If you want to drive organic traffic to your WordPress website and rank higher on the search engines, then you need to begin implementing an SEO strategy.
From link building, to installing plugins, there are plenty of ways to boost the SEO rankings for your website.
Thankfully, WordPress makes it much easier to begin implementing ways to boost your SEO. In this article, we’ll be explaining just a few ways you can do this today.
Choose a Reliable Hosting Service
The cost of a hosting provider varies immensely, however you want to ensure you are getting the best possible hosting service, since it could potentially affect your SEO.
How do you know you have chosen a good, reliable hosting provider?
The answer: speed, security and uptime. The name of the game on the internet is speed. Users are impatient, and they want content as quickly as possible. Slow speed can harm your SEO.
A good host has the potential to boost your SEO score significantly, and an inadequate and slow host can undoubtedly bring you down.
When launching your WordPress site, you should choose hosting optimised specifically for WordPress, or even better, WordPress VPS hosting.
When choosing a host, or changing hosts, you look for a service with a good reputation for speed, uptime, security and support.
Pick a Well-Optimized Theme or Design
It is the first thing that users will see when they log onto your site. Often, the design of your site determines whether users will stay or leave. The dreaded first impression – you want to make sure it is good.
Beyond the appealing presentation of your WordPress site’s theme or design, your theme can affect your site’s functionality. Speed is vital for SEO, and your theme is one of your leading contender’s with site speed.
A speedy, organised and clean theme will will not only look better and load faster, but potentially help with your SEO.
You’ll find when choosing a theme that some are labelled “SEO-friendly”. These types of designs may work well for your site. An SEO-friendly theme is built with SEO already in mind and coded to improve SEO with special SEO WordPress plugins. There are plenty of WordPress SEO-Friendly themes to look out for when making your site.
Alternatively, if you have a budget, it is recommended to hire a professional WordPress developer to create a custom lightweight theme for you instead.
Familiarise Yourself With a Dedicated SEO Plugin
There’s a plugin for just about anything you can dream of – and these add-on software installments are often used for customisation. As you can imagine, there are also some great plugins to help with SEO.
Luckily there are many good sources on which are the best WordPress SEO plugins. These plugins are complete with useful tools and features that prime your site for great technical SEO practices.
Yoast SEO, the most popular SEO plugin for WordPress, offers a variety of tools and features to help optimise your WordPress site for search engines.
Rank Math is another growing SEO plugin that optimises your website for SEO, offering all the basic features, plus advanced SEO analytics and reports. If you’re looking to migrate to Rank Math, the plugin allows you to import data from previous SEO plugins (such as Yoast). This is currently our favorite SEO plugin, and we even provide a free Rank Math PRO license in our Professional care plan.
Google Search Console is also a great tool to use, offered by Google. It is designed to help manage and maintain your site’s presence in Google’s search results.
Create a Sitemap
A sitemap is one of those lovely SEO features you can get from an SEO plugin. It is a simple addition to your WordPress site, and it can help your SEO immensely with the search engines (not necessarily through rankings). A sitemap provides a comprehensive look into your site’s layout and everything included on your WordPress site. Google, and other search engines, use your sitemap to crawl your site using search engine bots and see how your pages relate to each other. If your pages are full of relevant content – your site can be more efficiently indexed by search engines.
You can use your sitemap to ensure Google, and other search engines, don’t overlook your plentiful pages.
Like your design and theme which we talked about above – your page’s headings are essential to consider with SEO. Crawlers pay attention to headings, which means you want to use them efficiently. You want to give your users context about what they’ll see on your page – the individual content.
On WordPress, there are several formatting options you can choose from when selecting your headings on your pages and blog posts. In the WordPress editor, you can select from Heading 1, and Heading 2 up to Heading 6. A good heading is a visual benefit to your users – often breaking up chunky text and creating a smoother read.
Create useful, meaty headings to convey your quality content – use them frequently and consistently.
