WordPress is one of the leading and most popular Content Management Systems (CMS), and as per statistics, almost 29% of the websites are built using this platform. It is a user-friendly, intuitive, and versatile interface that provides SEO advantages as well with the availability of thousands of SEO friendly themes and allows for the use of plugins along with Google Search Console. Setting up a WordPress site is quick and easy; however, optimizing the website for SEO requires using the right strategies with the introduction of new versions. Gone are the days when SEO was limited to low-quality link building or keyword stuffing as Google penalizes websites that rely on such techniques.
There are plenty of different ways to drive targeted traffic to your website, and SEO turns out to be one of the most effective strategies for boosting the ranking of your website on the SERP. A highly ranked website gets higher visibility and has improved chances of traffic and is more trustworthy and gains credibility among visitors. SEO focuses on providing more relevant and useful information, which helps to retain the quality of your content.
How to improve your WordPress site rankings using SEO?
- Select the best host provider
Google considers speed for ranking websites, which means that having a good host can make a huge boost to your website with better site experience in terms of lesser downtimes along with the physical distance between the servers and the visitors. Always choose a reliable and reputable host provider to assist your website in performing better and using WordPress hosting plans that have less downtime and offer high speeds.
- Choose themes optimized for search engines
One of the key considerations for your WordPress site is the selection of themes as it can determine your site’s physical layout and appearance. Besides, it can provide better functionality and help in improving your SEO as it may have a considerable effect on the site speed, and the way it was developed can have an impact on its ranking on the SERP. Hence, it’s better to pick up themes that are designed, keeping SEO in mind, and known to be SEO friendly.
Thus, SEO optimized themes have two different factors to consider, namely speed and code, along with the correct use of URL meta tag and title tag with headings.
- Make use of heading tags in your content
Sitemaps may help assist search engine crawlers in finding how your site is organized but doesn’t allow them to understand about specific content. For this purpose, you need to use heading tags, which may be applied to the section heading for individual pages. Headings can be beneficial in breaking the text and making them more readable since crawlers rely on headings to understand what your website is all about and learn how the content is organized.
- Focus on keywords and length of content
According to research, most of the content which are above 2000 words tends to be ranked high on the search engine, but sometimes even shorter content may get preference by the search engines. Thus, it’s better to have good quality content and achieve high rankings by using the right keywords to match the expectations of your readers. As long your post can communicate the right message to your target audience, you have a win-win situation in attracting targeted traffic to your WordPress site.
- Switch over to HTTPS
Especially, if your website uses contact forms, an opt-in box for making payments, or checkboxes, then its recommended improving its security using SSL. This can ensure that all your personal and sensitive information is encrypted and kept away from intruders. Moreover, HTTPS is also an SEO ranking factor as sites that lack this vital security feature may display ‘not secure’ warning to their users while they are using text input fields. If you are budget conscious then, the Comodo PositiveSSL wildcard certificate is one such great option that helps you to secure multiple subdomain names using a single SSL certificate. It comes with a Comodo site seal that guarantees enhanced website security for your users.
- Modify your permalink structure
Permalinks are permanent URL’s that point to the individual pages and posts on your website along with other content. These are mainly used to link back and reference to your site by the users, and hence their appearance is important, which means they need to be clear and descriptive to make sense. There are many permalink options offered by WordPress, and the PostName structure seems to communicate more clearly regarding the linked content.
- Create a mobile responsive site
Most users access the Internet using a mobile device, which means it needs to look appealing and provide better performance across any device. Thus, you need to ensure that your content is compatible with different browsers and offers high speed for smooth and easy navigation by users. Responsive design is used as a ranking factor by Google, which makes it even more important and can improve its overall ranking in the SERP.
- Upload XML sitemap
XML sitemaps help in navigating and indexing all your pages and posts more efficiently to ensure new content can be found more easily. Some plugins may be used for this purpose, which can assist in automatically generating XML sitemap for WordPress sites. They can also be used to send notifications to Google whenever any new content is added to ensure that your sitemap remains updated.
- Optimize your site for increasing speed
Site speed is one of the key ranking factors, which is important for providing good user experience, and with increasing page load times, users tend to get distracted and abandon the site completely. It’s best to check your site speed using advanced tools such as the PageSpeed Insights tool to analyze your WordPress site. They may be useful in fixing issues related to browser caching, image optimization, and allowing compression to improve your site speed.
- Use Google Search Console
You may be missing on important notifications and SEO warnings without Google Search Console. Hence, it’s important to have this key tool on your site so that you can get notifications regarding crawling, accessing, and indexing your site content. Search Console also allows you to find links to your site as well as keywords that may drive traffic to your site.
Choosing WordPress is the first step towards creating an SEO website, and by following some of the techniques which we have discussed above, you can improve your site’s visibility and get targeted traffic.