WordPress is an effective tool with a whole bunch of elements to help improve your website rankings. It offers an on-page optimization edge with an impressive in-built system to run the entire website from the get-go.
Working for giants like TIME and TED, it’s undoubtedly a website owner’s favourite.
Additionally, built to handle the parameters of Google and other search engines, it boosts a website’s ranking and therefore, it comes as no surprise that it runs 43% of the entire internet.
But what makes the WordPress SEO so popular?
For starters, it’s a simple, user-friendly system. You don’t have to be a developer to launch a WordPress website.
Be it a tech difficulty or WordPress SEO questions for your search engine ranking and page speed- there’s always help available within the vibrant community on this open-source platform. Moreover, it adapts to your specific requirements so you can customize your plugins, including Yoast SEO, Website Builder, All in One SEO Plugin, and much more.
It comes with a variety of over 55k+ bespoke WordPress themes that fit with your business and design idea.
What is WordPress SEO?
WordPress SEO strategies are not different from generic ones, and having a WordPress will not guarantee your search engine result’s ranking.
Though SEO could quickly seem to get technical, the charm of WordPress is that it makes it easier for all those who aren’t trained in website design or even those who don’t consider themselves tech-savvy.
It isn’t the ultimate step for featuring in the top search engine results. You must hence continue to generate excellent content, attach good external links, optimize your website and solve all technical issues that could hamper your search rank. Nevertheless, it still has your back for a few SEO basics that help drive organic traffic for higher ranking.
If you are a beginner, invest your time in familiarizing yourself with essential SEO tips to help get started on a few practical strategies for your website. A bit of effort into your search engine optimization, and you can have your website rank higher on search engine results pages (SERP).
To help you with this, we’ve put together a few top tips and tricks that you can implement. So read ahead to improve your WordPress Site now!
How to Improve WordPress SEO?
1. Revise your WordPress visibility settings
If you’ve not checked already, WordPress comes with an option of keeping your website invisible from search engines. The logic is pretty simple: you need to lay the groundwork before the website goes live.
You may accidentally leave it checked even after the website’s up and running, only to hide it from search engines. To uncheck this feature, log in to the administrative area of the page, and go to Settings » Reading page. Thereafter, scroll down to the ‘Search Engine Visibility‘ section and ensure that the box next to ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this site’ is not ticked.
Don’t forget to click on the ‘Save Changes‘ to implement your changes on the WordPress site.
2. Add XML sitemaps in WordPress
An XML sitemap lists every available page on your WordPress website, making it easier for search engines to find all your content and show up in results.
We will show you how to submit your XML sitemap to Google in the next step as a part of the WordPress website’s SEO. This is important as it helps search engines find your web pages quicker than before and rank them in results.
To find your sitemap, just replace mycompany in the example site’s URL below with your domain name in a search engine.
You can also check out the ‘All In One’ SEO Plugin, which provides you the sitemap to be added to Google.
3. Include your website to Google search console
Included in the Webmaster Tools, Google Search Console helps you keep a watch on how Google views your website content and is an effective tip for WordPress SEO improvement.
All this information helps you understand what’s working on your site and what’s not. You can then accordingly plan your content strategy around the existing site for improved SEO.
It generates reports and gives a peek into how your web pages appear in search results. It’s shows how every webpage appears in the search results and also their click frequency.
There’s more, the Console sends alerts when the search spiders can’t access it or find plagiarized or duplicate pages. After adding your website to Google Search Console, click on the ‘sitemaps’ on the left menu and paste the last part of the sitemap URL. Click on the ‘submit’ button and save the settings. The Console will then examine the submitted sitemap and improve your website’s crawling.
Do not your sitemap appears as ‘Pending’ at first as Google takes a while to crawl your site. But soon you will start seeing some figures on your sitemap along with the total number of links, including indexed ones and other stats.
You should check your Search Console at least every month to gather insights and check your website’s SEO progress.
4. Run a keyword research for your website
This is probably the most used WordPress SEO advice, but an accurate one. Keyword search on what users punch in the search bar helps you gather more ideas to create engaging content.
Say goodbye to guesswork with keyword research in your personal WordPress SEO kit for now you can research and optimize keywords on a single page and all web pages as per your needs.
To do this SEMrush is the best SEO tool out there for all kinds of research, be it organic and keyword search paid advertising, or competition analysis.
Ahrefs too is among the top keyword research tools available in the market. It helps you understand your competitor’s rankings and place a strategy to climb higher in the ranking results, crawling more than 6 billion pages daily.
They have over 12 trillion links in their index across 200 million domains. With umpteen data like that, you can use relevant information to your specific advantage to refine your content and work on improving existing content.
5. Install WordPress SEO plugin
An advantage of WordPress is that there’s a plugin for almost everything you wish to add to the space. With thousands of plugins available, you can run through their ‘Plugin library‘ for the best ones that fit well with your specific requirement.
The Yoast SEO plugin, All In One SEO, and Woo Commerce are a few that help you enhance website performance by analysing Google Analytics reports and keyword searches to optimize your tags and content.
While there are popular ones that are free of cost, you’ll also find premium plugins to help improve your WordPress SEO.