Keywords in Content
Your first 100 words are some of the most important you’ll type on your page, blog post or article. Your first couple of paragraphs is a sweet spot for keywords – used tastefully, and with forethought. When search engines index your site’s pages, they pay serious attention to your first few paragraphs. This should be where you include your keyword to tip off your content to crawlers– short phrases that summarise your topic.
A great example of a site page’s keyword is “WordPress SEO”. This is your predicted keyword phrase that people will be searching for if they are looking to boost their SEO on a WordPress site. Less is more with keywords.
Each post or page should have a keyword scattered throughout various places – the title, headings and content especially. Keywords artfully placed throughout your content can increase your visibility in relevant keyword searches. However, you want to avoid spamming your content with your keyword as it can begin to feel inauthentic, and sometimes search engines may even pick up on it as spam.
Links are an essential part of SEO. You might have heard of “permalinks”, or permanent URLs on your site that direct users to your site’s other individual posts and pages. Their appearance enormously matters. You want to tempt users to click these links – therefore you want to make them clear and descriptive.
On WordPress, descriptive links give your site a ranking boost because they are easier for search engines to detect and better understand what the page is about.
You want to communicate to your users, and search engines, what content you have linked. In your WordPress settings, you can create a custom permalink structure or change existing permalinks.
Quality Content is Key
You know what they say – quality over quantity! However, in your SEO efforts, your content should always center around quality and quantity. Search engines want the most relevant and useful sites at the top of the SERPs.
The quality of your content needs to reflect that. This is an unchangeable fact about successfully boosting your SEO ranking. When you are hiring writers, you should prioritise people with a strong background in writing, researching, and understanding your niche.
With pages full of quality content, your site will grow through its integrity as a reliable source of information rather than trying to spam its way to the top of the SERPs.
When writing your content, consider what your target readers need – maybe they didn’t even know they needed it. Tell them something they never knew they wanted. Fact-check always, proofread and produce unique, original content. Remember the details matter, and they will come back to bite you if you are not careful!
Use External Links
When your WordPress site is well connected, search engines are delighted with internal links and external links. Google, and other search engines, like to see links throughout your pages.
Essentially, using external links tells crawlers that your content is relevant and relatable to similar, existing content. If you are savvy, you can build relationships with other users and encourages them to link back to your site. The more reputable the site in your niche – like ESPN link sharing with your local sports blog – the better this is for your site visibility.
This tells search engines that your content is valuable.
Like everything else in life, there’s strength in quantity control. You don’t want to spam your content. If the pages you are linking in your content are irrelevant, overt product placement or the links are broken, this could hurt your rankings immensely.
You want a seamless fit – an organic, natural flow to high-quality websites that rank highly in SERPs. Making fair use of internal (linking to your webpages) and external is an incredible way to boost SEO results.
Social Media Share Buttons
If you look at any site now, you will often see links directing you to the website’s social networking pages like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and any others available. Most search engines will monitor the reactions of users with these social media features.
When you include these social media share buttons on your WordPress site, you encourage people to like your content on Instagram, make a post about your article on Pinterest or retweet a blog post on Twitter. This is real-time monitoring of how users perceive your content.
Search engines sometimes give blog posts with good “social reactions” priority in SERPs. When you regularly update your social media, you naturally increase traffic flow on your WordPress site. It is all about numbers, frequency and an outpouring of content.
There is an algorithm on search engines that prioritise blogs with frequent posts in its SERPs. If you are running a WordPress site or blog – you’ll want to post consistently, with brand new content.
Search engines covet recently updated, relevant content.
If you want to post three times a week, you need to post three times a week every single week. When you try to boost your search rankings, you cannot skip a week or be surpassed. You especially want to leap on new content happening in your site’s industry – like a new makeup brand launch if you run a beauty blog. Make it original and quick – being one of the first to post about new content will probably get your site an edge in SERPs.
Now, with these eleven tips under your belt, hopefully you can get started improving your site’s SEO on WordPress!