It is very common to hear that WordPress (WP) is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) for your website. Because of the SEO-friendly HTML code and the best Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices adopted by WordPress, 65.2% of all websites use WP as their CMS. But there is a lot more than just using WP as your CMS. To rank your website higher in SERP it is also important to use the best WordPress SEO tips. You can achieve the top 3 rankings for your website by practicing the best practices of SEO.
Here in our article, we cover the best WordPress SEO tips that help Google to recognize your website and to rank it higher in SERPs. These methods will help you achieve SEO success while optimizing your site for search engines.
Why is WordPress SEO Important?
Search Engine Optimization is the most vital aspect of any website to grow organically. Search engines are one of the biggest sources of bringing organic traffic to your site. Search engines have different algorithms to understand the content you publish on your website and the content relevancy with the user search intent.
For Google or any other search engine to understand your content, it is important for your content to be optimized. The more user-friendly your website content is, the more is the chance to rank on Google, gaining you more visibility, and more customers.
With WordPress being so flexible and adaptable to users it is the number #1 choice as a Content Management System (CMS). Along with its user-friendliness, you can also use thousands of different themes in WP. WordPress also allows more than 55,000 different plugins to make your content better. The various features that it offers are second to none when it comes to site design and flexibility. You will have everything that you need to maintain your site.
Let us check the top 14 WordPress SEO tips you need to know.
14 WordPress SEO Tips
1. Site Visibility Setting
The first step to ensure that your site is visible to search engines is making sure that an option on WordPress is unchecked.
Path: Settings > Reading > Search engine visibility
This is the option to discourage search engines from indexing your site. In case this is checked, you lose your site visibility on all search engines.
Also, if it is checked, your site will not rank on any search engine. This can go unnoticed during the setup stage of your site. Make this a part of your checklist while setting up a page.
2. Domain Name
Your site could have two domain names such as https://domain.com or https://www.domain.com. These could have different referring domains and backlink profiles. Working with either one of these will not affect your SEO. But when it comes to WordPress, you need to set a domain name as your preferred one.
In case you need to select one of these, select the one with the highest number of backlinks. You will have to enter the name of this domain into WordPress. Once this is done, WordPress redirects visitors from your other site to the preferred site that you have entered.
Also, be warned that changing the preferred version after your site has been up for some time might cause trouble. Always use the help of an experienced developer when making such changes.
Path: Settings > General
3. Setting Up Permalinks
A very important tip for WordPress SEO is creating the correct permalink. Permalinks are an important part of your site. They are the address to your site and blogs. If you do not optimize your permalinks, you might be creating broken links on your site. This can lead to dire consequences when it comes to ranking and search visibility.
There are certain things to be noted while creating permalinks.
- Always use a short yet informative form of permalinks.
- Do not add numbers or dates to the links.
- Make the link understandable for the user.
- Make it unique for every article that you create.
4. Manually Approve Blog Comments
When running a site, you need to understand that your site is one among millions of web pages that millions of users browse every day. In such scenarios, spam comments are very common. You cannot expect all comments made on your site to be useful or relevant. Some comments might be spammy and even derogatory. Retaining these on your site affects your reputation and authority.
To prevent this, WordPress offers you an option to manually approve blog comments before showing them on the live site. You can use this to filter unwanted comments that might affect your site rating and ranking.
Path: Settings > Discussion > Comment must be manually approved
Related reads: 5 Benefits Of Guest Posting For Link Building
5. Choose an Effective Theme
Though all themes on WordPress are pretty effective, you need to choose one that is free of bloatware and unnecessary features. These indirectly affect your page speed which is a huge ranking factor on Google. Users leave your page if your page does not load on time.
Choose a theme after analyzing its features well. Do not favor design over usability since the design elements can affect your site’s speed. There are themes that offer the best of both worlds and still hold up in terms of speed and features.
In case you already have a theme, run it past a developer to see how you can optimize it further.
Page speed is of utmost importance when it comes to SEO. Keep this in mind while optimizing anything on your site.
6. Install a good SEO Plugin
A good SEO plugin on your site is what makes all the difference. Your site should have a good SEO plugin to extend the features of WordPress and make it easier to optimize for SEO. We recommend the Yoast SEO plugin or RankMath which is pretty simple to work with and provides great functionality.
Once installed, your WordPress SEO plugin should be able to work on your site right away. You can indeed tweak certain features if you feel like it. These features range from site SEO to basic metadata additions. However, the availability of certain features depends upon the plan and type of plugin that you use. There are certain extra features to be obtained depending on the pricing.
