5 WordPress SEO Tips
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems on the internet today. It powers in excess of 19 million websites and accounts for a large percentage of the biggest websites on the net. It is also one of the easiest website platforms to install and operate, and comes pre-installed with many features and functionalities to help you create just about any type of website.
However, succeeding online involves a bit more than simply downloading and installing the WordPress software. There are still a variety of other activities you need to carry out in order to optimize for SEO.
Optimizing for SEO helps you position your website so that it ranks highly for organic search. It is no secret that a good amount of internet traffic comes from user search enquiries; therefore your SEO game has to be strong to enjoy significant visibility.
WordPress comes with some nifty features that make it easy to optimize for organic search, and the following 5 tips will provide you with a good starting point.
1. Install an SEO Optimized WordPress Theme
The WordPress theme you use is a very important element in the success or failure of your website. It is the theme that will determine the design and layout of your website – two factors that determine overall usability and functionality. On the one hand, an SEO optimized theme will give your website the correct structure and interface, which will result in the desired user experience. Page loading speed and ease of use are another two factors that determine user experience and the WordPress theme you choose can affect these two factors. On the other hand, an SEO-optimized theme has inbuilt theme options in which you can insert codes and analytics that will help you track and monitor your SEO efforts.
When picking a theme for your WordPress website, look for one that has already been optimized for SEO. There are tons of free and premium SEO-optimized themes on the internet specifically designed to boost your website’s SEO potential.
2. Install a Dedicated SEO Plugin
One very good thing about WordPress is that it has plugins that can extend the functionality of your website. There are a huge amount of plugins designed to perform various functions on your website including those specifically designed to help you optimize for SEO. There are hundreds of free and paid plugins that can work to boost your website’s visibility and page ranking, you just have to look for the one that best suits you, then download it and set it up.
These plugins can do anything from generating sitemaps to providing advanced keywords and meta features. If you are running on a limited budget, you may want to start with a free plugin. As your budget grows, you may consider a premium SEO plugin with more features.
3. Optimize for Mobile
It is no longer news that people are using their smartphones and mobile devices more these days to access content on the internet. What does this mean for website owners? It means that for you to maintain your market share, you website has to perform as well on a mobile as it does on a PC. This can be achieved by optimizing for mobile or following a responsive design when creating your website.
We all know that user experience is a critical ranking factor for Google. Therefore, if your visitors can’t enjoy their experience while browsing with their mobile on your website, you stand the risk of losing page ranking. Mobile responsiveness is also a ranking factor for Google, so whether you like it or not, you have to keep up with this trend and ensure that your website meets the standard for mobile optimization.
“WordPress has millions of free and premium themes that can automatically make your website responsive,” says Fred of Domains4less.co.nz, “this means that you may need to change your current theme and install one that is fully responsive. These themes come fully optimized so you don’t have to do anything else.” He concludes.
4. Add Relevant Keywords in Your Content
Keywords have always been an essential part of SEO, not only do they cover what your content is about, it is also what users are employing to find content online. For successful SEO optimization, it is important that you craft your website content around useful and relevant keywords. There are several resources online that can help with keyword research, or you can use Google keyword planner. Whatever tool you use, ensure that you get relevant keywords that properly describe your content and strategically place them throughout your post. Craft your keywords so that they double as search phrases for people to use to search for the kind of content you provide them.
Another idea is to craft the title and header of your posts around these keywords. It also improves the chances of your content showing up in SERP when all or part of the keyword is used in search enquiries. Try to avoid black-hat techniques, such as keyword stuffing which could make your content look unnatural.
5. Update Your Permalink Structure
Posts and pages on WordPress are represented by URLs and these URLs are defined by the permalink structure on the website. It is these URLs or links that people will use to visit, share, and link back to your content. By default, WordPress comes with a permalink structure that is not SEO friendly. Both search engines and human visitors frown on links like these, and it prevents you from using your keywords inside your title.
Changing this permalink structure to SEO-friendly URLs will be another step in optimizing your WordPress for SEO. To do this, log in to your wordpress dashboard; go to settings, and then permalinks. From there, you can change the permalink from ‘default’ to ‘post name’. This is a better choice that will allow search engines and users to better understand the content the URL is linking to.
Choosing to use WordPress on your website is the first step. All you need to do is to find the right hosting partner, craft highly-engaging content, and implement the 5 steps explored above. With dedication, commitment, and a bit of patience, you will see your website grow before your very eyes.