Improving your WordPress website or blog’s SEO is important if you’re want to generate more traffic to your site. Although WordPress, as far as CMS platforms go, is generally SEO friendly, there’s still a lot that can be done to improve it even further. From my best practices to WordPress plugins, I’ll cover these ways to improve your WordPress SEO.
Make sure your WordPress site is visible
Before you actually do anything to improve your WordPress SEO, you may want to make sure that your site or blog is visible on the internet and if it is not be sure nothing you do to improve your SEO will give the results.
Follow the set below to enable the visibility of your site:-
- Login to WordPress account
- Open the navigation menu and select Settings
- Select Reading and locate Search Engine Visibility
- Make sure that the checkbox next to ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this site’ is unchecked
After that you will need to check on the following tools, to keep more in control when working out with your traffic troubles.
1. Setup your WordPress XML Sitemap
An XML Sitemap is like a map or let’s say a directory of your website or blog. It lists out all of the web pages that make up your site and therefore allowing search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo e.t.c to find every single page from your site. With XML the search engines will have the ability to rank your site and provide not only better but also more accurate results thus improving the chances your website will be found and seen in search engine results.
Setting it up!
Install a plugin like Yoast SEO which on the other hand will do all the work for you and automatically too. Simply navigate to your website’s Sitemap to view it in action: www.example.com/sitemap_index.html— just remember to replace example.com with your domain name.
2. Yoast SEO Plugin
Though there are numerous ways to improve your WordPress site, am simply not suggesting the use of SEO plugin can only give the better results in ranking though having one certainly does help. Yoast SEO is the number one recommended WordPress plugin for SEO and this can be understood why. Yoast is also a great tool to aid you in content writing skills besides it’s SEO ranking capabilities. Why so? When developing your website, you need to be sure that your content is SEO friendly, and that’s when Yoast gets involved. Yoast gives you the option to add a title, description, and focus keyword for every blog post you create by evaluating your content as you write, making suggestions on where and how you can improve your writing to ensure that what you are doing is SEO friendly.
Get and download and install Yoast SEO and it’s a free tool to use, simple to use and can really help to improve your SEO quickly.
3. Use an SSL certificate
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) as it is called is an encryption method that you can use on your website. To simplify your understanding:- See example below
http://www.example.com is not using an SSL
https://www.example.com is using an SSL
So, if you see HTTPS, just know the website you’re visiting or viewing is secure.
Now that you have learnt about SSL, having a secure website or a blog not only looks great by reassuring your visitors but it’s also a ranking factor in Google searches of which it will upgrade your SEO. You can obtain an SSL certificate from third party or from your hosting company by purchasing it though some hosting company like Siteground now offer a free Encrypt SSL certificate.
For eCommerce WordPress sites and blogs you should definitely opt installing an SSL unless you don’t want to be penalized by Google and worse more, your visitors could depreciate and loose trust and not purchase anything from your site.
4. Working to optimize your Images
An increased page speed can help improve your SEO this is why you will need to optimize your post images. To evaluate your page speed use Google PageSpeed Insights by simply entering in your site’s URL..this will give you the result to look into and help to eliminate the unnecessary details within your site,
Lack of image optimization can cause you website to slow down. Whether your image source is a camera, smartphone, or downloaded from the internet, images need optimizing to ensure they don’t cause your site’s speed to decrease. To fully understand the intensity of this imagine uploading 2 images at each 50MB that’s 100MB worth of space those images will need and an extra 100MB of data to load when landing on your website. Now, if we reduced those image sizes but kept the quality the same, using an image compressor like TinyJPG, you could be looking at mere KB worth of data, resulting in an improved page speed.
Now, you’re probably wondering how your page speed can affect your WordPress website’s SEO. Search engines such as Google rank and rate your site’s SEO based on a number of factors; one of those factors is your website’s page speed. If you can use a free and simple tool to compress your website’s images, you can save on disk space and increase your page speed, improving your WordPress website’s SEO.
5. Use a CDN to speed up your WordPress site
Even if your WordPress website isn’t data, image, or content heavy, a CDN is a great tool to have in place for the future. In 2006, Amazon reported every 100 milliseconds their website was sped up, they’d see an increased revenue of 1%.
Website monitoring software like Pingdom can assess how quickly your website loads, uptime, visitor stats, and performance reports. If you’re looking to improve your WordPress SEO, you’ll need to ensure that your website loads quickly and is easily accessible by anyone in the world; CDN’s can save up to 60% bandwidth and cut your server requests by 50%.
6. Choose a decent WordPress theme
Preventing issues before they become a problem can be key to ensuring your WordPress SEO doesn’t take a dive. Choosing a decent WordPress theme from the offset is extremely important; there’s nothing worse than a beautiful looking website that performs terribly.
When you first step foot into the world of WordPress themes, you’ll be amazed at how many there are to choose from. However, it’s not just about what they look like that matters, it’s their performance and features too. It can be very tempting to opt for a WordPress theme that’s packed full of features and tools but have a think about whether you really need them; if you don’t need them, you could shave seconds off your website load time, and improve your SEO.
There are tonnes of responsive WordPress themes that you can get your hands on for free; this means they will be mobile-ready so you don’t have to mess about optimizing your website for multiple devices. Many search engines like Google will knock your SEO down a peg if your website is not responsive. With the majority of internet users browsing the world wide web on mobile or smart devices, it’s important to stay in the game.
Now that you have learn on how you can optimize your WordPress website, I think it’s time for you to take necessary action to avoid loosing more traffic.