Ultimate WordPress SEO Guide for Beginners
Any individual associated with a website or website development has come across the term¬†search engine optimization. In fact, the procedure is so widely practised that content management systems (CMS) have certain aspects of it built-in.
One such CMS is WordPress, specifically known for its SEO friendly elements. The platform is so popular that more than¬†455 million websites¬†are built on it. But before you learn how you can benefit your site with WordPress SEO, you need to understand its basics.
Why is WordPress Platform Considered Good for SEO?
Even though SEO algorithms are getting updated regularly, it still doesn’t have a complete understanding and requires human help. And the tactics used in¬†SEO provides¬†that assistance to these bots so that they can rank your site when someone searches a topic related to your content.
Most website developers choose WordPress over other CMS because it helps them with the basics of optimization. Moreover, its interface is user-friendly, meaning even you can create a website that abides by standard SEO practices.
Implementing SEO on WordPress is significantly straightforward compared to optimizing any other CMSs due to the array of plugins it comes with. In addition, you also get to choose from numerous templates, which further simplify the entire process.
How Does WordPress SEO Works?
SEO basics remain the same irrespective of the CMS your site is built on. However, there are specific tactics that work better on WordPress compared to others.
WordPress search engine optimization¬†consists of those tactics that put your site in the best light, both in front of bots and searchers. This way, you reach a better SERP position and convert the traffic into customers.
This also involves the use of plugins explicitly created for this CMS. They make the existing approaches easier and create newer optimization opportunities. Hence, many website owners hire professionals to make the most out of their WordPress websites.
How to Optimize a WordPress Website?
Optimizing a WP site involves numerous advanced techniques as the CMS already covers the basics. Hence, most business owners would hire an SEO agency for WordPress and entrust their website to them.
Some effective optimization tactics that the experts from such agencies use are:
1. Permalink Optimization
The permanent URL or link to a post, blog or page on your website is known as its permalink. This type of link states the nature of your blog, post or page, ensuring the visitors understand what they are clicking on.
Changing or optimizing the permalinks improves your site’s user experience and optimization approaches. This is because search engines go through these links to determine if a website has the answer to a particular query or not.
A¬†WordPress SEO specialist¬†ensures your permalinks communicate exactly what you want and help your pages rank on their targeted result pages.
2. Customizing Website Visibility
WordPress lets its users discourage search engines from indexing their sites. This means you can stop Google from ranking your website on the SERPs.
This is an excellent tool for startup companies whose websites are still under development. You can ensure that both Google and your visitors are not judging your site‚Äôs potential based on incomplete pages.
3. Optimizing Media
While written content is great to convey information and integrate keywords, the other pieces of media are excellent for engagement.
People like images, videos, and, in some cases, voice content. However, the pursuit of improving engagement affect your site’s performance a lot.
Hence, professionals providing WordPress SEO services¬†would actively optimize your media content to ensure they work their magic on your traffic. A great rule of thumb they follow is maintaining a balance between quality and size in case of images and videos.
They would also add titles and alt tags to ensure traffic reaches your site even via image searches.
4. Long-Form Content Creation
Almost¬†81%¬†of marketers believe that content is one of their core business strategies. Hence, experts are also putting their best foot forward when it comes to creating content for their client’s websites.
Publishing long form content frequently can immensely benefit your site. Even though the content length is not a direct ranking factor, Google considers them to have more information than shorter content.
A¬†WordPress SEO agency¬†would create skyscraper content packed with data and contextual perfection.
5. Core Web Vitals Optimization
Core Web Vitals is Google‚Äôs most recent ranking requirement that focuses on assessing a site‚Äôs loading speed and interactive capabilities.
Adding too many elements to your WordPress site can slow it down significantly. Hence, you must optimize your website for the three metrics of¬†Core Web Vitals. They are:
- Large Contentful Paint (LCP)
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
- First Input Delay (FID)
Experts ensure your site loads faster by using smaller images along with optimized themes and plugins. They will also install Cache Plugin to improve the site speed more efficiently.
6. Using Categories and Tags
Another distinctive part of WordPress site optimization is using proper tags and categories for your website.
With its help, you can separate your site’s content, blogs and webpages into broad and specific groups.
- Categories:¬†This essentially helps you to organize your content into broader groups. For instance, you can create a category called “cake” and put pages about “baking”, “chocolate cake”, ‚Äúpastries‚ÄĚ under it.
- Tags:¬†On the other hand, Tags act like keywords that experts use to describe a particular page in detail. For example, a page about “chocolate cake” would have tags like “cake”, “dark chocolate”, “desert”, etc.
