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WordPress comes to highlight and is widely used as one of the leading content management systems (CMS). There is no doubt on the efficiency of WordPress in creating innovative and amazing dynamic websites from small scale to large businesses. But having a great website will not do enough if it is not reaching the actual audience gaining interest and increasing sales.
It is important that you check your SEO that helps in driving the right traffic to your website. So you need to implement the best approaches in place for improving the SEO and website traffic. You might have come across the term SEO friendly website, which means it is getting a great response from a wide audience.
There can be various tips and tricks that you may follow to enhance your SEO efforts. In this article, we will focus on SEO, why it is important, tips for improving SEO, and security for SEO. So go through this article and get the most out of it.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization helps the owner of the websites for getting more traffic by ranking higher in search engines. You can simply achieve a better SEO by creating a website with optimized code and better formatting, making it easier for search engines for finding the website easily. Whenever people look for a particular topic online and the keyword matches with your content then the search-engine-optimized content of your website will appear higher in the results. It will lead to more people checking out your website, generating more leads and profit.
Why is SEO important?
What makes SEO the most important factor for any website user? However, search engines are considered to be a great source for attracting more traffic to your website. As we know, Google and other search engines work on advanced algorithms that will help in understanding and ranking the website pages through the search results. However, relying alone on the algorithms will not work perfectly, you have to understand your content.
If in case, your web content is not optimized then it will not rank by the search engines. Whenever people search for content related to your content, your website will not appear in the search result and you will definitely miss all the relevant traffic. Thus, it is important that the business owner understands the criticality of the website content and how to use the right keywords to make the content more visible to the users searching online.
20 Ways to Increase WordPress SEO
Now let's have a brief look at 20 ways to increase WordPress SEO that can help you to improve your website’s SEO.
Choose Your Hosting Provider Carefully
The first step is to ensure your site loads fast because speed is an important ranking factor for Google. If your site is presently not loading very fast (even heavy pages should load in under 1.5 seconds), you can contact your host and ask them why your website is performing slowly on their server, but if they fail to provide you with a specific reason (such as your website hitting your allocated resource limits), you can be sure that their servers are slow in the first place. Pick a Theme That's Optimized for Search Engines.
Your theme is one of the most important choices you'll make for your WordPress site. It determines your site's appearance and layout, can provide new functionality, and also plays a role in its SEO. For example, your theme can affect your site's speed, which is vital. A theme was also developed since clean code gives your site the best chance in SERPs.
Therefore, you'll want to opt for one built with SEO in mind when picking a theme. These themes are often referred to as 'SEO-friendly. You may also want to look for a theme that offers features specifically designed to improve your SEO, such as new heading tag options. Fortunately, there are plenty of themes available that fit the bill.
Add Your Site to Google Search Console
Google Search Console, also known as Webmaster Tools, is a set of tools offered by Google to give website owners a look at how the search engine sees their content. It provides reports and data to help you understand how your pages appear in search results. You also get to see the actual search terms people are using to find your website, how each page appears in the search results, and how often your pages are clicked.
All this information helps you understand what's working on your site and what's not. You can then plan your content strategy accordingly. Google Search Console also alerts you when something is wrong with your website, like when search crawlers cannot access it, find duplicate content, or restrict resources.
Install a WordPress SEO Plugin
When choosing the best WordPress SEO plugin, you will most likely narrow your choices down to the two most popular solutions:
- Yoast SEO or All in One SEO Pack.
- Turn On Search Engine Visibility
There's a built-in option within WordPress that will hide your site from the search engines. To see if this setting is on:
- Navigate to Settings › Reading from within the WordPress dashboard.
- Scroll down, and you'll see a section called Search Engine Visibility.
- Leave this box unchecked.
- Click 'Save Changes'.
Setup Friendly Permalinks
When you first install WordPress, your site's pages and posts will have a strange URL structure. This default structure isn't good for your SEO. The cleanest and most search-engine-friendly URL structure is the "post name" setting. By switching to this setting, you'll also include your post or page title and even a keyword in your URL. To change this setting, navigate to Settings › Permalinks.
