The 10 Easiest Things You Can Do Right Now to improve your WordPress SEO Wizardry skills.
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Every single one of these things will give you great results. If you’re really serious about getting your website seen, you’ll do all 10 of these WordPress SEO hacks A.S.A.P. If you can even do 1 step a day for the next 10 days, that’s still a fantastic start that will absolutely improve your SEO. There’s nothing mysterious about these steps. Anyone can do them. These are 100% free and effective SEO tricks. Are you ready to improve your Artist website’s SEO RIGHT NOW? Let’s go!
1. Use Pretty Permalinks (This is a basic requirement for WordPress SEO Wizardry 101)
You know how some people’s blog pages have addresses that are clean and use real words, and others are just these endless strings of numbers? Take a wild guess which one is better for search results. Yup, yoursite.com/real-words! This is surprisingly easy to get. While logged into the dashboard of your WordPress website (yourdomain.com/wp-admin), on the left side of the dashboard…
- Click SETTINGS > PERMALINKS.
- Select POST NAME, click SAVE.
Now all the posts and pages on your site have pretty search-friendly URLS.
2. Have an SSL Certificate
If you created your WordPress website using our super-easy WordPress tutorial, you already have an SSL certificate.
If your website is hosted with Green Geeks, you can follow the simple instructions here to claim your free SSL certificate. If you have a different hosting company, check wit them. Most of the good ones will give you free SSL with your hosting plan.
3. Get the free Yoast Plugin
This is an essential way to accomplish the next steps, so don't skip ahead, now!
Yoast is the first true all-in-one SEO solution for WordPress, including on-page content analysis, XML sitemaps and much more.
- While logged into the dashboard of your WordPress website, click PLUGINS > ADD NEW.
- Type ‘YOAST SEO’ into the search bar and push return (or enter, if you’re not on a Mac). When you find it, push INSTALL NOW > ACTIVATE to add it to your site. This will add an SEO tab into your dashboard.
4. Configure the Yoast Plugin
TELL GOOGLE WHO THIS SITE BELONGS TO + WHERE TO FIND YOU
- While logged into the dashboard of your WordPress website, click SEO > GENERAL.
- Click “Get started quickly with the Yoast SEO configuration wizard!” and follow the steps. This is really important because this is where we tell Google what your site is all about and how it links up with all your social media accounts.
- Close the wizard.
Now Yoast will handle some technical aspects of your SEO in the background.
5. Getting more out of Yoast
Note: If you have the Jetpack plugin configured, you may have already done this step. There's no need to do it twice.
VERIFY YOUR SITE WITH THE MAJOR SEARCH ENGINES
- Still logged into your dashboard? Click SEO > GENERAL > FEATURES. Turn everything on and click SAVE.
- Now click the WEBMASTER TOOLS tab and click the Google Search Console link to open it in a new window. If you don’t have an account there, create one. It’s free. *IMPORTANT: Save your password on this FREE Password Keeper so you don’t lose it!
- Click ADD A PROPERTY > Meta Tag Verification. Copy the code they give you and paste it into the Google verification code box back in your dashboard (it’s still open in another browser window from before).
- Press save changes.
- KEEP THIS WINDOW OPEN. WE’LL COME BACK TO IT IN STEP 8.
- BONUS: Now do this process for any of the other three boxes you see there. No time? Google’s the most important one. Let’s keep going.
6. Avoid Sending Duplicate Content to Search Engines
If your post has both a category and tags, google sees it as copies that appear multiple times on your site. Duplicate content can really hurt your search results, so pushing one button here can make a big difference in the long run.
- Still logged into your dashboard? Click SEO > SEARCH APPEARANCE > TAXONOMIES.
- “Show Categories in search results?” YES
- Click TAGS. “Show Tags in search results?” NO
- Click SAVE CHANGES.
7. On-page SEO
Now that you have Yoast installed, you’ll notice an extra YOAST SEO section at the bottom of all your pages and posts.
