Create a WordPress Website Step 8: Search Engine Optimization

Now that your blog is launched and is exposed to social media, it needs some Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to help it get found by search engines.

But, although SEO is a science, it’s also a constantly moving target. In an effort to make the most high quality sites rank highly, Google purposely changes it’s algorithm to foil the efforts of those would game the system. One little change can undo hours of SEO planning.

Yet, you have to play the SEO game if you want to rank. And that means friending Google.

Here is where to start:

Webmaster Tools

verify, search engine optimization,

Go to Google Webmasters and open an account. If you already have a Google login, use that. Logged in, click Add Site.

Verify ownership of your site by following the steps it requires. I usually go for the alternative method of placing the HTML tag in header.php in Appearances>Editor. Be sure to deactivate Maintenance Mode to verify.

Once you do that you’ll have access to some of the best tools on the Internet, hosted by the biggest search engine in the world.


build sitemap, search engine optimization,
Sitemaps help the search spiders crawl your site by telling it what you want it to see. It pings the major search engines every time you update.

XML Sitemaps is a plugin to build and control your sitemap. The sitemaps URL will be “” On your Google Webmaster dashboard page, add that address.

Google Analytics

google analytics, search engine optimization,
To track the traffic produced by your Search Engine Optimization efforts, you need to do analytics. Head to Google Analytics and create an account.

You will get a tracking code snippet to put in your theme’s header. That can be done manually by pasting it in header.php. Or, some premium themes have a field for the tracking code in Theme Options.

You’ll also get a shorter code that starts with UA. Upload the plugin, Google Analytics for WordPress by Yoast, and enter that UA code. Configure it using this training video as a guide.

Google Social Media

Open accounts and complete profiles for Google Plus, Google Places, Google Authorship and anything Google does.

Make Google your BFF.

Yoast SEO

yoast analysis,
I once heard this plugin described as “the secrets of the universe for mere mortals.”  It’s simply the most power Search Engine Optimization tool out there. Upload Yoast SEO and use it on each an every page, post and image on your site.

Here’s my guide to using Yoast SEO.


google adwords, search engine optimization,
The humble keyword may have seen better days but it’s still key in Search Engine Optimization.

Keywords are the terms that indicate what you are writing about and they tell a search engine what’s on your web page. Read more about keywords here.

Find keywords that apply to your pages at the short-living Google Adwords. Use the keywords you chose on your pages, posts, links, images, videos – just everywhere. Don’t forget to add them to Alt tags and Description.

Write Shareably

After getting all the mechanics in place, write the most compelling content possible in order to get readers to share your writing. Use eye-catching titles and featured images that will attract attention on Facebook, etc. Shareability is as, or more, important than searchability.

And build up quality links in order to get links back to your site.

Next Steps

This is just the beginning of Search Engine Optimization, meant to get you started with the best tools. There’s a million more things to do to optimize a site. Learn more by starting at Webmaster Tools to get Google’s advice. Google “SEO” and you’ll get tons of suggestions.

Next time, we’ll talk about monetizing your site so you too can “make $5,000 per day at home,” or something like that.

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