Search engine optimization(SEO) is the word that has been making a lot of buzz in digital marketing. However, if you have set up a WPwebsite recently, you must first understand that SEO essentially refers to optimizing your website to increase organic traffic. In addition, it aims at incorporating certain best practices to improve your visibility by improving the ranking of your website in the Search engine result pages. Despite Word Press being a platform that has enjoyed immense popularity among website owners because of its ease of setup, maintenance and is supposed to follow SEO best practices, you still need to take many more actions to incorporate some best WordPress SEO tips to improve your rankings.
Most successful websites attribute a significant share of their traffic to SEO. This fact is reiterated from a study by BrightEdge Research, which observes that organic search constitutes the most significant share among various marketing channels that drive web traffic.
The research reveals that organic search accounts for 53% of web traffic directed towards a website, which is way ahead of any other digital marketing channel.
This study also shows that organic search plays a very vital role in the revenue results of different work sectors.
The above-mentioned BrightEdge Research also observes that organic search again takes the significant revenue share of 44.6%, although the lead is not as big as the other channels.
It is seen from the above findings that SEO or organic traffic plays the most crucial role in driving web traffic and also forms a vital part of the revenue results of any website. Hence, as a beginner, you must give due importance to WordPress SEO if you wish to see your website scale new heights of success.
Let me take you through a complete Beginner’s guide to WordPress SEO that will help your website achieve the highest ranking in the Google search engine result pages.
Inspect Your WP site’s Visibility Settings
WordPress has a setting option that can hide your website from a search engine; this option is useful when your website is in the development stage and can not go public. Once your site is ready to go live, you must examine in the settings if the visibility settings are unchecked or else search engines won’t be able to find you. You can access this setting by log in to the admin area of your WP site, go to Settings > Reading. Look for the “Search Engine Visibility” setting and ensure that this option is unchecked.
Use Optimized Permalinks(URLs) Structure
URLs or permalink structures can play a crucial role in guiding Search engines in the desired direction and improve your SEO rankings. So, it is always advisable to make them SEO optimized. Each post and each webpage has a separate permalink(URL), and to create an SEO optimized URL, you must include keywords that are self-explanatory about the content of the post, or the webpage, say, e.g., a contact page must use the following URL
As seen in the above URL, the text explains what the page is all about to the user.
Whereas the WordPress default permalink structure for the contact page may look something like this:
In the above URL, the text used here, the numbers, has no connection with the page’s content and so leaves the user only guessing about it. So, to use custom permalinks, you need to access the Settings » Permalinks page and select the post name option as shown in the example above, and then click on the ‘Save Changes’ button to save your changes.
Give Your WP Website SSL Certificate Security
Google as a policy gives a better ranking to websites that are secured by SSL Certificate as it wants to secure user data against any data breach and online identity theft. Hence, securing your WP website with an SSL Certificate with various choices available with the most reputed and inexpensive SSL providers like Comodo SSL Certificates, Digicert, Symantec, and many more, ensures the highest degree of security. The SSL Certificate encrypts all the in-transit communication exchanged between the user web browser and the client-server and protects confidential user data against any hacking attempts.
Once the website is SSL secured, the protocol shifts from HTTP to secured HTTPS. A visual symbol of trust, a padlock is introduced before the URL of the WP website. You have to click on this padlock to view the SSL Certificate details, as shown in the example below.
SSL Certificate builds user trust, thus raising user experience to the next level and helping to improve your SEO ranking.
Content Optimization For SEO
First and foremost, create quality content that is useful and brings applicable information to users. Then, research well to select your target keywords and include them in your content. Also, the use of different links across the content will help you attract traffic to your website content.
Sorting and arranging your content can help users navigate easily through your content and improve the user experience of your website. In WordPress, you can put all the posts on common topics under one Category and thus create different categories. You can even organize your content using sub-topics with the help of Tags.
You can create categories and tags and go to Posts > Categories and Posts > Tags, as shown below.
Keeping all these pointers in mind, create content that is optimized for SEO.
Optimize Website Structure
Attention must be paid to a well-structured website design that is very easy for users to navigate and find the information they are looking for. In WordPress, you can categorize your web pages and make it easy for the search engine to understand what each page is about. A well-structured website will help you highlight your keywords and gain backlinks for your website. Clutter-free design with free white spaces highlights products, CTAs, etc., and differentiation between different design elements. It makes your website attractive for visitors and improves user experience, and hence improves your SEO ranking.
Focus On High Speeds For Your Website
Achieving high loading speeds for your website is a must. Slow-loading websites lower the user experience and can trigger high bounce rates. Google, in turn, will take no time to drop your ranking on the Google search engine result pages. By following a few simple practices such as optimizing images before loading, embedding for loading video and audio files, and using a WordPress caching plugin for your WP website can help you achieve your SEO goals.
Strive for Mobile Optimization
A study by Statista reveals that mobile e-Commerce had a share of $1.4 trillion in 2017 and is estimated to reach an enormous amount of $3.5 trillion in 2021. So, with mobile phones having such a strong market presence and contribution to website traffic, it is only imperious to go for mobile optimization of your website, if you wish to see your online business to see a successful future. Any bad mobile user experience can cause a severe dent in your SEO and result in Google downgrading you on the Google search engine result page.
In conclusion, we can say that by focusing on the simple essential WordPress hacks, you can help your website have an excellent and sound beginning towards high SEO ranking and seeing a successful journey of growth.