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WordPress SEO: 50 Bite-Sized Tips to Take WordPress Site on #1

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VIEWS: 20307 Views CATEGORY: SEO READING TIME: 14 Min To Read UPLOADED ON: 15 Sep 2018

How would it feel if you could implement one simple but effective SEO tip that improves the visibility of your WordPress (WP) website on the search engines and drives increased traffic?

Better yet, what if you could get 50 of these tips?

You would probably feel on top of your game, right?

Today, you are in luck because the team at SmallSEOTools is bringing you not one, but a whopping 50 surefire WordPress SEO tips to turbocharge the performance of your WordPress site in search engine results pages (SERPs), drive tons of traffic, and bring in all the sales.

What’s more, we’ve simplified these tips to nearly bite-sized pieces that you can easily digest and implement.


Ready for the ride? Here we go:
 

1. Install a WordPress SEO plugin

WordPress is already coded with SEO in mind. However, using an SEO plugin can take your optimisation to the next level. There are a couple of helpful WordPress SEO plugins on the market, but we've found Yoast SEO to stand out because of the enormity of the features it packs. It does more than handle titles and descriptions. The plugin takes care of breadcrumbs, sitemaps, social markup, robots.txt, .htaccess, page readability, and duplicate content. That’s just the free version.

 

2. Use a CDN

The job of a Content Delivery Network (CDN) is to supercharge your WP website's performance. When you use a CDN, your content is cached and stored on servers at different locations around the world. When a visitor request content, the closest server to them delivers it, this takes the load off of your web server while speeding up the delivery of your WordPress site’s static (and sometimes dynamic) content such as images, CSS, JavaScript, and video streams to your visitors, resulting in a better user experience and then rankings. Some reliable free solutions are MaxCDN and Cloudflare.

 

3. Set up a clean permalink format

When you first install WordPress, the permalink (permanent link of a page) structure of your site’s pages and posts will look disorganised. This default format won't cut it for SEO. The cleanest and most SEO-friendly URL format is the “Post name” setting. This setting allows you to include your keywords in the URL. To change this setting, go to Settings › Permalink on the WP dashboard.

 

4. Create a sitemap for your website

Sitemaps make crawling your WordPress website easier. Your site will undoubtedly get crawled without one, but creating a sitemap allows you to report the data you want the search engines to crawl, thereby controlling how your site gets indexed.
 

5. Utilize Google Analytics

Google Analytics will show you how well your SEO strategy works by giving you an in-depth breakdown of your site’s traffic. To set up your GA account, navigate to this Google Analytics page. Additionally, you may want to use a WP plugin to integrate your GA account with your WP site.


6. Add your site to Google Search Console

Using Google Search Console will show you how your site is currently performing in the search engines and alert you to any sitewide errors.

 

7. Use search engine-optimised themes

While WordPress is SEO-friendly, that does not mean all themes will be. The wrong WordPress theme can mar your WordPress site. Ensure that the piece you choose is properly coded and that the developer regularly updates it to be compatible with the latest WordPress core. Your article should be flexible enough to meet your needs and lightweight enough not to weigh down your site with unnecessary bloat.


8. Make your content shareable

When it comes to SEO, social signals play a significant role. And what better way to generate social signals than to add sharing buttons on your WordPress site. With social sharing buttons, users can easily share your content.

 

9. Fix every security issue

Google and other search engines take security pretty seriously. Not only should you fix every upcoming security issue, but you should also continually keep an eye on it. Some of the most reliable WordPress security plugins are Wordfence and Sucuri.


10. Regularly update your theme, plugins, and WordPress core

Without keeping your WordPress up to date, you're opening your site to troubles, including SEO issues. Keep the trio updated regularly.

 

11. Improve load time

Look for ways to reduce the overall load time of your site. This can be done by compressing images, reducing external scripts, leveraging caching, minifying CSS and more.

12. Fix broken links

Broken links aren't just bad for your readers; they also make it harder for the search bots to crawl your site. Using our freemium broken link checker is the easiest way to check your site for broken links.
 

13. Block spam comments

Spam comments where random people leave nonsense messages on your site then leave a backlink to whatever, veto them. Those comments make up part of your site, and Google frowns at them.

 

14. Disable author archives in single-author blogs
Author archive pages will be the same as your blog homepage, listing all the latest posts by the same author, thereby passing for duplicate content. Thus, it's best to disable author archives in single-author blogs.
 

