Do you want to know how to optimize your WordPress site to get higher search rankings?
WordPress is a powerful platform that offers easy ways for anyone to build a website and manage content without coding expertise.
It’s a flexible platform that has a repository with thousands of plugins and themes. You have several options available to you to help boost your site’s SEO.
WordPress also has specific features that differentiate it from other types of platforms, for example, the use of tags and categories.
In this post, we’ll look at specific WordPress-friendly ideas you can use to improve your SEO.
Choose the right hosting
What does hosting have to do with SEO? Well, search engines like Google prioritize user experience above many factors.
When you use a solid hosting platform, your website loads fast – a critical SEO factor. And there are other things that your hosting service affects as well. For example, what happens if you lose your website data or get hacked?
A good hosting platform will help you recover your content with data backup solutions. They can provide you with an SSL certificate as part of their hosting package and this creates a positive trust signal on your website for Google and your human users too.
It’s important that you work with a hosting platform that specializes in WordPress issues. Investing in one at the very beginning will allow you to scale up easily and prevent any technical problems related to website management and search engine optimization.
Another preventative measure you can take to ensure that you protect your website’s reputation is to create a DMARC record. This is a line in your DNS records that helps prevent scammers from sending emails from your website. By setting up this feature, you add a positive trust signal to your site’s domain.
Optimize your tags and categories
In WordPress, you can organize your posts into tags and categories. This makes your posts easy to find and organize and also builds context for your content.
Categories are broad groupings of your post. Tags allow you to add more specific topic tags to a blog post. For example, if you have a wellness blog, a category might be ‘Food’ and you can use tags like ‘sugar-free recipes’, ‘high-protein’, and more to help your readers find specific content.
To use tags and categories effectively, you need to plan and organize your content. Think about ways you can group your posts. Every time you make a post, categorize it correctly so that it makes sense and creates context.
Many businesses and individuals write content without thinking about how it fits the overall purpose of their site. In our WPBeginner blog, we clearly categorize our content based on what customers look for and overall concerns related to WordPress site-building. Take a look at the images below.
- We’ve created categories that we can use in navigation menus to make it easy to find content
- We also added links to the sidebar with categories containing posts on specific themes
Customize your permalinks
Your permalinks are the URLs or addresses that your pages and posts ‘live’ on. One of the first things you should do when setting up your website is to make sure that your permalinks are user-friendly.
On your dashboard and under Settings>> Permalinks, make sure that you select the ‘Post Name’ option for displaying your posts. When you do this, your URL for a post or page will match the title of your post.
For example, if you write a post titled ‘7 Ways to Boost Your Revenue’, your post URL will look like this: www.yourdomain.com/7-ways-to-boost-your-revenue
- Make sure that you use the right permalink structure to make your URLs reader-friendly
If this setting isn’t on you’ll get a post URL that contains a random assortment of numbers or your post’s date of publication – not a user-friendly or search-friendly feature at all.
When you have user activity and engagement on your website, you generate more backlinks to your website, get more traffic and create good SEO signals.
You can make your website more engaging by allowing people to comment on your posts. However, you’re very likely to get spam comments which create a poor user experience and make your website look bad.
Every WordPress site comes with an automatic download of Akismet, a plugin that filters spam comments. Using a plugin like this and captcha tools is a great way to build good comments on your blog.
Use a good SEO plugin
One of the best steps you can take is to invest in a premium SEO plugin for your WordPress site. This gives you a tool that can automate a number of SEO tasks and make sure that the technical aspects of SEO are taken care of. When picking an SEO tool, you want one that does the following:
- Adds an XML website that lists all the pages on your websites. An XML sitemap tells search engines what content is available and how to find them
- Connects to your Google Search Console easily so you can get data about traffic and users coming to your site
- Optimizes your posts by letting you add a title, description, and keyword focus. An SEO plugin can help you preview what your website looks like as a snippet in a search result. This helps you add just the right type of content to get more clicks
- Lets, you add schema makeup so that you can show your content in search engines as rich snippets
It’s quite evident that doing these steps is actually time-consuming and challenging for anyone who doesn’t have technical expertise and experience. So, using a plugin that offers these features and more will let you manage the technical aspects of SEO with ease.
Working on your SEO is an ongoing process. You need to keep building content and doing your research to help your audience.
It’s important that you create a foundational SEO setup on your website so that you create the best chance of your website ranking for the right keywords from the very beginning.
I’ve shared some important tips that are WordPress-specific. Make sure that you use the right hosting platform and work with an SEO tool. And also keep building content that users actually want to see. It’s when you focus on helping people that you get the best results.