WordPress SEO: 8 Tips to Rank Higher on Google
WordPress is a powerful content management system through and throughout. A lot of experts say that WordPress is completely SEO friendly, and that’s true. But there are a few things it lacks and a lot of things you can do to make it even better. Having a website that’s fully optimized for search engines and also making it as fast as possible are two key components to your success. Which is why it’s important to invest the time and energy into making it happen. You want to maximize both your page loading speed and your SEO efforts to bring the best out of your site and get it to rank on top. There a plenty of boring tech tips to wrap your head around, which will eventually drive your website’s success. If you’re ready to look into all we’re going to talk about here and if you’re determined to make the most out of your site, then continue reading. We’ll separate this article into two parts. One part will be about optimizing your site for search engines and the other one will be optimizing it to achieve high speed.
Optimizing Your WordPress Site For Google
Search engines are your biggest sources of traffic on the internet most of the time. Google, Bing and Yahoo! all have advanced algorithms that examine web-pages with the goal to provide relevant content to users, according to their search. But these algorithms don’t know everything and need a lot of help to understand what your website’s content is about. So you’ll have to optimize both your content and your website to help search engine robots rank your website. That’s really what SEO is all about; helping the search engine rank your website. If you want to have organic traffic from your website. You want traffic that comes from users who are looking for exactly what you’re offering. This is why it’s important to make your website completely search engine friendly. So, let’s get down to all the details of how you can do just that!
1. Use Your Content As Your Primary Optimization Tool
Any endeavor to optimize your website starts with its content. Unique and high quality content is what gets people to your website and what gets it to rank. So first and foremost, it’s important that you invest the necessary research, time and energy, while also having the necessary insight to create some awesome content. You also have to make your content understandable and readable both for your visitors and search engines.
To make it readable by visitors, you just have to practice proper language and good writing, with no spelling errors. To make it readable by search engines, it’s important that you use your content’s focus keywords appropriately. By that, I mean that there is a keyword density you have to apply to your text. Most expert say that a texts keyword density should be around 2% to 5%. Which means that you should use your focus keyword around 2-4 times within a 500 word text. You also have to place your keyword in the right places. These are:
- Your pages or post’s main headline (H1)
- Your posts secondary header (H2)
- Your meta description
- The first paragraph of your page
- The permalink of your page
- The file name of your images (if possible)
- Your image’s title and alt-text
By placing your keywords here, you pretty much make sure that the search engine will know exactly what your text is about. But the most important aspect of content is that it is informative and actionable.
2. Be Consistent With Link Building
A website’s backlinks are the main signals a search engine uses to distinguish a website’s relevancy. The more connected you are to other sites in the same niche or industry, the more relevant you will be for search engines. So, it’s important that you put in the time necessary to do link building.
Reach out to other authority sites and any other site that seems relevant within your field of play. Write guest blogs, testimonials and use any strategy you can to grow your links. It’s also important that you link some of your own pages together. I wrote a separate article about some of the best link building practices, so be sure to check that out as well.
3. Use SEO Plugins
SEO plugins spare you a lot of hassle and make optimizing your webpage as transparent as possible. They help you every step of the way and encourage you to add keywords wherever they’re necessary. These all-in-one tools provide you with everything you need.
They display how your site would look in the Google Search Results through a snippet. They will also help you generate the XML sitemap for your website. The two best are the Yoast SEO and the All In One SEO plugins.
The Yoast SEO plugin goes as far as check your content’s readability and show you the exact sentences where you have to make corrections. It even notifies you if you’re writing too many sentences in passive voice, because that’s important as well. Readers are much likely to act upon or even be interested in anything that’s written in active voice.
If you’re not familiar with these terms, or don’t exactly know how they fit into your SEO efforts, no problem. Yoast has some pretty well-written articles explaining everything you need to know and more.
4. Use SEO Optimized Themes
Fast performing themes that don’t have any useless content and code are good from both a SEO and website speed perspective. Google goes through their source code to find any relevant content. The more code it has, the smaller the keyword density. High speed themes don’t require any additional tweaking and perform at high speed out of the box. Choosing one such theme is important because it will impact your site’s loading speed and your loading speed will impact your SEO. It’s how the two work together.
5. Steer Clear Of Any Shady Looking Techniques
Black hat SEO techniques are always in arm’s reach. They promise great results in a short time and with very little work involved. They also promise that you won’t get caught using them and that’s where they’re wrong. One way or another, if you try to trick Google or another search engine, it will only take a matter of time before they catch you. So don’t use mirror html sites, invisible texts or any other practice that seems too effective and easy to be true. Instead, do some research before you start using them on your site. A lot of high-profile websites have become their own victims, because they got punished by Google. Don’t be sneaky!
6. Make Your Content Easily Sharable
Social media buttons are a must have these days, because they enable the user to share a content piece with two clicks. With Social Media’s ever growing popularity, it has become a great place for content sharing and content discovery. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest are all social media platforms you should target and ones that could drive an incredible amount of traffic to your website. It also improves your website’s credibility.
7. Be Sure To Use a Responsive Design
At least half of your traffic will come from mobile websites, so it’s important that you can serve your content to them just as well as you would serve it for a desktop PC. Responsive themes also load less resources, making the page load faster.
8. Don’t Forget To Use Google Analytics
Google analytics help you analyze your website’s performance and help you decide what works and what doesn’t. You can keep track of your website’s traffic, know its main source and monitor your visitors’ behavior to some extent. It’s a great tool that helps you analyze your target audience and establish how you could work more in their favor.
I hope that these few easy to follow tips has helped you to optimize your WordPress website. The results are not instant, so be patient and keep working on your site. In the long run it will bring you great results.