Make the Most of Our New SEO Settings Panel

Take control of your site and how it appears in search engines.

WordPress.com has always taken care of your site’s search engine optimization (SEO) behind the scenes. Whether you have a free site or paid plan, we index your posts and pages so that the Googles and Bings of the world can easily find them. Many of you, however, have requested more hands-on control over your site’s SEO — so we’re thrilled to introduce a new SEO settings panel to your dashboard.

When it comes to attracting viewers via search engines, nothing beats publishing high-quality posts on a regular basis. But there are also a number of technical settings that can have an impact, and our new panel gives you easy access to and control over these settings.

When you’re working on your site in the WordPress.com dashboard (access it by going to My Sites in the top-left corner of the screen), head to the Settings page and you’ll see a new SEO section.

This section contains two items: Site Verification Services, and XML Sitemap. Read on to learn how they can help with your site’s visibility.

Site Verification Tools

WordPress.com comes with built-in stats that give you ample information about your traffic. If you’d like even more stats, some search engines and social networks offer additional “webmaster tools” that may complement the data you see here.

We’ve made it easier for you to verify your site with several services (for detailed instructions on site verification, read our step-by-step instructions). All you need to do is copy the HTML verification tag from any of the platforms listed below, and paste it into the corresponding field:

New Site Verification Tools showing the different Webmaster Tools settings.

Site Verification Tools

We currently support the following services:

XML Sitemap

XML Sitemap Link

Your site has always had an XML sitemap, but now you’re never more than a couple of seconds away from finding it!

Sitemaps are special-format pages that let search engines know what pages exist on your site and where to locate them. After you’ve verified your site using Google, Bing, or Yandex’s webmaster tools, you can submit your sitemap to those services so that search engines can easily find all the pages on your site.

Going through this step may help search engines index your site more quickly, as well as establish your authorship of original content in case your posts get syndicated or shared elsewhere on the web later on. Once you’ve added your sitemap, some of these services (including Google and Bing) will also be able to provide you with more information on your site’s performance.

Take Charge

With access to more SEO settings than ever, you have the ability to take charge of your site’s search engine success. If you’re interested in learning more about SEO on WordPress.com, visit our previous articles on the topic at The Daily Post, or check out some of the most frequently asked SEO questions.


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50 Comments

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  1. BCTracker

    Incredible timing … My helpful sister (working on MS) just finished a course about this subject specifically!. Really glad WordPress chose to add this useful item! Thanks!

    Liked by 8 people

  2. thatswhatsupblogger

    Wow. Informative. Thanks!!

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Margie

    This is a helpful feature. I use the WP Admin Dashboard exclusively. I don’t see a link to SEO from there.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. buckbeakmcd

    Cool, this was very helpful!!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. jeffreybotah

    This is great! It’s been needed for a long time.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. biadownloadkon

    Hi Chris Smith , Thanks for shairing , best regards

    Liked by 4 people

  7. susielindau

    I’ll try adding a meta description! My SEOs have tanked even after adding all the alt tags for photos, so anything might help.
    If I already have a <meta name= for each search engine, do I still want to add my sitemap from below them?
    Thanks!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Carla Doria

    Love this feature! I really wanted to change what showed at the front page meta description for search engines. I’m so glad that I can edit this now. However, it seems this is not an immediate change. Do you have an approximate time frame of how long I should wait to see these changes online? 4-6 weeks as when indexing sites?
    Thanks!

    Liked by 7 people

    • Chris Smith

      It can take some time for the search engines to update your description in the search results; usually a week or two at the most once it’s indexed the first time.

      Liked by 3 people

  9. USA Insurance Brokers

    How can I see the current SEO settings for my site?

