. And over in Google Analytics you're going to go to the Admin area then you'll go to property settings. Make sure that blog is listed there and its optional here but you can fill in the industry category and then right here where it says Webmaster Tools Settings. This is where you're going to fill in the blog.
Now that's going to open up a window that will bring up access to all of your properties that you have over in Google Webmaster Tools so here's Ms. Ileane Speaks dot com right here I'll save that and that's it! Now you see that this account is connected. So now that we have it all setup let's go back over into Google Analytics And let's just refresh the page. Now of course there's no data there because as I mentioned to you this is a brand new blog. I just posted something on it yesterday but you see here that the connection is now made between the two accounts.
Now we’re over on Google Analytics from our main blog which is Basic Blog Tips dot com this looks a lot better doesn't it when you actually see some traffic there let's go over into those Search Engine Optimization reports and look under Queries and you can see here that I'm seeing the data that's coming in and let me know the impressions that are appearing in Google search and how many clicks they're getting. The average position that my blog appears in when people are searching for these queries and the click through rate so this is very similar information to what you're going to see in Google Webmaster Tools now you won't have to pop back-and-forth you can check all that stuff out right here in Google [Analytics]
I mentioned to you before in a video I did about adding Adsense on a Google Custom search, one of the ways that I determined what pages on my blog, I'll and AdSense is I'll use this right here. I'll sort this by the clicks and I see that they're you know I got basically close to a thousand clicks on this post which is a pretty old post but actually you add them up.
Here's a search query for that post here's another one here's a different one a different search query.
They're all leading back to this one post which is pretty old and uh… it's but is still valid is about getting followers on Twitter I have AdSense running on that page and it does pretty good.
I also have a video that I inserted on that page and that video is starting to skyrocket and get more views and I'm also getting more sign ups for my email list. So that's why this information is very valuable so I suggest you make that connection save yourself a few steps so you don't have to log in and out of Google Webmaster tools because this is what you really want to see here the Search Queries.
Landing pages that helps too also tells you what pages those people are going to from all those search queries, just makes it more faster for you to concerned about the geography or what country that people are actually coming from. In my case I don't care as long as they are coming from the planet earth that's fine with me. Allright! 🙂
I hope you've enjoyed watching this video and here's what I'd like you to do. While you're over when you to subscribe to my channel that when you can keep up to date with of a blogging tutorials social media and anything that's going on with YouTube or Google Chrome. Thanks so much for joining me today I really appreciate it and I'll talk to you soon once again it's Ileane from Basic Blog Tips. Bye for now