WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) that powers more than 43% of the world wide web. From simple static websites to complex applications, the open-source software is dominating the internet space for the freedom it provides for the developers to have complete control over it. Also, the SEO-friendly feature is one of the core reasons for its massive success.
However, one cannot magically rank higher on search engines by simply launching a WordPress website. So, we have gathered the best WordPress SEO tactics to save you from the pitfall.
1. Pick an Authentic Web Hosting Provider
Web hosting platform provides a space for the website or an application where it can be accessible on the internet. It directly impacts the website’s security and performance. So, consider these three vital features carefully before choosing the hosting provider — security, uptime, and site speed.
According to Google Data, 53% of mobile visitors will bounce back if a website takes more than 3 seconds to load. These bounce-back rates will harm the WordPress SEO of your website and can drastically decrease ranking on the search engine.
Another essential element is to get an SSL certification. It adds a padlock at the beginning of the URL and converts HTTP to HTTPS. It makes the website appear trustworthy. Most of the web hosting providers offer it for free. Make the best use of the opportunity.
If you are unsure about the hosting platforms, contact the professional web services or go with the one suggested by WordPress.
2. Domain Setup (WWW vs Non-WWW)
While launching a website, go for either www or non-www or both domains as it will not have any impact on SEO. Just consider the audience preferences and select the one that works best for your business growth.
The key point here is to be consistent with the choice. In simple sentence, do not change the URL for experimentation. If you want to use both, set one as a primary domain.
Setting a primary domain informs the search engine or Google that all other domains are identical. From a technical point of view, www is preferred over non-www because www domains have better DNS flexibility, the potential to restrict cookies, and more.
Again, the technical aspect is not associated with WordPress SEO but, it comes in handy when the website receives millions of views daily. So, on WordPress dashboard, hover over Settings > General and then select your preferred domain.
3. Install SEO Suitable Theme
WordPress by default provides a “Twenty-Twenty” beige colour background theme. But tons of other brands are already using it, which may lose your originality. So, it would be best if you have a theme that simultaneously stands out and comes with an SEO-friendly structure.
There is a diverse collection of paid and free themes on WordPress platform. But be extra fussy when it is about finalizing your theme and here are a few critical things to consider:
- Functionality: Your website theme should include all the desired features. It can be social media symbols, comment forums, side shops, etc.
Builders: Many themes have page builders compacted with unnecessary codes that can slow down your site. So, double-check the details.
Responsiveness: Your website should be identical to different screen sizes.
Browser Compatibility: All themes may not be compatible with every browser, so make sure it functions impeccably.
4. Permalinks are the Cornerstone of WordPress SEO
Permalinks are the permanent full URLs of a site. Think of it as your physical address but in the virtual world. It is the cornerstone of SEO and Google considers them as a strong ranking factor. Have a look here:
Which one looks more SEO-friendly? The second one, right?
You will find six permalink structures, but you need the best one for WordPress SEO.
So, you can either go with the “Post name” option or “Custom Structure.”
We will recommend putting effort into customizing your URL for better results. Here are a few points that you should acknowledge while using a customized URL:
- Make the link keyword-rich.
Stick to a proper structure.
Keep it concise yet relevant.
Drop dates or numbers.
Use SSL certification (HTTPS).
5. Utilize SEO Plugins
WordPress SEO plugins are packages loaded with features that are used for better SEO purposes. However, you cannot expect them to generate sensational results without establishing their strong roots.
Remember that your site will not perform well without following basic rules and settings. However, optimizing the website and content with these plugins is a cinch. Even though there are several quality options, stick to a single plugin because multiple plugins can cause conflicts and slow down the website. Here are some industry-favourite SEO plugins to save you from the hurdle:
6. Optimize Your Site Media
Including images, infographics, videos, audio, and GIFs will make a site visually engaging. However, these files are heavy and can slow your website — ultimately affecting SEO. To avoid such issue, perform a media optimization.
Below are three practices to optimize site media:
- Compress the File: Compressing the file will remove unnecessary data and shrink its size. Or use a relevant plugin to minimize your efforts.
Use Alt Text: Alt text is an explanation of the image, which is helpful for visually challenged people to understand the content. Even search engines detect alt texts to know if the image is relevant to the content and helps you rank better.
