Hey, are you running a business website and want to boost organic traffic to your WordPress site? Do you want to learn how to improve WordPress SEO?
Then, you landed at the perfect place.
According to the research, 64% of websites use WordPress, and it also gets high organic searches per month. With the help of SEO on WordPress, you can drive traffic and improve your website visibility. According to the research, the top three websites in the search results get more than 50% of the total click-through rate.
Then search engines use crawler bots to find the updated and latest content. After finding, these Google bots crawl the page to the top search results based on various factors.
In this article, I will talk about various tactics that will help in improving WordPress SEO. So, keep reading this article till the end.
What Is SEO And Why It Is Necessary?
SEO is the abbreviation of Search Engine Optimization. Google uses a complex algorithm sequence to make your website show up in the search results when people want to search about something particular.
If you want people to find your website, then your website must be found by Google crawlers, and it also approves what it finds there. If Google cannot find you, then nobody can see your website. The only way to reach your website is if they know your website URL and type your website address in the search bar.
When Google does not find your website, then your website will not be indexed, and you have no chance of crawling to the first page of the search engine result pages.
Thanks to WordPress, it comes with built-in SEO functionality that allows the bots to crawl the WordPress site to the top searches.
If you are wondering why WordPress SEO is important! Well,
- It has a low cost as compared to the paid traffic source which is quite expensive.
- With SEO you get organic search, one of the biggest sources of traffic.
How To Improve WordPress SEO?
Now I will mention various tactics that will surely help in WordPress SEO. So keep reading this article.
Check WordPress Site Visibility Settings:
The foremost step is checking the website’s visibility settings.
WordPress has a feature called Prevent search engines from indexing the website. This feature is usually disabled by default.
- Go to the WordPress Dashboard > Settings> Reading
- Find the search engine visibility and uncheck it.
If it is unchecked, then don’t mess with it, otherwise, you will lose all your website search rankings.
Create XML Sitemap To Search Engine:
Submitting a sitemap is important to add the latest information on Search Engine Result Pages (SERP). Even though search engines index websites automatically, adding your website sitemap to search engines is crucial.
When you submit the XML sitemap to the search engines, it connects with the other pages of the website and tells the importance and relation of pages with each other. This connection and relation of pages helps crawlers to find the particular content.
For this, you need to generate the XML sitemap with SEO plugins like Yoast SEO or All In One SEO.
Install SSL Certificate:
SSL is the abbreviation of Secure Socket Layer. It is a security technology that makes the connection between a search browser and a website.
The encryption of SSL works as a barrier and prevents unauthorized parties from accessing the sensitive data on a website.
Installing the SSL certificate on your website will help in securing your WordPress site which in turn improves your website ranking in the search results.
When you get the SSL certificate your website URL will start from https:// instead of http:/. Moreover, your website will also have the icon of a padlock at the start of the URL address.
When your website has an SSL certificate, it grabs the attention of search engines. Let’s suppose you surf the website and land on a web page that does not have an SSL certificate, Then you will get a big warning like Not Secure, and you definitely will not proceed with your activity further.
Similarly, no one wants to take a risk. In short, Installing the SSL certificate is essential, so you don’t scare off potential visitors and also boost your conversion rate.
Choose the WWW or Non-WWW:
The very next step in making your website SEO friendly is to choose between the www or non-www site URL.
Because Google considers www and non-www as separate URLs. So, you need to choose the one domain format that improves your WordPress website SEO.
For this, follow the underlying instructions
- Go to the WordPress dashboard > Settings > General.
- Now enter the preferred version in the WordPress Address (URL and Site Address (URL)
- Now click on the save button to save the changes.
Remember to be consistent, and when you share your website address on the internet, then use the same URL format.
Setup A Permalink Structure:
Every webpage has its special address which is called permalinks. Having clear permalinks helps to build trust with your visitors and search engines. Furthermore, your web page permalinks are displayed in the search results. So it should be direct and highly readable so visitors can read and understand it.
Usually, WordPress uses the default ID number as the permalink, so you need to change it according to your predefined ones or make a custom one for every web page according to that website type and content.
For example, if your website is a magazine, then add the date and title of the article in the permalink. If your site is a blogging website, then add the primary keyword in the permalink. If your website is an online store, then add the category, etc.
