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Configuring Pages and Posts for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

If you are starting a new post or page in your WordPress site it is important that you make your page "search engine friendly," so that when web users look for information related to your department, your most important pages show up first instead of a competitor's website. 

In the past, SEO used to be very difficult to set up and understand for novice web designers and developers, but now, this is no longer the case. Georgia State University has installed a new WordPress Widget called Yoast to make SEO much easier. To see the Yoast Widget on your page, check the dashboard. Go to Pages > Add New or Post > Add New. If you have a page that is already built, go to Pages > All Pages or Post > All Posts and find the page or post you want to see the Yoast information on.

Scroll down the page past the text box for your WordPress page or post, and go to the widget named Yoast SEO Premium. 

To begin, type in your Focus Keyphrase (this is the search term that you want your page to rank for most. So when people search for that phrase, they should find you). Once entered, the Yoast widget checks your page or post to see if your website's page or post is SEO friendly, and how well your keyphrase is used in your site proper. Your goal as a web developer and designer is to get this list to be mostly in the green ("Good results"). Yoast will give you help and ideas on how to do this. The more in the green, the higher your site will appear in search engine results for your keyphrase.

You will also need to make sure that the hierarchy of your headlines is set up properly. Meaning, use only one H1 for the title of the page, and then H2s for headlines below that, and H3s for any headlines nested under H2s. Think of your headlines as the main bullets in a Powerpoint presentation and order them respectively.

Also, don't forget that any images used on your pages need to have "alt text" filled in for them. This is just a short description of what the image contains. Say that you use an image featuring two students studying. You would give it the alt text "Two students studying." It's that simple.

If you are interested in learning more information about SEO and how to make your site more SEO friendly, please visit this  WordPress SEO Tutorial.

The university has a training resource and there is a course about SEO and Yoast. Use the link below to continue your learning.

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