How to Set Up Your SEO-Friendly WordPress Website in 15 Minutes

How to Set Up Your SEO-Friendly WordPress Website in 15 Minutes

Reader Comments (57)

  1. Great post Jerod and I’m heading back to my blog just to double check that I have done all these crucial things.

    Just one question though, there is also an option to input tags when writing posts, how important is this in terms of SEO?

    • Thank you Shola!

      Tags, at one time, were very important. And I used to spend a lot of time adding them to my posts, if for no other reason than for the keyword-related link that would appear on the page. As it is now, I don’t think they are nearly as important. I’m sure there is SOME value there, but I would use tags far more as a tool for organization (if you use them at all) and just gain whatever benefit occurs organically. Plotting tag strategies to dominate SEO probably isn’t going to be worth the time anymore.

      • Thanks for this Jerod!

        That certainly clears it up a lot for me. I’ve only used it on one of my posts so far and just wasn’t sure if it was worth doing. But I’ll focus more on the points you mentioned in order to make the most of my time.

  2. Quick question: I’m currently in the process of getting my site set up that will host my blog and copywriting portfolio. I chose my full name as the URL for the domain. Was it unwise to not include a keyword relevant to my field when I chose the domain?

    • Unwise is the wrong word, though it is perhaps a missed opportunity. But it depends. If your website is all about YOU, then the branding of just having your name is a positive. Because you also don’t want the domain to be too long either. So I think is probably better than At a certain point it just gets too long. I think three words is the MAX, and sometimes I think even those domain names are too long.

  3. I agree wholeheartedly with you about the domain name. Maybe, maybe you can get a keyword into your brand, but at the end of the day you need to build a domain around your brand, not a keyword. I’ve been against exact match domains for a long time, so the EMD update was something I’ve been waiting for.

    • Yep, there is definitely a shift with the search engines to not give the keywords in domains quite as much credit as before. There is still value there, but the days of trying to hyphenate a bunch of keywords to be assured of search dominance are over. And that’s a good thing!

      • Agreed Sonia! Tough to argue with Darren’s success. And it brings up this point: there aren’t necessarily rules for “right” or “wrong”. I think that would be a bad domain name choice if the ONLY goal was to try to make quick gains in the search engine. But Darren obviously has an entire long-term content strategy around it, and the domain fits perfectly into that. So it is situation-specific.

        • Absolutely — it’s not a quick-and-dirty niche site, it’s a well-run business with tons of high-value content and a huge community around it.

          Of course, if Darren were starting the site today, he might come up with a different URL. We make these decisions in context.

  4. This is not a knock on Yoast SEO but right now it is NOT playing well with WordPress latest update. My site was all screwed up… Categories weren’t connecting, there were 404 errors popping up and site in general was extremely slow…

    Removed the Yoast SEO plugin and all went back to Peaches… Love Yoast products but for now the SEO plugin might be hurting you.


    Ryan H.

  5. Brilliant post Jerod – thank you. It’s reassuring to have a resource like this to take some of the more technical aspects of running your own site and translate them into plain English! All now present and correct and looking forward to learning more with the Yoast plug-in. Thanks again.

  6. Great content! Also, the URLs or links provided should be reliable and not those that give the ‘404- Not found’ results. Ideas on a blog should be gathered and brought out clearly.

    Thanks for the post.

      • That’s correct and we should always remove the broken link from our website or getting it indexed by just using the webmaster tool.

        Also people should think about the content more than SEO part as Google prioritize site with good content more than any other site 🙂

        Thanks for the great post.


  7. Nice post but I guess you forgot to mention about the social bookmarking icons that you need to have on your WordPress site so that people can share content. Plugins like Sharebar are very helpful though.

    • Richard, good point! Having social media icons on the page is definitely helpful, both as a “suggestive sell” for the sharing, and to make it easy. Excellent addition!

