Just imagine you own a premium bookstore café in a particular city. If someone searches “bookstore café near me” or bookstore café near [insert a local place of your particular city]” on Google, you want your WordPress website to show up at the top of the search result, right? You can ensure that your company does so by simply implementing the results-oriented and proven WordPress SEO tips.
You can have your WP website appear at the top of search engine results pages by investing some time optimizing your site. By following WordPress SEO and implementing time-tested techniques, you can outperform the competition and attract more search traffic.
Ready to dive into a dozen of tips you can use to do SEO for WordPress website? Ready to start knowing how to improve website ranking and organic search traffic? Ready to know how to increase brand authority on search engines? Yes? Let’s get started.
Check WordPress Search Engine Visibility Setting – Rule #1 for starting SEO for WordPress websites is to check the basic thing. That is crawling… So check if your website is allowing search engines for crawling. The CMS (content management system) allows you to hide your website from search engines. This can come to be of use when designing or redesigning your site; you don’t want your visitors to see your website while development. The feature is in your WordPress dashboard under Settings > Privacy > Discourage search engines from indexing this site. Double-check that you have not turned on this option by mistake, or left it active after completing your website design. If it’s on, Google won’t see what are you doing on your website.
Optimize Your Permalinks – A permalink is a permanent link or URL to a specific page, post, or blog on your website. Permalinks clearly tell what your page, post, or blog is actually about so visitors know what they’re clicking on. However, they also help SEO as the second purpose. You can find the permalink setting under Settings > Permalinks. Pro tip – You should keep your permalinks relevant and short; avoid having long or insignificant URLs.
Apply Tags and Categories – Tags and categories allow you to separate the website’s posts into broad and specific groups. This highly improves the SEO because it will help search engines to better understand your website’s structure and content. Plus, using tags and categories also helps your users quickly find the content of your website they are looking for. Pro tip – Use tags more specifically and categories more broadly to get the most out of them.
Install a WordPress SEO Plugin – We love WordPress plugins for so many types of reasons. For starters, plugins help to add those functionalities to your website that doesn’t come as standard with the CMS. So, as an SEO beginner, you should go and choose a WordPress SEO plugin for your website. There are lots of plugins available like Yoast SEO, All In One SEO Pack, Rank Math, etc. We will recommend you choose Yoast SEO for the additional settings you may have to use in the future.
Use XML Sitemaps – An XML sitemap is a file on your web server containing each page of your website. XML sitemaps are used to allow search engines easily find, evaluate, index, and then rank the content of your site. You have not to do anything different for it; just install an SEO plugin like Yoast SEO, or one fully dedicated to creating sitemaps, such as Google XML Sitemaps and then they will create the sitemap for your website automatically.
Do Internal Linking – To perform well in WordPress SEO, you must have to increase your website’s authority. And, internal linking is one of the ways you can use to make search engines determine your website authority. Internal linking simply refers to linking your website posts, pages, and blog posts on your website. Pro tip – You should link your website pages to relevant and useful anchor texts to improve user experience and website rankings. Avoid using link texts that are repetitive, irrelevant, or useless.
Optimize Your Images – You can optimize everything on your WordPress website, including the images. To effectively optimize images for SEO, use alt text. Search engines read alt text in images, that describe the images, to rank your website and determine whether your photos have the information users searching for or not. Adding alt texts to images is very easy through the WordPress editor. Whether you are using Block editor or Classic editor, you can easily add alt text to images by just clicking the edit button over images.
Apply SSL Certificate to Your Website – SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a standard security technology that encrypts the server and browser link. With SSL, you can be assured that information being shared between your website and visitors is secured. However, it’s mainly important for those websites that take payments or receive some private information. But still, Google takes it as a ranking factor. Google wants to show users secured and encrypted websites that’s why it checks SSL before determining a website’s ranking. So, if the competition between two websites, in which one is SSL protected and one is not, then Google is more likely to rank the website with SSL. If you are using WordPress.com then you do have not to do anything as it adds SSL automatically but if you are using WordPress.org then you have to install plugins like SSL Zen to add SSL.
Add Nofollow to External Links – When you link your own pages on your website, you give yourself authority. But, when you link other websites on your website, you are helping them gain authority and giving them your website’s link juice. External linking is a good thing to do in SEO for better user experience and website ranking, but it also helps those pages you link on your website. Therefore, you should consider adding a nofollow attribute to external links. Pro tip – Never think that external links are useless, keep using them with nofollow attributes for better results.
Keep Your Website Secured – As mentioned earlier in point 8 of the SSL certificate, search engines love secure websites so you should focus on improving your website security. You can use WordPress plugins like Wordfence Security or iThemes Security, to easily protect your website. Pro tip – You can also enhance your website security by choosing a secured web hosting provider.
Avoid User Generated Spam – User generated spam is mainly found in comments on your WordPress posts. Comments are an excellent way to improve engagement and SEO of your website. But, if the comments on your website are mostly spam then you may not get nice results in SEO and ranking. You can use plugins like All In One WordPress Security to easily block spam comments. Pro tip – Considering a WordPress security plugin will automatically help you be away from this issue.
Choose WWW or non-WWW – There are two primary ways to access your website by URL — you can either open the website with “www” (www.mysite.com) or without the “www” (mysite.com). Search engines consider these two URLs as different pages so you must choose one and redirect another to it. There’s no good or bad option in this step so you choose anyone without any overthinking. You can change it from Settings > General Settings.
Use a Fast Theme – Page Speed matters a lot for WordPress SEO, so choose a fast WordPress theme so that you have not to do lots of optimization for it. There are lots of ways to speed up your website but choosing a fast WordPress theme is the easiest way. To check your website speed, you can use Google PageSpeed Insights for checking on both mobile and desktop. You can also use GTmetrix for checking page speed on the desktop. Pro tip – You can also use the WordPress plugin Jetpack for increasing your website speed.
Choosing WordPress as your CMS is an awesome decision from SEO point of view. But, you still have to keep learning how to do SEO to achieve top search ranking in Google.