Do you want to make your WordPress site SEO friendly? Here I am going to tell you different tools/strategies that will help you do this.
In this article, I’ll share 38 simple and effective ways to make your WordPress site SEO friendly.
So let’s get started…
WordPress SEO to Grow Organic Traffic
If you want your WordPress blog to rank higher in Search Engine Result Pages, then here are some things you should consider.
1. Use SEO Plugin
However, WordPress is an SEO friendly blogging platform. But you can make it more SEO friendly by using an SEO plugin.
There are many SEO plugins available in the market, which you can use on your blog. I recommend the Yoast SEO plugin. This is a very popular and best SEO plugin for WordPress site.
Yoast SEO features
- You can change the SEO title and meta description of the post.
- You can add Focus keyword
- Create XML Sitemaps
- It also includes .htaccess and robots.txt editor
- You can use Title and Meta description for taxonomies (category and tags).
- [Premium] Redirect manager
- [Premium] Automatic internal linking suggestions
- [Premium] Synonyms & related keyphrases
- [Premium] offers News SEO, Video SEO, Local SEO and WooCommerce SEO extensions
2. Change the Default Permalink Structure
WordPress default permalink (URLs) is not SEO friendly and it looks something like this.
But do not worry you can change it easily. WordPress comes with 6 different permalink structure and allows to set up SEO friendly permalink. Just click on the settings >> permalinks option and select the “Post name”
You can see the screenshot below,
If you are using WordPress default permalink, you can change it now. If your site is too old, leave it, otherwise, you will face 404 errors for the share URL.
3. Check Your Site’s Visibility Settings
WordPress comes with a built-in option that prevents your website from being indexed in search engines. If you have checked this option, your site will not appear in the Google search result. This option is great for the newly launched website.
First of all, you need to uncheck this option. Just log in to your WordPress site and navigate to Settings >> Readings page.
4. Make Your WordPress Site Load Faster
Google is using the site load time as a ranking factor. If your site takes more time to load, then your site will not perform better in Google search result. You need to pay attention to this.
Fast loading affects both website ranking & user experience and performs better in search results. Below are some guides that can take your WordPress site speed to a new level.
- Best Plugins To Speed Up WordPress Site
- Skyrocket Your WordPress Website Speed Using These 4 Plugins
- How to Speed Up a WordPress site
Quick tips to improve your WordPress website loading time
- Upgrade to PHP 7.2
- Optimize your image’s size
- Keep only useful plugins
- Remove unwanted media
- Combine and minify CSS and JS Files
- Use a good cache plugin
- Minimize redirects
5. Make Your Site Mobile Friendly
More than half the search is from a smartphone and Mobile search has completely dominated desktop search. Therefore, Google introduced mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor to improve mobile users experience.
Here is an ultimate guide on how to make your WordPress website mobile-friendly.
6. Create a Sitemap
Sitemap helps search engine bots to better crawl your website. However, it does not boost your search ranking but helps to index your content faster and better crawl.
If you are using Yoast SEO or Jetpack on your site, they allow you to easily generate an XML Sitemap.
7. Nofollow Affiliate Links, Untrusted and Useless links
Affiliate Links, untrusted/spammy and useless links play an important role in reducing your site ranking. If you use such links for your content, specify them with rel = “nofollow” tag.
You can use the Ultimate Nofollow plugin for this. This plugin allows you to add the rel=”nofollow” tag for every link on your blog and tells the search engine spiders not to ‘follow’ the link.
Furthermore, If you use the plugin to manage Affiliate Links, you can easily set No-Follow attribute for your Affiliate Links.
8. Link Olds Post When Writing a New
Internal linking is very important to make your content better and relevant. This technique improves your website SEO and reduces the site’s bounce rate. Interlinking makes your content even more useful for the users. In addition, page views also increase on your old posts.
9. Optimize Images on Your Site
Images also an important aspect to make SEO friendly website. But often new bloggers ignore it.
If you use a lot of images on your site, it is very important to compress and resize them. This reduces your image size and improves site load time.
There are a lot of free and paid plugins in WordPress repository that you can use. Furthermore, You can use online image resizing and compressing tools.
Most importantly, use a proper name and ALT tag for your images. This will help you rank better in image search. Here is the ultimate guide on How to Optimize Images for SEO
10. Create High-Quality Backlinks
Backlinks are the oldest Google ranking factors usually used to rank content on the first page. It helps to increase domain authority, website ranking and traffic. But if you create bad/spammy or low-quality backlinks for your site, this can greatly hurt your website’s ranking.
Always try to create high-quality backlinks. 100 quality backlinks equal to 1000 low-quality backlinks.
Backlinks can make a big difference in your website’s ranking.
