WordPress sites can be incredibly beautiful, but what is the point of having a beautiful site if no one can find it? SEO not only helps rank higher in search and bring more traffic but also ensures that the people who are actually looking for your product spend less time searching and more time exploring your site.
WordPress is an amazing tool to build the website on. It provides extended functionality and a slew of useful features that expedite the process of content creation. However, while WordPress does make it easier for you in terms of site management, you still have to put some effort into search engine optimization.
If you’re a looking to drive more visitors to your site and increase engagement, check out these must-do SEO tips for WordPress based sites:
10 Most Powerful WordPress SEO tricks
WordPress establishes its own permalink structure by default and sometimes it can look pretty ugly. While having pretty permalinks doesn’t necessarily help you rank higher in search, they are the first thing people see when they search for content or when your post pops up in social media feeds.
The right permalinks will give a short overview of what the content piece is about. For example, if you’re writing a post on WordPress SEO tricks, your permalink could look like this:
These types of permalinks can improve user experience and attract more visitors simply by letting them know in advance what the content is about. Permalinks affect how users perceive the site and can greatly increase your Search engine Click-through-Rates.
2. Use a fast performing WordPress theme
Some WordPress themes perform better than others. In fact, only a few developers pay enough attention to the best SEO practices when creating a WordPress theme.
Elements such as rotating sliders, flashy graphics, and image heavy layouts add to the visual appeal of the site but they also slow down the overall website performance and speed.
Test several themes and see how they perform before you land on that perfect super fast performing WordPress theme. The best option would be to create a custom WordPress theme to ensure optimal performance.
3. Create a sitemap
Sitemaps have been around for a while, and they still haven’t lost their importance. Sitemaps tell search engines where all the crucial bits and pieces are located. Not having a sitemap will affect the search results negatively.
Create a sitemap for your site and submit it to the search engines. Even though search engines usually crawl your sitemap automatically, it doesn’t hurt to let Google or Bing know about your website existence.
4. Use SEO plugins
SEO plugins were invented to make your life easier. They can’t improve the ranking for you, but they will indicate the steps needed to get your site higher in the search.
If you use an optimized WordPress theme and add a great WordPress SEO plugin, you’ll have a perfect system for SEO optimization. The best SEO plugins help with content optimization, analyze trends and algorithms, and even indicate if you’re using the right tone of voice.
5. Create effective titles and meta tags
Titles and meta tags are one of the most powerful indicators for the search engine. You can’t ignore keywords, but stuffing the content with keywords is not an option either. It’s all about keeping the right balance.
When organizing your keywords pay attention to search intent – you have to really put yourself into the customer’s shoes and decipher the deep meaning behind the words. Then create content that corresponds to that meaning, answers a question for the customer or provides additional insights.
6. Optimize image file names
Images are another strong indicator of the site’s content for the search engines. There are four image descriptors used in WordPress: image name, title, caption, alt text and description.
When you properly write all four descriptors, using targeted keywords where appropriate, you not only improve the website experience but also show the search engines how to read the site. This doesn’t mean that you have to spend hours trying to devise the multitude of names, but at least make sure you have the correct keywords in place.
7. Exchange backlinks
Backlinks are the fuel that propels your website to the first place in Google. Since there is no way for the search engine to check the legitimacy of the site, backlinks are used as a proof of origin. When an external site links back to your site, it tells the search engine that the site can be trusted and that the content of the site corresponds to the relevant search query.
Just like in the real world, where a recommendation from an authoritative source will give you a competitive advantage in the job search, in an online world backlinks from high ranking sites create a better reputation for your company. You can acquire backlinks through guest posting or by producing a viral piece of content that gets shared organically.
8. Set up Google AMP
Search engines want to provide the users with holistic customer experience. The experience doesn’t stop at the search engine results page but extends to the individual websites as well. This is why search engines are so concerned about the website loading speed and mobile optimization.
Google AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. It’s a technology introduced by Google that aims to make pages load quicker on mobile devices. Google wants to get the information to users as fast as possible, so it favors website owners who get the AMP installed and have the same customer-focused agenda.
9. Review site structure and internal linking
The way your website is structured largely affects SEO rankings, but it also helps the visitors navigate the site and find the right information at the right time.
Internal linking is the linking between the content of one website. It’s a great way to tell a bigger story and lead the visitors deeper into the site and closer to the purchase. Don’t just mindlessly interlink the content, but use strategic thinking to devise content ideas that build on previously shared pieces.
10. Post evergreen quality content
Customers in 2017 don’t like to be sold to, but they do want their problems solved. Therefore, they favor educational and informational content that helps them solve the problems. When you share valuable information online, customers learn from you and regard you as an expert. This, in turn, affects your brand image and creates a deep emotional connection with your product.
What does it all have to do with search engine rankings? Again, Google and other search engines want to be helpful to their users. This means that Google intentionally seeks well-written authoritative content and once it finds it, it puts such content above the competitors. Writing great content is a must and should be the business’s number one priority.
You can’t get a WordPress website and expect the users to bombard you with visits and purchases. It takes hard work to become successful, but SEO is not a rocket science. You can easily learn the basics and implement them.
The two primary factors that constitute the success of your site is the amount of effort you put in and a premium WordPress theme.