  8. Pretty sure my theme has post titles wrapped in h2 tags, not h1, so I’m going to change that right away. On a side note, installing a new theme for this is going to a bit of an extreme. Editing the code literally takes less than a minute. (if you know where to look, that is)

    • Charles, exactly. The key is knowing where to look, which usually is pretty easy. And if you don’t know, probably better to just ask someone – even the theme creator – rather than switch themes if that is the ONLY difference you are looking for.

  9. Excellent post with all the right nuts and bolts! These things should be nailed down before you start thinking about off site optimization, or you’re just missing opportunities.

    • Thanks Matt. And I agree. I see people frustrated that their SEO isn’t where they want it to be, only to realize that they really didn’t get the fundamentals right. Just like in sports, it starts with the fundamentals.

  10. SEO on WordPress is one of those cases where 80 % of the benefit comes from 20 % of the work, and you’ve done a nice job of nailing down that 20 %. Especially enjoyed the definition what good SEO is – sharable, usable content that happens to align with a few algorhymic guidelines.

  11. Great breakdown, all these elements will help a site improve its SEO but once a site is competing for the top positions I think aside from having original content it really comes down to site speed and having clean and simple code. Those two elements are very important to me at least.

  12. Site speed seems to become an increasingly large faster. After all, who wants a slow site? Get stuff like the W3 caching plugin or WP super cache. Add to that smash .it from Yahoo and WP Minify and you’ll be above the rest of the pack.

    • Yes using caching plugin helps in reducing the site load time.W3 Total Cache seems to work well for VPS and dedicated servers more than shared hosting servers.For shared hosting WP Super Cache works well compared to W3C.

  13. Agreed on Great Post Jerod. WordPress is by far the best platform I have used to build and rank successful websites on – it is so easy in it’s simplicity yet for power users can boast a whole lot of functionality from Plugins or Themes. Yoast’s is a great SEO Plugin too – definitely recommended.

  14. Thanks for highlighting these points Jerod. However, when I click on my title in the title box and select H1, instead of the title text itself changing, my first heading in the actual blog text changes .That makes it larger than the text in the title box! Any suggestions welcome! Thanks a lot .

  15. Did you realize you are amazing? I just bought the WordPress for Dummies book which is great but you just summarized the whole chapter on SEO in one article. They really should contact you. You could be (even more) rich and (even more) famous. Of course if you are too famous then you might attract stalkers. Better stay right where you are.

  16. just one problem. When I used the custom permalinks it screwed up all the category links and page links – got a 404 redirect error. Post links worked perfectly.

  17. This 15-minute guide in establishing an SEO friendly WordPress site is awesome. I am truly amazed by how you presented these techniques in creating an SEO friendly website. Now, I am starting to get convinced that WordPress is my go to site in creating a website. I am not even that familiar with WP but I am starting to love it and the benefits my website will be getting from it. It excites me.

  18. Man you guys are absolutely crushing it with Synthesis. It is really inspiring to see.

    Gotta love how Brian’s (I assume it’s Brian) vision for all these integrated WordPress products are coming together. I thought about coming over to you for my blog hosting recently.

    Still thinking about it…

  19. Thanks, great introductory write up for SEO.

    How do you feel about adding noindex to tag, category and other pages that are not the primary content of the site? I noticed on a new site that Google indexed my tag pages right away but not the pages themselves… I am concerned about the indexing but then also possible duplicate content issues since the tag archive pages have content made up of the “real” pages.

  20. I was thinking about disabling comments for my whole website. But after reading this article I think that it would not be worth it to disable the comments.
    I had disabled comments for three of my consecutive posts. I didn’t even come close to top ten pages for my chosen keyword for that.
    So, I think unless you are a very powerful and established blogger with lot of link juice, you should not disable them.

  21. Most of the time I don’t approve comments. I want to ask you a question, If any comment has too many keywords and it’s grammar is poor what one should do?
    The other question is related to content. If someones copies content at the same time when it is published on one blog and Google indexes copied site, who will get ranking?

This article's comments are closed.