WordPress SEO Tips for Beginners in 4 Actionable Steps 2023

When it comes to starting a money blog, many successful bloggers emphasize SEO best practices.

If you want to organically generate more traffic to your website, improving your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the most important aspect of blogging to make money.

So what exactly is SEO? Why is SEO so important for beginner bloggers?

In this post, I’ll walk through the best WordPress SEO tips for beginners in 4 actionable steps that a starting blogger should know.

Here’s a rough summary of what we’ll cover: Feel free to use the “Table of Contents” to jump from where you are reading to where you want to read.

  • WordPress SEO Tips Step 1: Basic Idea
    • What is Exactly SEO?: Organic or Paid
    • What Are The Top Ranking Factors For Google?
    • Why is SEO so important for a beginner blogger?
  •  WordPress SEO Tips Step 2: Site Preparation
    • Site Visibility on SERPs
    • SEO-friendly URL structure
    • Domain Format: WWW VS. non-WWW in URLs
    • Submit XML Sitemaps in WordPress
    • Add Your Site to Google Search Console
    • Robot.txt file
  • WordPress SEO Tips Step 3: Speed and Security
    • Optimize Your Site’s Speed and Performance
    • Optimizing Images in WordPress for SEO
    • Security and Safety of Your WordPress Site
    • Start Using SSL/HTTPS
  • WordPress SEO Tips Step 4: On-Page
    • Doing Keyword Research for Your Website
    • Properly Using Categories and Tags in WordPress
    • Make Internal Linking a Habit
    • Optimize WordPress Comments
    • NoFollow External Links in WordPress
    • Full Posts vs Summaries or Excerpts

WordPress SEO Tips Step 1: Basic Idea

Before we dive into WordPress SEO tips, let’s figure out the basic idea of SEO.

What is Exactly SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a strategy to increase the quantity and quality of traffic to your website from search engines through organic search results.

Tasks usually related to SEO include creating great content, ensuring said content contains utilizing specific keywords, and earning backlinks.

SEO aims to improve a website’s unpaid ranking in search results.

Ranking for a specific keyword has many benefits, but getting “free” traffic to your site each month is the most notable.

There are two types of results on a search engine page: organic and paid.

The image shows where SEO is happening on SERPs for getting WordPress SEO tips.
Source Created by Digital Topical

Organic Search Results

Organic search results are those that rank based purely on merit.

You can’t pay to have Google or other search engines rank you higher in organic searches.

Online search engines use a variety of methods to decide which websites rank higher than others organically.

In most cases, organic results are given more importance by Google and seen as the websites or web pages that can be trusted the most on a certain subject.

The paid search results are the advertisements that you see on either side of the organic Google Search Results.

Paid ads are entirely separate from organic listings.

Advertisers who want their company to appear in the paid results section are “ranked” based on how much they would pay for a single visitor from that set of search results (commonly called “Pay Per Click Advertising”).

What Are The Top Ranking Factors For Google SEO?

SEO is a powerful tool for boosting your website’s visibility, as it optimizes your content to rank higher on search engines such as Google, Bing, Amazon, and YouTube.

In order to practice successful WordPress SEO, ensure that search engines view your website as the most ideal outcome for an individual’s query.

The “optimal” outcome is determined by an algorithm that weighs up factors such as authority, relevance to the query, page loading speed, and more.

Typically, when people think of search engine optimization (SEO), they automatically assume Google SEO. Therefore, this guide will focus on optimizing your website to rank higher in the eyes of Google.

Figuring out how search engines like Google actually work is conceptual yet efficient.

When you enter keywords in the Google search bar, an innovative algorithm constantly produces the most pertinent result for your query.

WordPress SEO tips about how Googlebot scans the content.
Source Created by Digital Topical

Google indexes “hundreds of billions” of pages, efficiently searching for the most pertinent answers to your query. The search process is called “crawling” by Googlebot( web crawler software).

Google has over 200 ranking factors in its algorithm. However, regarding these 200 ranking factors, On September 2021, Google’s John Mueller revealed that Google has “moved away from the 200 ranking signals number.” He said that having a number like that is misleading.