If your website is already going live, then redirect your old URLs. Moreover, do not use the date or number in your permalinks unless your content is based on dates and timing. It is recommended to use the post name after your domain name.
Use Structured Data:
Structured data means organizing ways of sharing information and arranging your web page content in different categories. This structured data is like coding language that can easily be understood by the Search engines i.e., they use the schema markup that converts your website content into code.
These structured data make it easier for the search engine to understand the content in the form of code. You also have noticed that Google shows the content in the form of a snippet that looks quite attractive and different from your original written content.
We can see that all because of structure data when search engines read this code, then show the attractive result in the SERP that increases the quality of the content and allows complex users to click on the page.
Mostly these rich snippets appear for e-commerce stories or bookstores, reviews, products, movies, etc. in which you see the rating, image, and other relevant content.
In other words, more eyes on your content means higher click-through rates and a skyrocketing level of online exposure. In short, structured data is your golden ticket to standing out in the digital or online crowd.
WordPress Tags And Categories:
Google always favors the user experience so creating the categories and tags is necessary to help users navigate different sites on WordPress with ease.
These categories are arranged in a hierarchical format and sorted out into parent and subcategories. And tags help in indicating what type of post is written.
If your website talks about different types of content, then use the categories. It will make it easier for the user to navigate different areas of the website.
For creating the categories, follow the underlying instructions
- Go to the WordPress Dashboard > Post > Categories.
- Here, you will see the existing categories on the right side of the WordPress screen.
- For adding new categories; fill in the name, slug, and description box. If you want to add a subcategory, then choose the parent category option and save the changes.
For assign tags:
- Go to Post > Tags
- Then fill out the required field and
- Click on the Add New Tags button.
The other method for adding tags is using a WordPress editor and adding a new category and tags. But you cannot add a description in this method.
Each category and tag has its unique and specific slug and permalinks so you need to optimize them as well.
Enable The Breadcrumbs:
Breadcrumbs are like maps for websites. They’re links that tell you where you are on a WordPress site. Enabling breadcrumbs makes it easier for people to use the website, especially if your website has a lot of pages and blog posts.
You know when you’re shopping on e-commerce stores, those links located at the top show you where you are in the categories, those are called breadcrumbs. They help users find relevant products by clicking on them.
Breadcrumbs are not just for user experience, but there are also the best internal linking strategies that encourage the user to explore more pages of the website, so they don’t leave right away.
When you search on Google, sometimes you see breadcrumbs instead of a web address. It tells you where the page is on the website, helping you decide if it’s what you’re looking for.
For this, you need to use a plugin that will enable the breadcrumbs on your website.
Go to the All-in-One SEO > General Setting > Breadcrumb
Here, toggle the Breadcrumb option. And choose how you want to embed the breadcrumbs in your website.
Types Of Breadcrumbs
For this, you need to understand the types of breadcrumbs
This one’s like a roadmap for your website. It tells you where you are on the big website. Think of it as a path from the front door to the room you’re in.
Imagine you’re shopping online. Attribute-based breadcrumbs are like those labels that help you find stuff, like sorting clothes by size or color. It is quite helpful when you’re hunting for the perfect pair of sneakers.
This breadcrumb is like a digital diary of where you’ve been on the website. It shows you the pages you visited earlier, kind of like retracing your steps.
Conduct Deep Keyword Research:
Find the keyword in your niche that is getting high traffic and people are also searching for it. If your website is completely new, then it is recommended to use the long tail keywords that have low competition in the search results.
For this, you can use Google’s keyword planner to find the long tail keywords that are related to your website niche.
Moreover, you can use different keyword research tools to find the keywords that have high search volume or that are trending based on region, and time.
Moreover, these tools will also tell the keyword difficulty or how much competition is on this keyword.
High-quality content that answers the queries of the visitors. These kinds of content that are SEO friendly gain website authority gradually and improve its ranking in the search engine results.
So, make sure your content should be well well-written with
- No grammatical mistakes.
- Content should be original
- Have proper headings (H1-H6)
- Have a primary keyword
- Publish and Update content regularly
Add Visual Or Video Content:
As you know 82% of the use on the internet consumes visual content, and it has become one of the primary sources of information. And almost 80% of users who consume video content generate revenue.