7. Generate a Sitemap
Sitemaps are like addresses to the important posts and pages on your site. They help search engines discover these posts and pages. Although a WordPress SEO plugin such as Yoast SEO will automatically create a sitemap for you, just make sure that the option is turned on. This ensures that there is no hindrance in creating a sitemap for your site.
Path: SEO > General > Features > Toggle “XML sitemaps” on
8. Click Worthy Titles
Your titles are the highlights that will make users click your article. While these need to be attractive, they cannot be click baits in which people click it and find something completely irrelevant or unuseful. Make sure you optimize your titles in a clean and informative manner.
Making your titles click-worthy involves effort and research. Use power words and numbers to increase the authority in the title. This is a part of the E-A-T concept in which expertise, authority, and trust play an important role.
The below WordPress SEO tips are important to create a catchy a title:
- Use numbers and power words to create authority.
- Make the title relevant to the content.
- Use your primary keyword in the title.
9. Use Proper Headings
Usage of proper heading hierarchy is very important for SEO. On WordPress, you have the option to choose the type of heading you need. Utilize this option to ensure the proper arrangement of headings. Usually, APA- style headings are used to create a sense of order inside posts. You can use different styles to create uniformity in your posts.
10. Internal Linking
On WordPress, you can use the additional links option to internally link your page to your pages and posts on other parts of your site. This helps in increasing your chances of conversion and gives your site more relevance.
Internal linking helps retain users on your site longer. The authority of the links that you add increases marginally if they prove relevant and useful to your content. You can add CTAs (calls to action) as a part of internal linking. This helps in generating leads and getting conversions.
Related reads: How to Link to a Website (EASY Steps)
11. Add alt text
Adding alt text helps your images in many ways. They improve accessibility for the visually impaired who visit your site. Also, it tells Google what the image is about. Although Google has grown to understand images better, an added piece of information is always useful.
Moreover, in case your image breaks on the page, WordPress replaces it using the original because it has the alt text embedded in it.
12. Add a Great Title Tag
Optimize your title tag based on WordPress SEO guidelines. A great title tag will contain all information in a crisp and short sentence. The title should not lack attractiveness. This helps your site or page traffic. To keep it clean, do not add any information in brackets or add unnecessary words.
13. Optimize Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are a great way of advertising your blog. People read it and if they find it interesting, they enter your blog to read more. Always keep your meta descriptions below 160 characters to ensure maximum optimization. It also helps if you make it relevant to your content with search intent in mind. Also, use an active voice for creating meta descriptions. Meta descriptions play a huge role in your SEO score.
Related reads: SEO Keywords to Use for Meta Descriptions
14. Perform Keyword Research
Any post or article that you publish on your site needs extensive research and validation before going live. In this, keyword research plays a vital role. The keywords that you choose to include in your article determine the ranking that you get from the post.
Keyword research can be done offline using tools such as Ahrefs and similar SEO tools. The basic idea is to get keywords that have high search volume and low keyword difficulty when it comes to ranking on search engines. This helps you rank easily with keywords that have good potential.
Choosing the focus keyword or primary keyword for your article is an extensive task. You need to be sure that you are using the right combination of words for maximum potential. The keywords should make sense to the reader and you should be able to add them naturally to your content.
While researching for keywords, the below pointers may help.
- Use keywords with high search volume and low difficulty.
- Merge words to find good long-tail keywords.
- Use the Google search bar to find relevant keywords.
- Create secondary keywords that add value to your primary keyword.
- Add value to the reader through the keywords.
- Use tools such as Ahrefs to understand the impact and rank of your keywords.
- Track your keywords regularly to optimize them.
- Do not stuff keywords into the article. Place them naturally.
- Include your primary keyword into your metadata.
- Ensure that you have enough keyword density for your primary keyword.
Using the above points, you can up your keyword game for SEO and ensure that all your articles are thoroughly optimized for search engines. This helps your overall ranking and affects page traffic in a positive way too. Remember to always focus on high-quality keywords for the best SEO performance. This way, you can ensure that your articles and posts stay on top for a long time.
The above methods are some of the best practices for ensuring effective WordPress SEO efforts on your site. WordPress is a very useful tool to manage your site from its backend. These efforts should be properly made to improve your site’s ranking and visibility on search engines. There are a host of features to be utilized on WordPress.
While some features might be available with additional plugins, the intent for using these remains the same. WordPress helps you optimize your site for SEO using its various features. You can enhance these using such plugins. Also, the various other optimizations mentioned help you increase your SEO score which is shown on WordPress with SEO plugins enabled. The better the score, the better your article or post performs on search engines. Always maintain a high score to increase your chances.
In case you wish to invest in On-page SEO practices and want to implement all the WordPress SEO in your content, always get an ethical link-building agency to do it. This ensures fast and steady results. We at LinkDoctor are always here to help in case you need it.