Out of 1300 CMS’ available online, WordPress is – by far – the most popular CMS in the world. It offers more themes, templates, plugins, and support than any other, so naturally, more websites are built using WordPress than any other CMS. For that reason, is no surprise that WordPress is also the first choice for bloggers or any SEO agency out there. We at Talk are no exception!
That then begs the question. If more websites use WordPress, how do you get the SEO edge?
First WordPress SEO tip – Improve your Site Speed
Since it is important to ensure the best possible user experience, one of the first tasks is to provide a high-speed load of your website. The optimal load speed is below 3 seconds. Visitors will leave your site if it loads longer than that. Google will also rank you lower for that mistake.
Here are a few tips how you can increase page load times;
- Install a caching plugin that creates static versions of your content
- Compress large images to improve your website load speed
- Delete all content that is not necessary and thin content to 300 words
- Find a quality hosting provider with data centres that are geographically close to as many of your users as possible
Also, don’t forget to optimize your website for mobile devices. Today, visitors more use their mobile for searching Internet than desktop computers, so keep it at the forefront of your mind when designing.
Set Permalinks and Create a Sitemap
Permalinks are URLs of your web content. They are shown in search results and the address bar. They include the URL of your web page and can include the title of your page or article. They serve for linking the content as well and are a vital part of a sound SEO strategy.
WordPress specify they allow you to change your permalink settings according to your needs. You can do that in the Settings menu. Use that option to adjust your default permalinks into ‘Post Name’. In this case, your permalinks will look like www.yoursitename.com/post-name. You can also use the option ‘Month and Name’, where your default permalink will look like www.yoursitename.com/2017/11/post-name. In both cases, your content will be better indexed by search engines, while readers will easier see what your content is about.
Another important element to SEO success with WordPress is to create a sitemap. Here you can use WordPress tools, such as the WordPress plugin Google XML Sitemaps. It will help you to easily make a sitemap of your content and thus tell search engines how to index your content. In addition, check your navigation through internal linking. Ensure your sitemap is transparent and has clear navigation. This will help you in your rankings. Those pages or articles that are linked to your other articles or pages get the highest rank on search engines. In this way, you provide additional reading for your audience and search engines like that. On the video below, Matt Cutts (former head of webspam team at Google) sheds some light on the subject:
However, watch out not to overdo it. Use less than 15 internal links of your most important content. But, make it relevant to the linked text. Do not just link it to make links.
If you want faster ranks for your new content, link it with older content that is already recognised as valuable and thus ranked highly.
Use WordPress SEO Optimised Themes
WordPress has so many themes that it can be difficult to select just one to use. However, if you want good SEO effects, don’t look just at design, but which is SEO optimised. SEO optimised Such themes have a fast load speed and clear, clean code. Therefore, look for a theme that has an open graph meta tag, a clear and transparent structure, the proper canonical URL meta tags, and clear meta title tags and headings. In addition, use WordPress SEO plugins for better effects.
Use Proper Heading Tags and Anchor Text
For better WordPress SEO effects, you should choose proper heading tags. You will see that you have different options, from heading 1 to 6. Heading 1 (H1) tag is a good choice for the title of the article. Don’t forget to make it clear, short and intriguing. Heading 2 (H2) is for additional headings, while Headings 3, 4 and others are used for subheadings. Using them in this way, you get much better visibility of your content and better rankings.
Also, in line with above mentioned internal linking, you have to check your anchor text. These are the linked words in your content. Search engines use the anchor text and the linked source’s content to check the relevance of the links. You cannot use links just simply to build links on your website. You will be penalized by search engines if you do that. Links must be relevant to your content and you should link words that explain what is linked.
Optimise your Media
Visual content is more appealing, no doubt. You should use it as much as possible. It also really helps drive SEO results. You can use alt text in your images for better SEO effects. Through alt text in images, search engines determine the type of your web content. It also makes two links to your content, one through the title of the content and the second through alt text in the image. Your images will be ranked in the image search too. With WordPress, you get even more. When you upload the image, you can change its name. Use this! Write a suitable name for the image and alt text to explain search engines what your image is about. You also have an opportunity to add a caption and short description of the image. Hence, if you use media, you get a double effect – visually attractive content and better rankings on search engines.
These top 5 WordPress SEO tips are guaranteed to improve your ranking results. They will provide you the SEO edge over your competitors. And if you’re looking for more, be sure to check out 5 free WordPress SEO plugins for even stronger results.