Monday, May 27, 2024
- Advertisement -
More

    Latest Posts

    WordPress SEO: Your Guide for Actionable Advice and Success

    Are you wondering how to take your WordPress SEO strategy to the next level? If so, you’re in the right place! 

    Business owners and marketers across all industries must have a firm grasp on search engine optimization (SEO) if they want to stand out from their competitors, boost their visibility, and reach their target audience. 

    So, if you’re ready to learn more about WordPress SEO and how the right strategy can help you find success, keep reading because we have a lot of great information in store for you today. 

    Understanding WordPress SEO

    Let’s start with a basic definition: SEO is about improving various aspects of your website to improve your position in search engine results pages (SERPs).

    We would argue that SEO is one of the most effective and sustainable ways to drive people to your WordPress site and enhance brand awareness. 

    A properly optimized website is attractive to search engines like Google. And when you consider that Google receives around 105,191 searches per second, it’s easy to see the advantages of getting your content to show up in the SERPs.

    The most notable benefit is when sites are easy for search engines to understand, Google can show it to more people.

    So, if you target the right keywords and create valuable content, among other things, Google can help guide people to your blog and other key landing pages.  That’s why marketers say their best leads come from SEO.

    WordPress SEO: Your Guide for Actionable Advice and Success
    Image Source: WPForms

    The bottom line is with the right SEO strategy, you can boost your ranking in search results, get more traffic, and have more chances to engage with your audience. This could lead to more subscribers, engagement, and sales.

    Basic WordPress SEO tips

    I know from experience that improving your WordPress site’s SEO can initially feel intimidating. There are a lot of places to start, and it can get confusing fast, especially if you’re new to search engine optimization and WordPress. 

    But don’t worry! Here are some simple, effective tips you can follow to get started:

    • Check Your Site Visibility – In WordPress, there’s a setting that can hide your site from search engines. You’ll find this option under Settings > Reading. Then, scroll down until you see “site visibility.” Make sure “Allow search engines to index this site” is selected. 
    • Improve your permalinks –  Permalinks are the URLs for your pages and posts. Before a post goes live, change each to include words that reflect your content (like the post’s title) instead of random numbers. This will help search engines understand the point of the page.
    • Focus on content quality – Over 77% of people read blog posts regularly. So. you should always aim to publish content that’s useful and engaging for your audience. People are more likely to share and link to high-quality content, which is one of the foundations of a strong SEO strategy.
    • Install an SEO-friendly theme – Choose a reputable WordPress theme that comes with plenty of flexibility and loads fast. This can greatly help your SEO efforts because Google looks at page speed and functionality when trying to figure out how to rank websites.
    • Connect your site to Google Analytics – Linking your site to your Google Analytics account will help you track your performance and understand how visitors interact with your content. You can use this information to create new content and further optimize your WordPress website. 

    Best SEO plugins for WordPress

    You’ll be glad to know that there are plenty of SEO plugins for WordPress that you can use to make life a little bit easier. Some of the best tools on the market can streamline the optimization process, help you discover the best keywords, and identify gaps you otherwise may have missed. 

    There are three WordPress SEO plugins that we would recommend to you based on our testing and years of experience. 

    Our first pick is Yoast SEO. It’s hard to find a more respectable name in the WordPress SEO community. Yoast was founded way back in 2010, and it’s still going strong to this day. Here are a few worth noting: 

    Image Source: Yoast SEO

    Aside from the paid version, there’s also a free version of Yoast for those with smaller projects or if you’re interested in trying it before you buy it. 

    RankMath and All in One SEO (AIOSEO) are two other strong contenders for the best SEO plugin for WordPress. They both offer features that can help you make the most of your search strategy. 

    For instance, RankMath comes with an impressive built-in SEO analytics module so you can see how your site is doing from your WordPress dashboard. We found this very helpful for tracking specific keywords and monitoring our optimization strategy. 

    AIOSEO also has impressive features, like their TruSEO On-Page Analysis, which will go through your page one step at a time and help you maximize your reach by using the right keywords, links, and structured data in the right places. 

    If you want to know more, check out our list of 7 more SEO tools every search marketer should use. 

    Advanced WordPress SEO strategies

    Now that you understand a little more about SEO and how the right WordPress plugins can help,  let’s look at a collection of more advanced strategies that you should know about if you want to find success. 

