There are many ways to drive traffic to your WordPress website, Search Engine Optimization(SEO) is one of them. SEO is a group of techniques and strategies to help your page rank higher in the search results. WordPress is already SEO friendly but there is a lot more that you need to do to maximize the number of visitors. Search engines are always looking for high-quality content, keywords, file names and much more. We have some actionable steps for you to optimize your WordPress SEO.
- WordPress is the most popular platform for businesses with market share of nearly 35%. Start by setting up WordPress as your website, once it’s up and running, create a blog and select a layout of your site. Pick a theme that is optimized for SEO. The theme provides your site appearance, layout, new functionality and speed in SERP.
- WordPress creates default permalinks for your pages, which are not SEO optimized. Changing the permalinks structure after the posts go live can cause WordPress to render previous links for the posts. This can be avoided by sharing new links on social media.
- Use keyword research tools to figure out a focus for your content. There are several research tools such as Google Ads, Ahref, Semrush and Answer the public. These tools offer unique features but any one of the top choices can be used to get insights to improve your SEO. Once you know the right keywords, be sure to avoid keyword stuffing which is penalized by search engines. For the majority of your content, target one or two main keywords with 0.3-0.5 kw density. Yoast plugin will give you more insights for WordPress SEO.
- Create a sitemap, these are used by Google, Bing and Yahoo to understand the structure of your site. When search engines are crawling, it gives them more information regarding your website. The Yoast plugin automatically generates the sitemap. After creating the sitemap, submit it to Google Search Console so you can access additional data about website. It will improve your WordPress sites SEO.
- Use WordPress SEO plugins because they provide full control over-optimizing what Google sees on your website. Yoast SEO and All in one SEO pack are the most popular ones.
- Title tags have more weight in boosting your sites SEO. It is important to have targeted keywords in the title tag of a page or blog. Google has a viewable limit of 65 characters for the title tag to ensure SEO optimization.
- Use correct heading tags and meta descriptions for your content. Google bots look for heading tags such as (H1, H2, H3….H6) to determine the relevancy of the content. The best practice is to use only one H1 and then multiple H2 and H3 on the page. Most WordPress themes automatically assign title tags.
- Optimize media on your website to improve SEO score. Use the Alt attribute i.e ALT text that is applied on WordPress site. Search engines use them to relate the image to the content for relevancy.
- Use Google Analytics to evaluate how well SEO is working on your website. Set up an account with Google Analytics and link your analytics account to Google Search console to fully understand the performance of your site.
- Perform the off-page SEO by using internal and external links for the site. High-quality external links provide more authority to your website. Backlinks coming from .edu or .org provide more link juice. Check who is linking back to you with tools like Moz, Ahrefs etc. You can also exchange links with other companies by simply asking for it. Internal links keep visitors on the website for a longer time and to show more content. This will optimize your SEO efforts to rank higher on SERP.
- Check website speed, it is one of Google’s ranking factors for desktop and mobile searches. It matters to Google as well as to visitors because 1 in 4 of them will leave if your site is slow. You only have 3-5 seconds to engage visitors. Having a fast website will boost search rankings, improve conversion rate and decrease bounce rate.
- Local SEO helps in optimizing your WordPress website. Businesses should register at Google my Business to get access to the local listing to boost SEO for local competition.
- Fix broken links: There are plugins for WordPress websites to check broken links. Broken Link Checker and WP Broken Link status checker are good ones. Fixing broken links will improve your sites search ranking.
- Social links send a lot of traffic to websites. Integrate social links to optimize SEO for your WordPress website.
- Use Google AMP, a new open framework built entirely out of existing technologies. It offers a way to serve up stripped-down versions of your current web pages. You can use AMP for WordPress and AMP for WP plugins to amplify your search ranking.
There are various other steps to optimize your WordPress website SEO. These steps will increase your chances of ranking higher in search results. Whether your goal is to entertain, inform readers, promote work or sell products and services, optimizing WordPress SEO will help you build and gain more audience.