WordPress Is a content management system (CMS) that people use for creating, managing, and publishing websites. We estimate WordPress powers over 40% of all the websites online. It is a powerful CMS applied in various applications such as blogs, e-commerce stores, and various directories. Because of its wide-ranging themes, there are many uses of WordPress. Now, you may wonder why WordPress is so popular. First, WordPress is highly flexible. The many themes and plugins that perform various actions on WordPress back this up. Second, it is beginner-friendly. It requires little or no programming knowledge to get going.
WordPress SEO: 10 Tips to Grow Traffic and Improve your Ranking
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)is the practice you undertake to make a website more visible and attain a higher ranking on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). To understand how your webpage appears on the SERP, it is critical to know how search engines work. We can summarize the working of a search engine into the following three stages.
- Crawling: bots are used to crawl the web and find updated and fresh content.
- Indexing: The search engine saves and organizes the collected web pages within a database
- Ranking: Once a user enters their search query, the search engine pulls up the indexed pages to determine their rank on the SERP through various ranking factors.
SEO aims to increase the chances that a website ranks at higher positions in the SERP. This increases the visibility of a website. The most important benefit of SEO is its ability to drive organic traffic to a website. By default, WordPress is SEO-friendly. For a WordPress website to rank high on the SERP, there are several best practices that you can adopt. Let us explore them below.
Install Secure Socket Layer (SSL) on your WordPress website
SSL is a technology that encrypts connections between a browser and a website. It also ensures that data is encrypted when transferred from a server to the client (browser). Using SSL, unauthorized users can not access sensitive information like payment details even if they hijack browsing sessions.
Installing an SSL certificate on your website ensures that your WordPress-powered website is more secure. The URL changes from http:// to https://. When determining the page experience of a website, search engines consider the existence of SSL. A good page experience score is a deciding factor when ranking a webpage. It is important when there are competing web pages that have content of similar value. Search engines like chrome and safari declare it insecure if a website does not have an SSL certificate installed. They advise users against entering information on your website. Such a message appearing on your landing page turns away potential traffic. It also can affect conversion rates negatively. Since most hosting providers offer SSL certificates free, why not install one to boost your SEO?
Using a reliable hosting provider
Hosting can affect various aspects of a website. It can affect the performance and the security of a website. Coincidentally, it turns out that both of the above are essential for SEO. Search engines prefer websites and web pages that offer the best user experience. Thus, you must use a web hosting service that can handle all your website needs. Consider the following when choosing a hosting provider.
- Resources: Ensure that the hosting provider has enough bandwidth and storage to support your site and its expansion. These resources should be scalable.
- Uptime guarantee: the industry standard for uptime is 99.99%. This means that the only time your website should be offline is 0.1%.
- User-friendliness: the hosting service should have a control panel that is easy to use.
Value for money: the price of the hosting service must match the budget and offer equal and sensible benefits.
Installing a WordPress SEO plugin
Out of the box, WordPress is excellent for SEO. However, we recommend you install an SEO plugin. It allows you to have total control instead of having to optimize what Google sees on your website. SEO plugins help you write better content that has both keyword and page analysis. They also enable the editing of meta descriptions, auto-generated XML sitemaps.
Including title tags on the WordPress website
It is essential to include the keyword on a page, a post, or a title tag. In the past, SEO experts argued that placing the keyword at the beginning of the title had more weight in the search engines. Proponents of this approach are slowly reducing. Things today are more complex and are moving to scenarios where CTR (click-through rate) optimization is considered on top of the relevancy of the keyword. Some have reported an increase of 20% in CTR after making simple tweaks to their titles.
Increasing CTR through writing meta descriptions
Although meta descriptions do not directly affect your WordPress SEO when we consider the ranking, they affect the CTR. A well-crafted meta description can entice users to click your article instead of the one above or below you in the SERP. If you have a higher CTR, search engines will deem your content more relevant. Therefore, you can end up being ranked higher in the SERP. Hence, meta descriptions can indirectly affect your rankings.
Having a variety of content
Content is essential in building a successful B2B SEO strategy. Therefore, it is crucial that besides having relevant content, you have a variety. It can be through Images, Videos, gifs, and other forms of graphics. Search engines consider a site that has different content over the one that only has textual content. You can repurpose some of your written content into video and optimize the video’s visibility through structured data. The content should be latest or new. Search engines favor new content that is routinely posted.
Focusing on external links that have a higher domain authority
Adding external links with a high domain authority lets Google know you are linking more relevant content and of high quality than yours. We call this backlinking. Backlinks ensure the authority of content, a critical factor in Google’s EAT ranking factors. By linking your content to other brands, you can start conversations with other brands. You are probably wondering how guest posting can help in natural link building.
Use a responsive WordPress theme
Many of the internet searches today come from smartphones. Hence, it is critical to ensure that your website is responsive enough. This is among the first things search engines look for when ranking your website. It is essential for SEO that any website is responsive. The responsiveness of a website is crucial for user experience. A responsive WordPress theme will adapt to various sizes of the screen.
Having an internal linking strategy
Internal links are used to point from one post or page to the other within the same website. They make navigation easy, amongst other many benefits. Thus, internal links enhance the user-friendliness of a WordPress-powered website. Besides being key to navigation, they are also a critical component of SEO. A well-linked website is likely to rank higher on the SERP compared to a poorly linked one.
Using short and easy to recall URLs
Can a user remember the URL whenever they want to revisit your site? Having URLs that are easy to recall is essential in SEO indirectly. When users can recall your URL, they can visit your website whenever they need the services. This improves the user experience of your WordPress-powered website. In turn, the CTR increases. Hence, the sales improve, and you get more organic traffic.
WordPress is among the pioneers of the CMS industry. Today thousands of websites use it in content management or theming. Hence, knowing how to optimize your WordPress-powered website properly for SEO is crucial to drive more traffic and increase conversions. Among many other ways, the methods above can help you increase sales and visibility on your website.