    • Create a Sitemap –  A sitemap is essential for helping search engine crawlers navigate your site. It’s basically a path that flows from one URL to the next and explains to Google what your site is about. If you’re using one of the SEO plugins we mentioned above, you’ll have a much easier time building a sitemap – and the other advanced SEO strategies in this list. Otherwise, you’ll need to create a sitemap from scratch and submit it to Google. 
    • Use Robots.txt Files – Robots.txt files help search engines figure out which parts of your site to crawl and which to ignore. Establishing your robots.txt file correctly ensures search engines will crawl your main content first, which can drastically improve visibility.
    • Optimize for Smartphones –  With over 61% of searches now on mobile, your site must work well on smartphones. Google claims they are focused on mobile-first experiences, so it’s pivotal for SEO. Be sure to use a flexible page builder that lets you create and tweak your site for these users.  
    • Use Categories and Tags – Categories and tags are extremely helpful for organizing your content into main topics. A clear structure helps both your audience and search engines understand what you like to talk about on your site. For example, a marketing site might have categories such as ‘PPC marketing’ and ‘social media marketing.’ It’s a good idea to create a range of categories and tags to describe specific details of your posts. This seemingly small step ensures the right people discover your content. 

    What are WordPress SEO services?

    Next, let’s talk about professional WordPress SEO services and when you might need them.

    For starters, SEO services offer targeted, hands-on assistance that can give you the help you need to improve your website’s visibility. 

    SEO agencies will look at your site’s structure, content relevance, and keyword optimization to see where you have room to improve. Their services are far-reaching and can help by providing you with a detailed site analysis, which is crucial if your organic traffic is starting to plateau and keyword ranks are dropping.  

    They also compare your performance with your competitors, which can help you figure out what others are doing to generate organic traffic and clicks. 

    The best part about working with WordPress SEO experts is they will tell you what’s wrong and then work on fixing it. They often help with things like refining your keywords, optimizing your site speed, and enhancing your content for better search engine rankings.

    Investing in professional SEO services can be costly, but there’s no doubt that it’s beneficial if you’re serious about boosting your site’s search performance.

    How to optimize your content for WordPress SEO

    There’s no question that creating clickable, optimized content is one of the best ways to increase your search position. A vast majority of people are not ready to make a purchase the first time they visit a website. The first thing they do is check out the company blog. If they like what they see, they may decide to join your email list. 

    But to get them to give you their email address, you need to add value to their lives. At the same time, it’s vital that your blog is perfectly curated for search engines so they know when to show others your site. 

    You’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of powerful and fairly easy ways to optimize content for SEO. First, make sure you’re using one or more keywords throughout your post. Every business is different, but as a general rule, use keywords that have a low to medium competition rating and a medium to high search volume. 

    Use these words and phrases naturally in your title, headings, and throughout your text. This gives crawlers a little bit of context around each page, which is important for deciding how to categorize it for people who type in your chosen keywords. 

    You’ll also want to use plenty of headings to ensure your content is easy to read. This is also a great opportunity to plug in an extra keyword or two since Google looks at H2 and H3 headings to learn more about a given page. 

    I also suggest using conversational language since this appeals to voice search users. When you consider around 30% of mobile searches are conducted without a screen, it’s easy to see why this step is so important. 

    On a similar note, don’t forget to add an FAQ section at the bottom of your posts. This step will help you rank for voice search, address common questions, and could even help you land a featured snippet for your chosen keyword.

    The WordPress plugin Yoast SEO can be a big help here. It guides you through optimizing your post, suggests where to add keywords, assesses your content’s readability, and gives you a final score before you click publish. This feature is extremely useful for new marketers or those who simply want an ‘extra’ set of eyes on their work.

