An absolutely stunning website is not enough to make that site successful. We understand how harsh that must sound, given the vast amount of time, effort, and at times, money that one must invest on WordPress to get it that way. For any website, the goal is to reel in as much traffic as possible. The more clicks, the more traffic. And though an aesthetically pleasing theme and well-functioning user interface are integral parts to your website’s success, that alone will not drive in traffic. Before we guide you on proper WordPress SEO technique, let us define what SEO is exactly.
For users to know how highgrade your site is, they need to actually make a visit and see for themselves. Most of the time, this begins on Google.
To make your site visible on Google, it needs to be search engine optimized. For example, say you own a moving truck rental business in Chicago, Illinois. Your target market is Chicagoans who plan on shifting to a new residence. Hence, the target audience for your company’s website is the same. Now, say you have properly search engine optimized your site. When your target market searches “moving truck rental near me”, your listing will pop up on the first page. And here is one last dose of the harsh truth – If your site does not appear on the first page of Google, then it might as well not even exist. But not to worry. This is where search engine optimization, more popularly known as SEO, comes in handy.
SEO encompasses all methods put in play to raise a website’s ranking on Google’s organic search results.
So without any further ado, here are 10 surefire ways to boost your WordPress Site’s SEO ranking.
WordPress SEO Technique 1: Set up Permalinks
Permalinks refer to the URLS of your website’s pages and posts. This is what a user types in on their address bars to get directed to your site. Additionally, search engines and other websites use this to backlink to your website. Your permalinks are set in default by WordPress, but you can change these by accessing your Settings and selecting Permalinks.
Here is an example of a bad permalink: www.chicagotruckrentals/?p=8141
Here is an example of a good permalink: www.chicagotruckrentals/why-choose-us
You can create a good permalink by selecting the post name option on WordPress’ permalink settings.
Changing the default permalink settings to the post name option is your best route. This enables search engines to index your site more easily and raises your ranking on search engines.
The part of your permalink which specifies the page/post is known as the slug. A golden rule is to not have any stop words in your slug (i.e to, and, an, a, etc.)
Here is an example of a bad slug: www.chicagotruckrentals/our-services-and-specialties
Here is an example of a good slug: www.chicagotruckrentals/services-specialities
WordPress SEO Technique 2: Optimize your Images
In order to enrich your site’s user experience, it needs to display high-resolution graphics. Images provide context to text and foster better user engagement. However, making your website graphics-heavy negatively impacts your loading speed. The loading speed of your web pages is a key factor in your site’s ranking.
The magic of WordPress, however, is that a lot of major issues can be solved with a simple plugin. This would be a prime example. The plugin store has a wide selection of image compression and optimization tools. We recommend trying out these plugins:
EWWW Image Optimizer
We also recommend that you be descriptive and accurate when inputting your images’ filenames and alt text, as these two pieces of information help crawlers to index your site.
WordPress SEO Technique 3: Create a Sitemap
Another factor which affects your site’s indexing is how well organized and navigable it is. In order for Google to index your site, it must know your website’s structure. We achieve this using a sitemap. A sitemap is a list of every page on your website, sorted according to a hierarchy. It conveniently maps your site’s layout and contents. Not only do sitemaps help users navigate, but they also pass on this structural information to crawlers for better indexing.
Google XML Sitemaps is another WordPress plugin that gets the job done with ease by automatically generating a sitemap for you.
WordPress SEO Technique 4: Use Links and Anchor Text Appropriately
There are ways to optimize the links on your site for search engines. For starters, interlinking posts and pages with other posts and pages within your website boosts your SEO. However, be sure you only make these links when relevant. Google’s algorithm sees linking for the sole purpose of generating more links as illicit. In effect, Google will flag you site.
Anchor texts are hyperlinked text within content that direct a user to a link. Ensuring anchor texts are accurate will give search engines a clearer picture of what the post is about in relation to the linked post.
WordPress SEO Technique 5: Publish Quality Content
The written contents of your website are one of the most critical SEO-ranking factors. Therefore, you need to invest a massive amount of effort into it. Your content should be user-engaging. It must share similarities with the styles of content trending with your target audience. Ensure that your content is informative, useful to your audience, and accurate. The content should also be long-form, as Google’s algorithm generally regards longer content as more useful.
