Using WordPress to build and manage your website is not only good for keeping your site running smoothly, but also helps out with your SEO marketing efforts.
WordPress: Good for SEO
WordPress encourages you to fully exploit your keywords by guiding you on where to place them. You’ll get tips on how to name your domain based on a list of SEO-optimized URLs. A good URL not only earns you search engine points, but it also makes it easier for customers to remember you.
Let’s say you’re planning to open a bakery. Your web developer offers you these two URLs below. Which one would you pick?
The first URL is too long to type out on a smartphone, while the second one is a much better length. WordPress can provide you with a list of short and easy to remember URLs, helping you make it easier for your target to access your site on any device.
SEO plugins can help increase your website’s compatibility with search engines. Thanks to its consistency in offering top-notch digital content management features, virtually 90% of all plugins revolve around WordPress.
How Do I Add SEO Keywords to My WordPress Site?
When creating a new blog or website, it’s important to have a list of thoroughly researched keywords. You’ll use them to narrow down a suitable name for your website based on search volume history.
Does your homepage have your keyword in the meta description? Websites that contain their target keywords in their meta description outrank rivals because search engine spiders crawling them can more quickly make sense of how to correctly rank the website.
Does WordPress Provide SEO?
WordPress is simply a platform that allows blog and website owners to host and share content. Despite sharing numerous tips on how to improve your SEO, WordPress doesn’t offer free or premium SEO services. In other words, you still have to implement your own strategy.
How Can I Improve My WordPress SEO?
Here are 17 proven SEO WordPress tips you can count on in 2019:
1. Post Content in the Right Category
When you look at newly launched blogs, especially from first-time bloggers, you might notice one recurring mistake. Some articles appear in the “Uncategorized” section because the content writer didn’t check the blog post button before publishing content. How bad is it? Well, it makes it hard for search engines to crawl these articles based on their target keywords.
When you’re about to publish an article on your blog or website, make sure you click the right box. This will help search engines index your website and content according to your target keywords.
2. Use Tags in Your Blog Post
Tags enable search engines to get a better description of your content based on a list of various keywords. Include one or several keywords that are relevant to your content in your post. Doing this also enables visitors on your website to find content faster through your search database.
How often should you use tags? Every time you’re about to publish new content. WordPress allows you to update tags of published posts as well as your drafts so that you can maximize traffic at all times.
3. Start Using Pingbacks
A pingback is where a WordPress site owner allows other people to post comments with links to their respective blogs and websites. In the beginning, this feature worked well because it enabled well-established sites to share traffic with budding ones. However, dubious companies marketing generic pharmaceuticals began spamming every WordPress blog with irrelevant links. That’s why most owners turn off the comments section.
The good news is that you might come across WordPress site owners in your industry who still allow pingbacks. The best way to get a pingback is to compliment the owner for publishing amazing content, then post a link that contains relevant content. Here’s an example:
Thanks for sharing this amazing piece on the best road trip destinations in Utah. Allow me to share this post on 30 must-have items when planning a road trip (include a link to your post).”
4. Deactivate the Comments Section
Now, I know this sounds a bit selfish because you’re trying to get pingbacks while deactivating your comments section. Why is this necessary? Because doing this increases your site speed and makes your website more responsive when a visitor navigates from one page to another.
Site speed is an important factor in page rankings because search engines determine a website’s relevancy based on the average time a visitor spends. If your pages load swiftly, then a visitor will want to explore more content, while a slow website gives you the same unpleasant experience of standing in a short queue that’s barely moving.
5. Post an Enticing Meta Description
A meta description is an excerpt of the main content that appears when a visitor places their pointer on your website. Search engines use meta descriptions to index content and this makes a huge difference when you look at page rankings.
When you want to buy a computer, you’ll have a list of brands and features in your mind. Imagine walking into an electronics store, but there are no descriptions on the laptops available. How likely are you to buy one from the store?
The lack of information will make you get out and go to a store where each computer has a lengthy product description. That’s how search engines get confused when they come across published content that lacks meta descriptions.
