10 Tips for Effective SEO and Content Management for WordPress
WordPress is an extremely popular platform that has outgrown its initial purpose. Created as a blogging platform, WordPress has actually become the most popular content management system with over 60% global market share and more than 24 million sites built on it. WordPress allows you to build websites of all kinds and users from all over the world love it for its extensive functionality and an opportunity to install countless plugins.
However, no matter how good your WordPress theme is and how much effort you put into creating engaging and relevant content, search engines might still ignore your website if you don’t optimize it properly. This article will help you figure out how you can improve your WordPress website to make sure that it won’t get lost in the ocean of similar sites and that your website will actually fulfill its purpose.
- Why You Need to Optimize Your WordPress Website
- Proven Tips for Effective SEO and Content Management
- 1. Check Visibility Settings
- 2. Adjust Your Permalinks
- 4. Have a Focus Keyword
- 5. Produce High-quality Content
- 6. Optimize Your Images
- 7. Use Internal Links
- 8. Use Short URLs
- 9. Don’t Forget About Heading Tags
- 10. Be Aware of Negative SEO
Why You Need to Optimize Your WordPress Website
If you have a WordPress website, you probably know how important SEO optimization is. You need to optimize your site for the search engines because, otherwise, it won’t work as you want. SEO-optimized websites have more chances to appear on the first page of the search results. The sad truth is that if your website is not on the first page, it will have much fewer visitors because most users will only check out the first page unless their search query is too specific.
SEO is one of the most common buzzwords of the internet. All the businesses want to have higher rankings and to perform well in Google. However, not everyone manages to optimize websites well. SEO can get too technical but it’s not supposed to be like that. The truth is that you can keep things simple and follow some simple rules of content management. Fortunately, WordPress has many plugins that can make SEO optimization easier. Besides, we collected some proven tips that will help you improve your website’s rankings and attract more visitors.
Proven Tips for Effective SEO and Content Management
1. Check Visibility Settings
When using WordPress, you can hide your website from search engines. This is a built-in option that allows you to make the necessary adjustments to your website before it becomes available to others. Although this feature is quite helpful when working on your site, it can also cause big problems if you check this option accidentally. In this case, your site will remain invisible for search engines.
If you cannot find your website in search results, we recommend that you make sure that this option is unchecked. Log in to the admin area and click Settings > Reading. In the menu, find the “Search Engine Visibility” section and uncheck the box “Discourage search engines from indexing this site.” After this, don’t forget to save your changes.
Permalinks are URLs of your posts and pages. People type them in the address bar to visit your pages, and they are also used by search engines and other websites when linking to your materials. WordPress creates default permalinks that are notorious for their irrelevance. Default permalinks are often unreadable because WordPress automatically adds the day and name to your URL. Search engines don’t like such permalinks and prefer keywords and titles.
In the Dashboard, click “Settings” and check out the “Common Settings” section. In this section, you can choose different types of permalinks, such as “Plain,” “Month and name,” “Numeric,” etc. We suggest that you choose the “Post name” option, as it allows you to add keywords to your URLs. If you’ve already published some posts or shared links, don’t forget to redirect the old links to the new permalinks.
An XML sitemap is a file that contains a list of all of your pages. This way, it gets easier for search engines to find content on your website. Although an XML sitemap won’t boost your SEO rankings, it will help search engines find your pages quicker so that they can immediately start ranking them.
To create sitemaps, you can use various plugins, such as Google XML Sitemaps or Yoast SEO and Google Search Console. It is a set of tools that provides data and reports that will help you understand how your website performs on search results and how often people visit your pages. Add your website, and then click Crawl > Sitemaps. Add your sitemap and you’ll be able to check your first stats in a few hours. Google will need some time to crawl your pages.
4. Have a Focus Keyword
Keywords are crucial for the success of your content. Google, as well as other search engines, ranks websites based on keywords so your content must have the right keywords that will help search engines understand what your site is about. However, you should use keywords carefully and make sure that you don’t overstuff your pages with them.
