Great job on wanting to take your site's SEO into your own hands! You're a go-getter!
As its title suggests, this checklist is basic and meant to introduce you to some concepts you should be aware of and understand in order to begin optimising your site. If they sound more technical than what you're used to hearing about such as links and content, you're right. This is the more 'boring' part but it is still necessary and will complement your other optimisation efforts.
Once you're done with these, you can continue your journey by seeing the other sections evaluated in your Free Website Report or trialing MarketGoo. But there is time for that later!
(If you're a more advanced Wordpress/SEO user and this proves to be a snoozefest, go ahead and skip to step 3).
SEO stands for search engine optimisation. Optimising your site for search engines means using a combination of strategies and techniques to increase the number of visitors to your website by achieving a high position in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yandex, etc.
You may have heard that Wordpress is great for SEO, and we would amend that phrase to say Wordpress has great potential for SEO. That means that you need to make adjustments yourself in order to optimise it as well as possible. Just because you have a site on Wordpress doesn't necessarily mean it is going to do well if you don't dedicate time to optimising it for search engines.
So what does your theme have to do with any of this? It is important for you to know that some Wordpress themes such as Genesis come with built-in SEO options, and if you switch to a different theme, your SEO may be affected. This is why we recommend using a plugin. Remember you need to have a self-hosted website (wordpress.org, not wordpress.com).
One of the things that makes Wordpress great is that there is a plugin for everything. Plugins are bits of software you add to extend the functionality that already exists in Wordpress. For SEO, there are two major plugins that you can get for free (they also offer paid versions): Yoast SEO and All in One SEO. Which one is better? You can read a comparison here. Whichever one you install, it will help you eaily make the changes you need and additionally your site will take less of a hit if you switch themes.
Got this far? Good job, you can mark this section as complete :) Go on to the next section, 'Title Tags'.
In the image above, we already saw the blue text which is the Title, and now let's take a look at the black text which is about 2 lines long. This is the meta description, and gives a concise and attention grabbing description of what your page offers. In the example, you can see that the results seem to have somewhat generic descriptions, although they mention the keyword 'octopus figurines' many times. Make yours more descriptive and relevant, because you want the person reading it to click through to your website.
You might have noticed we still haven't said anythng about that one green line in the image at the top of the section. It's the URL, and it is more important than you'd think! So, you've made it this far, so keep going! Mark as done and keep going to the next section about URLs, Permalinks.