Use YouTube Videos: According to Moz survey, 94% of the web ranking videos are on YouTube. That means, embedding YouTube videos in WordPress can increase your rankings on search engines.
Pro Tip: Install NitroPack to optimize your site without having any technical knowledge, that speeds up the website and comes with image optimization stack also.
7. Update Regularly and Show “Last Updates”
Search engines prefer the latest information, and fresh is always better. So, not updating the data consistently can harm your site’s authority.
Prioritize the following points for a better SEO performance:
- Fulfil Searchers’ Expectations: Check if your blog has the proper formatting that searchers prefer, and if the post has all the required information they want.
Update Data and Facts: It appears incorrect, and you might lose audience trust if the information is not updated.
Refurbish the Headlines: Create “click-worthy and appealing” headlines and better than your competitors.
Remove or Fix Broken Links: Broken links are damaging to your WordPress SEO and frustrating to the readers as well. So, keep checking and fixing the link issues.
Update Images: Prefer updating old images and consider adding new ones. Also, add visually appealing graphics for better performance.
8. Take Charge of the Comments
Spam comments are terrible for your website’s ranking, and those unsolicited comments bloated with links and keywords fudge the search engines. People often post unnecessary comments with their site links to use as backlinks. But this tactic is dead and can only cause plague.
Result? Search engines drop your site’s rankings to maintain search quality. So, the solution is to vent the comments by enabling manual approval.
To enable, go to Settings > Discussion and then tick the “Comment must be manually approved” option.
Pay attention to these three elements of a comment before approving it:
- Site URL: Using the WordPress default comment feature provides an option to include commenters’ site URLs. So, avoid allowing comments with patchy or irrelevant links.
Username: The name of commenters becomes the anchor text of their URL. So, avoid any user with an inappropriate username.
Message: Disapprove any comment with vague or out-of-contest messages.
9. Include Schema Markup
Search engines often display special results containing elements like carousels, ratings, etc., coming from Schema Markup. These are called “rich results” and rank on top of general websites. Schema markup is a special code that enhances your WordPress SEO by providing better information to search engines.
Including schema markup requires coding skills. However, plugins like Yoast SEO or Schema (by Hesham) will make the job easier. Here is how to implement it in three easy steps:
- Create Schema: Generate schema markup from generator websites like Google Structured Data Markup Helper or create customized codes.
Test the Code: Check your codes before implementing them to avoid errors.
Integrate the Schema: Once tested, integrate it into your webpage.
10. Submit your Site to Google Search Console
Google offers a free potent tool to measure your SEO and appearance in search engines. You can see deep insights — including core web vitals, visibility, stability, searches to rank higher, and more.
Follow these steps to add your website to search console (previously webmaster tool)
- First, go to the official website of Google Search Console.
Click on “Start now” or log in using your Google account.
Then, add a property (limited up to 1000 properties).
Select property type, Domain, or URL prefix.
Complete the site ownership verification.
Bonus Tip – Focus on On-page SEO
On-page SEO simply refers to optimizing your webpage content to rank on search engines. Generally, it includes writing SEO content, internal linking, and usage of relevant keywords.
Proper Use of Keywords
Keywords are the terms used by the users to search on the web to get their desired information. Your site might appear in the SERP if you have used that term in the website. Additionally, these keywords inform the search engines that your content is relevant to the searched phrase. So, here are a few tips to consider:
- Avert keyword stuffing.
Target long-tail Keywords.
Notice the competition and search volume.
Integrate keywords naturally in the content.
Generate SEO-friendly content
Quality content with proper optimization play a key role in ranking. So, after finalizing on the keywords, go through the checklist before penning down the information:
- Prohibit duplicate content.
Include internal links.
Keep paragraphs short and simple.
Make it visually appealing and well-structured.
Craft in-depth posts that can satisfy the readers.
Apply Internal Linking
Connecting one page to another on your website is known as internal linking. It can benefit your WordPress SEO from link juice, interconnection, and effective navigation. When search engine bots crawl your website, these internal links help pass the authority from one page to another, resulting in better ranking.
Learn the power of WordPress from the digital marketing experts because it is one of the best things happened for the business world. Improving your WordPress SEO just got easier and implementing a few changes can bring a lot of benefits for your business. Try it now!