Under the 'Common Settings' section, select the option that says 'Post name'. If you're making this change late in the game, you may need to redirect any old URLs. You can do this with a plugin like Change Permalink Helper. Just input your older URLs, and they'll forward to your updated URLs.
Install an .xml Sitemap Plugin
Installing a .xml sitemap plugin is vital for WordPress blogs. Providing search engines like Google links to all the pages on your site in a sitemap, preferably in the .xml format, helps them index your site content faster, in an easier way. A good plugin for WordPress to automatically create and update sitemaps is Google XML Sitemaps by Arne Brachhold.
Optimize Your Header Tags
Your header tags will give the crawler bots an idea of your content. Using these tags throughout your content will make it more readable and well-optimized for the search engines. In general, you should have one H1 tag per post and use a hierarchy of H2, H3, H4, etc., underneath that.
Your H1 tag will also be the title of your post, so you'll want to include your target keyword. For the rest of your header tags, use a variation of your target keyword, if possible. However, don't stuff your heading tags with keywords if it doesn't make sense for your post. Within the WordPress editor, you can easily add header tags via the drop-down menu.
Build Your Content around Keywords
Even though the way we optimize for keywords has changed, they still play an important role in SEO. Whenever you're writing a post on your site, you should have a focus keyword for that specific post. Here are some best practices when optimizing for a chosen keyword:
- Don't overstuff the keyword into your post, and only include it when it's natural.
- Include your keyword in the first paragraph of your copy if possible.
- Use your target keyword in your title and your subheadings.
- Add your target keyword to your URL and Meta description.
- Yoast SEO makes implementing the above tips easy.
Whenever you're writing a post, input your target keyword into the tool. You'll get an analysis of how well-optimized that post is for your chosen keyword. You'll be given tips to improve your keyword optimization and increase your chances of ranking in the search engines.
Incorporate Useful Internal and External Links
Google and other search engines don't consider your website in a vacuum. Instead, they look at how well it's connected, both internally and to other sites. Using plenty of links throughout your posts and pages tells crawlers how they relate to similar content. It also encourages other people to link back to your site, which communicates to search engines that your content is valuable.
As with keywords, this is a strategy you'll want to use carefully. If you cram too many links into your content or use a lot of links that point to irrelevant pages or exist only to promote products, your search engine rankings will likely suffer.
Instead, look to incorporate links where they fit naturally and point readers towards high-quality websites that already rank highly in SERPs. Smart use of both internal links and external links is key to achieving the best SEO results possible.
Integrate Social Media Sharing buttons in your Posts
Most search engines, including Google, use social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc., to determine what reactions a web page is getting from real users. When you like a link on Facebook, or retweet your favourite blog post on Twitter, or give a post, you liked a +1, that means you liked the post, right? Search engines these days give posts with good social reactions more priority in SERPs. A bonus would be increased traffic from those social networking sites for your content. You can implement social sharing buttons on your website and get those advantages.
Optimize Your Images and Ensure All Your Images have Alt Text
Optimizing your images by compressing and resizing them may reduce the sizes of the images greatly, decreasing the page sizes and improving page loading performance on your blog. You may use online image resizing and compressing tools as well as their offline counterparts. Make sure the images that you upload in WordPress are already optimized, but even if you don't have already optimized images to upload, you can use a plugin like Smush.it to optimize and reduce the sizes of uploaded images automatically.
You can also add proper image tags to images in your posts to help them rank better in image searches. You can also include additional keywords through alt tags in your posts. Google uses alt text to determine a page's topic, so it can even help your search rankings on non-image search. To find all the images on your site lacking alt text, you can use a tool like Screaming Frog. The free version won't show you all of them, but it will show you a good chunk.
Add and Update Your Posts Frequently
Google gives priority in its SERPs to blogs that feature frequently published posts. If you post five times in a week and don't post anything at all the next week, it's even worse than posting two posts a week consistently. Search engines love newly updated content relevant content.
