HOW TO IMPROVE SEO FOR WORDPRESS SITE

Matthew Carter
Hello friends, my name is Matthew Carter. I’m a professional link builder for a large SEO agency in New York City.

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Every page and post in WordPress needs a title, which you set here:

Yoast sets your title tag to your post or page title by default. This is often fine, as you should have already crafted an enticing post title. But sometimes it’s too long, so it’s worth pasting in the full title manually to make sure it’s not likely to truncate.

For that reason, it’s important that your title entices visitors to click through to your page while accurately describing what the page is about. In other words, the title should be clickworthy but not clickbait.

9. Install Ahrefs’ SEO plugin.

If the theme is bloated with unnecessary code and features, it’ll slow your website down. And that’s not good, given that page speed has been a Google ranking factor for over a decade.

Sitemaps list the important posts and pages on your site to help search engines discover them. Yoast SEO creates a sitemap for you, but you need to make sure the option is turned on.

Just try to keep it short and sweet while being descriptive.

For example, let’s say you’re a digital marketing agency offering three different services: SEO, PPC, and social media marketing.

Luckily, WordPress makes it really easy to solve this issue once and for all by offering users the option to set all blog comments to require manual approval.

The beauty of WordPress is it automatically redirects the other version to the preferred version so that search engines and visitors can only access your site at the preferred domain.

You’ll find this under Settings > Reading > Search engine visibility :

14. Add alt text to images.

This is not a free plugin but, in my opinion, it’s well worth the $49 price tag if you have the budget. If you’re looking for a free plugin that does something similar in terms of caching, try one of the many other caching plugins available.

Here’s the best way to structure that:

WP Rocket describes itself as a web performance plugin that boosts your page speed. The beauty of the plugin is that it makes a bunch of useful optimizations out of the box, including browser and server caching.

In WordPress, you can use the WYSIWYG editor to quickly and easily add relevant headers. Just hit the “Paragraph” dropdown, and you’ll see six header options:

You should only allow Google to index pages that offer value to searchers. Tag pages and format-based archives rarely fall into this category, so it’s generally best practice to exclude them from indexing.

8. Exclude low-value content from indexing.

As most WordPress themes use the post title as the first header (H1), it’s best practice to use H2-H6 in the content itself.

Luckily, WordPress makes it super easy to implement many SEO best practices.

If you’re struggling to write something that fits the bill, take inspiration from the SERP titles of the top-ranking pages for your target keyword, as these are often the same or similar to the page title. You can do that in Google, but it’s better to use our free SERP checker for more accurate, non-personalized results:

If you’re not sure if and where to add internal links, sign up for a free Ahrefs Webmaster Tools (AWT) account, run a crawl in Site Audit, then go to the Link opportunities report to see relevant internal link suggestions:

To install it, go to Plugins > Add New > Search for “Yoast SEO” > Click Activate > Click Install :

For that reason, it’s important to write a compelling meta description that supports your title and further entices people to click.

Use keyword research to guide how you optimize each page’s title tag and read this guide to learn more about how to structure this important page element.

Use alt text like ‘starry square dog bed’ rather than defaulting just to ‘dog bed.’ Be as descript as you can be, and use unique alt text for each image.

Site speed has a direct impact on your WordPress site’s SEO performance, and both poor uptime and security vulnerabilities can result in site quality issues. Don’t be tempted to go for the cheapest option, as you are more likely to suffer from performance issues.

Head to: SEO > Search Appearance > Taxonomies.

Luckily, you can choose a custom URL structure at: Settings > Permalinks.

13. Use Internal Linking.

If you need to rename images after they have been uploaded, here is how.

Yoast automatically sets your page’s title tag using your page heading, but you also have the ability to overwrite this to improve on it and work in variations of keywords that you might not include in your page’s heading:

Another proven way to improve your site’s speed and performance is to optimize your images, as these are one of the most common things which contribute to slow speed.

The platform has many features that adhere to SEO best practices to make your life easier, meaning you can focus your efforts on the tasks which make a real difference to your rankings and organic visibility.

It is important that you spend some time analyzing the content which already ranks for the terms you are trying to target. Without understanding what is already ranking, you will start creating content blindly — why create content that won't work?

Check out our guide to building an internal linking strategy to learn how to choose the most suitable pages to link to.

One suggestion is to use ‘last modified' or 'updated on' to show users and search engines when your content was last updated, giving them the confidence that the information is current and relevant right now. Thankfully, you can easily add last modified/updated info on your WordPress pages and posts using the WP Last Modified Info plugin.

WordPress themselves recommend three hosting providers, and it makes sense to consider these options if you are not sure where to start.

You need to use internal linking within your content to help establish topical relevancy between different pages on your site, to pass authority earned from external links, and to help users efficiently navigate.

There is an amazing community. WordPress is open-source, and the community behind the platform is simply amazing. From support forums to easy-to-follow documentation, there is always help at hand, however simple or complex the issue may be.

Advanced WordPress SEO Tips: Take Your Site Performance To The Next Level.

As another note here, head to the ‘Media’ tab and make sure that the ‘Redirect attachment URLs to the attachment itself?’ option is selected as yes, as this helps to prevent an issue which occurred in Yoast back in 2018 where individual attachment URLs were being indexed.

WordPress on its own isn’t a replacement for a solid SEO strategy, and while there is no denying that the CMS saves you time and helps you to adhere to best practices without experience, you need to understand that you need to put in the effort to rank your website on Google.

Adding in internal links to other pages in WordPress is really simple. All you need to do is highlight the text which you want to link (this will be your link's anchor text) and click the ‘link’ button on the toolbar, which will then allow you to either paste a URL or search for pages within your site.

You can then submit your sitemap location (sitemap.xml):

WordPress gives you a number of different options for how URLs are structured, and you need to make sure you are using the most SEO-friendly option.

If you are using lots of images and rich media within your content, the size of the page can increase noticeably, but this is often because images not being properly optimized. A common image issue is using one that is much larger than the size than the image will actually display at — this is a sign that the image was not optimized.

Before you learn how to properly optimize your WordPress site and start to increase your organic traffic, there are a few basics that you need to make sure you have covered to be confident that you are working with a solid build.

1. Choose a Reliable Hosting Provider.

Here’s a great guide that gives more insight into creating content for SEO to help you improve your skills while approaching and writing content that will help you rank better.

Of course, it isn’t the right platform for everyone, and there are times when there may be other CMS options that are better suited to your individual needs. Commonly cited disadvantages and cons of WordPress usually relate to the need for frequent updates, potential vulnerabilities (if you are not keeping your site updated), and a little bit of a learning curve to launch bespoke themes. But for the most, it is an extremely powerful platform and one which also gives you great foundations for SEO success.

One of the reasons you have chosen WordPress as your website’s CMS might be because you have read that it is SEO-friendly out of the box. In fact, you only have to check out WordPress' own list of 'powerful features' on their homepage to see that they are proud that the platform is SEO-friendly:

This should at least give you the confidence that you are choosing a theme that is not going to hold you back.

There is no arguing that WordPress is one of the most SEO-friendly CMS’ out there, and that is one of the reasons why it is so popular. Not only is it user-friendly, but it is easy to implement a whole host of SEO tactics using just a small number of fantastic plugins.

Once it is installed, you need to activate the plugin. We will be installing additional plugins as we work through our top WordPress SEO tips. To see other ways to install a WP plugin, visit this guide.

You consider rewriting your title tag to include variants that define location or intent:

Once you are there, search for the plugin which you want to install and hit ‘install now.’

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