It was spoken by him while in a Google SEO Office Hours Hangout. You can check it out in the video below. Watch John Mueller answered the question at the 49:47 minute mark.

If so, what factors does Google use to determine the best search result since 2021?

According to SEJ(Search Engine Journal), it can be reasonably concluded that websites are ranked on Google based on the following:

In random order, the top factors for ranking on Google are:

  • High-quality content
  • Mobile-first
  • Page Experience.
  • Page speed
  • On-page optimization.
  • Internal links.
  • External links.

Why is SEO so important for a beginner blogger?

First, as the chart shows below, search engines are the biggest generator of traffic.

Here’s a breakdown of where most website traffic originates:

WordPress SEO tips about where most website traffic originates.

It is evident that search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and YouTube account for more than 60% of all web traffic.

To sum it up, search is responsible for ten times more traffic than social media.

WordPress SEO tips about how to search keywords on Google Keywords Planner.

Another example will explain the importance of SEO. For an example from Google Keywords Planner, let’s look at the image above.

If you are the proprietor of an AI software company, then Google Keyword Planner informs us that an impressive 10,000 – 100,000 people conduct searches for “ai text generator” every month.

It’s a well-known fact that the first result on Google receives around 25% of all clicks.

Achieving the coveted first spot on a Google search could mean an influx of 2,500 – 25,000 visitors to your website each month!

Here, let’s figure out the value. That will start the question, “what is the monetary value of those visitors?”

The typical cost-per-click for that particular phrase, “ai text generator,” is estimated to be around $3.63. With an estimated value of 2,500 – 25,000 per visitor each month, the total revenue generated from 2,500 – 25,000 online visitors is approximately a staggering $9,075 – $90,750.

Although you can acquire free website traffic through SEO tactics, paid search results may cost up to a staggering $90,750!

And that’s just for that search phrase. If your site is SEO-friendly, then you can rank for hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of different keywords.

In other industries, like real estate or insurance, the value of search engine traffic is significantly higher.

For example, advertisers are paying over $45 per click on the search phrase “auto insurance price quotes.”

WordPress SEO Tips 2: Site Preparation

Site Visibility on SERPs

One of the first WordPress SEO tips for beginners is about the visibility of the blog site. This is a very simple feature to control site visibility by checking on a radio box or not checking on it. (See the Below Image). If you check on “Discourage search engines from indexing this site,” the Googlebot doesn’t scan your WordPress site.

Actually, this causes deep frustration to many beginners. So, you should check the site visibility box whether it’s checked or not.

WordPress gives you the ability to disallow search engines from indexing your website. This option, “Search Engine Visibility” will give you time to work on your website until it can be published.

However, this option can sometimes get checked unintentionally and make your website unviewable by search engines.

If your website seems missing from search results, the initial step as the WordPress SEO tips is to confirm this option. You can access the admin area of your WordPress site by logging in and visiting the Settings » Reading page.

WordPress SEO tips to ensure the WordPress site's visibility, the image shows how to set "Search Engine Visibility."

Ensure the box adjacent to “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” in the ‘Search Engine Visibility’ section is unchecked.

Once you’re finished making your changes, be sure to click ‘Save Changes’ so your progress isn’t lost.

SEO-friendly URL structure

As one of the site preparations for WordPress SEO tips, URLs optimized for Search Engines contain easily read words that explain the page’s purpose, making it simple for search engines and people to understand.

The following examples of SEO-friendly URLs are comprehensible, allowing users to anticipate what they’ll find on a page by examining its link.


The following examples of NON-SEO-friendly URLs are made up of a seemingly random combination of numbers, making it impossible for users to predict the content by just looking at them.


To maximize your chances of reaching the top search engine results, use an SEO-friendly permalink structure. Here is how you can check and update your WordPress site’s permalink structure. Go to the Settings » Permalinks page to change your website’s permalinks. Select the post name option and click the “Save Changes” button to store your settings.

One of the WordPress SEO tips, the image shows how to check out URL structure.

Note: If your website has been live for over 6 months, only then should you consider changing your permalink structure – and only if you’re using numbers. If you’re using Day and Name or Month and Name, continue using that.