15. Switch to a responsive design

You have to offer a great user experience to do well on SERPs. And a great place to start is making your site responsive.
 

16. Customize your robots.txt

If you don’t want Googlebot to crawl and index specific directories or pages of your WP site, you can block them straight from your robots.txt. Try our free robots.txt tool to get started.

 

17. Remove redundant plugins

Too many plugins on a WordPress website lead to site overload. This means a slower load speed. If you don't need it, nix it. Get rid of plugins your site is not using to free up some space.

 

18. Set up AMP
Google’s AMP Project has made it easy to ensure that your WordPress website is mobile-friendly. Web pages and ads published in the AMP open-source format load nearly instantly, setting up your site for excellent SERPs performance.

 

18. Integrate local SEO

Local SEO has become more critical than ever. You can use the Google My Business plugin to integrate local search into your WordPress site.


 

19. Remove defaults from your WordPress site

Besides permalinks, WordPress also comes with other defaults which aren't healthy for your site's SEO. For instance, most themes have placeholders like dummy content, filler text, or lorem ipsum carrying old dates. You want to ensure you get rid of those.


 

20. Create schema markup (aka structured data)
Providing search engines with structured data is necessary to understand and correctly index the information on your website. Structured data also aids search engines in voice searches. Pretend keyboards will become non-existent by 2021.

 

21. Set up social markup

Apart from schema markup, there is also social markup, used to generate the thumbnails that appear on Facebook and Twitter when you share a blog post. While it is unknown how much these affect WordPress SEO, it never hurts to let Google know which social networks are connected to your WP site.


 

22. Be careful with the functions.php file

The functions.php file behaves like a WordPress plugin, adding features and functionality to a WordPress site. If you play carelessly with your functions.php file, there's a high chance you'll break your site if you're not well-experienced with WordPress coding. If a crawler tries crawling your site and finds the dreaded white screen of death, you risk getting deindexed.

 

23. Optimize your WP for rich snippets

Suppose you optimise your content for snippets; even if your post ranks #7 in Google, it can still get that coveted position of #0 in SERPs. You then have two links ranking on the first page.
 

24. Set up breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs are vital navigational elements for most web pages. But they don't stop there. They can help search engines navigate your site better, resulting in better rankings. Yoast SEO takes care of breadcrumbs, too.

 

25. Optimize your WordPress site for voice
Voice search and digital personal assistants are one of the biggest SEO trends in the new era. You'll first learn how to write more conversational content. Then you can integrate features like voice search capability to provide users with a whole experience.

 

26. Stay updated

SEO is really about what you know TODAY…not what worked yesterday. One of the best things you can do for your SEO strategy is to stay updated by following the best SEO and content marketing blogs and YouTube channels. We frequently post regular, up-to-date SEO information here on this blog. You can also sign up for our newsletter, where we share even more exclusive content regularly.


 

27. Integrate Google+

According to an in-depth study on the impsocial impactkings, Google+ is the highest correlated social factor for rankings on Google; install a Google Plus plugin to integrate your WordPress site.

 

28. Turn on search engine visibility

WordPress has a built-in option that will hide your site from search engines. This is useful if you're still building your site and don't want search engines indexing it. But after you're done, don't forget to turn it on; otherwise, your site will not be visible on search results. To find this feature, go to Settings › Reading from within the WordPress dashboard.


 

29. Think bigger picture
It’s not just about getting ranked today. It's about building a solid content structure that you can manage and look for long-term gains. You won’t rate #1 today, but with the right content and SEO strategy, you can be #1 in a year.
 

30. Keep it simple
Google loves simplicity. No need to decorate your site with all kinds of bells and whistles. Keep your WordPress website clean, simple, and minimal.

 

31. Always use a focus keyword


With a focus keyword, your content misses its search direction. It's like driving without knowing where you are going. The Yoast SEO plugin makes it easy to create a focus keyword for each post you create.

 

32. Optimize your title tags


Your title tag refers to the name of your post or page as it appears on your blog and SERPs. Your title tag is your most important heading tag. It tells Google what your page is about and will influence whether readers will click through to your result.
 

33. Increase CTR with meta descriptions

A well-written meta description can entice the user to click on your post in SERPs instead of the competitors. The higher your CTR, the more relevant Google will deem your content and raise your ranking. Initially, the meta description was staked at a 156-character limit. Google introduced it in December 2017 to 320 characters, then reverted to 150 and 170.
 

