How to prime your site for search / SEO
The majority of website traffic is found by search. Let’s face it, majority of the time you want to know about a place, do you go to your favorite website and search there first or just type it into Google?
Most of your users will be exactly the same.
This isn’t a full blown SEO post, just the technical side of how to setup your site to make it much much easier.
Set up a sitemap / feed
Many plugins set this up for you automatically so you may have it already and it’s easy to check.
Just go to http://<your-site>/feed
For example http://alwaysenoughtime.com/feed
If you get a page like below then you already have this set up. If not then you need to install a plugin.
I recommend the Yoast plugin as it will get this up and running and also has a lot of the other features mentioned later in the post.
Add your sitemap to Google Search Console
If you don’t have a Google Webmaster account then you are missing a trick. Go to https://www.google.com/webmasters and sign in with your Google ID.
After sign in, enter your blog URL and click Add a Property.
If you have a Google Analytics account then click on Alternative Methods and use that option. If not, you can upload the html file to your webspace and then click verify.
Now, after selecting your site on Google search console, click Crawl and then Site Maps. Enter the URL for your sitemap from the step above.
…and that’s it. Google will crawl all of the URLs on your site regularly and decide which to index.
Instal an SEO Plugin
I’ve recommended Yoast plugin so will continue with that. You want your site primed for search and for social media. Yoast does this for you easily.
After install, click on SEO from your WordPress admin menu. There is a guided setup on the dashboard. Click on that and just follow the steps. This will very quickly and easily set up all of the core settings for you.
Next, click on Social and fill in the details on the tabs there.
Add Schema Markup to your site the easy way
Schema markup is code that you add to your site to help Search Engines index your code. It affects how easily your website is indexed and how it is displayed in search results.
The good new is that you don’t have to do this all yourself. There is a plugin called Schema App Structured Data by Hutvh Manifest that does in all for you.
Just install the plugin and then go to Settings > Schema App. Fill in the details you can on the Settings tab and you are good to go.
Getting your site indexed
Are your site and pages indexed by Google already? You can check by typing site:<your-site> into Google. e.g. site:alwaysenoughtime.com
This will show you every page that is indexed by Google.
If it’s not indexed at all then, if you added it to Search Console, it will happen very shortly. If not all of your pages are there, you can do a couple of things:
- Share it on Google+ – it’s Google owned so will get it picked up quickly
- Get Google to check your page: Go back to Search Console and click Crawl and then Fetch as Google
Enter the URL of your page that you want indexed
Click Fetch and then Request Indexing
Select Crawl this URL and its direct links and click OK
My pages were indexed within a few minutes with this method. It’s always a good idea to do this if you update a page too.
So those are my quick priming and indexing tips. Let me know how you get on in the comments below.