SEO Optimization: WordPress Edition

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There are over 1,850,090,625 websites online. Out of these, about 200 million are active.

You might wonder how you can stand out from the crowd with your website. While competition for users is fierce, there’s hope.

This article will discuss both WordPress and essential SEO settings. Read on to explore how to help your site rank better online, and ensure your site is fully optimized.

What Is SEO?

SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. This is about increasing the quality and quantity of users to your site.

While you can attract plenty of visitors, it’s not about quantity but quality. You want to make sure that the traffic you attract will be premium users interested in your products or services. While you have the option to pay for ads in order to increase traffic, there’s also the option of organic traffic (free traffic) through SEO.

How Does SEO Work?

First, Google has what’s known as search engine crawlers. They gather information about the different types of content of the websites online. Crawlers then build up an index in the search engines.

The index then goes through an algorithm that tries to match the data stored with your search. SEO isn’t just about writing content, but having accurate meta descriptions, title tags, and informative internal links as well.

Why SEO?

Search engines are the largest source of traffic for many websites. You can rank pages according to Google’s algorithms.

If you don’t know how to optimize your WordPress website, then search engines won’t know how to rank it for search rankings. This is vital that you use accurate keywords and optimization so that when someone searches for your topic, your website pops up.

SEO Basics

First, make sure that your website is mobile-friendly. Google gives top priority to websites that work on mobile devices as there is potential for a lot of mobile traffic. This is because there are many mobile users using their phones to browse the internet.

Make sure that you have a responsive web design social media profiles as well. Did you know that Google has more than 200 ways of ranking websites? That’s why it’s a good idea to reach out to SEO experts who can ensure your website is good-to-go on the SEO front.

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Check Your Website

First, make sure that your WordPress website is viewable for search appearance. Go to the admin area of your WordPress site. First, choose settings and then click on reading.

Scroll down until you see search engine visibility. Make sure that the box for discouraging search engines is unchecked.

SEO Plugins

One of the top WordPress SEO plugins is SEOPress. Enjoy this plugin as it will make sure that you’re using SEO on your site. Some of the features include:

  • Blog recommendations
  • Keyword Checker
  • Google AMP
  • Writing analysis
  • Automatic sitemap creation

They have both a free and premium option. Both options can help increase your SEO Rankings. There are also plenty of articles to read up on SEO steps.

Another great option is Rank Math. This plugin is recommended by Moz, Ahrefs, Hubspot, and many others. It’s a great option when you’re looking for SEO WordPress tools.

WordPress Speed

In order to rank high on Google, you’ll need to have a quick website. Never assume that your website is fast without testing it first.

Our guide breaks down how to test your website’s speed. One method is using the tool known as GTMetrix.

First, open your website in an incognito window. Does it come up fast? You’ll also want to check it out on your mobile device as well.

Using Google Search Consoles

Another term for Google Search Consoles is known as Webmaster Tools. This will let you know how search engines view your website.

You can take a look at different data and reports to better understand your performance. It will tell you about the different terms that people type on your website.

It also lets you know when something’s wrong. If there’s a part of your website that crawlers can’t access.

WWW vs Non-WWW

While some might tell you that what you choose will affect your SEO, it’s not the case. There’s no benefit to having www in your domain name.

Larger companies might still use www in order to maintain the Domain Name System Records. If you prefer shorter domains, don’t worry about having the www before.

Use Friendly Permalinks

Google site likes URLs that are clear about the focus keyphrase and content of the page. The shorter the URL, the better. You don’t always need custom URLs. This helps get you within top-ranked sites.

In order to use the permalink structure, click on Permalink under the settings menu in your WordPress dashboard. Choose the post name and click on save. If you change it after your post is live, then it’ll break previous links. You can also make custom permalinks which can help in the SEO perspective.

Use Focus Keywords

WordPress SEO is still about using focus keywords. While writing for your customers, you’ll want to have a focus keyword for the content.

When you use Yoast SEO, you can choose the keyword research tools for the post. It’ll let you know what needs improvement, and what’s working in the post.

Make sure that you use your target keyword in the H1, your first paragraph, a couple of headers, and in the conclusion. This also improves your bounce rate since your audience will understand what content they’ll be reading about.

Writing Meta Descriptions

While meta descriptions don’t impact your WordPress and SEO, they’re still important. They impact your CTR (click-through rate).

They can encourage readers to click on your post to read more. The higher your click-through rate, the more likely Google is to view your content as strong.

Optimizing Images

Keep in mind that google images are loved. When you use images in order to increase engagement, make sure that they’re small enough to not affect the speed of your site while making an impact in the google image search.

Use alt tags and a custom description title for your images as well. Tags let search engines know what your image is about. It also helps those with visual impairments.

In order to make sure that the images don’t slow down your site, compress all images. This will help with the load time. You can also reveiw your image settings. Internet download speeds have grown by more than 30%, so you’ll want to keep up with this trend!

There are many awesome plugins that allow you to compress images such as Smush Image Compression and Optimization. This will optimize and compress all images that you upload.

When you add an image to the media library, you can add the information for a title. You can also add the title text in your WordPress Classic Editor as well.

In order to add title tags, first, choose the image in the Classic Editor. Next, click on the pencil icon.

Scroll down until you see advanced options. Open it and you’ll see the option for image title attributes.

Once you’re done, click the update button. Keep in mind that this isn’t available in the block editor. You’ll have to add an image title in the Media Library.

Internally Link

While using external links might be helpful, the use of internal links for your pages and individual posts enhances the user experience as well as helps with SEO issues. Internal links are a great way to direct your visitors to your other posts and help with the flow of your site.

In order to add a link, highlight the text and use the insert/edit link button. Paste the URL in.

Use Heading Tags

Google crawlers check your heading tags as well. This is in order to determine the importance of your site’s content.

It’s best to have only 1 H1 tag per page or post. You can have multiple H2 and H3 titles.

Heading tags are used to split up content for your readers to skim easier. They’re not to be used for keyword stuffing.

Use Videos

Many prefer video instead of content. You can repurpose your content into a video to make it easier.

When you offer both options, you’re giving all types of readers their preferred method of choice. You can also consider optimizing your content for YouTube as well, allowing more users to come to your site.

Don’t Overuse Keywords

Avoid using the same keyword for multiple pages. This can cause confusion for the search engine spiders. It’s best to let one page rank higher in the search engine rankings for that keyword instead of both. This can also help that page rank higher in the search results instead of competing against the other.

Exploring WordPress and SEO Optimization

Now that you’ve explored this guide on WordPress and SEO optimization, you should have a better idea of how to stand out from the crowd. Are you ready to make your website optimized, but you aren’t sure what to do next? Or, maybe you don’t have time to worry about optimizing your site. Have more time to focus on your business and not have to worry about optimization. Contact us today! We’ll come up with marketing strategies for WordPress and SEO action plan that’ll increase your ranking, and lead to higher conversions!

SEO Optimization: WordPress Edition via @possibleweb
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Patrick Scully

Patrick Scully

Founder and daily project manager at Possible Web. A serial entrepreneur with 15+ years of building and marketing websites. Patrick lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife and two boys.
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