Modifying your permalink structure on an established site will cause you to lose social media share counts and jeopardize your SEO ranking. If you are changing your permalink structure, please consider hiring a professional to set up the redirects. You risk losing social media shares on those pages if not done properly.

WWW vs non-WWW in URLs

One of the WordPress SEO tips for beginners, mistakes caused by not knowing the exact address of your site are common. However, when submitting your site to Google or linking it to another service, it can be unpleasant that you don’t know the exact address of your site. It’s okay You’re not the only one alone.

URLs are classified as either Https:// followed by WWW or not. This is set up while you buy the domain and connect WordPress to your website, so you can easily check it in your WordPress dashboard.

When starting a blog with WordPress, choosing whether to use www (http://www.example.com) or non-www (http://example.com) in your site’s URL is important.

Search engines work by reading website addresses. If you want them to suggest your site, you must choose one URL and stick with it.

Here, let me explain why you should do it.

The “www” or “non-www” in a URL is referred to as the subdomain. Choosing one or the other can impact your site’s SEO, as search engines may see the two URLs as separate websites, leading to duplicate content issues. It is best to choose one and redirect the other to avoid any confusion. Additionally, having a consistent URL format can improve the user experience and help with brand recognition.

To set your preferences, visit the Settings » General page. Add Enter your preferred URL in both the WordPress Address” and “Site Address” fields.

One of the WordPress SEO tips, the image shows how to check the site's exact URL, distinguishing between WWW and non-WWW.

Submit XML Sitemaps in WordPress

One of the WordPress SEO tips, the image shows how the sitemap page looks.

As one of the site preparations for WordPress SEO tips, an XML Sitemap is a file that contains every single page on your website. It makes it easy for search engines to locate all of your content.

Although it doesn’t improve your website’s search ranking, it does help search engines locate pages more quickly so they can start being ranked.

To locate your sitemap, go to this URL and enter in your domain name:


If you’re using a plugin like Math Rank, Yoast, or AIOSEO, then it will automatically create an XML sitemap for you. Or other ways to create XML Sitemap are like the ones below.

Here are the steps to create an XML sitemap:

  1. Decide which pages to include in the sitemap and gather the URLs.
  2. Use a sitemap generator tool, such as XML Sitemap Generator, to create the sitemap or manually create the sitemap using an XML editor.
  3. Define the structure of the sitemap, including the start and end tags for the file and each URL entry.
  4. Enter the information for each URL, including the location, last modification date, and priority.
  5. Save the sitemap as a .xml file and upload it to the root directory of your website.
  6. Submit the sitemap to search engines like Google to help them index your website.

Note: You can use the sitemap index protocol, which allows you to split a large sitemap into smaller parts and list them in a sitemap index file.

The next step will be submitting your XML sitemap to Google. To be continued in the following paragraph!

Add Your Site to Google Search Console

One of the WordPress SEO tips, the image shows the main page of Google Search Console to get started.

Google Search Console, also known as Webmaster Tools, is a set of tools that allows website owners to see how their content appears on the search engine. So, submitting your site to Google is one of the site preparations for WordPress SEO tips.

It gives you data-driven reports to help you see how your pages show up in search results. In other words, you get to see what brings people to your website, how likely they are to stay on each page, and how often people click through to your pages.

This data gives you an understanding of what converts on your site and what doesn’t. You can use this to plan future content strategy.

Google Search Console notifies you of any issues with your website, such as when search crawlers can’t access it or find duplicate content.

In order to submit your website to Google Search Console, go to the Sitemap on the left menu and paste the last part of the sitemap URL.

One of the WordPress SEO tips, the image shows how to submit a website to Google Search Console.

Always “Save” your changes by clicking on the submit button.

Google Search Console will now use your sitemap to improve how it crawls and indexes your website. Your sitemap will appear as pending after you have successfully added it.

Though it may take some time, Google will eventually crawl your website. A few hours after initializing your sitemap, you will be able to see some stats.

As one of the WordPress SEO tips for the beginner, I recommend checking your Search Console at least monthly to gather insights and see your website’s SEO progress.

