How to do SEO for WordPress website – Step by Step Guide

In this WordPress SEO tutorial, you will be learning everything about how to do SEO for a WordPress website.

I will walk you through every profess step by step for better understanding and share best practices.

Before you start with SEO, you must prepare your website for SEO.

How to prepare a WordPress website for SEO?

Making your WordPress website SEO ready is the first step towards SEO.

How to get started with SEO


Here is a step by step process to get started with SEO for a WordPress website. 

Best way to learn SEO is doing SEO. 

You can’t learn SEO by reading tips and notes, you must practice SEO to learn SEO

Before you start a project, you must have a website or a blog where you can start implementing SEO strategies and experimenting with various SEO techniques.

Phase 1: 

Prepare your website for SEO

For our project we will practise on WordPress website as it’s one of the most popular, versatile and easy platforms for website and blogs.

Here are few steps to be followed

  1. Connect your website with Google Search Console
  2. Install SEO Plugin on your website and configure it
  3. Prepare a site-map of your website and submit it to Google using Google Search Console
  4. Connect your website with Google Analytics to measure your website traffic
  5. Add required pages to your website as per your keyword strategy

Step 1: Install Header & Footer Code Manager on your website

Header and Footer Code Manager plugin will help you to setup Google Search Console for your website (Domain). As you know, Google search Console is very important tool for managing SEO project and discover website performance in organic search results. 


Step 2: Create Google Search Console Account

Login to your Google account which you want to use for this project and create a Google Search Console account. 

Step 3: Verify your domain in Google Search Console

Before you start using Google Search Console, you need to verify your domain. There are multiple ways to get your domain verified. 

Method 1: Verify domain with DNS record

To use this method, you must have access to your DNS records and you must know how to manage DNS records for your domain. This method is best if you are the owner of domain and you have full access to DNS, you know everything about hosting and domain. 

Method 2: Verify URL with HTML code

Getting website verified by HTML is easiest method. You may need access to your website and website code. In this method, you need to paste verification code in the header of your website home page.

If you are using WordPress, then you can use header footer code manager plugin or similar plugins to insert code into header of your website.

Method 3: Verify using Google Analytics

This method is very useful if you have already setup Google Analytics from same Google ID (Gmail ID) you used for search console. You don’t need to paste any dode. Just choose Google analytics method and Googl will verify your domain. 

Method 4: Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager can also be used for verification. If you are using Google Tag Manager for managing tags on your website, then this method is for you. 

Which is best method to verify website in Google Search Console?

Technically there is no specific method. Depending on your website and access, you can choose method which is best suitable for your.

Typically people use verify using HTML tag method as it’s very easy and fast.


Step 4: Install Yoast SEO Plugin on your website

Yoast SEO is one of the most popular, powerful and reliable SEO plugins for WordPress. Yoast SEO is used for optimising on-page SEO for WordPress websites. 

You can install Yoast SEO plugin to make changes in website titles and description. You can use Yoast SEO plugin to generate site-map and verify your website in Google Search Console.

Yoast SEO plugin can suggest you improvement in content and internal linking. You can follow some of the suggestions by plugin to further improve your website content.

Step 5: Create a website site-map using Yoast SEO

Generating site-map in WordPress is very easy using Yoast SEO plugin. Yoast SEO plugin automatically generates site-map and provides URL which can be submitted to Google Search Console


Phase 2: 

Prepare keywords list

Keywords are important ingredients of SEO. Before you begin with SEO project, you must have website and list of target keywords for which you want to rank your website. 

You can prepare a list of keywords by using various keyword research tools and by analysing your competitors. 

Keyword research tools may help you find unique keywords which might be relevant to your website or business. 

Often students ask, should we target keywords with high volume or keywords with less difficulty. 

Well, answer would depend on your project and specific objectives

Scenario 1: Health & Fitness Blog

Assuming you are running a health and fitness blog and you want to drive more traffic then you must focus on keywords with high search volume and having latest trends. 

Using high search volume keywords can help you get found and drive traffic on your website. At the same time, you can focus on keywords with low search volume but they are trending. 

Scenario 2: English Speaking for professional

Assuming you are running a business of “English training” for working professionals.  In this case, a generic keywords with high search volume – Learn English or how to learn English for free might help you drive traffic. But, you must focus on low volume but more relevant keywords like – english speaking for professionals, English for working professionals, English course for business, business english etc.

NOTE: If you are into business, relevant traffic is more important than more traffic

Phase 3: 

Conduct we website SEO Audit

Website audit can be done for on-page and off-page

Always start an on-page audit first and then start with off-page activities

SEO audit is the process of discovering issues with your website related to SEO best practices and identifying gaps and pages which are not optimised for relevant keywords.

Here is how to do SEO audit of your website:

  • Prepare a list of all pages and url’s of your website using either Screaming frog or SemRush (SemRush is not free). If your website is having less than 10 pages, you can do this audit manually
  • Identify pages with missing title tags or pages with missing keywords in title tags. 
  • Identify and make a list of pages and Url’s without description or non-relevant description
  • Make a website structure and navigation structure and consider restructuring if required. 
  • Make a list of pages already ranking and receiving organic traffic
  • Make a list of pages not ranking in organic listing and unable to get organic traffic or getting very less traffic

After you are done with a website SEO audit, make a list of actionable items for a website. This ist of actionable items may include, reviewing website content, adding new pages, optimising titles of pages and category pages. 

Here is a list of sample action items:


Sr Findings Action Items Remark
1 None of the pages are having our target keywords in page Title and description Review all important pages and re-write titles and description with target keywords 
2 10 pages are not having enough content.  Identify pages with less than 500 words of content and re-write with SEO optimised content. Add images and videos where required
3 5 pages are not connected via main menu Re-organise main menu and make sure that all important pages are listed under main menu
4 Internal link structure is poor. Improve internal linking of important pages by linking them from pages receiving high traffic and better ranking.

Phase 4: 

Implementation & On-page optimization

Once you have a list of action items, you can start SEO implementation on your website. You can start identifying each page, URL or category of your website and follow instructions to further improve website content, titles and navigation structure. 

You can create more pages for target keywords if those keywords are important for your website. Creating more pages always helps in ranking as this further increases your website authority. 

  • Make a list of pages which require title and content improvement and start working on those pages by adding right keywords in page titles and further improving content on those pages.
  • You can start with making a list of URL’s and pages along with existing titles, descriptions and then create a list of recommended titles which can be given to your SEO team member or website team to make suggested changes in Title
  • Make sure every page has a proper and unique Title to rank in Google.
  • If you discover any page with less content or content not matching with target keywords then modify content to match your Keywords and titles with content.

Best Practices:

  • Each page on your website must have target keywords in title and description
  • Try to keep title under 70 characters for best results
  • Try to keep description under 140 characters for best results. 
  • Try to keep shorter URL’s 
  • Link all important pages via main menu for better indexing and ranking

On Page Optimization is 90% of SEO and 10% can be achieved by off-page and link building. 

Links are required if you are competing for website having higher authority and high difficulty rating keywords

Bhavesh Gudhka

Bhavesh Gudhka is an entrepreneur, digital marketing consultant, trainer, author, and founder of Optron Academy. Bhavesh has more than 12 years of experience in IT, Web Development, Digital Marketing & SEO.

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