In the first part of this 2-part series How To Set Up A Website With Wodrpress I showed you how to choose a theme and install plugins that can optimize your site. I also showed you how to get your domain and hosting services from one of the most powerful platforms today, SiteRubix.
Today we continue and I will show you more plugins and the tools that are essential to your site’s SEO.
Install and set up plugins and tools
Install Google XML Sitemaps
Google XML Sitemap is a plugin that will create an XML sitemap for your site. A sitemap is a file containing the list of your website’s pages. A sitemap is a way to let the search engines, like Google, know what the content of your website is and how this is organized. A sitemap is also the file that search engines read to know which URL’s can be crawled on your website.
The sitemap also provides other information about your webpage such as how often that pages are updated, when the pages were last updated and how important a specific page is in relation to other pages in the site. These information are referred to as the metadata.
Why are sitemaps important?
Although creating a sitemap for your site has no effect on search rankings, this is greatly important specially for new websites whose pages and posts are not easily discovered by search engines. Specially of your site has pages that have not been indexed, a sitemap facilitates a more efficient crawling of those pages and posts by the search engines.
A sitemap is particularly useful if your site is really large increasing the chance that crawlers might not find new pages. If your pages do not link internally or if there are only a few external sites linking to it, having a sitemap ensures that search engines do not miss crawling those pages.
How to install Google XML Sitemaps
On your WordPress dashboard click on “Plugins” then click “Add new”
Enter “Google XML Sitemaps” on the space provided at the upper right side of the screen. Click “Install” then “Activate”.
WP-Spamshield is a powerful plugin that eliminates comment spam, pingbacks, trackbacks, contact form spam and user registration spam. The plugin protects websites against spam without the use of captchas that, more often than not, only serve to annoy users and cause them to leave your site immediately.
WP-Spamshield is quite effective as it blocks off spam and does not allow spam to enter the site’s database. This is good for the site as database transactions are decreased, thus, minimizing load to the server. This results to better performance for the site.
The plugin has garnered a lot of great reviews and has over 100,000 active installs to date.
WP-Spamshield is free to download and install on both personal and commercial sitesComment spam is one of the most common problems websites have and it has posed quite a challenge over the years to all webmasters.
What is comment spam?
Spam comments are comments containing self-promoting links that are posted by humans or bots on your website with the objective of promoting the spammer’s blog or website. A bot or an internet robot is a software that performs repetitive tasks over the internet like posting comment spam. The comment posted generally has no content value.
Spammers do this hoping that they get a lot of backlinks and therefore, improve their rankings in the search engines. Spammers will use new websites, blogs that are popular, forums and chat rooms and pepper these sites with their promotional links. They do this to get clicks on their link which of course can lead to conversions on their sites.
Why comment spam is bad for your site
Some website and blog owner may think that comments, whether genuine or spam, are still comments and will still contribute to their site’s optimization. However, you should be aware that approving these comments will actually do more harm than good to your site.
For one, bad links are big no-no to Google and both the sites that buy links and the sites that approve or accept them are penalized. Furthermore, when users see these spammy comments on your site, it leaves a bad impression that your site is not well managed and therefore not worth reading at all. And if a user clicks on the links in these comment spams, it might take them to a site that they do not want to be in or that are contrary to their tastes. Thus, the negative impression this results in also affects your site.
How to install WP-Spamshield
Again click “Plugins” then “Add new” on your WordPress dashboard.
Enter “WP-Spamshield” on the space provided at the upper right side of the screen. Click “Install” then “Activate”.
Another option to protecting your site from spam is to use SiteProtect. SiteProtect is a powerful spam protection system provided by SiteRubix to websites that it hosts. This is not a plugin but a system that automatically blocks spam from infiltrating your website. If your site is hosted by SiteRubix you automatically get more superior protection from spam with SiteProtect, a spam protection system far more superior that any plugin.
With SiteProtect, spam comments is never given a chance to hit your site, thus, you are never asked to review spam comments and manage them. Since the spam comments do not clutter your database, your website experiences less stress and makes it run more efficiently. See here the other features of SiteProtect.
Install Google Analytics
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a set of analytical tools that allows you to keep track of:
- Who your site visitors are
- Where your visitors come from
- When users visit your site
- What users do when they are on your site
- What posts they click on and read
When users visit your site, it is important that you, as website owner and administrator, know these information to enable you to analyze your site’s performance and do some tweaking or make some changes to improve it.
By knowing which posts your visitors click on and how long they stay at each post they visit helps you to determine which posts are popular or which posts they do not find interesting at all for that matter.
Create a Google Analytics Account
If you don’t already have a Google account create one here https://accounts.google.com/SignUp
Then sign in to Google Analytics at https://www.google.com/analytics/. Just click “Sign In” then “Analytics”
Set up Google Analytics account and get your Tracking ID
Sign up to Google Analytics to create your account and tracking code
Enter your details.
Scroll to bottom of screen and click “Get Tracking ID”
Copy your tracking ID
Add your tracking code to All-in-one SEO
Go to your WordPress dashboard menu. Click “All-in-one SEO”. Scroll down to the portion that says “Google Analytics ID” and enter your tracking code in the space provided and you are done.
Set up your Google Webmaster Tools Account (Google Search Console)
Some people sometimes get confused with Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools because at first glance these two tools seem to be doing the same functions. However there are actually distinct differences between these two.
Google Analytics gives you information on who your visitors are, where they are coming from, what they do on your site and how long they stay on your site. Google Webmaster Tools on the other hand shows how your site is seen by the search engines and provides the following information on results of search engine crawling, links on your site and whether any o f those links need to be fixed, number of times search results included pages from your site and any technical problems that Google sees on your site.
Set up your Google Webmaster Tools account
Login with your Google account. Enter your website URL in the space provide and click “Add a Property”
Click “Alternate Methods” then “Google Analytics”. This is the simplest way of verifying your account. (Make sure you have already created your Google Analytics account as shown above).
And you’re all set.
I would love to hear your thoughts about how to set up a website with WordPress. If you have questions or would like to add to this just post a comment below.