First SEO Steps to get your Blog on the Map

The Internet is a crowded place. How do you stand out and reach your audience? Here are the first SEO steps to put your Blog on the map.

[ ] Install and enable the freemium Yoast SEO plug-in WordPress Yoast Plugin
[ ] Enable Yoast SEO plugin
[ ] Sign-in into your Google account and Setup free Google Search Console Google Search Console
[ ] Sign-in into your Microsoft/Bing account and Setup free Webmaster Dashboard

Step 1: Setup Yoast

If you have your WordPress configuration set up the right way, installing plug-ins is a snap. This is one of the most important first SEO steps.

[ ] Login into your WordPress admin site, at URL consisting of your website domain and "/wp-admin/"
[ ] Click on "Plugins" on the left side bar
[ ] Click on "Add New" at the top of the Plugins page
[ ] Search for the plugin, e.g. "Yoast SEO"
[ ] Click on "Install Now"
[ ] Click on "Installed Plugins" on the left side bar
[ ] Click on "Activate" under the plugin you want to activate
[ ] You can use the configuration wizard to configure the plugin or configure manually

Step 2: Setup Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a useful free tool you will want to use. Since the original post, Google Console has changed so the information in this section may not be accurate. (If so, please help by leaving a message below the post.)

[ ] Login into your Google account
[ ] Go to Google Webmasters and click "Search Console" or go to Google Search Console directly
[ ] Add your website "property" by selecting "Website", entering the URL such as http://ideanist.com" and clicking "Add A Property"
[ ] Verify you are the owner or authorized user, for example by giving Google your id and password of your registrar's website to automatically verify ownership, or by setting a specific TXT or CNAME value in the DNS settings of your DNS provider.

The automatic verification probably works by setting a DNS TXT record field and verifying its content. If you do not want to trust your id and password to Google, you can perform similar verification manually.
You can optionally do some additional configuration such as adding separate Search Console properties for all URL variations that your site supports such as https, www, etc. selecting a target country, and so on.

Initially the Search Console will show a warning that “Google has not yet processed your property”, which means it has not been crawled yet. You must wait and come back later as there does not seem to be any way of triggering a crawl of your website.

Step 3: Setup Bing Webmaster

The following procedure was verified on May 20, 2019, and using Cloudflare as DNS provider. Cloudflare is a great low-cost alternative to other domain registrars, and DNS providers by the way.

[ ] Login into your Microsoft Bing account
[ ] Go to Bing Webmaster
[ ] Click on "Add a Site" on the left side bar
[ ] Enter the site's URL, and if you have one, the URL of the site map (generated by Yoast)
[ ] Click [Add]
[ ] Click under "Configure My Site" "Verify Ownership"
[ ] Option 3 shows instructions how to set a CNAME at your DNS provider.
[ ] Click [Verify] once the CNAME has been propagated.
| For Cloudflare DNS, this worked with Status "DNS only"

References

What is Search Console? (Google)
Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide (Google;pdf)
[recommended] Text Structure (Yoast)

updated: 20170128, 20190520
photo: CC0 pixabay.com FirmBee

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