Also see to its authenticity. A common method of preparing for an article or blog post is researching other articles and blog posts of the same topic. This is an ethical method, as long as you paraphrase the content as much as possible. Google’s algorithm can detect plagiarism and will flag your website if it sees that your content is stolen.
WordPress SEO Technique 6: Incorporate Keyword Research
There are trends in the terminology that your target audience types in on Google when searching for resources similar to which you offer. Going back to the Chicago-based truck rental company example, a few popular terms in your line of business may be:
- Truck rental Chicago
- Moving company Chicago
- Moving Trucks
- How to move houses
- Hourly truck rental rates
With proper keyword research, you can draft up a balanced list of high-ranking keywords to incorporate into your textual content. This includes the body as well as the title and headings. Ensure that only 1.5-2% of your content consists of keywords (i.e. 2 keywords for every 100 words). Google’s algorithm sees an excessive amount of keywords as unethical. Keyword research is a popular and traditional technique to relay your topic to web crawlers and bring your listing closer and closer to the first page on relevant searches.
No need to do the work of keyword research alone. Here are a few WordPress plugins that can help you get the job done right:
Google Analytics Dashboard
We also recommend using SEMRush. While not a WordPress plugin, this is a powerful and widely used keyword tool to research and narrow down your keyword list.
WordPress SEO Technique 7: Use Proper Heading Tags
Your editor shows you a list of your heading tags, giving you a selection from heading 1 to heading 6. Employing each tag to its appropriate section is an essential for SEO. So here is a rundown on which tag goes where:
H1: The H1 tag should be used for the blog post’s title and title only. Keep this tag understandable and informative. It must specify exactly what the content is about and garner an interest in reading on.
H2: The H2 tag belongs on subheading(s) to the title.
H3, H4, H5, H6: The rest of these tags should be assigned to subheadings according to hierarchy
WordPress SEO Technique 8: Make your Content Easily Shareable on Social Media
Social media as collaborative whole is now an information-sharing powerhouse over the last decade. Nearly every active web user today holds numerous social network accounts including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn – The list is endless. This makes it an obvious opportunity to drive in vast amounts of traffic into your website.
By adding buttons to quickly share posts and pages onto social media, you drive in more traffic to your site through shares as well as improving your website’s credibility to crawlers – An increased number of shares among users must indicate that the website is resourceful.
Check out Floating Social Media Icon. It is a simple and easy to use plugin for adding social media buttons to various sections of your site.
WordPress SEO Technique 9: Use a Search Engine Optimized WordPress Theme
Our main focus when choosing a theme on WordPress is often the aesthetic aspect of it. The visual appeal of your website matters a good deal, as it will count toward the user experience. However, WordPress offers a wide selection of themes that focus on SEO. These themes specialize in speed and code. A responsive website design is an important ranking factor for Google. You boost your chances of ranking higher in search engines with a fast, smooth, and responsive user interface. Look for these features on your theme:
- Correct use of meta title tag, heading, and canonical URL meta tag
- A clean structure, incorporating valid HTML
- Incorporation of open graph meta tag for improved social network sharing
Now, start off by trying these suggestions:
WordPress SEO Technique 10: Get Quality Hosting
As mentioned earlier, speed and responsiveness are important factors to Google when ranking your site. Therefore, a reliable and WordPress-specific host can push you to the top of a search engine results page (SERP).
For instance, one attribute to look for in a host is one that uses SSD drives. These provide much faster performance than those which use traditional hard drives. Your host should be well reputed to ensure that downtime is minimal and your site is secure. Additionally, a host that provide you an HTTPS signal. Google rewards the HTTPS sites with a small boost as it encourages security.
Here are our hosting suggestions :
A Long Road Ahead
To conclude, even after implementing all of these SEO techniques on your website, raising the rank of your listing on Google results pages will take a great lot of time. Organic search engine optimization works this way, and there is no shortcut without resorting to unethical black-hat SEO techniques. However, the wait is worth it in the long haul as the results will be there to stay. Be patient and be consistent.