Welcome to bite number 2 here at Christian Mommy Blogger! We are digging into all things SEO and we are going to optimize your site for SEO! This will help you to grow your blog, expand your reach and get your answers into your reader’s hands. Remember, the point of a search engine is for a person to ask a question and the search engine to provide the answer. The answer will hopefully be your site because it is optimized!
If you are on a self-hosted WordPress platform, your first bite assignment was to install the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin. Did you do that? If not, check out our What is SEO post to review the instructions. Today we will work through setting up the plugin, most importantly though, we will give search engines your information so we aren’t waiting around for them to find you.
Not on a self-hosted WordPress site? You can still tag along for this series. It will be more work for you because, as I mentioned yesterday, you don’t have the “easy” button, but you can still optimize your site! I will add non-Wordpress instructions in italics throughout this post, ok?
Give Search Engines Your Information
This is bite 1. We will set up an account with Google and Bing. Yes, there are others but these are the big ones we will focus on.
1. Go to Bing Webmaster/Google Webmaster.
2. Click “Add a Site” (if you have already done this, walk through the steps to make sure you are on the same page)
3. Enter the URL of your site. Start by entering the as “www.yoursite.com” even if you don’t use the WWW. (We are going to do both ways, you’ll see why with step #6). Press continue.
4. Now it is time to verify. This is where the plugin and this task come together. In your WordPress dashboard, go down to SEO and then click dashboard. Scroll down on the new page and you will see a heading “Webmaster Tools.” Once you need to verify you can either choose one of the verification options provided at the Webmaster’s site or you can input the special code they gave you here. I admit, it didn’t consistently work for me to use the plugin for this. (Bing worked great, Google did not, so I manually verified Google per the instructions.) If you are not self-hosted you will need to follow the onscreen verification instructions. They are detailed so you will just need to sort it out. But this is important so don’t skip it!
5. Go back to the Webmaster Tools page and click “Verify”. Are you good to go? Repeat these steps so you are good to go for both Google and Bing.
6. With Google, repeat step 2 and 3 again. This time, enter without the www (just “yourname.com”). Verify (it is the same process so you are already verified. Just click “verify” without actually putting information on your site again. Now, go back to the webmaster tools dashboard home and click on your www.yoursite.com link. (You should have two sites available, one with www and one without).
Once clicked, on the left hand side select “configuration –> settings”. Then under preferred domain, press the button to use the site that does not contain the WWW. That’s it! You are done 🙂
Now both search engines know you are there which means they can start crawling around sooner since they don’t need to first go looking for you. Can’t you just feel your reach expanding? Say it: I have expanded my reach today with @christmomblog! You can too! –>Tweet this!
Please note that you do not need to change other settings in Webmaster Tools. The WordPress plugin will submit sitemaps and all of the other necessary information for you. If you don’t have the plugin, just browse through the webmaster tool setup options to see what the options are. Just explore!
Remember, this isn’t mandatory stuff (such as putting out great content and sharing with social media) but it is a tool that will optimize your site for SEO thereby expanding your reach!
Wipe your brow and pat yourself on the back! Coming up I will have 2 videos for you. One with the basic setup and one with an overview of how to actually use the plugin with each post. Stay tuned!
How do you feel after this step? Ready for bite number 3 or overwhelmed??