11. Disable Author Archives in Single-Author Blogs
If you are running a single-author blog, it would be best to keep it disabled. Because the author archive pages will be the same as your homepage and arise duplicate content issues. You can use the WordPress SEO plugin (Yoast SEO) to disable author pages.
12. Switch Your Site from HTTP to HTTPS
HTTPS is one of the Google ranking factors and HTTPS site performs better in Google search results.
Google wants a more secure web, so its Chrome browser encourages website owners to move to HTTPS. Google Chrome started marking those sites as unsafe, which is not using HTTPS.
13. Keyword Research
Keyword Research is the foundation of SEO.
If you write unique and valuable articles on your blog but do not do Keyword Research, then your site will not rank in the Google search result.
Without keyword research, you can not rank your article on the first page of the search results.
Keyword research is not a difficult task. There are many excellent tools and websites that help you find the best keywords.
Note: Always select long-tail keywords with low competition and high searches and for this, you can use Google Keyword Planner.
14. Lengths of Your Posts
The length of your post also plays a key role in ranking your post. Always try to write detailed, high-quality, lengthy posts.
Long content performs better in search engines compared to shorter, superficial content. To better understand here is a guide on Search Engine Land – The SEO And User Science Behind Long-Form Content.
If you write short content for your blog, then it should be at least 1000 words without rubbish.
15. Heading Tags
The H1 tag helps the search engine find out what your page is about and little boosts your ranking. But the other tag does not give any SEO value. Do not fill your page with just the H1 tag.
There are several WordPress themes that do not use the H1 tag for the title. If you use such a theme, you must use the H1 tag for your title. Keep one thing in mind, never use the H1 tag more than once.
16. Optimize Post Title and Meta Descriptions
Post titles make a significant impact on SERPs. So always try to write informative & unique titles with 50–60 characters. To get a better rank in search engines, add your main keyword at the beginning of post title. Keep in mind that your keyword is low-competition and people actually search for it.
Your meta description is the text that appears below the title in search results. It also plays an important role to increase Click Through Rate (CTR) on your content but it should be rich with your focus keyword. Google usually allows 150-160 characters to write meta descriptions.
If your title and description do not attract the reader, then it will not be able to rank in the SERPs.
17. Use a CDN
CDN helps to improve your site’s performance. It caches your static content on multiple servers and provides content to your users through the servers that are closest to user’s locations. This reduces your server load and improves page load times.
There are lots of CDN services available in the market. I currently use CloudFlare on my site. It is a very popular CDN service that offers SSL in the free plan.
18. Use a Cache Plugin
The cache plugin is very important for any WordPress site. This makes your site fast and reduces the load on the webserver.
There are a lot of caching plugins available in the market. But W3 Total Cache is a great plugin and comes with feature-rich options like page caching, browser caching, object caching, database caching and minification options. Its alternative you can use the WP Super Cache plugin.
The main goal of the cache plugin is to reduce your site’s load time and improve the user experience.
19. Link Your Special Content More & More
If you have articles on your blog that provide provides great value to readers with unique research. Then link them to your content as much as possible. Also, place them in your site’s sidebar/footer.
This technique will tell the search engines, it is special and deserves more user attention.
20. Use Premium WordPress Themes
When your blog or website starts getting popularity, switch to Premium WordPress Theme. Coding of premium themes is very good and they are Ultra SEO friendly.
Benefits of Using Premium WordPress Themes
- Great coding
- Ultra SEO friendly
- Great support
- Tons of features
- Free of hidden links
21. Customize Your Robots.txt
Robots.txt is a small text file that is found in the root folder of your site. If you do not want search engine bots to crawl and index specific directories or pages of your site, you can block them from robots.txt.
By customizing it you can improve your WordPress SEO. Here is a guide on how to build the best Robots.txt file for SEO
22. Publish Fresh New Posts Frequently
Google gives priority to those blogs in SERPs, which maintain post publishing frequency. It increases both your ranking and the blog reader. But your content should be informative and useful.
If you publish 4 posts a week but don’t publish anything at all next week, then it is absolutely worse than publishing two posts a week.
23. Put Your Main Keywords in First 100 Words
Must add your keyword to first 100-150 words of your article. If you put your keyword in 100-150 words, then this helps Google understand what your page is about. Also, link with other important posts within the first few paragraphs. It makes your content more SEO friendly.
24. Fix Broken Links on Your Blog
Broken Links greatly influences both your ranking and user experience. If there are too many broken links on your site, then search engines will understand that the site is not well maintained and it might be a reason to drop your ranking.
Thankfully, WordPress.org has a free broken link checker plugin that finds and fix broken links on your blog. This plugin automatically set ‘nofollow’ tag for broken links so that search engines don’t follow them.