So, if your content is in written format, then make visual content for people who want to learn through video.
Establish your presence in the other social media channels and improve your website visibility.
Optimizes All Images With Alt Tags:
Google always considers the images and indexes them when you post high-quality images in your content. Because these high-quality images are not only accessible but also enhance the user experience.
When you add images with alternative tags, then it will be easier for Google to rank your website content on the first page.
But you need to know the clear difference between image alt text and image title in WordPress. As Google can only read words, you need to add the optimized image tags to make sure Google can find your photos through keywords that you add in the images with alt tags.
Compress Your Images:
When you put pictures on your website, they can be big and make your site speed slow. So, you can make them smaller without losing much quality.
There are two ways to do it:
- Lossy Compression: JPEG files contain minimum details, like photos. It makes them smaller but might lose a tiny bit of quality.
- Lossless Compression: It is best for pictures with text, like logos. It makes them smaller without losing any quality. For this, use PNG images.
Write Attractive Titles And Meta Tags:
Writing compelling titles and meta tags helps to optimize the page or post for SEO. When your web page, and posted as an optimized meta tag it will quickly be indexed by Search Engines.
When visitors visit looking for the information, they first see the title and short meta description.
Titles or Meta Titles help in showing your page in the search result SERP. It is the same as the headline of the newspaper which is always written to grab the attention of the audience. Keep it short, under 60 characters, and use the main keyword you want to rank for.
A meta description is all about urging people to click on your post or article. In the meta description, Include the main keyword, keep it short (around 50-160 characters), and make it unique for each page.
And don’t try to be scammy and try to clickbait people. It will damage your website’s reputation.
Create Linking Strategy
Internal Linking Strategy:
Internal links are also called hyperlinks that lead the visitors to pages and posts on the same website. There are two main types of internal linking.
- Navigational Links are like the main menu and typically contain the website’s main structure. They help visitors find the pages and where these pages are on the website, like the home page, menu, and contact info.
- Contextual links are present within the text. These are links embedded or hidden in the content. Imagine you’re reading about a cool product, and there’s a link that takes you to more details.
These links help search engines understand your site better and build authority and connection between pages that make it easy for visitors to explore your site.
So, use links naturally in the content and should contain the main keyword that predicts the content of the linked page.
External Linking Strategy:
External links help the reader in getting more information related to the topic that is not present on your website.
Moreover, linking to the high domain authority website also helps you in gaining authority and increasing ranking favor.
- Link to websites with high domain authority. Use a tool like Moz to check their Domain Authority (DA). If it’s between 70 and 100, it’s a great pick.
- Make sure readers can access the linked content without paying or signing up.
- When you link to another site, set it to open in a new tab so your readers can easily switch back and forth.
- Tell the other website you’ve linked to them, and maybe they’ll link back to you.
- Check your content first; only use external links when you can’t find the info on your site.
- If you’re unsure about a website’s reputation or using affiliate links, add a “no follow” tag to the link to keep your site safe.
Enable Comments Of The Readers:
Enabling all comments may hurt your website ranking factor because intense people add a link in their comments that hurts ranking.
However, enabling authentic comments will help in building the reputation of your WordPress site.
For this, you need to read and review each comment and then decide which one is approvable.
- Go to the WordPress Dashboard > Settings> Discussion
- Check mark the option Comment must be manually approved.
- Now click on the save changes button.
Before manually approving the comment keep in mind the underlying points
- Remove the comment that has the link in it.
- Check the username, If you see random letters or numbers in the username, then ignore this comment. Because this kind of username became an anchor text for the URL of the user who commented on it.
- Check the content of the message, understand the real intent of the user, and approve the only one that adds value to your page.
- Use the anti-spam plugin which is quite helpful in filtering the hurtful comments.
Best Tips To Improve WordPress SEO in 2023
1. Avoid Keyword Stuffing:
Keyword stuffing means when you use the same keyword in your website post or page over and over again. It is easy to notice and make your reader bored. That lowers the user experience in turn has a negative impact on SEO.
If you keep stuffing the keyword in your content for ranking, then it will never rank in the search engine result pages because stuffed keywords don’t fit naturally in the content, and even an average reader can feel redundancy.