6. Focus Traffic on Relevant Pages Only
A do-follow link passes web traffic from one site to another one to enable it to rank better on search engines. A common mistake you’ll notice is that some site owners build do-follow links to irrelevant pages. That’s why Google implements penalties because this is similar to spamming.
Do you currently have do-follow links leading to your About, Archives, or SiteMap pages? Well, you need to get rid of the links to avoid losing valuable SEO points. The key to getting visitors interested in these pages is in posting unique and relevant content that enhances your credibility.
7. Google WebMaster is Your Friend
What is Google WebMaster? It’s a system offered by Google that enables blog and website owners to keep track of their site’s performance. Online marketers use this tool to analyze a website’s strengths and weaknesses by assessing various data.
In addition to tracking your website’s performance, Google WebMaster notifies you of any broken links in your website. Broken links can occur when content gets redirected incorrectly and you end up with a “Page not found”. You only need your Gmail account to sign in and start tracking your website’s performance on Google WebMaster.
Backlinks have the same power as word-of-mouth in the search engine world. When a popular celebrity praises a certain product, it immediately gets appeal and more people are drawn towards it. When a high-ranking website in your industry posts a link to your content, search engines reward you with high page rankings.
There are several ways of getting high-quality backlinks. The most effective is seeking guest posts that allow you to post do-follow links. Another way is looking for advertisement deals where you have a web banner posted for a specified period, then the product seller posts a link to your content on their website.
A permalink is the URL format which your online content appears. The structure comes in various formats; for instance, Day and Name, Month and Name, or Numeric. When you look at these URLs, they usually have numbers, asterisks, and punctuation marks.
But, are they SEO-friendly?
No, they aren’t because they rank lower compared to permalinks containing targeted keywords. In addition, a visitor is more likely to visit a website containing a keyword in the URL.
So, go to your WordPress Permalink settings then choose the “Post Name” setting. This will give you nice short URLs that rank higher on search engines and are easier to remember.
10. Use Keywords in Your Images
Do you include keywords in your image titles and descriptions when uploading them to your blog posts? Well, truth is, a lot of site owners lose out on web traffic by failing to do this step. The good news is that you can learn how to do this correctly and update your published posts.
When you type a keyword in Google, you’ll notice that you get results in different categories such as Images, News, and Videos. Including your keywords in the image’s alt attributes and descriptions enables it to rank higher when someone clicks on the images related to your keyword.
11. Take Advantage of Internal Linking
Search engines rely on high ranking websites to award page rankings on newly published content. That’s why you’ll notice most articles – especially newspaper sites – have several links leading to similar stories. Doing this helps readers get more informed on the topic and also increases the average amount of time visitors spend on your website.
If you’re publishing content on smartphones, include internal links to relevant content. For instance, include anchor texts links that direct readers to articles on smartphone apps, accessories, or trending news. This makes newly-published content rank on top within a matter of days.
12. Keep Your Content Relevant to Your Keyword
Potential customers use keywords to find certain products on services online. That’s why thriving e-commerce stores include a variety of keywords in their landing pages to make it easier for customers to spot them. But, how come some websites rank higher than others despite having similar keywords?
It all depends on the availability of content relevant to the keywords. If you sell electronics but only have two articles, then you can’t have the same amount of traffic as a competitor who posts three articles per week. Why? Because once a visitor is done reading your two articles, there’s nothing left to engage their attention.
13. Display Excerpts Instead of Full Articles
Hollywood makes billions of dollars annually because it’s successful in drawing and retaining the attention of a global fanbase. However, it’s obvious that some blockbuster movies perform poorly in terms of sales due to various reasons. But, have you ever wondered why Hollywood still rakes in billions?
That’s because they keep you focused on the next upcoming movie. They do this by dropping movie trailers that whet your attention. That’s exactly how an article excerpt works. It draws the visitors’ attention to your published articles by offering just a sneak peek. WordPress actually allows you to customize your excerpts by making them short and enticing.
14. Update Your Content Frequently
If you love basketball, then you probably have one or two sites that you visit daily to get the latest news happening in and out of the court. Each time you visit, you find new articles or videos that match your passion for the sport. So, in order to keep your audience hooked, they need to find new content to pay attention to.
