SEO Basics: How to set up and optimize your blog

SEO Basics: How to set up and optimize your blog

If you want daily traffic to your blog, more subscribers and sales it’s important that your blog is properly optimized.

In this post I’ll show you the SEO basics (simple steps) that will get your blog set up for more organic traffic.

It doesn’t matter if you are new to blogging or have been blogging a long time…you need to make sure that you have the right foundation set up for SEO.

Let’s Dive into the SEO Basics Steps 

This all might seem overwhelming but you only need to do these steps once and you are done!

Step 1:  Set Up Your Permalinks

Log into your WordPress site and head over to the settings.

  • Click on the Permalinks and make sure your settings are set to this:  Post name
  • Then save your changes.
  • This will ensure that your url’s for your post are SEO friendly.

Perma link settings

Step 2:  Install a SEO Plugin

I can’t say enough great things about Yoast SEO plugin and if you can afford it, get the premium version.  It’s $69 a year and a good investment if you want to get more organic traffic.

You can always start with the free version too.

Step 3: Set up Google Search Console

Before we get started setting up your Yoast Configurations, you’ll want to set up Google Search Console.

  • If you haven’t already set up your google analytics account you’ll need to do that first here:
  • Head on over to Google search console here:
  • Click add property
  • Select Verify with Google Analytics Option and click verify

Google Search Console Add a property

Google search Verification MethodStep 4:  Set up Yoast SEO Plugin

Let’s start with the general settings you need to get up and running with the SEO basics your blog needs.

Your Info

In this section you’ll enter in the basic information about your blog.

  • You’ll enter in the name of your website
  • Then you can choose whether your site is a person or a company and then enter in the name associated with what selection you’ll make.
  • Save your settings

Yoast Your Info Tab


Yoast Your Info Settings


Set Up Google Search

Now we’re ready to get your site connected with the major search engines in this step

  • Click on Webmaster tools
  • Then start by clicking on the Google Search Console link
  • Follow the directions
  • Then click save

***Note that when you go through the verification process you will not need to add a code in here….

Yoast Webmaster Tools Tab

Add Google Search Console

Add Bing And Yandex:

Following the same steps as you did for google search, you’ll want to add Bing and Yandex for more visability.

Just click on the Bing or Yandex link and then follow the directions to either create an account or sign in and then add the verification code.

Bing and yandex set up

Set Up Your Social Media Profiles:

  • On the Yoast Plugin from your dashboard, click Social
  • Then you’ll want to set up all of the social media profiles I’ve pointed out in the screenshot below.
  • Click save

Yoast setting up social media profiles

Set up your Social media profiles

Step 5:  Submit Your Site 

Let’s make sure your sitemap is set up enabled and then submit it to the search engines.

However if you do not have content set up on your site, hold off on this step until later.  You’ll want to make sure you have your main pages on your site set up with content and at least 2-3 blog posts written and published.

Enable XML site maps on your blog:

From the Yoast click on XML site maps

Then make sure the button is turned to enabled

Save your changes

Yoast XML site map set up

Enable XML site map

Submit your site to Google Search Console

Now you are all ready to submit… all you have to do is go back to the Google Search Console account

  • Using the sidebar menu inside your site property management dashboard, go to Crawl > Sitemaps.
  • Next, click on the Add Test/ Sitemap button and add your sitemap URL.
  • Add is “sitemap_index.xml” to the form – see screenshot below
  • Click the Submit Button.

Google Console Crawl Menu


Google Search submit site

  • Wait a few minutes and then refresh the page.
  • You should then see the “sitemap_index.xml” file shown.

Periodically you will want to log into your Search console and  come back to this page to see how many pages and images Google has indexed from your site.

Index Your Site:

  • Stay here in the Search Console and go to the Crawl > Fetch as Google section.
  • Submit your entire site for indexing
  • Click the Fetch and Render Button and then wait for Google to process your submission.  Once they are done, you will see a “Request Indexing” button.
  • Click and wait for it to fetch….google search dashboard fetch

google search fetch and render

After you click fetch and render a verification box will open up

  • Check off I am not  Robot
  • Select search this URL and its direct links
  • Then go
  • After it is completed you’ll see your request on your console.

google search indexing

A final note on submitting your site for indexing…

Do not request indexing over and over…a good rule of thumb is to do it periodically and after you have some major new content added to your site.

The great feature of the Yoast plugin is that it takes care of notifying the search engines when you have new posts or content on your site!

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Copyright © 2018. Kristen Poborsky