WordPress SEO Tips 3: Speed and Security

One of the most crucial WordPress SEO tips is the speed and security of WordPress blog sites. If your website is sluggish or you’ve been hacked, your search engine rankings will take a significant hit even if you followed all the WordPress SEO tips and tricks beforehand.

Are you apprehensive about your website’s search engine traffic dwindling due to spotty performance or lax security? Here is how you can ensure that doesn’t happen.

Optimize Your Site’s Speed and Performance

According to research, the average human attention span is shorter than that of a goldfish. With the internet at our fingertips, it’s no surprise our mind wanders more easily.

No one wants to wait for a slow website to load, least of all your visitors.

Users decide whether to stay or leave within seconds of landing on a website. This is according to web usability experts. As a website owner, you only have a few seconds to present your content and engage users.

This is why page loading speed is one of the factors of SEO, as I mentioned “Step 1” in this posting. mentioned

User experience is a fundamental element of website success- so much so that Google gives preference in their search results to faster websites.

Fast and secure websites rank higher on Google. Page loading speed and security are closely related to what WordPress hosting platform you connect to your website.

To improve your website speed, having a Fast WordPress Hosting Provider is important.

Optimizing Images in WordPress for SEO

Images should be optimized for WordPress postings for improved website performance because large, unoptimized images can slow down the loading speed of your website, leading to a poor user experience and potentially impacting your search engine rankings by reducing file size and speeding up your site’s load time.

In addition, you can take advantage of better accessibility by optimizing images, including adding descriptive alt tags, which helps users with visual impairments understand the content of the images on your site. In other words, it is helpful to provide a better user experience.

As a result of optimizing images, you will achieve better search engine visibility because search engines understand the context and relevance of the images on your site. In addition, you can ensure that your website is fast, accessible, and user-friendly, potentially improving your website’s visibility and SEO rankings.

To optimize images for WordPress posts, you can follow these steps:

  1. Compress images: Reduce the file size of the images to speed up your website’s load time. You can use image optimization plugins such as WP Smush or Kraken.io to compress images automatically.
  2. Use appropriate image file format: Choose the right file format for your images. JPEG is best for photographs, PNG is best for graphics and icons with transparent backgrounds, and GIF is best for animations.
  3. Choose the right dimensions: Make sure the dimensions of your images match the size they will be displayed on your website.
  4. Add descriptive file names: Rename your image files to include descriptive keywords, separated by hyphens.
  5. Use descriptive alt tags: Add alt tags to describe the content of your images for accessibility and to help search engines understand the context.
  6. Add captions: Consider adding captions to your images to provide more context and improve the user experience.

Another important step in optimizing images for WordPress SEO is setting alt-tag. WordPress have the feature to input alt-tag.

One of the WordPress SEO tips, the image shows how to set alt-tag in WordPress.

To write effective alt tags for images on your website, follow these guidelines:

  1. Keep it concise: The alt tag should be brief, typically no more than a few words.
  2. Describe the image: The alt tag should accurately describe the content of the image, including what is shown and its context.
  3. Use relevant keywords: When appropriate, include relevant keywords in the alt tag to help search engines understand the context of the image.
  4. Avoid redundancy: If the information in the alt tag is already covered in the surrounding text, it is usually unnecessary to include it in the alt tag.
  5. Provide meaningful alt tags: If the image is decorative or non-essential to the content, use an empty alt tag (alt=””) or a null alt tag (alt=”null”). Do not use irrelevant or misleading alt tags.
  6. Make it readable: Alt tags should be readable and make sense as standalone text.

By following these guidelines, you can write alt tags that are both descriptive and accessible to users with visual impairments while also improving your website’s SEO.

Security and Safety of Your WordPress Site

Each week, Google blocks 20,000 websites for malware and 50,000 additional sites for phishing. Websites that are blacklisted will not appear in search results.

WordPress security is essential to maintaining the confidentiality and ranking of your site.

To achieve WordPress SEO tips, it’s not complicated to make sure your WordPress site is protected and safe from malicious attacks. All you need to ensure complete security is the right combination of tools, processes and practices.