25. Length of Your Post URL
Always create a small and readable URL for your article. Very long URLs don’t completely appear in search result. In addition, they look bad and make a bad ‘impression’ on visitors.
Search engines (Google) prefer short URL and it should be descriptive as well. Here is a detailed guide on how to create an SEO friendly URL.
26. Improve Your Content Quality
Yes, Content Is Still King.
Google focuses heavily on the quality of the content. After Google Panda and Google Penguin Update, it has started to penalize low-quality content. If you want to attract Google’s attention, produce unique and well-thought content that is useful for readers.
Google uses a variety of techniques to rank content, but content quality is still very important.
27. Check For Google Webmaster Tools Errors
It is very important to regularly check the errors occurring (mobile issues, security issues and crawl errors) in Google Webmaster Tools. If there are too many errors on your site, then Google will crawl your site very slowly. To speed up the crawl process, fix those errors as quickly as possible.
28. Security and Safety of Your WordPress Site
If your site is affected by malware and phishing, Google can blacklist your site. So, do not compromise with the security of your WordPress Site.
- 19 WordPress Security Tips
- 13 Best Security Plugins for WordPress
- How to Disable PHP Execution in WordPress for Maximum Security
- All In One WP Security & Firewall Plugin Settings
29. Include Schema Markup
When you add schema markup on your website, search engines show more informative results to users. By implementing schema markup on your site, you can make search results more attractive for content. This can help you get better CTR and more traffic on your website.
You can use the Google structured data testing tool to check whether your site has a schema markup installed or not.
If the schema markup on your site is missing, you can use the Schema plugin. It’s easy to configure and automatically adds schema markup to your site.
30. Do an SEO Audit
If you are not sure that your site is properly optimized, you can run an SEO audit. There are so many SEO auditing tools available in the market that help you find out what are you doing right and what things can you improve?
31. Target Long-Tail Keywords
- Less competition.
- Better conversion rates.
- Rank better in the search result.
- Helps to get more traffic from search engines.
32. Increase your site’s DA
DA stands for Domain Authority. It is a metric developed by Moz. Higher domain authority sites get higher rank in the search engine and get more traffic.
Domain authority is scored on a scale of 1 to 100. You can check your DA using Moz’s free tool, Open Site Explorer.
Quick tips to increase Domain authority of your site:
- Publish quality content.
- On-Page SEO – Plays a vital role to increase DA.
- Internal Linking.
- Create high-quality backlinks for your site.
- Disavow bad links.
- Be patient and let your domain be old.
33. Monitor Your Backlink Profile
Keep an eye on your site’s backlinks. If your site loses backlinks, then your site rank may decrease in search engines. There are a ton of tools available in the market that’ll help you monitor backlinks – Ahrefs and Link Explorer.
34. Avoid Keyword Stuffing
Keyword Stuffing belongs to black hat SEO.
If you write content and put too much or forcefully keywords into it, called keyword stuffing. It creates a bad user experience on readers. For example,
“If you’re looking for the best sports shoes, look no further. Our brand offers the best sports shoes that you could want for business or pleasure. You can also use these best sports shoes for travel or school too”.
While you may think to fill your page with keywords will drive more traffic to your site, but, it has the opposite effect. This activity leads a site to a search penalty.
35. Choose a Good Web Host
If you make a mistake in choosing a web host, it will greatly affect your WordPress SEO. The reason, your website will be mostly in downtime and will load very slowly. And as I said earlier the page speed is one of Google ranking factors.
There are many web hosting companies in the market that promise to be the best, but after buying the hosting from them, you feel that they have cheated you. Here I have listed some of the best cheap web hosting services that you can use.
36. Block or Delete Spam Comments
Spam comments affect your WordPress SEO very much.
If you write articles on a WordPress SEO and someone comments on that article like ‘cheap viagra’ then the search engine will not like it at all.
In this situation, the search engine will mark the page as spammy and your site can also be penalized.
37. Use Fast and SEO Friendly Theme
If you want to improve your WordPress SEO, then selecting a Best WordPress theme is very important. All WordPress themes are not SEO Friendly and their coding is also not good.
If you choose the wrong theme for your WordPress site, it affects your loading speed and SEO very much.
You can check the list of best SEO friendly WordPress themes. All these themes are fully SEO optimized and well coded. In addition, it is also compatible with third-party SEO plugins that can help make your WordPress website SEO friendly.
As you can see, there are a lot of things you need to consider to make a WordPress site SEO friendly.
Hopefully, the steps mentioned in the post will help you boost your WordPress SEO. Just now you need to be patient!
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I’m done, and it’s now your turn! Are there any tips I’ve missed? Please let me in the comments box.
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