Many people choose WordPress for its SEO-friendly platform, but users can do much more to boost their WordPress SEO and increase traffic to their site. The code WordPress features generally follows the best SEO practices, but there’s so much more that site owners can do to improve their SEO for noticeable results. Consider some best WordPress SEO practices outlined here to maximize your SEO.
What Is WordPress SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO involves a wide range of measures that make a site–a WordPress site, in this case–appear higher in search results. The higher a site’s rank, the more likely it will be found by its target audience. Naturally, appearing on page one of Google search results is ideal for any business. Best SEO practices are the only way to earn a higher rank with search engines like Google. Although companies can pay for ads, they cannot purchase a higher rank. They can only hire or contract an SEO specialist to improve their site’s optimization.
SEO, even for user-friendly platforms like WordPress, can get quite technical. Partnering with an SEO specialist or firm is the ideal way to ensure that your business or organization adheres to best SEO practices. Google penalizes sites that are not optimized. For example, if your site doesn’t meet minimum loading time thresholds, it’s likely to be penalized–which involves a drop in rank.
The fact is, WordPress is great for helping people and businesses structure, manage, and publish their sites, but it takes much more to get properly optimized for search engine success. Therefore, developing your WordPress SEO strategy is important to maximize your chance to reach that first coveted page of Google’s search results when potential customers search for products or services associated with your business in your geographic location.
9 Ways to Improve Your WordPress SEO
Work with your SEO specialist or web design team to use the following tips to boost your WordPress SEO for improved website traffic and, ultimately, increased sales of products or services.
Select Between Categories and Tags
Both categories and tags are useful for describing your website’s structure, but they aren’t interchangeable, so be sure to select between them with care. For example, use categories for designating broad topic groupings. Use tags to be more specific about topics within your categories.
Include Several Sitemaps
Including more than one sitemap for your WordPress site is a great way to improve its online visibility. A single sitemap can become overcrowded with links. Using multiple sitemaps makes it easier–a more efficient process–for search engine crawlers to index your site’s pages.
Include a Sitemap in HTML
There are two types of sitemaps: XML and HTML. XML sitemaps are written in a code exclusive to search engine crawlers, responsible for scanning and indexing your site’s content. However, well-organized HTML sitemaps are more user-friendly for humans. Google rewards sites that offer a user-friendly experience, which makes this step helpful for boosting your WordPress SEO.
Improve the Sidebar on Your Website
By tweaking your WordPress sidebar, you can ensure that it will help you rank higher. Sidebars shouldn’t be an afterthought–as they often are. Instead, be sure you’re using the best widgets in your sidebar to help you rank. For instance, some must-have widgets include popular or featured posts and call-to-action widgets.
Embed Sharing Buttons
Make it easy for users to share your best content by embedding sharing buttons. This benefits your SEO by creating the potential for more natural links to your site and helps increase traffic to your website. Plus, search engines take note of sites that experience increases in traffic which help SEO.
Implement Basic 301 Redirects
A 301 redirect is a helpful, albeit technical, way to tell the browser that a page has permanently moved to a new location. In one sense, it’s technically courteous. In another, it’s a direct message for the browser to send the user to the new location. In terms of SEO, it’s another best practice that’s easy to initiate but frequently forgotten.
Put W3 Complete Cache in Place
Installing a full W3 cache is a technical SEO measure that can make your website pages load more quickly. By storing common webpage data, they can substantially speed up loading times, and that’s essential for avoiding slow loading time penalties from Google. As a result, fast loading times can boost your SEO.
Use SEO Plugins
Using plugins can also boost your website’s SEO. A plugin such as Yoast Premium or All in One SEO is popular with users and designed for WordPress. Take time to decide which is best for you but choose one to enjoy a wide array of SEO benefits like rich snippets support, eCommerce support, and more. Your SEO expert can walk you through the differences between the two plugins to select the one that suits your needs best.
Insert WP Engine
Known for its “effortless site management,” WP Engine is an exclusive WordPress-managed hosting tool that features EverCache technology (for fast loading times), free StudioPress themes, free data backup, automatic updates for WordPress, and an outstanding support team. It also features development, staging, production areas, and a different environment for staging test plugins. In addition, its loading speed support and other resources support SEO.
Boost your SEO to improve your page rank. The higher your page rank, the more organic traffic will reach your site. Remember that SEO isn’t a one-time measure. It involves many measures that must be checked and updated to maintain your SEO. Florida businesses partner with Noble Webworks for their customized SEO solutions. Get the best solutions for your needs and budget. Let Noble Webworks audit your online presence to help you make a roadmap for maximizing your SEO with these measures and other solutions that are ideal for you.