How to change Permalinks in WordPress for SEO? A Newbies Guide


yoast-seo-wordpressIf you have a visitor coming to see you at home, you’ll most certainly provide them with the address of your residence so they can reach you easily. In the internet sphere, permalinks are the addresses to web pages– they are the universal resource locator (URL) that direct visitors to a particular site, blog, file or post on the internet. In optimizing your site, you need to create user friendly and SEO inclined permalinks. It is often advised that you do this before adding posts or files to your site so as to avoid breakage of links that redirect visitors to an error 404 page. Here is how you can change permalinks on a new and old WordPress:

  1. On your menu dashboard, click on the settings and select permalinks panel. The better option for SEO which is also user friendly is to change the URL to the name of the file, page or post you intend to give or have given your content. avoid permalinks that are too long. Edit it properly and make sure it’s descriptive.
  2. Save the setting and your permalink can go on to rock and roll.

How to Use Yoast Seo for WordPress

Installing the Yoast plugin is as simple as installing any other WordPress plugin. Configuring Yoast can however be a little daunting, considering the phases of setting you may have to pass through as Yoast covers various aspects of your site. The general setting is the first phase of using the Yoast plugin. You’re required to:

  • Decide if you want the plugin to send anonymous data to the Yoast team to so they can improve on the plugin. This you select by clicking on the tracking box.
  • The tour helps you create convertibility with the plugin before you proceed.
  • From the restore default settings, you may choose to restore to factory setting.

The next phase is where you’re required to enter your personal info. You may input your website and company name. By stating whether you’re a person or a company, you facilitate the Google Knowledge Graph that displays your profile whenever a search is made.
Following is the WebMaster form that tries to verify your ID on the various WebMaster tools. These tools let you know the amount of traffic your site is getting from various site engines.
Next is to answer security questions, when you’re done, save changes.

Titles and Meta’s

The way your contents appear on the search engine matters, and here is where you will decide its appearance. You can enable ‘force rewrite title’ so WordPress SEO can detect whether it needs to auto-rewite the titles of your pages.

Title separator enables you to pick a separator for your title pages. This is a thing of customization and its majorly dependent on your taste.

Still on the the “Titles and Meta’s”, you’ll setup the title format for a number of pages on your HOMEPAGE. for the ‘TITLE TEMPLATE, the standard setting should be alright for most web pages. You may choose to customize it to your taste if it suits you to do so. You can also provide a template for the META DESCRIPTION TEMPLATE.

Post Types

Here is where you set the title format, and meta description template for your content. You have the ‘no index’ box which when ticked instructs the search engine to follow the links but refrain from adding them to the search results.

The ‘Date in Snippet review’ allows you to put in a date for the upload of your content. This is especially good if you update your site regularly.

The ‘Hide WordPress SEO Meta Box’ is there to help you decide if you want to edit the Meta information for your site. If you don’t want to do this, you can disable the box for a clearer, user friendly interface.

Taxonomies

Categories and tags are WordPress taxonomies that are created by default. Depending on the setting of your page, you might find additional ones. It is a wise choice to go with the default setting as this helps avoid unnecessary complications.

Archives

If you run a mono-authored blog, the author archive will look just like your normal blog page. You should set it to ‘noindex’ to prevent duplication.

The ‘Date Archive’ doesn’t really add any value to the search engine results, so it’s good if you select ‘noindex’ .

Search Pages, 404 Pages will appear by default. Configure the title format here and you’re done.

Social Space

The social media you should know by now affects SEO really deeply. So in the accounts setting, enter your social media accounts and that’s all. Your permalinks, extensions and RSS are other levels you may need to look into when putting up the Yoast SEO Plugin.

How to Install and Enable Sitemap in WordPress

Sitemap is a list of pages on a website that is accessible to a user. It is a way a site notifies the search engine about all the pages it contains. WordPress XML sitemap also instruct the search engine on which of page is more important to the other and how frequently you update your website. TO add a sitemap in your WordPress, you need to first install and activate the plugin. By default, WordPress SEO disables XML sitemap functionality so you will have to turn it on.

Note: The sitemap for WordPress is in the Yoast SEO plugin. You can check out the steps for installing Yoast above.
To enable your sitemap on Yoast, go to

  1. SEO
  2. click on XML sitemaps and check the box asking if you want to enable the sitemap feature.

Install Google Analytics Tracking Code to Track Your Visitors

Having the stats of your number of visitors, where they are coming from, who and who is visiting and how long they stay on your site is very necessary in evaluating and maximizing your marketing strategies.

To install Google analytics on your website, the first thing you must set up is a gmail if you don’t have one. Sign up for Google analytics and type in your website address. Check the boxes that appears as the conditions and features best suit you. Then select the blue button ‘Get Tracking ID’. You should have the page with your tracking code now.

If you miss it as that happens sometimes,
Click the admin tab at the top of Google Analytics account and click the ‘tracking info’ link. When you do this, multiple links will show up, just proceed to click on the ‘tracking code’. Your tracking code appears and you need to insert it on every page on your WordPress site. There are a couple of other options you can also explore, the easiest is adding the codes in your themes, and employing plugins is the other option.

Adding Google Analytics tracking code in Genesis Theme

Thousands of new blogs are built daily employing the Genesis themes. You can paste your tracking code in the Genesis theme if you have one, you do that by pasting the code on the dashboard. But first, you need to log in to your WordPress admin portal and click on ‘Genesis’, and then ‘theme setting’. On the screen dashboard, scroll downward, paste the tracking codes in the ‘Header and Footer theme’ click the ‘save changes button’ to activate your changes.

Adding Google Analytics tracking code using plugin

To do this, you need to install a plugin called Header and Footers. Activate the plugin on the ‘activate’ button by clicking ”setting” on the left menu. This method works with all themes and it’s easy to go through.

Install Google WebMasters Tools Tracking Code

Google Webmaster enables you to set up email notification so Google can send you mails on the status of your website, set your preferred domain name, test the homepage and any other page on your site and also get notified on crawl errors and access errors. To set up the Google Webmaster, you need to:

  • visit
    www.google.com/webmasters to register with your Google account.
  • The next step is to register and verify your website.
  • Submit your XML Sitemaps so Google can have a map of the pages on your website.

You can then go on to fill in details of email and your domain name. You can also check Crawler and Access errors under ‘Information and Data’.


2 comments

Jesper S. Jeppesen

Permalinks play really important role in blog SEO. I think this article covers all the necessary things needed to know about permalink structure in WordPress.

Abdul-Hadi Azzam Sarraf

Hmmm, surely helpful blog post to let newbies like me change permalink structure of the blog.

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