34. Assign header tags correctly

Googlebot checks HTML header tags such as H1, H2, H3, etc., to determine the relevancy of your site content. Generally, the best practice is to have a single H1 tag per post or page and then multiple H2s and H3s underneath that. You can create a header on your WP site by using the dropdown in the visual editor. This automatically assigns the block of text the

or

HTML tags that Google will read.
 

35. Short URLs win the game

Google likes WordPress sites that are clean, organised, and structured; this includes using short URLs. They can also help improve your CTR. MarketingSherpa ran a study and discovered that executives are 250% more likely to click on an organic listing if it had a reasonably short URL and appeared directly below a listing with a long URL.
 

36. “Force-crawl” your WP site

Did you know you can “force-crawl” your site from your end? When you do, your site gets indexed by the search engines instantly. You don't have to wait for days anymore. And this means beating your competitors to indexation. You can force-crawl your content in Google Search Console and the Bing Webmaster Tools.

 

37. Optimize your images with ALT text

Running a WordPress site, there is a high chance that you will use images in your blog posts and pages. ALT text refers to the ALT attribute or alternative text applied to images on your WordPress site. Google uses ALT tags to see how relevant your vision is to its content. Screen readers aare lso used for visually impaired people.

 

38. Don't waste your time with meta keywords

Originally, meta keywords were a ranking factor in search engines. But folks started abusing it. So Google and Bing stopped considering them. If you fill meta keywords in today's SEO, it might appear spamming.
 

39. Do keyword research

Keyword research will make or break your WordPress SEO strategy. Doing keyword research will allow you to create content your visitors are searching for. Once you determine your keywords, sprinkle them all over your WordPress site (pages and posts).

 

 

40. Avoid plugins conflict

While plugin conflicts are actual in WordPress, you want to minimise them. Plugins add several files to your site. Any dispute could slow down or even break your site. This is the exact kind of user experience Google is trying to avoid. Avoid installing two different plugins that perform the same functions and deactivate unneeded ones.
 

41. Use a caching plugin
A caching plugin will generate static HTML files instead of the PHP files usually required to run WordPress. This will minimise the number of requests between the server and your user’s browser, which will decrease your loading speeds. The most common WordPress caching plugins include W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache.


 

42. Use a quality web hosting
The quality of web hosts your WordPress site is built on can determine to a great extent how well you do in search. First instance, misconfiguration from the server-side can cause slowness. This is why choosing the correct web hosting environment is necessary. For top WordPress site performance, we recommend using a WordPress-specific hosting package custom-tailored to your site’s setup.

 

43. Add HTTPS
HTTPS allows your WordPress site to make secure connections and encrypt data shared. But beyond that, HTTPS is officially a Google ranking factor.
 

44. Optimize for AI & machine learning
With Google’s release of RankBrain, search is quickly buying into the machine learning and artificial intelligence trends. In a couple of months, if your website is not optimised for AI, you'll be counted out, and it has already begun.

 

45. Image title text

We've seen several people waste time “optimising” image title text. Well, the image title text isn’t used for WordPress SEO purposes and is not crawled by Google or Bing; therefore, you are not required to use them.

 

46. Interlinks are still vital

Internal links have always been an essential part of on-page WordPress SEO, and they'll continue to be. Be sure to interlink pages and posts within your WordPress website.


 

47. External links are important too

Just like internal links, you can't do a complete WordPress optimisation without linking out to relevant authority sites.

 

48. Set up external links to open new tabs

Don't lose visitors to the sites you link to. Longer dwell-time translates to better rankings. Also, setting up external links is suitable for your overall marketing strategy, visitors, and all.

 

49. Nofollow affiliate links
If you monetise your site with affiliate links to generate revenue, nofollow them for the best SEO performance of your site.

 

50. In the midst of all this, content is still the king of SEO

Quality content is the “warp and woof” of any SEO strategy. Without content, your SEO is dead no matter what you do within your WordPress dashboard. Continue to create and publish great content.


 

WE'RE DONE, AND IT'S NOW YOUR TURN!

Those are 50 bite-sized WordPress SEO tips you can implement right now to take your WordPress website and blog to another level in the search.

Did you find any tips here helpful? Let's continue the conversation on our Facebook page Twitter pages, and if you have any questions, feel free to drop them on there.

 

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