Be sure to click through all the sections and follow the Yoast team’s instructions and tips in this section. They are experts at SEO. You don’t have to do EVERYTHING. I know it’s a lot, but whenever you have 10 minutes, it’s a great idea to go back into old posts and pages and do some of these tasks. Remember to PUBLISH the post when you’re done so your changes get saved.
8. Submit your XML Sitemap to Google
Once you’ve completed the previous step, it’s time to submit your sitemap to Google! [Not sure what that is? Read why XML Sitemaps are important for your site.]
- In your WordPress dashboard, go to SEO > GENERAL > FEATURES.
- Click the ‘?’ next to XML sitemaps.
- Click See XML Sitemap to make sure you have a sitemap. It will take you to a table of contents for your entire website at [yoursitename.com]/sitemap_index.xml
If you don’t have one, go back to step 4, above.
- YOU SHOULD STILL HAVE GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE OPEN IN ANOTHER WINDOW, FROM STEP 5. If not, log back in with the account you created earlier.
- [If you see an empty gray dashboard, it’s okay. Just click SEARCH PROPERTY > select your website.]
- Click SITEMAPS on the left.
- Under ADD A NEW SITEMAP, paste sitemap_index.xml to the right of your URL in the empty box > SUBMIT. It may take 5-10 minutes, but when you come back to this page later, a list of your submitted sitemaps should appear, with the word SUCCESS in green.
Now Google has easy access to your website’s contents!
9. Optimize the Existing Images on Your Site
You can go through these all at once. It’s a pretty simple task. From inside your WordPress Dashboard…
- Click MEDIA > LIBRARY.
- Click on the first image and where it says Alternative Text, type in a description of the image using keywords connected to your topic to tell Google what’s happening. This is a fabulous way to show up in search results more often. If you don’t do this, you probably won’t appear in Google Image Searches.
- Do this for all the images on your site.
10. FOR THE GOLD STAR: Optimizing Future Images
From now on, before you upload images to a new page or post on your website…
- Make sure the image is not too large before you upload it. The bigger it is, the slower your page will load.
- Give the image file a descriptive title that people might search for, like abstract-art-printables-blue.jpg
- Install a plugin to optimize images even more upon upload (like the free EWWW Image Optimizer). There are tons of good ones out there.
After you upload images…
- Remember to always add the Alternative text. Whenever possible, include the top keyword for the post it’s attached to in the Alternate text. It will help you get the smiley face in your SEO area to turn green.
WHAT WE’VE ACCOMPLISHED AT THIS POINT:
- You’ve got pretty URLs for every page on your website.
- You’ve installed SSL, which means that if someone clicks your link from your Instagram bio, they won’t be told to go away because your site isn’t safe.
- You’ve installed + configured the Yoast SEO plugin
- You’ve verified your website with the major search engines.
- You’ve avoided SEO penalties for submitting duplicate content (*phew!)
- You’ve learned how to do on-page S.E.O.
- You’ve submitted your XML sitemap.
- You’ve optimized your images, and installed a plugin to help optimize them even more efficiently!
Feels good to master WordPress SEO Wizardry, right?
Look at you, becoming an ART ReSOURCERY wizard!
ARE YOU DOING EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO GET YOUR CREATIVE BRAND OUT THERE?
There are hundreds of things you can do to get your art out there. So many in fact, that most artists get overwhelmed and NEVER EVEN BOTHER TRYING. Don’t let that be you! If you’re making work you’re passionate about, then people should have an opportunity to experience your creations. Wherever you are in this journey, we want to help you get the word out there. If you take the survey below, we’ll make sure you get the help you actually need to expand your reach as an artist. It is ART ReSOURCERY’s mission to transform you into an online wizard so the world can experience your magic!
FOR BEGINNERS: we will be sharing lots of manageable tips and tricks to help you get your art out there in front of sparkly-eyed art lovers.
FOR EMERGING AND ESTABLISHED ARTISTS: Get bite-sized, actionable tips that can help you increase your reach and connections with collectors.
FOR EXPERTS IN ANY ASPECT OF THE ARTS: we’d love to feature you and share your knowledge with our readers.