Also, avoid adding your personal information like phone number, geographic location, and other irrelevant stuff that devalues your web post.
You can use a keyword generation tool that helps in improving the SEO on WordPress.
2. Avoid Keyword Cannibalization:
Keyword cannibalization means your website has different pages ranking on the same keyword. It is the same as two competitors within the same team competing to rank in first place.
This situation might seem attractive, but it is actually disliked by Google, and it harms SEO.
To avoid this mistake, create a spreadsheet and list all of your website’s focus keywords and URLs. If you find the same keywords for different posts or articles, try to merge them.
3. Avoid Duplicate Content:
Check your website and make sure none of the content is published twice. Because you will be penalized if your content has the same URL.
So, check your website and make sure that your web address or URL has original and unique content, otherwise, Google will penalize you.
Similarly, for the product description, do not use the same product description for different pages.
4. Use Appropriate Heading Tags:
There are different types of these headings, like H1, H2, and so on, with H1 being the main title. Make sure to use just one H1 per page, and it has your main keyword to rank well on Google.
For the rest of your content, like sections and subsections, use H2 and H3 headings. They keep things organized. But don’t go too crazy with H4 to H6; they can confuse people. When you’re editing your page, use the Heading tool, and pick the right number for your heading.
Now, here are some quick tips:
- Use headings in order and keep them short (around 50-70 characters).
- Try to write queries that readers might have in their minds in your headings,
- Don’t forget your keywords.
- Google might show your headings in search results, so make them catchy and people will click.
5. Use WordPress Categories Wisely:
Strategically Organized web posts are important as they provide clues to the audience about what the article or content is related to and make it easy for them to navigate the relevant posts.
Categories help in organizing similar posts under one category and these are a must for improving SEO, and you cannot opt out.
6. Enable The Latest Date Of Update:
When you enable the latest date of update on WordPress, then it gets more traffic as compared to the old date posts.
When you enable the latest update, it does not have any effect on the ranking factor, but its main purpose is to manipulate the human psyche and let them know their post is the latest because users are always looking for content with the latest information.
7. Focus On User Experience:
User experience (UX) is how people feel when they use a website. User experience is composed of many essential elements;
- Your website should work fast and smoothly.
- Your website should be mobile-friendly. It should be easy to use on phones too. Google even has a test for that.
- Use HTTPS to keep info safe.
- Don’t put too many pop-up ads as they annoy people.
To make your site user experience awesome, follow the underlying instructions.
- Use a theme that works on both computers and phones.
- Make your site load fast on phones with a tool called AMP.
- Keep your site easy to navigate, so people don’t get lost.
- Write helpful stuff that answers questions.
- Don’t use too many annoying pop-up ads.
8. Do Not Index Low-Value Content:
Low-value content means those pages that do not consist of valuable content, and users also don’t consider them.
So do not index these kinds of web pages, and also prevent Google and other search engines from indexing this irrelevant content that does not provide any value to the users. Low-value content is
- Archive pages
- Category pages
- User-generated content
- Advertising material
If you are not sure how to find low-value content, then you can use the tool and perform an audit.
If you find content or pages that have low-priority keywords that are not getting high traffic or ranking, then add the no-index tag to them. When you add the no index meta tag, then this page and content will not appear in the search engine result pages.
9. Set Up Canonical Tags To Handle Duplicate Content:
When you have the same content on different pages of the same website then it will create a big confusion for the search engines, and you don’t know which one should be ranked in the SERP.
Mostly this happens when you have both “www” and “non-www” versions of a page, or if you have different links for mobile and desktop users.
To remove duplicate content, use a tool or plugin to find the duplicate content and indicate to the search engine the main content by using canonical tags and adding this tag to the link.
10. Choose a Reputable Hosting Provider:
If your website is not working and is down, then Google cannot find your website, and if your website cannot be found, then your website will also remain unindexed.
So before starting the business website, choose the reliable hosting service provider. Investing in a good hosting service provider helps in organic search traffic in which your website gets high traffic via search engine browsers.
11. Analyze Your Website Content:
If your website is fulfilling the rules of search engine optimization, then Google will rank your website. For this, you need to analyze your website content and know how your primary keywords are placed, and whether the images are properly tagged or not.