    Technical SEO tips for WordPress

    Technical SEO can sound daunting, but it’s actually mostly about making your site run smoothly and safely. Here are five relevant technical SEO tips that I believe all professionals should address to improve their search presence: 

    1. Improve Your Site Speed – Your site needs to load fast. If it doesn’t, visitors might leave before seeing your content. We found that the average person expects a page to load in 2 seconds or less. Any longer, the bounce rate starts to go up shockingly fast. In fact, 53% of people say they’ll leave if it doesn’t load after 3 seconds. Compressing images, hosting videos off-site, using lazy loading, and installing a caching plugin can speed things up.
    1. Use a Responsive Design – It’s crucial that your site looks good and works well on all of the most popular devices and operating systems, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, or desktop. Most WordPress themes come ready to adapt to any screen size, but it’s always a smart move to test this out yourself. Just take a moment to see how your site appears on different devices. This way, you’ll ensure everyone visiting your site gets a great experience, no matter how they’re accessing it.
    1. Make Sure You Have HTTPS – Secure connections are key to keeping your visitors’ data safe. HTTPS reassures your visitors that their information is secure, which makes it essential for building trust. If your website still shows “HTTP,” you should reach out and ask your hosting provider to get you an SSL certificate. This upgrade doesn’t just protect data; it also boosts your credibility with your audience and can even help your site rank better on search engines.
    1. Develop an Internal Linking Strategy –  Internal links connect your content and help search crawlers understand the structure of your website. They help you establish a hierarchy on your site, giving the most important pages more link value than others. You should make it a habit to link to your main pages when creating new content. As users browse your site, they can easily navigate to other relevant and informative pages on your site, which is great for providing an engaging user experience. 
    1. Run an SEO Audit – If you want to see how your site stacks up, consider running a technical SEO audit. Google’s PageSpeed Insights can help you see what you’re doing well and where you can improve. Also, Yoast SEO can quickly and easily highlight issues and offer fixes for individual pages. Here’s an example of one of their reports:
    Image Source: Yoast SEO

    On-Page SEO techniques

    Now, let’s go through and look at a selection of on-page SEO practices and elements that can help improve your ranking.

    SEO Title

    Think of your SEO title as a first impression — it’s the initial bit of information people see in search results. Craft it with care, ensuring your main keyword is toward the front of the title. This ensures you catch your audiences’ attention before they scroll away. 

    There’s no question that an optimized, eye-catching SEO title can increase your clickthrough rate, which signals to search engines what your content focuses on.

    Meta Description

    The meta description appears beneath your SEO title in the search results and gives a quick overview of your content. If you caught someone’s attention with your title, this is where you really win them over and share why they should click through. 

    I suggest finding a way to get your primary keyword into the meta description, but remember, your ultimate goal is to captivate the reader to click on your link.

    Canonicals

    Canonical tags are essential to manage duplicate content on a site. They guide search engines to identify which version of the page should be treated as the original. Without them, you might end up confusing the search engines because they don’t know which post to prioritize. So, be sure to add canonicals when it’s necessary to ensure visitors are able to find the right page on your site. 

    Redirection

    Redirections essentially allow you to give your audience (and search engines) a detour if a page has moved. For example, if you decided to compile all of your statistic posts into one large article, the URL for all of the original articles would change. If a visitor makes their way to one of these pages, the redirect sends them to the current URL so they can continue their journey uninterrupted. 

    Slug

    The URL slug is the address of a specific page or post on your site. Keep it simple, much like the sign outside a shop, guiding both customers and search engines. Additionally, injecting your keyword in the slug can prove helpful, but remember that clarity trumps everything else.

    So, if you have a page with an article called How to Cook Homemade Waffles from Scratch, your slug could be Cook-waffles-from-scratch. 

    Keyword Density

    Keyword density requires you to thoughtfully balance the words you use throughout your content. Include too many, and it looks like you’re stuffing your content (a no-no for search engines and readers alike); too few, and you may miss out on SEO opportunities. 

    The generally accepted keyword density is between 1-2%. In other words, for every 1,500 words, you can use it between 15-30 times. Of course, it’s worth mentioning that they should always flow naturally instead of feeling forced. 

    Excerpt

    This is your chance to give a snapshot of each blog post on your site. Excerpts are often displayed on a homepage or main blog page and essentially let visitors know what the post is about. Many people decide if they want to read an article based on the excerpt. So, make sure it’s compelling and relevant to the title of the post. 

    Here’s an example of an excerpt so you can see why they are so helpful for readers and search engines:

    Image Source: WP Mail SMTP

    Off-Page SEO techniques 

    We would say that off-page SEO is just as important for boosting the visibility and authority of your WordPress site. Unlike on-page SEO, which happens directly on your website, off-page SEO involves techniques to improve your site’s reputation and connection with other sites and users on the internet. 

