It is easy to establish a WordPress website. But SEO optimizing the same is quite difficult. However, if your aim is to drive more traffic to your WordPress site, you cannot do without optimizing it for the search engines. Hence, you have to be serious about the SEO best practices for WordPress site.
SEO for WordPress site is not limited to building low-quality links or stuffing the content with keywords. There is a lot more to it. Over the years, there has been an immense evolution to it.
So, read this article to know about the best practices for SEO optimizing your WordPress website and to avail higher search engine rankings as well as other innumerable benefits.
How To Do SEO for WordPress Site?
1. Select the Best Web Hosting Platform:1
No matter to which niche your website belongs, you can target and please the customers only when your website loads fast. Faster loading speed is one of the most important ranking factors for Google. A website is considered fast when its heavy pages load within 3 seconds. If your website is not loading fast, you must contact the host server for the same.
You must research well when selecting a web host. Don’t go just with the names mentioned in the ‘top 10’ list. Hence, select a web host server only after considering the reviews and feedbacks for the same.
2. Establish a WordPress Blog:
When establishing a new blog, you can select the feature ‘discourage search engines from indexing the website.’ This can be selected until you completely structure your blog and launch it. When this feature is enabled, the search engines are not permitted to crawl the pages.
Also, WordPress has the feature of rel=”nofollow” and rel=”noindex” tags in the pages of the blog. With this feature, the search engines cannot index your webpages till you want them to. This is useful as it prevents your blog from experiencing ‘error 404 not found.’
3. Change the Structure of Default Permalinks:
A default feature in WordPress is that it uses permalinks for posts, which are not SEO friendly. This way, you will not be able to use certain important keywords in your post. Hence, it is vital to alter the structure of default permalinks.
You can always select a format as per your preference. But I suggest using the format ‘domain.com/year/month/post-name/.’
4. Incorporate a XML Sitemap Plugin:
It is essential to install an XML sitemap plugin for blogs created in WordPress. This is an easier way to provide search engines adequate links to all the pages on your website. You can create a sitemap in the .xml format, which will help your website to get indexed faster.
Google XML Sitemaps is an excellent plugin for WordPress that automatically creates and updates sitemaps.
5. Use Rel=” canonical” after Installing a Plugin:
It is of utmost importance to install an efficient SEO plugin. It is required to efficiently handle various SEO aspects of a blog automatically. Therefore, you must install one and once it is done, you must enable the rel=” canonical” tag for your blog pages.
This also helps search engines to identify the original source of content on the blog. As a result, it keeps your WordPress website free from duplicate content problems. The ‘All in One SEO Pack’ by Michael Torbets, WordPress SEO, and Squirrly are a few classic examples, which you can consider using.
6. Use rel=nofollow for Useless and Unreliable Links:
A hyperlink having a rel=”nofollow” trait on a page implies that the webpage is informing search engines to not follow the link. Also, it informs the search engine spiders that the pages are not meant to offer reliable information. When you add a rel=”nofollow” trait to a link, it ensures that it avails no PageRank points from the particular page the link was posted.
Usually, you must use nofollow links, which are untrusted or unreliable or unrelated to your site, or links that are not useful to the search engines.
7. Boost Your Blog’s Speed with a Cache Plugin:
It is must to have a cache plugin for your WordPress website. Such plugins are of great use. First, they help in improving the speed of the website. Second, they reduce the load time on the web server.
Most of the plugins cache dynamic and static content to reduce the loading speed of a webpage. The W3 Total Cache is an excellent plugin that comes with numerous features including browser caching, page caching, database caching, object caching, and more. The ultimate aim to decrease the loading time of the webpage is to enhance user experience. Even search engines give an edge in SERPs to websites that load fast.
8. Noindex the Duplicate Pages:
Now consider, your blog already has a particular category and you tag a post for the same category. This might end up creating issues of duplicate content as well as duplicate titles, especially, when you don’t use a different structure for title tag and category pages.
An easy way to fix the issue is to noindex the particular page. By using this attribute you are informing search engines to not index a page that is less important. There are various plugins available. You can use anyone to make the task easier.
9. Block Spam Comments:
The novel versions of a WordPress site always perform a good job within the nofollowing links posted by the users in the comments section. You must prevent the spam comments from being getting posted in the first stance.
Spam comments are not good for your blog. First, they avoid contributing anything to the topic. Moreover, if a post is on a particular topic and receives comments about other related product, then search engines will not like it.
In such cases, there is a possibility that the page will get flagged as spam by the search engines. As a result, your website will be penalized. Spammers can prevent from doing bad stuff on the website and is an effective way to keep your site secured.
10. Boost the Performance of Your Website Using a CDN:
You can either go for paid CDN service or for free alternatives. One popular CDN service provider is CloudFlare.
