A Guide To On-Site SEO For WordPress

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We’re going to be talking about on-site SEO for WordPress and basically what you can do to make your WordPress website more SEO-friendly. This is specifically optimizations to bring to WordPress websites in the backend and there are a few things that can be done and we will be looking at:

  • Hosting
  • Images optimisation
  • Content optimisation
    • Keyword research
    • SEO Plugin for WordPress
  • Website Performance
    • GT Metrix
    • Pagespeed Insights
    • Nitropack
  • Sitemap generation

You can watch our tutorial video or refer to the guide below.

Tutorial for On-Site SEO for WordPress

Best hosting for WordPress

The first thing you want is to have good hosting. Even before you install WordPress, you want to have a solid platform where your WordPress will be hosted and also a platform that has good support whenever there’s any kind of issue that happens, you know, you will get that support that you need. You don’t ever want your website to go offline. Right? I would recommend SiteGround.

I’ve worked with Siteground, for a lot of time. Now I only use them and I only recommend them. They have a great product. You can have a free SSL certificate, et cetera. To be honest, most hosting providers will provide approximately the same options, but Siteground has a solid online reputation. They have always replied to my emails for support within minutes. So I would definitely recommend using them, especially if you have a business, you should have a look at their options.

Image Optimization for best SEO for WordPress

Now, when you have installed WordPress, you start to work on your design and you need to pay attention to the images that you will load into your website. And by that, I mean, first of all, you want to look at the size. For best results for SEO for WordPress, if you’re going to be using a logo, it is usually 500 pixels by 500 pixels. So you want to resize that. If you’re using a banner it would probably be 1920 by 600 pixels like a hero picture. Or if you’re just using a small image, depending on where you would like to display it, it could be 700 by 700 pixels.

You need to see where are you going to apply that picture and resize it because sizing plays a big role in the final weight of that file.

After you resize your image, you can just go on tinyPNG and upload your file there. This is an awesome website. Most web designers I know use this. Just load the images there; It’s awesome for compression. Now, one tip I will give you forSEO for WordPress: after you optimize your picture for the size and weight, rename your picture. You know how alt-text works, rename your picture to describe what it means. For example, if you have a picture that you’re going to put in a section about digital marketing and explain what digital marketing is, rename your picture “digital marketing” for example. Make use of your keywords. I will come to that a little bit later.

Content Optimisation for WordPress

Next, you’ve got to optimize your content and by content, I mean, everything that is written on your website, and one way to do that is to use software for keyword research and a plugin for SEO for WordPress on your website. So I’m going to start with keyword research.

Keyword research

I use Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest here, which is awesome. It offers a lot of options and it’s not expensive. We also use SEMrush, which is a little bit more expensive, on bigger accounts; But for beginners Ubersuggest is perfect. You can play around, look at keywords and compare the number of queries and SEO difficulty level. For example, if you’re writing a page or a blog about “how to make money online”, this is called a long-tail keyword. On Ubersuggest, you can select a location-based report and see how many people look for this on a monthly basis and how difficult it is to rank for.

For example, there might be more people looking for “how to make money online” than people looking for “home jobs that make money online”. I would recommend choosing a keyword that still has a decent number of queries (around 1.5k or more) but which is easier to rank for (search difficulty below 30) rather than choose a keyword with 75k queries but which is very difficult to rank for.

It makes sense to try to easily gain 1500 search clicks rather than try the almost impossible mission of grinding keywords that are more popular. So that’s how you wisely use your keyword research.

SEO Plugin for WordPress

Now, when you are done researching the keywords for the content of your website you need to install a plugin that will help you optimize this content as you flesh it out. We highly recommend using Rankmath which has a free and paid version and works great for SEO for WordPress.

Rankmath integrates perfectly with WordPress and will tell you exactly how to optimize your content as per the usual SEO best practice. This is true whether you are writing a blog article or writing the content of one of your website pages.

Website Performance

You can use websites such as GTMetrix and PageSpeed Insights to test your website once you have finalized your design. Both will give you a list of items that can be further optimized to get a better website rating. Some of these items are quite easy to attend to and some might prove to be more technical.

On GTMetrix, you can download a pdf report of the website issues which you can share with your webmaster or if you just want to keep a record. Fixing these issues will greatly help yourSEO for WordPress.

I always suggest you do a clean website with clean code. My favorite one is Generatepress. It’s lightweight and super fast. There’s not a lot to optimize from it when you use it. And it’s just awesome.

After you’ve gone through all the steps on the GTMetrix report and if you still do not have this optimal rating, I would suggest that you add a plugin which is called “nitropack“. Just download the plugin and then go to their website to create an account and you will see how to connect it. there is literally a button that says “connect website”.

You will basically have a secret key that you can copy and paste in the backend of your website in the plugin’s options.

Having an “A” rating doesn’t mean you’re going to rank first, but it means you get a better chance at rating at ranking for keywords, compared to other websites that are also competing with you and have a lower rating than yours. EffectiveSEO for WordPress will help you beat your competition.

Sitemap Submission

Some people might say this is off-site SEO. However, you do need to be in your backend to generate the sitemap and it is crucial – which is why I added this into this tutorial aboutSEO for WordPress.

So what is a site map? Basically, a site map is a map of all the links. It contains all the links of your website. Submitting a sitemap means Google now knows the location of all your links and knows exactly where to crawl for content.

Before you can submit your sitemap, you will need to head to Google Search Console. There you will enter your URL and follow the on-screen instructions to claim your website.

You have different ways of verifying your website and we usually use HTML tags. Copy your HTML tag (on-screen) and head back to your WordPress dashboard.

You will need to install a plugin called “Header and Footer” from WPBeginner. Once installed and activated, go to settings > add headers and footers. From there, it is pretty simple: Paste the HTML tag and click on SAVE.

Then, go back to the Google Search Console page and click on verify. Once verified, you will have access to your dashboard. This is where you will see a sitemap tab. Click on it and you will find a field to submit your sitemap.

A sitemap link ios an XML link which you can find easily in the Rankmath plugin. Go to the plugin options in your WordPress dashboard and click on Sitemap. On “General” you will find the XML link. Just copy and paste this link into Google Search Console and click submit.

Google will index and crawl your website in its own time. Submitting a sitemap does not mean you are instructing Google to do a crawl. It merely gives direction for Google bot to know where to go when they come to crawl your website.


On-Site SEO for WordPress is part of digital marketing and is essential before you can hope to rank your website. It lays the right foundation.

If you need help or assistance to build an SEO-optimised website or just to do the optimizations, get in touch with us by email or schedule a free consultancy call and let us tell you how we can help you.

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