And what is your post-readability score? Moreover, you also need to preview your web post to see how your post will appear in the search engine result pages and how your keywords appear in the title, post, and meta description.
In short, you need to check your website content just like Google bots that work as detectives, you also need to work like a detective and analyze your SEO practice on WordPress.
Tools And Plugins That You Can Use For SEO
Use highly reputable SEO plugins that update themselves regularly that ensure that your website will perform smoothly because website performance is the main factor in ranking.
Yoast SEO is one of the most popular SEO plugins on WordPress that improves WordPress SEO. These plugins assist in quick website content optimization, have inbuilt XML sitemaps, and manage the tiles and meta description smoothly.
Moreover, it is compatible and seamlessly integrated with popular plugins like Elementor. Their premium version offers advanced features along with 24/7-hour support.
Yoast SEO plugin tells the readability score and also highlights the areas that have room for improvement.
It also adds the link to your site automatically to protect it from web scrapers. Web scrapers are those who extract the data from the website and export it into a useful format.
Monster Insight is the best and most popular plugin for Google Analytics. It is most appreciated for business websites or online stores that need to track audience traffic and the behavior of the user.
This plugin is beginner-friendly and helps users to activate the analytic tools without any hassle.
Moreover, it also analyzes and tracks the affiliate links and Google ads and displays the conversion rate and revenue generation.
It shows the real-time stats and data of the traffic on the website and their behavior. Moreover, it also tracks the outbound links, affiliate links banner ads, etc.
It also offers a free version with basic features. If you want the advanced features, then experts recommend that use a premium plan.
Google Analytics is the best tool that tells the real-time performance and audience data for your website. It tells you all about the people who visit your site and how your site is doing.
With Google Analytics, you can improve WordPress SEO with the help of Google Analytics.
- You can find out who visits your site, what they like, and where they come from. This helps you know how people are landing on your website.
- If you are running ads, then Google Analytics will show you how much your website is generating reviews and where you need improvement.
- It tells you which content is getting more traffic, so you make content accordingly in the future.
Google Search Console:
Google Search Console monitors the performance of the website and helps in getting a quick insight into on-page search engine visibility, your website’s average position in the search engine result pages, and many more.
- It quickly tells you which keywords get you more traffic to your site.
- It shows you which other websites link to your site. You can see if they’re trustworthy.
- You can use it to show Google all the important stuff on your website.
- It gives you SEO tips and ideas on how to make your website better for search engines. In short, it works as a coach.
By implementing the above-mentioned strategies, you need to dedicate your time and effort to reach the stage when you publish a page, and it is ranked quicker than the other competitor websites.
For this, you need to learn continuously, because SEO is an ever-evolving field, so attend the latest webinars and enroll in the online courses.
Moreover, monitor your efforts regularly by using tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console. It will be greatly helpful in tracking their organic traffic, keyword rankings, and user behavior to make data-driven improvements.
You need to be patient and persistent in your effort to continuously upgrade your strategies based on data and the latest trends.
I hope this article will be helpful in your WordPress SEO journey.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are SEO Plugins Necessary For WordPress?
If you use SEO plugins for your WordPress site ranking, then it will definitely help you, but it is not guaranteed that you can still perform well in WordPress SEO without plugins. However, you need to have technical knowledge to carry out the process yourself instead of using an SEO plugin.
Why is my site not showing up on Google?
Generally, search engines take 4-6 weeks to display any newbie website. If your website is getting more than 6 weeks, then ensure that your website privacy setting is set to Public.
And deselect the “Do not allow the search engine to index my site” Moreover, connect your website with the Google search console, so Google will know about your site quickly.
Why is my featured snippet in the search engine result incomplete?
When you make changes to your website, don’t worry if Google takes time (from a few days to a few weeks) to catch up with your latest update. Moreover, it is up to Google to decide what to show up in those search previews.
But you can try to add a little description to your post or page and tweak your site’s name and catchphrase. But still, it is up to Google what it will display in the search engine result pages.
Is WordPress Good For SEO?
Yes, absolutely WordPress is so friendly. But there is fierce competition among WordPress websites, and you need to work hard to rank your website in organic search of the search engine.
Does Google Favor WordPress?
Google does not favor any content management system CMS, but still, WordPress is considered the best for SEO ranking among other content management systems.