Imagine owning an online women’s fashion store, and if someone looks up “best women’s fashion store,” it would be ideal if your WordPress website comes first in the Google search results. With this, anyone looking for similar stores around that area has a higher probability of coming across your site, opening the website to get information, and making a purchase.
Getting your website on top of the search engine results page or SERP can help you achieve this. You only have to put some time and effort into your WordPress website’s search engine optimisation or SEO. While WordPress tries to follow the best practices of SEO with its code, there are multiple best things you can do to reap the maximum benefits from the SEO efforts. We suggest following SEO practices at the time while you’re building a WordPress website. While optimising the WordPress website with SEO might sound intimidating, it does not have to be complex. Below is a simple WordPress SEO guide that can help.
SEO: What is it?
SEO or Search engine optimisation is a strategy that helps get more organic traffic to your website. The traffic is achieved by increasing the visibility and ranking of your website on search engines like Google. The content from your website will appear on the top of the search engine for queries that have been optimised.
SEO is not about tricking the search engine but optimising and formatting it to make the task of the search engine crawler finding you easier.
What Makes SEO So Important?
Search engines form the largest source of organic traffic for digital websites. They use different advanced algorithms to understand and rank other pages per the search results. But these algorithms are imperfect and need some help understanding your content more.
When your content is not optimised, the search engine will not rank it. Thus, your website will only appear in the SERP when potential consumers search for a related topic. As a result, you are more likely to reach your potential customers interested in the product or services you provide through SEO.
Moreover, with a focus on ranking and creating organic content, you can make your website more trustworthy to visitors.
WordPress SEO Guide: Things to Keep in Mind
Below are some factors you should keep in mind that can help you significantly in improving your WordPress website’s search engine optimisation.
1. Check The Visibility Settings
Checking the visibility setting of your website in WordPress is critical. WordPress contains a setting that permits the admin to hide the website from appearing in search engines. It can be a handy feature when you want to build or rebuild your website and do not want anyone to visit. You can find this feature in the WordPress dashboard. Go to the “Settings” tab and then to “Reading.” Ensure you have not turned this feature on after completing the website, as SEO will not work if switched on.
2. Work On Your Permalink
Permalink or permanent links are specific to website posts, pages, and blogs. They help provide information about the page, blog, or post from the URL. Thus, the visitors are aware of where they are clicking. Therefore, it is critical to change the permalinks to provide the best user experience and improve the SEO.
The search engine crawlers will read the permalinks of your WordPress website to decide if your website provides an answer to the user queries. So, for example, for the thrift store support, you have a page highlighting environmentally friendly products; the permalink will be like: www.yourwebsite.com/environment-friendly-products.
To change the permalink, visit the “Permalinks” tab in your dashboard’s “Settings” section.
3. Choosing WWW or non-WWW
When starting with the website, it is critical to note if you will use www (www.xyz.com) or non-www (https://xyz.com) in the URL. The crawlers will consider them as different websites; thus, you should choose only one. You can find the option in the “Settings” page and then the “General” section. You can add your preferred URL in the “site address” and “WordPress address” fields.
4. Use Categories and Tags
Having categories and tags on your website will help separate different types of content, like pages or blog posts, into particular groups. In addition, it helps improve SEO significantly as the search engine crawler can recognise the website’s structure and content. Moreover, having them helps users quickly find the content they want, enriching their overall experience.
Tags: These are specific keywords that help in describing what a post or page is about. You can find it in the WordPress dashboard in the “Posts” section.
Categories: These are broad groups to classify your pages and posts. You can go to the “Settings” menu in the dashboard and click on “Writing” to find the “Add new category” option.
5. Choose The Best SEO Plugin
Adding WordPress plugins can enhance the functionalities of the website. In addition, it can help you add new features that do not come from scratch. There are many plugins available that can help in improving the SEO of your WordPress website. You can browse through the plugin library in WordPress and choose the plugin that is best for you.
Some standard SEO plugins that can be useful are SmartCrawl Pro, Yoast SEO, or AIOSEO. These plugins can help you build XML sitemaps, optimise the content and titles with keywords, use categories and tags, and much more. Install the plugin of your choice into your WordPress website to improve the SEO.
6. Add the Website to the Search Console
The search console of Google, also called the “Webmaster Tool,” is a group of tools that helps the owner understand how the content is being seen through the eyes of the crawler. The console has data and reports to show how the webpages appear when your potential customers search results. It helps you understand what is working for your website and what is not, and you can modify the strategy accordingly.
7. Build XML Sitemaps
XML sitemaps are code files containing your WordPress website’s pages. It helps search engine crawlers find and evaluate the content to rank your site. However, creating the XML sitemap might require extensive coding knowledge; thus, adding an SEO plugin to help make it automatic is the best option.
8. Use Internal Linking
Improving the SEO will require you to increase the website’s authority. Search engine crawlers use the number of internal links leading to your posts, blogs, or other content to estimate your website’s authority. To link the content, you can select the words where you wish to add the link and then select the link option from the toolbar.
9. Optimise the Images
Using alt text for your images can help you in improving your SEO. Search engines use the alt text (descriptions of the image) to rank the website while determining if the image has the information the user wants. You can use SEO plugins like Bulk Auto Image Alt Text or others to help you add alt text to your pictures.
10. Use SSL
SSL is a security technology that helps encrypt the browser and server link. Therefore, it helps secure the information between the visitor and your website. In addition, search engines look for secure connections when ranking sites. Thus, if your website has SSL, it will be ranked higher than others that don’t. WordPress automatically provides SSL to the website; you do not have to add anything manually. But if required, you can use any SSL plugin.
11. Adding Nofollow External Linking
Linking helps search engines to decide on the crucial pages. So when you go for linking to the source or a website, some of the SEO scores will go with that link, and this score is known as the “link juice”. So to have a good SEO ranking, you must ensure that the link juice you get is higher than what you give away.
You can add “nofollow” to all your external links so that the search engine crawlers do not follow these links and your link juice is saved. You can use a plugin like the AIOSEO plugin to add “nofollow” to your link.
Undoubtedly, WordPress is the best choice for your business and allows great flexibility; it is still critical to take the SEO of your WordPress website into your own hands. You can drastically increase your website’s authority and ranking by using all or some of the above tips. And once you attain this, you will be able to get more visitors and conversions. The development and design of your website play a crucial role. You must choose an expert WordPress development company like Enterprise Monkey to increase and sell your digital presence.
So what are you waiting for? Start today!