WordPress SEO: How To Do It Right Way?
No matter what your aim is, be it to entertain, inform, promote, or sell, you would want as many eyes on your website as possible. In simple terms, the more viewers you have on your website, the more will be the audience you can count on for the fulfillment of your purpose.
There is no shortage of ways to drive traffic to your website, but one of the most reliable, effective, and pocket-friendly ways is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). SEO is nothing but a collection of techniques and strategies that help your web pages rank higher on search engine result pages (SERPs). By using SEO strategies, you can multiply the visibility of your website.
This article is filled with ways that can help your WordPress SEO even if you are a complete beginner. Before we get into those ways, let’s first understand what WordPress SEO is.
What Is WordPress SEO?
WordPress is the most popular and trusted content management system in the world. 35% of the entire internet is based on WordPress. Moreover, even the most popular websites that you visit on a daily basis, like Times.com and BBC America are powered by WordPress. What started as a blogging platform in 2003 soon got capable of running the entire website. And now, in 2020, WordPress is powerful enough to run an e-commerce store.
However, WordPress alone is not a robust replacement for a good SEO strategy. Of course, CMS does make it easy and quick for you to implement your strategies, but still, you need to take care of multiple factors to rank your website on search engines, especially Google.
As long as your site doesn’t have a lot of technical issues that stop crawling and indexing, your choice of CMS will not influence whether you can rank on SERPs or not. WordPress is not a solution that’ll take care of all your problems. It is something that needs a good part of your time and effort.
It is also essential to keep in mind that the use of WordPress does not change the SEO strategies that you need to follow in order to rank. Yes, there are certain things that you can only do in WordPress to optimise it, but most of the other crucial factors are still the same.
So, without any further ados, let’s get into it.
Some Initial Actions That Affect WordPress SEO
When you are about to start your WordPress journey, some of the first decisions you make can decide how your SEO game is going to be in the future. These decisions, from a distance, might not look like something that’ll impact SEO, but they do. Let’s see what these are:
Pick A Reliable Hosting
Irrespective of what you’re trying to do on your website, you should always go with a hosting provider that you can rely on. When it comes to hosting WordPress website, it is especially crucial to choose a reliable hosting provider that specializes in WordPress hosting to ensure optimal performance, seamless integration, and a user-friendly experience for your website visitors.
The speed of the site has a direct impact on the performance of WordPress SEO. However, both uptime and security vulnerabilities can cause an issue in the site quality. When people want to save some bucks, this is where most of them cut out. If you have purchased hosting just because it was the cheapest one available, then you’ll surely see some performance issues when the website is built on it.
When you are not sure which hosting should you go with, you can pick any of the three providers that WordPress recommends.
SEO-friendly WordPress Theme
Let’s be honest here, when you’re picking a WordPress theme, the SEO factor is nowhere near the list priority list and also, the WordPress plguins for boosting SEO is also very much important. It is understandable, though. The visual factor is much more exciting when you’re designing your website.
There are thousands of free themes available in WordPress right from the dashboard, and a lot of premium themes too. Here, you need to be careful with what you choose. Otherwise, you’ll end up using the one that is not SEO-friendly.
Many themes on the dashboard claim to be one of the best in terms of design and SEO, but the truth is that most of them come with scripts and plugins that you’ll never need. These unnecessary bundles can affect the performance of your site, which influences SEO.
While you might easily overlook choosing an SEO-friendly tool, having it is crucial for your website’s success. Some of the most popular SEO friendly tools are Astra, Genesis, Divi, GeneratePress, and OceanWP.
Check the Visibility Settings of Your Site
WordPress allows you to ‘discourage search engines from indexing your website, which simply means that your SEO efforts will not be noticed, and your site won’t rank either. Developers use this option as a way to stop the site from being indexed when it is in the development stage.
You’ll find this option once you’ve launched your site. You have to check the visibility setting of your site under Setting > Reading. If the following box is ticked, you need to untick it.
Enable SEO-friendly Permalinks
You’ll find plenty of options to pick from when you’re deciding the structure of your URLs. It is essential to ensure that you pick the one that is most SEO-friendly.
The default selection of WordPress, i.e., https://domain.com/?p=123, is not something you’d want to move forward with. This is not at all friendly for SEO. There’s no way your viewers or crawlers will be able to identify what the page is about just by looking at the URL. Moreover, a clean URL structure also impacts the content in a good way.
For choosing a custom URL structure: Settings > Permalinks. In most cases, the ideal structure is the Post Name format.
Ways To Optimise Pages And Posts
Once you are done with the basics of WordPress SEO, you are ready to do the work that makes a real difference to how you rank on the SERPs. Here are some of the approaches that can help you with WordPress SEO.
Keyword Research is Mandatory
Without carrying out proper keyword research, you’ll never find out what is the keyword for which you should optimize your site’s content. As a matter of fact, it is best to get done with keyword research when you’re starting your SEO project and then use those for content and on-page optimization.
As far as keyword research is concerned, you can rely on an online keyword generator by SE Ranking which allows you to thoroughly analyze any keyword, find new keyword opportunities, and more importantly, give great insights into the competition you’re going to face for a particular keyword. For keywords, you can also analyze some core parameters like difficulty score, search volume, and CPC. This tool comes with many features that can help you throughout your SEO journey.
Whether you’re starting from scratch, or building new content, knowing the relevant keywords will always help your site rank higher.
Use of Optimised Page Heading
Just like we optimized the structure of the URLs to make it easy for crawlers to understand what the page is about, similarly, the page’s H1 heading is meant to tell search engines what the page is about. It acts as the title of a book.
Best practices call for using the H1 tag for the main heading and then use H2 to H6 for maintaining a hierarchy and structure of the page. You should also break the text when needed to make it easy for the reader to read the content of the site.
If you are considering H1 as the title of a book, then H2 is going to be the name of chapters, the subsequent headings tags will be used for the subheading. The heading is generally the best place to include the relevant keyword, but you should not insert a keyword just for the sake of inserting one. Put a keyword only where it is necessary and fits naturally.
Use of Internal Linking
One of the best ways to establish topical relevance among different pages on your site is by using the internal linking method. Other than passing the authority that external links bring, it also helps users to navigate without any difficulty. Moreover, it increases the on-page time of the visitors which is a very important factor that search engines take into account to determine the quality of a site.
It is very simple to add a link, internal or external, to any anchor text. You just have to select the text, i.e., your anchor text, and then click on the link button (ctrl+K) present on the toolbar, and then just simply paste the link that you want that anchor text to redirect to.
Optimizing your images is one of the best ways to improve the performance and speed of your site. It does wonders because images of unnecessarily high-resolution are a major contributor to slowing the speed of a website.
If you are someone who likes to have a lot of media and images present on your website, then this increases its site, which means the loading time will increase. But when the images are optimized correctly, the size doesn’t increase as much.
The good news is, you can use the same tool we mentioned above, SE Ranking, to find optimization issues of all sorts under a roof. The website audit and on-page SEO check feature of SE Ranking will allow you to solve the technical issue to increase the page’s loading time, which highly influences the rankings.
On A Concluding Note
One of the reasons why WordPress is so popular is because it’s SEO-friendly and easy to use. SEO is just one piece of the puzzle as far as the success of a website is concerned. However, to bring the traffic your WordPress website deserves, you must pay special attention to it. If you are running your website on WordPress, then using the steps mentioned above, you can put yourself ahead of your competitors.
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