Step 3: Set Permalinks and Install Plugins
Search engine optimization is focused on getting various search engines, namely Yahoo, Bing, and Google to place you high up in their search results for the keywords that you want to “rank for”. However, the Big G and the others can’t figure out where to put your website all by themselves, and so, they need your help. This is where SEO comes in handy.
So, if you want more free traffic from the search engines, you’re going to have to do on-page site optimization because it tells Google, Bing, and Yahoo (as well as other search engines) where your site should show up in their search results.
Getting Your Permalinks Straightened Out
Not enough people realize it, but permalinks are an important factor in SEO. Permalinks are essentially, how your URL’s are going to be structured for your various blog posts and pages. It isn’t really good for SEO, but unfortunately, the “standard” default style for permalinks is a basic number, rather than anything of value.
Luckily for us however, permalinks are easy as pie to change, and we’re going to change them so that they automatically show up as your post’s title, rather than basic numbers. These permalinks are part of the on-site SEO that help the search engines know where to put you in their results.
So, first, you have to log into your WP dashboard, as normal. You’ll see on the left a tab called Settings, and you’re going to want to give it a click. Then, below that, you’ll actually see a dedicated Permalinks sub-tab, so naturally, you’ll want to click that next. You’ll see a group of radio buttons that allow you to choose how your permalinks are going to be setup. The one you’re going to want to click on is the on at the bottom, labeled Custom. After you click on Custom, click the box next to it, and type in %postname%, then click save changes. Optionally, you can add in categories as well, by typing in %category/%postname%, but that’s up to you.
Done this way it’ll make the category of each post, and the title of said post show up in the links for said post automatically every time you make a new post. You only do this once for each new blog or website you create, and then you’re set for life.
Time To Install Your Plugins
Now, let’s take a look at how you can install a plugin properly. After we’ve done that, we’re going to put a plugin in our WP backend that will allow us to optimize for the search engines better, but, first thing’s first. Installing plugins, thankfully, is a rather simple task.
So, on the left-hand side, where you see all the various tabs, you’ll find there’s one labeled Plugins. You’re going to want to click on that. Below that, you’re going to see it says Add New, so the next thing you’ll do, is to click that. The page you’ll land on after that, will have a search bar on it, so you’ll be able to search through WP’s database of plugins in order to find the one you need. You can also type in something more general as well, if you’re not sure what the exact name of the plugin is that you’re looking for, or if you’re searching for a plugin with a general function that you need.
So, in that search bar, type in “Yoast SEO”. The first plugin that should pop up will be the one we’re looking for (SEO By Yoast). Click the install button after that to add it to your WP website.
Then go back to the Plugins page by clicking on the Plugins tab again, and you should see that that plugins there, but not installed. So, click on the Activate button underneath where that plugin is, and that will officially activate it on your site. Any plugin can be quickly activated or deactivated in this way, which is easier than uninstalling it and reinstalling it, and most plugins don’t take up that much space. After that, the plugin’s all ready to be used. I won’t get into detail on how to use it here, but rest assured, it’s a very easy plugin, and there are plenty of other guides online which will show you how you can use it.
From premium plugins I recommend Monarch and Bloom. I’m using both of them on this website. They are both from the same creator and can be bought together with the Divi theme (you will need the Developer or Lifetime Access License). Monarch is a social media plugin (see the floating bar with social buttons on the left) and Bloom is and email opt-in plugin, great for blogs.
Well, that’s all there is to installing plugins and setting permalinks!
You can now continue to the last step of my tutorial: Installing widgets