    On Thu, Jun 2, 2016 at 11:08 AM, WordPress.com News wrote:

    > Chris Smith posted: “WordPress.com has always taken care of your site’s > search engine optimization (SEO) behind the scenes. Whether you have a free > site or paid plan, we index your posts and pages so that the Googles and > Bings of the world can easily find them. Many of you, h” >

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Chriss Benitez

    Nice!! really helpful for those that has jsut started into the SEO world

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Dennis

    Now we still need Google Analytics.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Toby Barnett

    Excellent feature. Though I have sentimental value with All in One SEO.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. d2drapes

    I can’t find the new SEO features.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. bigdudemakingbigmoves

    EXCELLENT timing! I totally just earned my Google Adwords, Google Analytics, and Hubspot Inbound Marketing certifications! Now I get to test my skills more!

    Liked by 4 people

  15. allergyfreemouse

    What about page titles? They’re more important for ranking and using the post title isn’t always the best option.

    Liked by 4 people

  16. thesmilingpilgrim

    Great feature guys! The more we are able to customize our content and get it to our perspective audiences the better.

    Partnerships and tools that work hard in hand with the big search providers and link systems around the web are the way to go🙂

    Good on you guys for developing this area!

    Liked by 6 people

  17. clcouch123

    I very much appreciate the SEO arrangement that you already made, though I’m sure the new offering will be used with thanks by many. I’ve been working at my blog for only a few months and am grateful I can post and receive responses and read the posts of others. And whenever someone new finds me, that’s kismet or serendipity.

    My thanks to you for all the opportunities in WordPress!–Christopher

    Liked by 3 people

  18. voulaah

    Excellent timing
    thank you for sharing
    Anita🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Venkatacharya

    Great news! I am glad to know this feature being added to our site. Very useful and helpful in reaching to traffic.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Strix Texturae

    WOW! Thank you, Chris. Can’t wait to test it out. WordPress is a shining example of ‘continuous improvement’.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Prem Nath Vishwakarma

    Interesting. Loved it.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Aki

    Oh so I was working over SEO, thank you WP for adding this..!! Superb!!

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Sara

    Super addition to the WordPress platform. I am a marketer at work and a blogger at play, and it will be nice to apply some of my marketing and SEO know-how to my personal life. Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Admin

    thanks, this was very helpful!!!!

    Liked by 4 people

  25. Inspirations By Katheryn

    Thank you soooo much.

    Liked by 3 people

  26. aHorseForElinor

    Intrigued! I’ll see if I can make sense of this and do some tweaks on my own – very green at this sort of thing, so a bit leery of making changes that could make it worse…

    A question, based on reading other comment further up: What is best, adding a description in the “Alt Text” field for each photo, or adding a description in the field below, in the “description” field?!
    From a Search Result stand point.
    I’ve only used the “descripion” field and my images are showing up in all sorts of Google results.

    Liked by 3 people

  27. crisses

    Any chance this change to the Admin Panel has messed around with the ability to add/delete/edit/reorder the Widgets? I was checking the blog to see if there were recent updates to the Admin panel because I used it to add a widget a few days ago, and now it’s broken see screencast https://youtu.be/55iJ8YmORi0

    Liked by 3 people

  28. dawnlizjones

    Thanks so much for this! Unfortunately, after verifying my site with Google, the step#2 of the instructions did not make sense with what I could find on my blog site. Particularly, “…on your Search Console home page, select your site.
    In the left sidebar, click Site configuration and then Sitemaps.
    Click the Add/Test Sitemap button in the top right.”
    Perhaps I don’t understand where the Search Console home page is? Can you help?

    Liked by 3 people

  29. NS

    Great addition guys. I run several sites on WordPress.com. I tried editing the front page meta description for one site, but it changed it for all my sites.

    Liked by 3 people

  30. Tony

    Thanks for this, WordPress. I’ve updated mine today after following your instructions above. See more about my site below.

    https://naturestimeline.com/about/

    Liked by 3 people

  31. Accutemp Air

    Great! Thank you!

    Liked by 3 people

  32. agurlblog

    Great.

    Liked by 3 people

  33. d2drapes

    SEO is not listed in my Settings. My site is http://www.decoccodesign.com. Please show me!

    Liked by 4 people

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