Making your own website is harder than most people realise. Getting it on the first page of Google is even harder.
The first step with SEO, if you are a beginner and have managed to work your way through WordPress, is to optimize your website for Google and other search engines?
You may be thinking, “Why isn’t my website showing up on Google?” Well let’s look at some easy ways that you can achieve your Google Goals with plugins.
Below is a complete SEO checklist for your new website, that ensures you add the most important things that will improve your website ranking.
- Sign up for Google Search Console
- Sign up for Google Analytics
- Sign up for Google My Business
- Install Google Site Kit from your website WordPress plugin library, or click here to read about Google Site Kit
- Install an SEO Plugin
- Submit your Sitemap In Google Search Console
- Sign up for Bing Paces for Business
- Submit Sitemap In Bing Webmaster Tools
1. What is Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your site in Google Search results.
Search Console helps you understand and improve how Google sees your site. This is where you submit a sitemap to help Google know you are there and to get Google to understand what your website is about.
Search Console offers tools and reports for the following actions
- Submit a sitemap.xml file. (see step 5)
- Confirm that Google can find and crawl your site.
- Fix indexing problems and request re-indexing of new or updated content.
- View Google Search traffic data for your site: how often your site appears in Google Search, which search queries show your site, how often searchers click through for those queries, and more.
- Receive alerts when Google encounters indexing, spam, or other issues on your site.
- Show you which sites link to your website.
2. What is Google Analytics
Google Analytics is another free web tool that Google offers to help you analyze your website traffic.
Google Analytics makes it easy to understand how your website is working on Google. You will see how users are engaging with your content, so you know what’s working and what’s not.
3. What is Google My Business
Google my Business is yet another free Google Tool. With a Google My Business account, you get more than a business listing. Your Business Profile lets you connect with customers across Google Search and Maps.
You know the big area below the top ads? yep this is how you get your business there, based on location. You can post stories, photos and offers to your profile and this is where you get people to leave Google Reviews.
Your Business Profile on Google helps your business show up at the top, where it matters most. Log into Google My Business to create your account and add your address, (this doen’t need to show on Google or Google Maps. Tick the box that says No location; deliveries and home services only ) you still need to advise Google of an address as you have to confirm your location by receiving a postcard and adding a code into your account to verify it. Add your phone number, website, open hours, to help customers find and connect with your business. Keep your profile updated with fresh photos, special offers, and promotions to make it easy for customers to find you. This tool is a seriously advantageous tool for Local Businesses and it is important to keep adding content to stay fresh in Google.
4. Install Site Kit
To install Site Kit:
- Log in to your WordPress website.
- Make sure your site meets the following requirements:
- Your site is publicly accessible (meaning your site isn’t in maintenance mode or only accessible through a password).
- Are you using a staging environment in addition to your production site? Site Kit can display data from your production site in the staging environment. To set up Site Kit with a staging environment, follow these instructions instead.
- In the left navigation menu, click Plugins.
- Click Add new.
- Enter “Site Kit” in the search bar. You should see the Site Kit plugin in a search results page.
- Install and activate the Site Kit by Google plugin.
- Connect Site Kit to your Google account.
- Go to the main Site Kit dashboard, which will displays key metrics from Search Console account.
- Under Site Kit > Settings, connect other Google tools. You probably don’t need to attach Google Adsense for a while but it doesn’t hurt to connect it.
After a day or so you will see the reports filtering through on the dashboard of your WordPress website.
5. Install an SEO Plugin
It’s important to install a SEO plugin for WordPress if you have absolutely no idea what you are doing.
A good SEO plugin helps you optimize meta title, meta description, social network SEO, creates a sitemap and more. If that’s all going over your head, you definitely need an SEO plugin or Web Honey SEO Services
My first recommendation would be the Yoast SEO plugin.
With the Yoast SEO plugin, you can enter the keyword or keyphrase you’d like your post or page to rank for in the search results. Then it runs a check on your content to check whether you’re using the keywords often enough – but not too often, and in the right spots. You can buy Yoast SEO Premium, which takes you one step further. It checks for the keyword or keyphrase you enter, but also analyses your text on all variations of that word or phrase. Check Yoast for beginners here.
This plugin has 5+ million active installations from the WordPress plugin library, so they must be doing something right!
I’m also currently trialing the Slim SEO plugin.
Simply install and done! All the SEO tasks are done automatically without going through complicated options.
With just 40 KB, you have a super fast and full-featured SEO plugin that can do the job that other bloated plugins do.
Modern, modular code that is made by WordPress developers with more than 12 years in plugin development.
It appears to offer everything that Yoast offers but apears to be less intrusive. It may be better for someone that has some experience, but it apears to be offering up what it says. Watch this space…..
6. Submit your sitemap to Google Search Console
Firstly you might ask, “What is a sitemap?” Well today we will explain xml sitemaps, as this is the file type you need to submit to Google Search Console.
This step should be completed when your website is ready to be seen online. You have added some content and you are generally happy that everything looks OK.
A sitemap is a file where you provide information about the pages, videos, and other files on your website, and the relationships between them to Google and other search engines. Search engines like Google read this file to understand your wesite more efficiently. A sitemap tells Google which pages and files you think are important. For example, when the page was last updated, how often the page is changed, and any alternate language versions of a page.
- A sitemap video entry can specify the video running time, category, and age-appropriateness rating.
- A sitemap image entry can include the image subject matter, type, and license.
The easist way to procede is go to whichever SEO plugin you chose and find the sitemap.xml file that has been generated.
For Yoast, follow the details outlayed in this link. It appears to be a lengthy process but if you read through the instructions, they are very well laid out.
For Slim SEO, it automatically generates the XML sitemap at
domain.com.au/sitemap.xml replace domain with your domain in readiness to submit to search engines.
Now we need to submit our domain.com.au/sitemap.xml to
To submit your sitemap in Google Search Console, go to Sitemaps on the left hand menu (see below) click and enter your sitemap URL domain.com.au/sitemap.xml and submit.
7. Sign up for Bing Places for Business
Word for the wise, do this after you have confirmed your business on Google My Business, as Bing will verify it on the back of Googl’s approved account. Sign into Bing Paces here and select either box, whichever is applicable to you,
Once you are verified you can go ahead and submit the same sitemap.xml link that you used with Google.
8. Submit Sitemap In Bing Webmaster Tools
Go to Microsoft Bing Webmaster Tools and submit the same sitemap.xml link you submitted to Google Search Console.
Setting yourself up with Bing is equally as important as Google. Google uses Chrome as a rule and Bing Microsoft Edge, So the search results vary depending on what browser you use.
Now, this is a fairly definitive list of what’s required for basic SEO for beginners. You shouldn’t try too do it all in one day unless you are very patient with yourself. There is a lot to do and people like me get paid to do it. This article is for those who are serious about doing it all for themselves.
If you get stuck and find you don’t have the time ot patience, please contact us at Web Honey and we can do it for you. It’s what we do.