You can have the most stunning WordPress blog in the world, but that wouldn’t mean a thing if it isn’t optimized for search engines.
After all, search engines don’t usually care how pretty your blog is. What they look at is the quality of your content, the keywords you’re using, and the overall experience of users once they visit your site.
And to hit all those right notes, you need to improve your WordPress blog’s search engine optimization or SEO. Implementing different SEO techniques can increase traffic to your site and propel it to the top of Google’s page rankings.
But how do you do it? Here’s a quick and easy guide to help you SEO improve your WordPress blog:
1. Check your WordPress SEO health.
Before making any changes to your WordPress SEO, you first have to know your blog’s condition.
Simply install the HealthCheck plugin to get insights on how you can improve your WordPress blog.
You can also ask yourself the following questions as you diagnose your blog’s health:
✔️ Is your WordPress blog running on the latest hardware and software version?
✔️ What’s your current hosting plan—a shared provider or a dedicated one?
✔️ Do you have a valid SSS certificate for your website security?
2. Set static permalinks.
Permalinks—better known as URLs—are what users type on the address bar to reach your blog posts.
Though they don’t have a direct impact on your search engine rankings, an easy-to-understand permalink can contribute to better user experience—a key consideration every WordPress SEO
WordPress has a default permalink for your posts, but they mostly consist of numbers and characters that don’t make sense to your users.
Fortunately, WordPress allows you to edit your permalinks so that your users will instantly know what your post is all about just by reading the URL.
You can also customize your URL by modifying your slug. Great way to add keywords!
3. Create a sitemap for your blog.
Your WordPress blog might have hundreds of different pages that Google needs to index. A sitemap is your way to tell Google your website structure, and which pages you want to be indexed for search engines.
✔️ Install the Google XML Sitemaps plugin for your WordPress blog to automatically generate your website’s sitemap.
4. Integrate Google Analytics.
You don’t have to spend a lot to monitor your website traffic.
Google Analytics provides you with a free way to check your website traffic and track your blog’s performance on search engine ranking pages (SERPs). It also gives you pertinent data that will help you better reach your target market, resulting in increased traffic and conversions.
✔️ Head to the Google Analytics website, create a free account, and click “ADMIN” on top. Select Tracking Info under the Property column, then click “Tracking Code,” where you’ll get your tracking ID and website tracking code. Download the Google Analytics plugin and input your tracking ID.
5. Integrate Google Search Console.
Another essential WordPress SEO plugin that you shouldn’t be missing out on is the Google Search Console.
Formerly Google Webmaster, Google Search Console gives you important SEO warnings and notifications that you must give attention to. You’ll also see if your site is being penalized.
✔️ Go to Google Search Console, log in or sign up, then click “Add a Property” under the search drop-down and type in your website URL. Don’t forget to verify your account.
6. Avoid duplicate content.
Duplicate content happens when search engines detect multiple URLs with very similar content. Search engines don’t know which one should be the canonical link, resulting in lower rankings for all duplicate content.
Here’s how you can get rid or minimize duplicate content:
✔️ Avoid creating duplicate content
✔️ 301 redirect URLs to the original version
✔️ Add a canonical link to the original version
7. Use search engine-friendly themes.
WordPress sports a lot of themes to give your website a good look. But instead of basing your choice on attractiveness alone, choose a WordPress theme that’s also optimized for search engines.
Here’s what you need to look for in your WordPress theme to make sure that it follows SEO best practices:
✔️ a neat structure with proper HTML coding
✔️ proper use of canonical or authoritative URL meta tag
✔️ open graph meta tag incorporation for more comfortable social sharing
✔️ adequate use of meta title tags and headings
8. Incorporate WordPress SEO plugins.
As one of the most extensive open-source online solutions, WordPress has a wide variety of SEO plugins to choose from.
These plugins prompt you to make your blog SEO-friendly by encouraging you to add metadata to your posts. Some even automatically add these metadata and other important SEO details to cut you time.
They also display a Google Search Result Snippet preview and can even help you generate an XML sitemap for your blog.