11. Link Your New Posts to Old Ones:
A great way to feed the search engines is to internally link it to appropriate content on your site. This is like a virtual map of inter-related posts on the website. Moreover, it makes navigation within the website easier for users as well as bots.
It is easier to link to old and related posts manually. You can even manually select anchor texts and link to related posts in order to display the titles of your old posts. This way, it can bring visibility to the new posts and more traffic to the old posts.
12. Avoid Practicing the PageRank Sculpting Path:
Google announced its new algorithm update in 2009. This algorithm targeted PageRank sculptors controlling the PageRank flow between the websites that make excessive use of rel=”nofollow” tags.
As per Google, the webmasters must focus more on the significance of having proper website structure and indexability as compared to the sculpting of the PageRank.
13. Disable the Author Archives in Blogs Written by One Author:
It is great to disable the author archives in blogs written by one author. It is because the author archive pages will be similar to your homepage, which lists all latest posts by the single author.
In addition to this, you can remove the links to author pages in the blog by altering the theme. Moreover, you can use the WordPress SEO plugin and disable author archives in the plugin interface to 301 redirect pages to the homepage.
14. Link Your Special Content More Often:
If you want to give special attention and importance to any of your content, you can link it more often to other posts in the new posts. You can even link them to the posts on the sidebar to let search engines get aware that it is special and needs more attention from the users.
15. Avoid Linking to Pages that are Unimportant:
Google’s algorithm for nofollow links has changed. For this reason, it is suggested to incorporate links to the RSS feed, contact pages, and not too unimportant pages of your website.
It is because if you are linking to unimportant pages and using a rel=”nofollow” attribute; you are wasting lots of PageRank juice. Hence, avoid linking to every page on your website including footer, menus, and other pages.
16. Optimize Your Website’s Images:
It is important to optimize the images on your website. You can optimize the images by resizing and compressing them. This reduces the image sizes to a great extent and improves page loading performance on the blog. You can utilize online image compressing and resizing tools along with its offline counterparts.
Remember, the images uploaded in WordPress are optimized and if they are not, you must optimize them in the first stance. This can be done by using a plugin such as Smush.it.
17. Keep Implementing Some Conventional On-Page SEO Best Practices:
There are some SEO practices, which you can implement even in the present. This includes mainly on-page SEO. This involves including custom Meta descriptions and titles for your search engine posts.
Remember, keyword descriptions that are written manually still hold significance in the search engine ranking factors. But the search engines such as Google can automatically generate descriptions based on the search keywords.
18. Tweak Titles of the Post:
Titles of the post can have a huge impact on SERPs. Hence, it is best to have a nice informative title that contains all important keywords. This will give you a benefit when you want to let your page gain higher rankings in the search results.
You can include keywords with low-competition in the title to avail higher SERP rankings. But include keywords that people are searching for. A great way to search such keywords is to use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner.
19. SEO Optimize Your WordPress Theme:
If you are not using a much popular theme, you must optimize the current theme for SEO. Your theme must be performance oriented. It must include highly rich features while loading a website.
20. Include Social Media Sharing Buttons in the Posts:
Most of the search engines, even Google takes the support of social networking sites such as Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and more to determine the reactions a webpage is availing from real users. For instance, when a blog post is linked to different social networking websites and receives traffic, then this implies that a post is being liked.
In the present scenario, search engines give preference to posts with good social reactions in SERPs. Moreover, it can bring more traffic to social networking websites for the content.
21. Select a Responsive Design for Website:
With a responsive theme, you can avail better overall experience for the users. Responsive themes can also offer improved SEO rankings.
22. Include New Posts on a Frequent Basis
Google prefer giving higher rankings to blogs in SERPs, which receive frequently published posts. It is essential that you keep posting new content on a consistent basis. This is important for websites belonging to all niches.
23. Customize the Robots.txt
If there are particular pages or directories of the website that you don’t want Googlebot to crawl then you must block it from robots.txt. You can even use the WP Robots txt plugin for the same.
24. Keep Your Website Free from Broken Links:
If there are numerous broken links on your website, search engines will consider it as an improperly maintained website. This can result in a penalty as well. Therefore, use the broken link checker plugin to handle and rectify broken external and internal links in the blog.
25. Use Viral Content to Avail Sudden Increase in Traffic:
A large number of bloggers fail to create content that is compelling, unique, engaging, and excellent. To extend your reach and boost traffic, you must post fabulous content. At the same time, you must try to increase the engagement of your website.
To Sum Up:
Follow the above-mentioned practices and give your WordPress website some time to re-evaluate and perform. Make sure the things are perfect on your website and soon you can experience a great boost in the organic traffic level of the website.