Focus on Quality Content
Google has been deeply focusing on content quality for the last few years. Algorithm updates such as Google Panda and Google Penguin have hit low-quality content farms hard. People cannot use the "post crap, build links" strategy they successfully used back in 2004. The best way to impress Google is to produce unique, well-thought-out content that your readers will love. Think about search engine traffic only when you have great content on your site.
Google now uses a variety of techniques to determine if the users love the content on your site or not. These include social signals, on-site user activity, the bounce rate of a page, etc. So even if you manage to rank a not so useful page of your site high for a set of keywords, be certain that it won't take search engines a long time to know that people don't love that content on your site, and your rankings will get a blow as a result of negative user metrics.
Optimize your WordPress Site for Mobile
Mobile has long overtaken desktop in the number of users browsing online. And it's only going to continue increasing as phones get better and voice search improves. Google knows that. And they reward mobile-friendly sites with better rankings. It makes sense Google's goal is to provide the absolute best experience for the end-user. Viewing a mobile site on a mobile device is going to provide the best experience.
Use a Caching Plugin
A caching plugin will generate static HTML files instead of the PHP files normally required to run WordPress. This will minimize the number of requests between the server and your user's browser, which will decrease your loading speeds. Some of the most common WordPress caching plugins include W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache.
Optimize Meta Descriptions
Your Meta description is the bit of text that's below the title in the search results. It gives searchers an idea of your webpage. Your Meta description isn't a direct ranking factor, but it will improve your search engine CTR. A well-written and enticing Meta description will drive the searcher to click on your post instead of the other search results. The data is correlation-based, but if you have a high CTR, Google will deem your page more relevant, improving your rankings. To optimize your Meta description for clicks, implement these tips:
Include your focus keyword in your description. Google will highlight this keyword in bold, so it'll make your listing stand out even more. Think of your Meta description like ad copy. You're persuading your reader to click on your listing over others on the page.
No-Follow Any Affiliate Links
A lot of websites use affiliate links to generate revenue. These links are used to track commissions when you recommend a product, service, or course. But, using too many of these links is frowned upon by Google. If you're using affiliate links, you can disguise them while ensuring they're no-follow by using a plugin called Pretty Links. Pretty Links is a very useful plugin that can help you give a unique, non-affiliate-looking URL to any links you're using. As a benefit, this tool also has tracking, so you can see how many people are clicking your links.
Force Google to Crawl Your Site
Usually, your site is crawled by the frequency you publish new content. But, there is a workaround that'll get your content immediately indexed by Google. Open up Google Search Console, navigate to Crawl, and click on Fetch as Google. Input the URL of the post you've just published or updated and click on 'FETCH'. Next, click on 'Request Indexing', and Google will index your new URL. Sometimes this won't happen instantly, but it'll be much faster than waiting for Google to crawl your site.
Fix Broken Links on your Blog
Having a lot of broken links isn't good for your readers or your rankings. Also, they make it harder for Google bots to crawl your site. The easiest way to check your site for broken links is to open up Google Search Console and click on 'Crawl Errors'. Then, open up each error, and it'll show you where the broken link is, so you can fix it.
Benefits of using SEO for your website
Having SEO for your website will make a potential impact on your website. Below we have mentioned some of the benefits that you leverage by optimizing the website for the search.
1. Helps in targeting quality traffic
One of the key features of having SEO is the inbound market strategy that helps the customer to find you whenever they want some information about the content that is stored on your website. While searching, you may get thousands of results but the most visited links are on the top. Unlike outbound advertising, inbound advertising is based on the customer’s choice without interrupting them with unnecessary ads. It basically helps in attracting those users who are looking for information that is related to your field and making it more effective in reaching the target audience.
2. No need to pay for the ads
Google search engine works on an algorithm that decides the ranking of your website. After you create the website the search engine will drive the traffic to your page without any extra investments in displaying ads. The investment will be either in terms of money and time. Apart from this, you need to update your page frequently as per the content you want to provide to your users and your spot on the search engine will be free of cost.
3. Helps in increasing more credibility
If you combine the SEO process with content marketing, your website will become a part of the learning process. Having creative information and valuable content will increase the credibility of your website and help in gaining the trust of your website among customers.
