WordPress is a great CMS for SEO right out of the box, but optimizing your site for success will take some effort. Getting good results won’t happen overnight. You will have to stay consistent and keep up with the latest trends. The good news is that SEO is easy enough for anyone to learn.
Anybody with some basic knowledge will be able to apply it and get good results. WordPress SEO is all about gaining favor with search engines, mainly Google. Search engine optimization involves optimizing your text, link building, gaining popularity and your reputation. Below are some fast and effective SEO tips for WordPress.
Optimizing Content For WordPress SEO
- Coming up with excellent, unique content is one of the most important aspects of getting good search engine results.
- If you aren’t putting out fresh content or updating your site often get a blog. Search engines love fresh text. Blog a few times a week to feed those hungry web crawlers.
- Don’t design your site without mapping out a WordPress SEO strategy. If you work with a web designer, make sure she/he optimizes your site for search engines. You can have the most beautiful site in the world, but without solid SEO it won’t make a splash.
- Stay up to date with SEO news and trends. SEO is about constant vigilance and the web is always changing. Checkout the Yoast SEO blog for fresh tips and ideas.
- Build a solid collection of high quality backlinks (an incoming link from one webpage to another). Make sure links to your website make sense. You don’t want links from disreputable sites mucking up your reputation.
- When you are building links try and go for quality over quantity. A single link from a trusted source can do much more than a hundred low quality links. Jamming poor quality links on your site will result in poor results. What’s a low quality link? Pretty much anything that is spammy, duplicated or poorly ranked.
- When making a link, use your keyword phrase. Don’t say “Click Here” to learn about SEO. Instead use keywords like “SEO Strategies for WordPress.”
- Get active on social networking sites. Coming up with a winning social media strategy is part of SEO. It’s not a replacement, but one facet of good SEO. The more you can leverage Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram etc. the better off you will be. The number of links to your site on those networks is money in the bank.
- Using a social media aggregator plugin like Flow-Flow on your site can help make the most of your efforts.
- Enable enhanced image search on your Google Webmaster account. Images are a big part of search results and this can help Google find your images.
- Focus on long tail keywords, not single keywords. Adding your location will also help you. For instance, instead of “our law office,” put something like “our Los Angeles law office.”
- Make good use of keywords and keyword phrases in your links. It’s good practice to use strong keywords for your image ALTs, headings and domain name.
- Check for problems with URL canonicalization. Decide whether you want to use a redirect or not. If you prefer http://www.yourdomainhere.com as your link, than http://yourdomainhere.com should redirect to it.
- Check links to your homepage on your website. If “index.html” is appended to the domain name, this isn’t good. You are lowering your number of links. Get rid of the index.html or whatever else is there and always link back to your domain. www.yourdomain.com, yourdomain.com/, www.youdomain.com/index.html and yourdomain.com/home.asp are all different links.
- Don’t get too worried about your PageRank. Page ranking is just one part of the ranking system. Many sites with a lower page rank can actually outperform ones with higher page rankings.
- Flash, AJAX and Frames are problematic. They won’t let you link to a single webpage. Don’t use Frames at all and stay away from Flash and AJAX when you don’t need it.
- Your URL file extension isn’t important. That’s it makes no difference whether you use .app, .htm, .php or anything else. It doesn’t make one bit of difference when it comes to SEO.
- If you have a new site you want crawled, generating an XML sitemap and submitting it to Google isn’t always the best way to make it happen. Get an inbound link to your website from a high quality site for good SEO results.
- Don’t repeat keywords on the page somewhere without any rhyme or reason. If you have the same terms over and over this will result in penalization. It hurts much more than it helps. When placing keywords make sure the language flows properly.
- Make sure that the text around your links is related to keywords. Adding descriptive text near the link helps.
- If you are on a shared server, make sure you aren’t getting penalized because you share space with spammers or banned websites. Check with your host to make sure. Another site’s negative reputation will affect your site. Many hosts ban certain types of sites to protect their shared hosting customers from this.
- When you optimize your blog posts, optimize the post title tag separately from the title of the blog. Try and use long tail keywords and keep it relevant.
- Make sure your site is easy to use. Creating a good user experience for your visitors can make an impact on link building and popularity.
- Inbound links from .edu domains are great. These juicy links hold a lot of weight with search engines. See if you can find any non-profit .edu sites to link back to your site. Consider donating or sponsoring a site in exchange for a plug.
- Search engines do not rank websites, they rank web pages. Your search engine results will rely more on the quality of the page being scraped, not your entire site. Know your ranking. The Google Search Console will give you information on your rankings for keywords.
More Effective WordPress SEO Tips!
- Go for top 3 for certain keywords, not just the first page. If you aren’t in the top 3, you will only get a tiny portion of the traffic for that keyword.
- Use rich snippets. Rich snippets not only sound like something delicious, they are helpful. They provide data about your site to search engines that can give you better chances on search engine queries.
- Optimize your site for mobile devices. There are plenty of reasons to make your website mobile friendly. Your site needs to be optimized for smartphones and tablets this day and age or you will suffer penalties from search engines.
- Optimize your loading speed. Checkout Google’s webmaster tools for analyzing site speed to find out what you can do to load your pages faster.
- Give people engaging content! If you can get a conversation started you’ll get a nice boost in SEO. Sometimes this means bringing up controversial subjects.
- Always have a strong call to action. SEO isn’t worth much if you can’t convert visitors. Be clear about your call to action and make sure people see it.
Create content that people of influence like. If you can win over a blogger with some pull or an authoritative website, they may want to reprint your content. This is a great way to boost traffic.
- Get the owner of the site to blog. This builds interest and authority. Response from the owner of a company you are blogging about will skyrocket your credibility.
- Optimize the text in your audio feeds (RSS, podcast etc.). Make use of keywords in the titles and descriptions of all your feeds. Consider having videos or audio transcribed as well.
- Optimize your images and the text surrounding them. Image rank is affected by the text on the page near them including headings and links.
- Don’t rely on an XML sitemap to get your site crawled. It’s better to let the web crawlers work their mojo. XML sitemaps aren’t necessary for good SEO anymore, but they can serve a number of diagnostic purposes. I still submit dynamic XML sitemaps just for good measure.
- Add viral content to your site. Reviews, ratings, sharing buttons and more are all good ways to spread your content around the web.
- Broaden your horizons when it comes to media. Don’t just rely on text and images. Include podcasts, videos, sharable content and entertainment.
- Get reviews. Try and get some reviews on Google+ or other local directories to drive traffic to your site. Positive reviews improve your ranking and help people find you.
- Do what large corporations can’t. If you are a small business, you need to offer customers something special. One way to do this is to make yourself accessible. Getting involved with customers, Tweeting, sending emails and rewarding fans is all part of this.
- Promote other people’s content, not just your own. One good turn deserves another, and people are usually appreciative when you help them. Even if they don’t, you can never get too much online karma.
- Use a reliable web hosting company. If you have too much downtime or caching problems your rankings will suffer.
- Backup your site! Yes this is also part of WordPress SEO. If you lose any of your data, you will also lose your rankings. Search engines will quickly take down sites that don’t load from a results page.
- Find someone who can help. Ask an SEO consultant as many questions as you can. If you are going to hire someone, make sure you know as much as possible about their approach.
- If you are moving to a new domain, check with your hosting company. They may offer sticky forwarding, so people who try to access your site using your old URL will be forwarded to your new URL. This helps people get used to your new URL.
- Lastly, log out of Google when you are trying to get an unbiased view of the search results. Otherwise you will see personalized search results.