While defining pages and categorizing might seem easy in most cases, there are also instances where this can become challenging. A¬†WordPress SEO expert¬†has the experience of dealing with such matters, making them ideal to conduct it for your site as well.
7. Regular Interlinking
Even though backlinks play a critical role in ranking a site high on the SERPs, there is a great need for interlinking. Professionals know how interlinking improves the dwell time and channels visitors to desired pages.
Internal links help crawl bots navigate through a site better; this, in turn, results in a higher rank for your site. Internally linked pages also prove your site’s authority to search engines, an essential metric of improving website SEO.
Service providers from a¬†WordPress SEO Company¬†would highlight the words they use from content to link pages. This would attract the attention of your traffic to click on those anchor texts as well.
8. Using Nofollow External Links
As stated earlier, backlinks are among the most vital ranking factors that every optimization service providing company works on. However, only the¬†best service providers¬†know when to use dofollow links and when to use nofollow links.
Not every site that links back to you are relevant to your site, but it has a high influx of traffic that you would want to attract. Under such circumstances, your WordPress SEO specialist uses a nofollow link. This way, you get the traffic you anticipated without facing the consequences of using an irrelevant link.
9. Using Keyword In Title And Header Tag’s
As per Backlinko, the title tags on Google’s first result page contain key phrases that are either partial or exact matches of that search query.
To ensure that, you would have to put your targeted keyword both in the title and header tags will be a little disappointed.
Hence, you must hire a full-time optimization assistant who will listen to your comments.
10. Install Free WordPress SEO Plugins
The most discussed yet undoubtedly beneficial aspect of WordPress is the number of¬†plugins¬†it can support.
While there are great paid plugins to use on your site, there are many efficient free ones out there as well. Installing free ones would mean you create a better site without investing much into it.
However, please note that plugins will not optimize your WordPress website for you but just make the process easier.
Best WordPress SEO Plugins That Experts Use
What essentially separates WordPress from other content management systems out there is the number of plugins available for it. You will find a plugin for every need you have, be it something familiar or unique.
But having thousands of options also mean that you might select a plugin that is not important for your website. Hence, most people leave this decision to an expert. The following are some of the tools that a professional swears by when it comes to SEO optimization for WordPress:
Yoast is one of the most popular WordPress plugins that professionals use. It offers a comprehensive overview of your website content to assess its readability and SEO friendliness.
It has a set of parameters for both the assessments and suggests constructive changes as well.
This tool helps in optimizing content, and experts usually use it after they are done researching for relevant keywords. Just like Yoast, it lets them know how readable content is.
A WordPress SEO specialist would put every piece of content through this tool before publishing them to ensure your content ranks better on the SERPs.
AIOSEO, or All in One Search Engine Optimization, is another market favorite that experts use, irrespective of the website type. Just like the name suggests, it is a collective solution for several optimization requirements.
It is also extremely fast at what it does and makes it easy to set up¬†WordPress SEO¬†without any hassle. In addition, this tool has features like TruSEO Score, which lets you know how nicely a particular page has been optimized and if it requires any modifications.
Rank Math is a plugin that has gained extreme popularity in a very short time. The tool has not been in the market for long, but experts use it worldwide.
It is so much in demand because it lets one optimize a site for social media, one of the most crucial aspects of marketing at present. It also has several useful features, such as content optimization and a setup wizard.
Broken links can severely affect your website rank and overall user experience. Hence, it becomes imperative for optimizing experts to detect and replace such links from a website.
Broken Link Checker helps experts with that endeavor by scanning an entire site for such links and images. Then the professionals seamlessly replace them with relevant content ensuring your visitors only get the best UX when visiting your site.
If you do not measure and compare the progress you have made so far, you will not be able to set future goals. Also, it is very crucial to understand what works for your website and what does not.
Thus, it is crucial to conduct a regular WordPress SEO audit to assess if your website is performing the way it should or not. Most professionals offering services regarding WordPress optimization would conduct it by themselves.
However, if you feel that they are not conducting it at least twice a year, you should urge them to do so.
This is because the internet is a dynamic platform where trends change ever so often. Therefore, if you do not adjust your optimization measures accordingly, your site will inevitably rank lower.
WordPress is not at all a complicated platform to master. Instead, its users neglect its true potential due to its user-friendly aspect.
If you have a site on this CMS, it is crucial that you actively invest time and effort into WordPress SEO. And if you cannot, hiring a professional to do so is the ideal way to go about it.
Use this beginner guide to understand what you need to do to optimize your WP site and how experts can help you achieve your goals.