    There are plenty of ways you can improve your ranking through off-site SEO. Here are a collection of our favorite strategies:

    Create Linkable Content

    Link building is like getting a vote of confidence. When reputable sites link back to your website, it signals to search engines that your content is valuable. If you followed our advice and decided to focus on creating quality content that others want to share, you’re already taking the first step.

    If another content creator finds your work interesting or useful, there’s a good chance they will link back to your content in their post. This means you’ll score a backlink, which is essentially a seal of approval for search engines. The more people that link to your site, the more likely Google is to boost your site.

    Start Writing Guest Posts

    Put simply, guest posts are blog posts that you write for other publications. You can reach out to your network, publications in your industry, and even brands that sell complimentary products for guest blogging opportunities. Ask if they’re looking for content. If they say yes, pitch your idea!

    Follow their guidelines to see how you can link to your content. Some publications allow you to have one link in the author bio, while others will allow you to link back to your blog multiple times in the same post. 

    The same rules about backlinks apply here. The more you build with reputable websites, the better. 

    Online Directories and Listings

    Get listed on relevant online directories and platforms. This not only makes your website more discoverable but also provides additional backlinks. Ensure your profiles are complete and accurate — consistent details across directories will help reinforce your credibility.

    If you haven’t claimed your Google My Business profile yet, do it right now so people will have an easier time finding your website. You’ll also want to check the Better Business Bureau, Best of the Web, Facebook Pages, and other places where you think customers might find you. 

    Social Media Engagement

    Engaging with people on social media sites like Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram, will help increase your content’s reach and potential to be shared. 

    While these social signals don’t directly influence rankings, they can lead to more traffic and natural growth because people are visiting your website from all over the internet. If you want another reason to spend more time promoting your business on social media, consider this: nearly 60% of the global population has at least one social account. It’s safe to say that your target audience is out there and waiting for you. 

    Reviews

    Did you know that 97% of people look at reviews before placing an order? This startling statistic shows just how powerful reviews and testimonials can be for businesses across all industries. 

    Aside from the obvious benefit of building social proof, reviews also encourage people to visit your website so they can learn more about your products or services. It’s also worth mentioning that if you’re using structured data for your reviews, Google can see what other people think of your business, which means it can push you up in the results if you consistently get positive reviews. 

    Monitoring your WordPress SEO success

    Finally, keeping track of your SEO progress is as vital as the SEO work itself. If you’re not keeping an eye on your progress, you won’t know if your strategies are working or how you can improve. This could lead to stagnation in the search results as well as on your website. 

    Luckily, it’s easy to keep a close eye on your SEO with tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Google Analytics gives you a peek into how much traffic you’re getting and what visitors do on your site. At the same time, Google Search Console helps you understand your visibility and pinpoint issues that may be impacting your performance.

    If you decide to try out Yoast SEO, you’ll find that they have a comprehensive tracking feature that helps you chart the best course of action for the months ahead. 

    Regardless of what you use to track your WordPress SEO, there’s no denying the importance of monitoring and understanding this data so you can continue to learn and grow. 

    Wrapping it up

    Today, we’ve discussed SEO tips that range from beginner to expert; we’ve also gone over the best SEO services and plugins for WordPress and explored quite a few on-page and off-site SEO strategies. 

    If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath and remember that SEO is not a one-time job but, instead, an ongoing project that requires time and patience. Instead of feeling like you have to do everything at once, take a step back and think about what you can make time for in the days ahead. That could mean starting with beginner tips. Or it could mean seeking out an SEO professional to assess your site. There are countless other options that can occur in between. 

    The main takeaway is awareness, persistence, and a drive for improvement will ultimately determine if your SEO strategy is successful. We believe everyone is capable of ranking; it’s just a matter of making the right decisions along the way. 

    Guest Author: Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site. With over 10 years of experience, he’s the leading WordPress expert in the industry. You can learn more about Syed and his portfolio of companies by following him on his social media networks.

    The post WordPress SEO: Your Guide for Actionable Advice and Success appeared first on jeffbullas.com.

    Latest Posts

    - Advertisement -

    Don't Miss

    Stay in touch

    To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.