If you ever googled for wordpress seo, i bet you might found so many good results, while this is valuable for more advanced user but will be quite confusing for beginner wordpress user (like me of course WordPress SEO Beginner’s Guideline | the atmojo). So here i tried to summarize many useful beginner SEO tips that is consistent between each result. Nevertheless, this list will not be ever complete reference though, and will be updated as necessary.

Permalink Structure

WordPress by default will use URL parameter to decide which post to be shown (e.g yourwordpresssite.com/?p=120), that gives no clue what the content is about. Many sources recommend changing the permalink into more descriptive url which preferred by people or search-engine.

Custom Permalink Structure

Use custom structure /%postname%/ (e.g. theatmojo.com/my-post-name) OR /%category%/%postname%/ (e.g. yourwordpressite.com/my-category/my-post-name)

You can access the permalink settings on your WordPress dashboard Settings > Permalinks

WordPress SEO Beginner’s Guideline | the atmojo

Avoid Stopwords

Avoid stopwords in permalink e.g : the, is, at, which, on, etc…., simply since this stopwords are not useful for search engine.  You can customize the permalink further through permalink field in new/edit post dialogue.

WordPress SEO Beginner’s Guideline | the atmojo

Tags Hierarchy

Good hierarchy means a good structure of post content that favored by people so they can spot important/highlight content in a glance. You can use below guideline to properly use the heading tag to highlight/emphasize on subject and important point

  1. Use H1 for Post Title (only).
  2. Avoid using H1 in your post body (article).
  3. Use H2 – H6 for the rest of the article.
  4. Avoid using excessive heading tag on your post content.

Title Tags

Use proper title name structure since it will be the entry point that people will focus on. Below are some recommendations on good title tags:

Home Page (index)

Use your Site Name followed by your blog description “Your Blog Name | Your Blog Description”, with example as follows “the atmojo | the atmojo’s family blog”

Single Post or Single Page

Use your post title followed by your site name (OR focus keyword), the reason behind this placement is people prefer looking for the post keyword/title instead of your blog name.

“Your Post Focus Keyword | Your Post Title | Your Blog Name”, e.g “Wordpress Beginner SEO Guideline | the atmojo”

Other Pages

For other pages you can use this structure “ Name Of the Pages | Your Blog Name” e.g. “Archive | the atmojo” or other customized structure (you can find more detail on WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast)

Use SEO Plugin

Personally, i recommend using WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast. I found this plugin easy to use, and how-to’s documents are easy to read & widely available on the web. You can further customize the title tags using this plugin, or just leave the default setting which in my opinions already good.

Focus Keyword

WordPress SEO Beginner’s Guideline | the atmojo

While using Yoast Plugin, you’ll find focus keyword there, and yes it’s a single focus keyword – not multiple keyword. You can find further explanation here. In summary, focus keyword would be words that people typed on the search engine screen. Good focus keyword should be reflected in:

  1. Article Heading
  2. Page Title (Title Tag)
  3. Page URL (Permalink)
  4. Content
  5. Meta Description

Meta Description

by Default, search engine will take the first paragraph of your post content as meta description which often not reflected the focus of your post content at all. So It’s better to customize the meta description for each post, again it’s already provided in the plugin. Ensure that your focus keyword included in the meta description.

WordPress SEO Beginner’s Guideline | the atmojo

Optimize Images

Image search engine working based on the “alt” & “title” attribute that defined inside the image tag, so it’s very important that you don’t miss to optimize it. So always put “alt” & “title” attribute in images to show most relevant keyword to the image, e.g. “<img alt=”theatmojo wordpress seo beginner’s guideline” title=”theatmojo wordpress seo beginner’s guideline” />”. While some people argue that this is not useful, personally i prefer to optimize it.

I use “SEO Friendly Images” Plugin to easily apply pattern of “alt” & “title” attribute for all images in my blog.

WordPress SEO Beginner’s Guideline | the atmojo

XML Sitemaps

XML Sitemap, basically is your website content index that search engine will consume. XML Sitemap will ease the search engine to navigate/indexing your page. You can manually submit your sitemap (by default located at yourwordpresssite.com/feed ) or let the SEO Plugin do it for you. To submit XML Sitemap manually you need to setup Google webmaster account first.

Ping for New Post

It’s important for your blog to be indexed as soon as possible once new post are published or updated. By default, wordpress will send ping to specific URL once you publish or update an article, however you can add other services to extend your reach. You can find more services listed here & here, and add the services list by accessing  Dashboard menu Settings > Writing.

WordPress SEO Beginner’s Guideline | the atmojo

Using www. or not

Decide to use www. or not and be consistent to configure this throughout wordpress, personally i choose to omit the www, in the sake of simplicity. You can configure it by accessing Settings > General Menu. Configure also preferred domain in the Google Webmaster Tools

WordPress SEO Beginner’s Guideline | the atmojo

Show The Author

Lately google already addedd features of showing the author’s picture in search result. While this might not increase your page ranking directly, but the picture shown can increase possibility that people will click the search result. You can find the detail how to setup this here.

WordPress SEO Beginner’s Guideline | the atmojo

Google Webmaster / Site Analytics

To measure the impact of SEO optimization, you can use Google’s free tools: Google Webmaster Tools & Google Analytics, those are very valuable tools for any webmaster.

Site Speed

Site loading time or Site Speed is also affecting your rank in search engine, you can find valuable tools & information on site speed on below url’s

  1. Check your site speed and get useful recommendations http://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
  2. Check your site speed using YSlow http://developer.yahoo.com/yslow/
  3. Minify the CSS & Javascript using YUI Compressor http://developer.yahoo.com/yui/compressor/
  4. Install Caching Plugin (W3C Total Cache is recommended) http://wordpress.org/plugins/w3-total-cache/


As you might realize, WordPress SEO is not a one-shot solution, instead a long term & consistent effort. The most important thing is we need to write & share useful article on the net, so please share this if you found seful for you and for others, and really appreciate if you can provide constructive feedback.

You can find the references about WordPress SEO here (thanks a lot to the author of each article):

  1. https://yoast.com/articles/wordpress-seo/‎
  2. http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/the-beginners-guide-to-wordpress-seo-by-yoast-configuration–wp-31022
  3. http://www.sparringmind.com/wordpress-seo/
  4. http://www.nathanrice.net/blog/ultimate-guide-to-wordpress-seo-optimized-titles/
  5. http://www.agent-seo.com/wordpress/optimizing-your-wordpress-title-tag/
  6. http://www.viperchill.com/wordpress-seo/
  7. http://www.simplewpguide.com/wp-search-optimization/
  8. http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/wordpress/guide-write-seo-optimized-blog-post/
  9. http://barn2.co.uk/wordpress-seo-images-guide
  10. http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2251513/SEO-Friendly-WordPress-in-12-Steps
  11. http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2262638/5-Basic-Tips-to-Improve-WordPress-for-SEO-and-the-User-Experience