How often should you upload content to your website? It’s advisable to post at least three articles per week. Doing this enables you to increase your number of frequent visitors. Plus, you need a large volume of content for internal linking.
15. Optimize Your Website for Mobile Users
Did you know that more than 50% of internet users today prefer using their phones to computers? That’s why newspaper publications have news apps on Android and Apple platforms to provide information in a digital format.
Optimizing your website for mobile phone screens is important because some people prefer making purchases straight from their phone. WordPress has several themes that fit in different sizes to ensure fast loading when navigating from one page to another. You also get to choose your page layout before publishing articles or setting up web pages.
16. Avoid Clickbait
Clickbait is a link that’s used to draw high volumes of traffic to a website by enticing readers using controversial or unusually catchy titles. Have you ever clicked on a blog then noticed a screaming headline that reads something like “Kim Kardashian’s Secret Abortion!”? Then, the story turns out to be false and just a waste of your time.
Is clickbait bad for SEO? Yes, it is because search engines notice the time intervals a visitor spends on your website. If the average time is less than two minutes, then your site ranks poorly because Google realizes that the high volume of traffic doesn’t correspond with the amount of time each visitor should spend.
17. Have Heading Tags in Your Content
WordPress represents headings and subheadings using H1, H2, and H3 tags. Using heading tags enables you to break down your article into various sections. If a reader wants to skip the introduction and head on straight to a specific area, they’ll just click a link rather than scrolling up and down.
Including these tags also boosts your page rankings by making it easier for digital spiders to crawl your articles.
Which SEO Plugins Are Best in WordPress?
1. Yoast SEO
Yoast’s main features are related to readability and SEO. The readability feature enhances your content’s appeal by offering suggestions on how to structure paragraphs and use heading tags.
If you’ve never written a meta description, Yoast will guide you on how to come up with excellent ones. You get to know the right word count by checking the color bar below the text box. It also guides you on how to implement internal and outbound links for better SEO.
2. Google Keyword Planner
Here’s a must-have tool for e-commerce store owners. Google Keyword Planner helps you identify new trending keywords that are hot. All you need is your Gmail account to access search volume data based on geographical locations and analyze the trends over specified periods. If you’re new to SEO, you’ll still improve traffic to your website by using one or a combination of suggested keywords.
Once you come up with a list of target keywords, Google Keyword Planner helps you budget for your marketing campaign by providing you with the Cost Per Click (CPC) rates. This feature enables you to analyze your success based on conversions and return on investments.
3. Open Site Explorer
High page rankings come through a combination of creating great content and accumulating high-quality backlinks. Open Site Explorer helps website owners analyze the strengths of their backlinks and compare them to their competitors.
This tool uses a ranking system known as Domain Authority (DA) to show how your website will rank on Google. It uses a similar algorithm to Google to analyze websites based on a system that ranges from 0-100 points. This tool analyzes your published content using a Page Authority (PA) rating system that also has a similar range as DA.
4. SEO Quake
SEO Quake is a web browser plugin that provides you with detailed reports on competitors’ SEO metrics. It displays your competitor’s DA, number of backlinks, and annual visitors. This tool is highly recommended when you’re about to venture into a new industry because it gives credible SEO metrics to base your strategy off of.
SEO Quake also helps you create a good content creation strategy by showing you the word count of various articles that appear in the search results. This is important because you’ll need to determine the appropriate word count for each topic covered in your blog.
Lengthy, high-quality articles increase the average time a visitor spends paying on your website.
SEMRush provides users with extensive keyword metrics for mobile and computer users. SEMRush provides you with search volume metrics similar to Google’s keyword planner. The graphs are relatively self-explanatory, making it easy for site owners new to SEO to start a suitable list of keywords.
Boost Your SEO Today!
You don’t need money to use meta descriptions, SEO titles, or internal links when publishing content on WordPress. These steps are easy to start implementing.
However, to make full use of these tools and execute on a comprehensive SEO strategy for your business, you’ll need a team to handle the many technical tasks required for success.