4. Helps in improving the user experience
A website with a great user interface and experience is ranked at the top by the Google search engine. Google’s algorithm works on providing the sites on the top with a good user experience. Thus making various factors like mobile friendly, usability, and the speed of the site plays an important role in ranking the websites. Thus owners pay special attention to maintaining these factors to be ranked on the top. There is no doubt that an amazing user experience will have a potential impact on the customers leading to more conversions.
5. It helps in easy measurement of the website status
SEO helps in keeping a record of every virtual aspect of the website. Unlike the traditional methods, this will help in getting better results from your SEO investments. You can also leverage tools like Google Analytics for monitoring the traffic, other sources, conversions, and others that play a key factor in increasing the branding of your business.
6. SEO impacts the buying cycle.
Every customer does detailed research before buying anything and results in going through various websites for better results. You can use SEO features for relaying messages for good deals, various products, and deciding what you will offer to your customers. It will definitely impact the purchasing of the products.
How to optimize your website for SEO?
Before you start, you need to boost the website’s SEO for attracting more traffic. We have mentioned some of the steps that will help you to set up for SEO success, allowing you to focus more on the conversions along with updating the content of your website.
Analyse the data of your website
It is important that you keep track of your website data and how many people are visiting your website. To gather the information it is important that we have a lot of data to analyze. It does not matter if a single person is visiting the site and does not go for CTA, but if a large number of people are failing to do so there is a problem that needs your focus.
You can use tools for analyzing the user’s trend on your website. It will help you to get a better picture of the user behaviour reports showing how people are behaving whenever they are visiting your website and how likely they are to click the CTA. try to find out the specific pattern so that you can change your strategy to get the user’s attention.
Conducting via keyword search
Earlier, people used to go with a particular keyword for creating the whole article of thousands of words in order to get the page on the top, but today the scenario has changed. SEO does not work like that anymore.
Today, you can use tools like Ubersuggest that will help you in finding the right and suitable keyword for your business. Then you can use that keyword for finding the long-tail keywords that will suit your business. It allows you to get an idea of why people will use that keyword to search and what they will hope to find on the resulting page.
Create value-rich content
Well, it is not important how long content you have on your website. It must be valuable and provide a good read to its customers. If they find the content boring and out of context they will immediately search for another page. It will result in losing potential customers due to bad and improper content. So make sure to keep the content length up to 1600 words that will allow the readers to start at first. Your content must be rich in information and help the users to get what they are finding. You can even try to look for the competitor's page length and what information they are providing and try to do better than that.
Optimize your on-page SEO
This will help in optimizing your website while creating the pages for your website. Some factors like headlines, URL slugs, meta tags are commonly considered here.
You can even use the primary keyword in your headline, mostly as close to the beginning as possible. You can also include it in the slug and at least within one subheadline. Try to maintain for .5 percent to 2.5 percent in the content body while avoiding a keyword stuffer situation.
Optimizing website for mobile
Most people search their internet on the go and rely on their mobile phones more than the desktop. Thus making it important that you have your website mobile-friendly and can be easily optimized for mobile devices. Make sure you use responsive designs for a better user experience.
Speeding up the web pages
If your website is slow and takes time to load then you will definitely lose your potential customers. It is important that you maintain the website loading speed for both SEO and better conversions.
You can use various plugins that will help in speeding up the website loading speed. You can go for Google’s PageSpeed Insights that will help in checking how your website is loading across all devices and what things can be fixed for getting better results.
Using quality backlinks
If You are using the right backlinks, you will help your website to rank better in every aspect. Whenever a high-quality site links to your website, it shows the credibility of your website. It may take efforts for maintaining the quality backlinks and may take time to show their results.
Take some time, re-evaluate your WordPress site after you've implemented a few of these techniques. Check if things are better for your site or not. Ideally, you should see a significant rise in the organic traffic level of your site. If you like this guide, then please visit our official website as we have a huge list of informative blogs and multiple services such as DNS server, Web hosting, domain services, VPS hosting, and so on.