Here are some WordPress SEO plugins you can download:
✔️ Yoast SEO
✔️ All in One SEO
✔️ SEO Friendly Images
9. Optimize your media.
More than making sure that you post images and videos of high quality, you also need to properly tag and label them so that they’ll make a difference in your SEO efforts.
Search engines can’t read media, so you must add keywords that can help users find them and make them appear on search engines.
Here’s how you can optimize them:
✔️ Add an alt text
✔️ Change the title and add keywords
✔️ Add a small caption
✔️ Provide a short but keyword-rich description
10. Allow your posts to be searched on social media.
If you want to reach as many people as you can with your blog posts, make your content shareable.
Add social sharing buttons to your website not only to drive traffic but also to boost your credibility. Some of the social media sites where you can share your content include:
11. Use anchor texts for your links.
Link building is essential in WordPress SEO, but there’s more to it than that.
Aside from getting authority sites to link to your post, you can also create an internal linking network by interlinking your related and relevant posts to one another. Not only does it help your SEO rankings, but it also enhances user experience.
You should also think about link relevancy, which is a metric determined by both your content and anchor text—the clickable text in a hyperlink. Use a relevant anchor text that tells the reader what it’s all about rather than a simple call to action.
For instance, if you’re talking about SEO statistics, your anchor text should be:
✔️ “75% of internet users only look at the first page of search engine rankings.”
❌ “Click here for more information.”
12. Produce high-quality content.
Gone are the days when repeating keywords many times in an article could get you to the top of Google results. Now, it’s all about creating high-quality and informative content relevant to your target market.
To make sure that you’re producing quality content, follow these guidelines:
✔️ Create unique, plagiarism-free content
✔️ Check your grammar and spelling
✔️ Break down huge paragraphs into easy-to-digest, bite-sized chunks
✔️ Write engaging content that people would love to share
✔️ Create content that’s helpful, informative, practical, and actionable
✔️ Delete thin content—ones that are under 300 words
As for content length, there’s no standard recommendation. Most researchers say long-form content tends to rank better, but you’ll also see a lot of shorter content ranking in Google.
Evaluate your competitors to see what’s working for your chosen keywords. If it’s just a quick question, then you can create a 500-word post about it. More complex problems may need longer content of 2,000 to 3,000 words.
13. Conduct keyword research.
In writing content for your WordPress blog, you always have to know which search terms you want to be found for. This way, you can optimize every page or post for a specific keyphrase.
What do you need to consider when researching keywords?
✔️ the specific terms you want to rank for
✔️ search volume, as keywords with higher search volume are better
✔️ keyword difficulty, as those with higher numbers mean fewer chances of competing and succeeding for that keyword
✔️ long-tail keywords
✔️ search intent
Make sure that you place keywords on your title, metadata, and headers.
14. Use header tags.
Using appropriate header tags can improve user engagement, as your post doesn’t appear as one big block of text. Header tags act as breakers of your text, making it easy for readers to know what your content is all about and capturing their interest.
Plus, you can incorporate keywords and key phrases here. Headers help Google and other search engines know what your post is all about.
Here’s how to use these header tags:
✔️ H1 tag – for the title of your blog post
✔️ H2 – for main sub-headings within your post
✔️ H3 onwards – for numbered items
15. Switch to a fast hosting provider.
Page speed is one of Google’s most significant determinants for SERP rankings, so you must have a fast server that will download your page in an instant.
Use a host with SSD drives, since this isn’t common for many hosts. More popular web hosting services use traditional hard drives.
Other things that you can do to speed up your site include:
✔️ compressing your files
✔️ enabling your cache
✔️ clearing up redirects
✔️ minimizing plugins
16. Optimize your WordPress site for mobile.
With mobile browsing now overtaking desktop browsing, Google and other search engines now reward mobile-friendly sites with better rankings.
You can make your site mobile-friendly through the following:
✔️ choose a mobile-friendly WordPress theme
✔️ optimize your images
✔️ optimize the design for high-DPI or Retina screens
✔️ optimize the site for tapping
Make the most of these WordPress blog SEO tactics to make sure that you’re driving constant traffic from search engines to your website. Consistently implementing your SEO strategy gives you the best chance to land on the first page of Google.