Due to its simple nature and flexibility, WordPress has become the most favorable CMS (Content Management System) for business and bloggers.
Let’s say you have a beautifully designed website with stunning visuals and is feature-rich. But what is the use of creating this type of website if it’s not optimized for Search Engines? Search engine giants like Google, Bing, AOL, Yahoo, etc don’t care about how your website looks or how good your images are! They only care about the quality of content, file names, keywords used, alt tags and many more things.
Because understanding what search engines are looking for can bring new success to your website. And if you neglect that it will put you out of the business.
There are numerous guides on basic SEO and even WordPress SEO. However, here are a few advanced tips which will help you gain more leads, improve rankings, and have a better website.
The very first step is to make sure that your website loads faster because it’s a very important factor for ranking in Google or any search engines. If your website is not loading fast then ask your host about what is the reason for your website performing slow on their server. If they fail to provide you a specific reason, you will have your answer that their servers are slow in the first place.
Don’t do the same mistakes as most beginners while choosing a new web host. Avoid choosing a host based on the recommendations of shady sites which shows ‘top 12 web hosting’. What they do is list the hosts that pay them the most commission.
Set Your Permalinks
Permalinks are the URLs of your website pages and posts. In layman’s language, Permalinks are address in the address bar that a user uses to reach to your website and view the relevant page. They are also used by many other websites and search engines to link your website.
WordPress has a default permalink setting but the default WordPress URL structure is not SEO friendly. If you fix this from the start then it benefits your website in a number of ways.
Ideally, this can be done even before the website is live. You have to be very cautious about the permalink structure after going live because it can cause you traffic drop which you are getting through search engine and referrals. These happen because the visitors are presented with 404-page errors instead of the page they wanted to view. So after changing the link structure always 301 redirect and check.
While creating SEO friendly URLs don’t use stop words like ”a”, ”and”, “the” etc. By doing this you’ll not get those ugly URLs which look likes a sentence style post title.
Create a Sitemap
For Google to know your website structure you should have a sitemap. A sitemap is a file which contains the pages and other files that you want Google to crawl.
A sitemap tells the crawlers which files of your website you consider to be important and also provides valuable information about those files. For example, how often changes are made in the page when the page was last updated, and version of any alternate language of a page.
The sitemap is also used to provide information about specific content on pages like videos and images.
Creating a sitemap is extremely easy. WordPress even offers a plugin named Google XML Sitemaps which automatically generates a sitemap for your website which eventually helps search engines crawl your website.
Use SEO Plugins
You don’t need to go anywhere to find the SEO plugins for your website. WordPress already offers many plugins like All in One SEO Plugin, SEO Friendly Images, Yoast SEO and many more. The plugins help you to set Meta Titles, Description, tags, keywords and all the things you should be doing to improve the SEO of the website.
The plugins offer absolute SEO solution for WordPress. These plugins also help you to generate XML sitemaps and help to add schema markups for your site. From analyzing the content in the page to adding meta details, the SEO plugins have got your website covered,
Twitter cards are to help website users to add videos, photos and richer media experiences to tweets. The cards are useful to drive traffic, for increasing brand awareness, and last but not the least, to increase sales.
Website Speed & Cache
You only have a few seconds to capture the attention of any person that comes to your website for the first time and to convince them to hang around. There are numerous speed testing tools that help you see the time the page of your website gets load. Tools like Pingdom, Web Page Test, or Google Page Speed Insights test are the good ways to help measure your website’s performance.
In fact, Google has indicated that site speed is one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages. Page speed is also important for the user experience. Pages with a longer load time have higher bounce rates and lower average time of a user spending on that page. The importance of speed is ever increasing as we move further into the mobile world.
As we all know that media is a very important part of any website. Without media, the website will look boring and the users will not stay on your website for long or won’t even return to your website if no media is there. However, media can either improve your SEO efforts or completely ruin it.
The way you tag and name your images determines your SEO. With appropriate tagging, you are likely improving your chances of being ranked higher in image searches.
Just uploading an image or uploading with a complex name isn’t a good SEO practice. When you upload an image to your WordPress website, you will get an option to change the title, add alt text, a small caption, and description. Using these options will improve your website’s rankings in the search engines.
Using Anchor Text & Links in the Right Way
You might be aware that adding links to posts are crucial, but let’s see what ways you can optimize your SEO efforts in reference to links.
Links to your own posts: Majority of website owners often forget to interlink their posts to other posts that are on the website. Interlinking accelerates your SEO efforts as well as improves user experience on your site. And yes, it is necessary to interlink relevant posts. Never link just for the purpose of linking.
Over the years, search engines have evolved. They have started recognizing other metrics too for regulating rankings. However, link relevancy is the one metric that stands out from the rest and is determined by both the content of the source page and the anchor text.
There other techniques and tactics too available out there when it comes to SEO, but the ones mentioned above are some of the best which can be used in your WordPress website.
Give your content the best chance possible of making it rank on the first page of the search engines. Engage your users while driving constant traffic from Google and other search engines by making the most of these tips.