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If you have installed WordPress, you may have noticed that the default installation is not SEO friendly at all. If you want to have a better search ranking, you need to optimize it first to enhance your site’s ranking.

The below WordPress settings will guide you in the right direction.

Reading Settings.

The first and most important thing you should do is to make sure that the “Search Engine Visibility checkbox” is unchecked. If your site is already in production and you ticked off the “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” you will lose your rankings. Navigate to Settings > Reading from your WordPress dashboard when you ae logged in and make sure you left this option unchecked.

Permalink Settings
By default, the URL structure for WordPress looks like https://mydomain.co.za?p=134. In order to optimize your pages you need to set this to “Page Name” by navigating to Settings > Permalinks.

Title Tag
Your page title should contain some of your keywords relative to your content. If possible place the keyword at the beginning of your title as search engines give more value and weight for this. The preferred title length must be about 50-60 characters in length.
People read headlines first as to page copy. This means that your page titles should be compelling to entice your visitors to read your content

Add Media Files
Graphics or Images not only helps your clients get engaged with your content and reduce bounce rates but It also helps search engines discover your site by adding your focused keyword to the image ALT text. What you need to do is to add at least one media file to every post or page that you publish with a focused keyword in the Image ALT tag.

HTML Headings

Try using proper heading tags on your pages and posts. Remember that you should only use one H1 tag in your content and then use H2, H3 etc tags in your sub headings. Different Heading tags are: [h1] [h2] [h3] [h4] [h5] [h6]. If possible add you’re focused or target keyword to at least one of your headings.

Content or Copy Length
There are a lot of opposing views on this. Some say that you should post long content while others say that quality is more important than quantity. But if your goal is to rank high on search engines, you should write an article with at least 1,500 words.

Add Social Sharing
Adding social sharing buttons will give you an opportunity to get more traffic to your posts or pages. When your post gets a lot of shares in social media channels, it signals to Google that your content is valuable.

Please keep in mind that SEO ranking factors are constantly changing. You have to be in the loop of the latest updates in the Google algorithm to stay on top.

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