The first step to securing your WordPress site is to keep all your plugins and themes up to date. This ensures that vulnerabilities or security gaps are patched as quickly as possible, protecting your website from potential threats.

Keeping your WordPress site safe doesn’t just include updating your themes and plugins. It is also important to minimize the risk of malicious code being injected into your website by using trustworthy and trustworthy plugins and themes.

When making changes to your WordPress website, it is essential to use plugins and themes from reputable sources. Over the years, several instances of malicious code have been injected into these files, causing serious security problems for websites.

It is also essential to back up your site regularly in case something goes wrong. This allows you to quickly restore to a previous state in case of a data breach or other security issue.

Finally, setting up two-factor authentication on your website adds an extra layer of protection against brute-force attacks and other unauthorized access. This is especially important if your website contains sensitive information. Enabling two-factor authentication requires users to enter a username and password, as well as a one-time code sent via text message or email.

By taking these precautions and using reliable plugins and themes, the risk of an attack on your website can be greatly minimized, and users can rest assured that their site is safe.

Start Using SSL/HTTPS

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) technology encrypts the connection between a user’s browser and your server to maintain privacy.

This encrypts another layer of safety to your WordPress site.

WordPress blog sites with SSL security show a padlock icon in the browser’s address bar.

Having an SSL certificate is not only good for building trust with your website visitors but it’s also required if you’re managing an online store that uses WordPress to process sensitive payment information.

All top WordPress hosting companies provide free SSL certificates with Let’s Encrypt. So, check out the availability of SSL certificates as one of the most primitive WordPress SEO tips you can practice.

If you’re looking for a reliable SSL certificate with great features, then Domain.com is the right provider for you. They offer both premium wildcard SSL certificates and regular ones with a security warranty, so you can choose the option best-suited for your needs.

Their SSL certificates come with a minimum of $10,000 security warranty and up to $1.75 million security warranty.

In addition, you will receive a TrustLogo site seal to display on your website, which adds credibility.

WordPress SEO Tips Step 4: On-Page

Doing Keyword Research for Your Website

As the WordPress SEO tips, ” keyword research ” is the most complex step for many beginners. Many beginners rely on their instincts to determine what people are searching for online and what needs to be added to their blogs or website.

However, research techniques such as “keyword research” are utilized by content creators and SEO experts. Through keyword research, you can find out what terms and phrases users input into search engines to access material, services, and goods in your niche.

By using specific words and phrases on your website, you can ignite interest from search engines and drive more traffic to your site.

There are a ton of keyword research tools (both free and paid) that you can use to achieve WordPress SEO tips successfully.

I recommend using SEMRush or Ahrefs. This tool helps you find relevant keywords for your content and even shows you where your competitors rank for those keywords.

SEMrush provides an unparalleled analysis of your keywords with one glance, which is impossible to replicate with free tools. Check out the image below for a snapshot of what SEMrush can do.

SEMRush's dashboard for analysts.
SEMRush's keyword overview dashboard.

Properly Using Categories and Tags in WordPress

Categories and tags are powerful features for achieving WordPress SEO tips from within WordPress itself.

WordPress makes it easy to file your blog posts using categories and tags.

This system simplifies content management according to topics, allowing your users to find exactly what they need. With this method, you can be sure that your content is organized and accessible.

In addition to assisting your visitors in navigation, categories and tags also help search engines more easily understand the organization and content of your website.

It’s common for new bloggers to get mixed up about how categories and tags work.

Categories are designed for general grouping of your blog posts. Categories on a blog are like the table of contents in a book.

For example, on a personal blog, you can have different topics like music, food, travel, etc. These topics can be organized into categories with parent and child relationships.

In contrast, tags are more targeted keywords that describe the contents of a single post.

For example, a blog post discussing food could have tags like salad, breakfast, pancakes, etc.

In other words, categories are the general topics your blog posts will fall under, while tags are more specific keywords used to describe a post.

This is also one of the most important WordPress SEO tips. It is important to have both of these as they help search engines understand the structure and content of your website.

That being said, categories and tags can also increase visitor engagement by providing them with an easy way to find related information.