To drive quality traffic, you should publish relevant and well-researched content. However, it won’t perform well if it’s not keyword optimized. Therefore, you should do your research and determine what keywords are relevant to your content. We also recommend that you get rid of any negative focus keywords in the comments to your posts. For instance, you can use various anti-spam plugins for WordPress.
When it comes to keywords, it’s important to not only select the right keywords but also to locate them properly. The position of your keywords is very important for search engines so make sure to include them in the title and the first paragraph of your post. The thing is that crawlers check your pages from top to bottom so they will rank your post higher if they find keywords at the beginning. There are plugins, including Yoast SEO, that can analyze your content and make suggestions on how you can improve the keyword density and the position of keywords.
5. Produce High-quality Content
This may seem like a no-brainer but if you want your website to perform well in search results, you should know what exactly are the components of high-quality content. Not only should your content be free of any grammatical errors, but it should also be appealing for your audience.
First, your content must be unique. Google understands whether your content is original or not, and it always punishes those who steal content from others. Of course, you’re allowed to write about the same topics as others, but make sure to check your posts with plagiarism tools.
Your content should also be shareable. It means that it must be engaging enough so that people will want to share your posts with their followers and friends. According to Adam Simon, blogger at LegitWritingServices
6. Optimize Your Images
Visual content is more engaging than text but it also has its downside — it loads much slower. You should carefully choose image quality and sizes because, otherwise, images may slow down your pages. We suggest that you use the JPEG format for colorful images, PNG for transparent pictures, and GIF for animated images. It is also recommended to compress images using the WordPress image compression plugins. As for the website logo, it’s best to use SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) format, as this one is extremely lightweight and loads in the blink of an eye. You can use Placeit SVG logo maker to create a resolution-independent vector website logo that will look great on any screen.
We also recommend that you use descriptive alt tags and titles because they will help Google understand what your images are about. Besides, alt tags enable people with visual impairments to consume your content. WordPress allows you to add and edit tags when uploading images.
7. Use Internal Links
Pages on your website are scored by search engines. Nobody knows how such algorithms work, as they are kept in secret so that no one can fool them. A score of a page demonstrates its authority. Although no one knows all the factors that affect the authority of pages, everyone agrees that authority is to a large extent determined by links.
Therefore, we recommend that you always create links to your own content when making new posts. Interlinking your posts is a good habit. If you have many authors creating content for your blog, you can provide them with a pre-publish checklist, mentioning that they should include links to three or more previous blog posts.
8. Use Short URLs
Search engines love well-structured websites. Short URLs will help you create clean websites with higher click-through rates. Although WordPress creates short URLs automatically, you can go even further and shorten them, as well. Just keep in mind that all your URLs must be unique.
9. Don’t Forget About Heading Tags
When optimizing your content, using proper tags is a necessity. However, many beginners fail to use the right tags because they don’t know where to start. Web pages can have up to six levels of headings (H1-H6). The H1 tag is for the title of the post. It must be informative and clear. While you can use multiple H2 or H6 tags, it is recommended to keep just one H1 tag per page. It should explain what your post is about so that your readers will be interested in reading it entirely.
To include additional headings and subheadings, you can use H2 and H3 tags, respectively. For example, your post may have one H1 tag and several H2 tags for internal headings. The text under H2 headings can have H3 subheadings, which in turn may include H4 subheadings. Heading tags are important not only for search engines but also for user experience and engagement. The articles that are properly structured with heading tags are easy to read and Google-friendly.
10. Be Aware of Negative SEO
Keep in mind that your competitors can use SEO against you, trying to damage your reputation. For example, Google punishes websites with many low-quality and paid links. Your competitors may intentionally create irrelevant links to your website or spam comments on your blog posts, undermining your credibility. We recommend that you always check your backlinks, making sure that they were not created by your competitors, and moderate your comments sections.