6. Use unique and optimized tags and categories
Tags and categories enable you to categorize your website’s pages and blogs into distinct groups. This is a huge SEO benefit as it allows search engines to recognize the structure of your website and the information it includes, including the page title.
Another bonus of title tags is an improved user experience as visitors can quickly find what they’re looking for on your website without spending more time surfing.
Tags are similar to keywords and can be used to explain what a page or post is about. So, if your website is about gardening and botanicals, tags like “flowering plants” or “summer survivor plants” can help place a footing in the search results.
To add a new tag or view your current tags, go to your WordPress dashboard and click “Posts” and “Tags“.
Categories are the broad classifications of your website pages and content. Building on the gardening example, your categories could include “Plants”, “Gardening equipment”, etc.
To create a category, click on WordPress ‘Settings’>> ‘Writing’. This opens the list of your current categories and an “Add new category” button.
7. Use internal linking for website authority
For improved SEO, you need to increase the website’s overall authority.
The number of internal links to your own pages, posts, blogs, and other resources/content is one of the critical parameters search engines use to judge your overall site authority.
To link to other content from your website, highlight the text you want to link to your page, go to the WordPress toolbar, click the link button, and copy and paste the URL you wish to link to.
The linked words/phrase will appear blue and include the URL you want to route your visitors to once you’ve done this.
By interlinking your posts, you increase the time visitors spend on the website by increasing page views and eventually work well with improving your WordPress SEO.
Enable SEO friendly permalinks
You have a few options for how URLs are formatted in WordPress, and you need to be sure you’re choosing the most SEO-friendly one.
WordPress generates URLs like this by default: https://domain.com/?p=123. These URLs aren’t really search engine friendly, and users cannot figure what the page is about just by looking at the URL itself.
An example of a non-SEO friendly URL:
If you observe both the links, the URLs use numbers and characters that don’t reflect the related content. And visitors cannot gauge the topic and contents of the web pages by looking at the URL.
Inserting an SEO friendly permalink structure therefore helps boost your chances of featuring in higher positions in search results.
Here is how you can check and update your WordPress site’s permalink structure.
You can choose a custom URL structure by visiting: Settings >> Permalinks
Optimize your images
Images are more visually appealing than text, but they take longer to load. If you aren’t attentive to image sizes and quality, your website will slow down. So, make sure you utilize photos that have been optimized to load the post or page quickly.
Using a meaningful title and alt tags is another way to optimize your photographs for better search engines results. Let’s undertsand this better in the next section.
Adding Alt text to images
When using images, consider including alt text as they enable web accessibility to visually impaired users with screen readers.
As these tags provide context and an image description to search engines you must ensure that they include a clear description of what the image is of.
To do so go to the ‘Image Settings section of the ‘blocks’ menu.
8. Optimize your WordPress comments
Comments on your website or posts are good indicator of checking if your content is helpful and engaging. When previous visitors leave their views, there’s confidence built among new visitors, and it also generates more links to your WordPress site for better traffic.
If you’re looking for suggestions, consider Akismet for spam comment filters that comes pre-installed.
But if your website already has highly engaging and positive comments, take a bow and keep doing the excellent job with regular quality checks.
9. Mention “last updated” details
Website content isn’t always evergreen, and you need to constantly update it to make it SEO friendly.
It’s a frequent question of whether to retain the original published date or update. A good workaround would be to include a “last updated” or “reviewed on” tag on your blog post.
A point to observe is that this action won’t lead to direct results from an SEO perspective, but reflects the authenticity of the WordPress web pages.
You can do this on your website itself. WordPress lets you easily add the last modified edits on your WordPress pages and posts via the ‘WP Last Modified Info plugin‘.
10. Choose WWW or non-WWW
If you’ve recently launched your website, another tip to boost WordPress SEO is switching the URL to your preferred domain name.
You can choose between the two:
You can set your preference by visiting the Settings » General page and adding your preferred URL in both the ‘WordPress address’ and ‘Site address’ fields.
A point to note is that there is no right or wrong domain, and your choice has no bearing on your SEO ranking. it’s just a decision of your preferred domain. Whether you opt for www or without it, that doesn’t fix any SEO issues or boost your WordPress SEO levels.
When you stay put to your preferred domain and link to it frequently, search engines pick up the greater authority of your WordPress website. This gives you a better chance at search engine rankings.
Your turn now
Having a WordPress SEO strategy to stay in the top league is always helpful. From choosing a trusted WordPress hosting provider for faster page speed to creating optimized content for engagement, these top WordPress SEO tips are sure to improve your site’s content, visibility and boost the pages ranking.
Using WordPress for a blog post is one thing, and as a fully-functional CMS for SEO benefit is whole another ball game. What’s good, however, is that it provides a simple and supportive way to manage all aspects of the WordPress site.
Now that you are armed with this simple yet effective WordPress SEO guide, it’s about time to get started on improving your SEO search appearance.
Add crisp meta descriptions, generous linking, and create content that’s relevant to the theme of your website and services along with other technical SEO efforts for long-term results on your WordPress site. Whether you choose to do all the SEO by yourself or rope in an agency, the investment reaps long-term benefits.
So go, get started!