Due to its user-friendly design, it is also simpler for search engines to scan your website.

Make Internal Linking a Habit

Interlinking blog posts and pages on your site has numerous benefits, such as increased page views and time spent on the site by users and improved SEO scores for individual blog posts and pages.

Search engines like Google give your website’s pages a ranking (page authority). The recipe for this score is kept secret to prevent people from manipulating the results. However, the most common way to show authority is through links.

By linking to your own content from other posts and pages on your website, you increase traffic to those areas of your site. It’s beneficial to interlink your blog posts based on the ” topical cluster through silo structure” of your content plan.

A silo structure in blogging refers to an organizational method for categorizing the content on a website into distinct, interlinked sections or “silos.”

The goal of a silo structure is to improve website navigation and search engine optimization (SEO) by creating a hierarchy of information and emphasizing the site’s main topics.

Each silo focuses on a specific theme or keyword, and the content within each silo is interconnected through internal links, making it easier for search engines to crawl and understand the site’s content.

Keyword research tools such as SEMRush or Ahrefs will scan your WordPress site’s links and offer helpful suggestions for internal linking that you can add to your content with just 1 click.

In short, this program automatically adds internal links in bulk, saving you a ton of time to achieve WordPress SEO tips.

Optimize WordPress Comments

User engagement on your website can often be measured by the number of comments left. Active users on your site result in more people linking back to it, increased traffic, and better SEO.

Ensure that your comments are authentic and not spam. Spammers leave comments with harmful links that could potentially destroy your search engine ranking.

As one of the most efficient plugins to achieve WordPress SEO tips, I highly suggest that everyone begin using Akismet.

Akismet is a powerful plugin that comes pre-installed with every WordPress site. It helps you automatically filter out spam comments so you can focus on the ones that matter.

Any post with excessive comments will take longer to load, hindering your website’s search engine ranking. To avoid this, create a comment moderation system and set it to moderate comments with more than a certain number of words.

Finally, encourage your active users to leave constructive feedback on the posts. Doing so will help you keep track of what works and what doesn’t. It also helps build relationships with the community, making them more likely to return. This type of engagement is beneficial for SEO and in turn, helps improve your search engine ranking.

By using Akismet and creating a system for moderating comments, you can quickly filter out spam comments, help build relationships with the community, and give your website a boost in its search engine rankings.

NoFollow External Links in WordPress

NoFollow External Link is also an important tactic, one of the WordPress SEO tips.

NoFollow is an HTML attribute applied to external links in WordPress that tells search engines not to follow or crawl those links.

The “NoFollow” attribute prevents search engines from following external links to websites that you don’t own.

Links play a crucial role in determining which pages are relevant to search engines. By linking to another website, you are giving that site some of your SEO rankings. This SEO term is known as “link juice.”

In brief, NoFollow helps you conserve link juice.

This attribute can be useful to prevent ” link juice” or authority to external sites and limit the risk of being penalized by search engines. NoFollow links do not pass PageRank, but they can still drive referral traffic to external sites.

If you want better search rankings, aim to get more link juice from other websites than you give away.

This is what a typical external link looks like in HTML:

<a href="http://example.com">Example Website</a>

An external link utilizing the “NoFollow” attribute appears like this:

<a href="http://example.com" rel="nofollow">Example Website</a>

When you’re adding a link, click the Add “nofollow” to link option while writing a post in WordPress.

Add "nofollow" to the link.

Full Posts vs Summaries or Excerpts

WordPress pulls your posts from a number of places and displays them on pages like the home page, category archive, tags archive, date archive, author pages, etc.

By default, these pages show the full article content.

This hurts your site’s SEO because search engines will view it as duplicate content.

Full articles can also slow down the loading time for your archive pages.

Showing full articles on every page also affects your number of views.

For instance, individuals who subscribe to your RSS feed will be able to read the entire article in their feed reader without having to visit your website.

A more efficient solution would be to display summaries or excerpts rather than entire articles.

To do this, go to Settings » Reading and select excerpt.

One of the WordPress SEO tips, the image shows how to set up each post in a feed, including full text or excerpt.

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