Easily Improve Your WordPress Site’s SEO Using These 7 Tips
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that is a leader in the United States and most of the world. If you’re looking for a flexible, intuitive web content management tool, it can’t be beat. But what if the main or even secondary purpose of your website is SEO, ie ranking well for your primary keywords on search engines like Google and Bing? There are many tips we can give on how to get the best performance from your WordPress site.
1. Use an SEO Plugin
There are many plugins (aka tools/apps you can add to WordPress) that focus solely on helping your site reach its maximize SEO potential. Just do a Google search – “Wordpress SEO plugin” – and you’ll have no problem finding one. One of our favorites is a “rich snippet plugin”. A rich snippet is a short summary of your page in the results of Google and other search engines that includes a short sentence or two describing what your post or page is about. This plugin can help you edit the content of the page so the search engines get the best of it.
We recommend Yoast SEO, as it not only has a feature to modify rich snippets, it can help you change your url, change your article’s title, and will even grade you on how you used your keyword throughout the content. It also has other handy tools which will come up later.
2. Encourage Sharing
Depending on your theme, be it custom or pre-made, you may have sharing features built in. These would be the icons that appear before and/or after your content that encourages readers to share your page on their social media. It’s useful both if your sharing visitor has a lot of followers or even if they don’t, search engines may pick up on your share count. (This also helps to grow your social media followers.)
3. Use a Call to Action (CTA)
No matter what your page or post is about, it is imperative that your visitors remain on the site as long as possible. We recommend a call to action on as many pages as possible to keep visitors engaged and digging deeper into your site. CTA’s include: click onto another similar article; sign up for a newsletter; watch a video; register for discount or other incentive to take a certain action – and much more. The more time your visitors stay and the more pages they click, the better your page rank will be when searches are done.
4. Optimize Permalinks
A permalink is a permanent link to a specific blog or page on your website that will not change; which means it won’t suffer link death. Permalinks always point to a specific piece of content. Your Home Page and other archived pages will change as new content is added; but a permalink will always access the post or page that is specified.
Permalinks help search engine optimization since an SEO crafted permalink will contain the keywords you want to rank higher for. Exactly how much it helps is debatable, but many SEO “experts” agree that having your ideal keywords in a permalink WILL benefit your rankings. Yoast SEO can help with this.
5. Control Google Crawlers
These little guys are basically automated programs that search your site for content and pull out keywords and other data to rank you. However, if you have pages that are short or are not built for SEO, you can and should tell Google not to crawl them. These include web pages like logins, shopping carts, confirmations, short forms, some catalog pages, and other content light pages. Every page that doesn’t add to your SEO efforts will drag them down. Whomever is managing your site’s SEO should be very familiar with this practice. Just make sure they’ve went through the entire site and indicated which content you don’t want to be discovered.
6. Fight Spam
Similar to the above, there are also crawlers that look for contact forms and comments to fill out and bombard with useless spam. You may have seen them before, for example, when someone makes a comment on a page or post giving a generic compliment and link to a sales site or something more dangerous. Spam can also come in the form of contact forms filled out numerous times with solicitations for their services, not yours.
Not only is this annoying for the webmaster, it is a disaster when search engines rank your site’s bounce rate. Using a captcha tool like Google’s very own recaptcha will help counteract this.
7. Secure Your Site
Just like WordPress is the most popular CMS, it is also one of the most popular to hack into. Hackers will often hijack your site and push their own spammy content. This will drive the Google crawlers crazy and drive down your page rank. Make sure you have the latest security tools installed, optimized, and running at their most current version.
And these are just some of the tips that can help you improve the SEO of your WordPress website. Other good and commonly known strategies include backlinks to your site and writing relevant and cleverly keyworded content, among others. If you are an industrial company and would like to improve your site’s SEO but need assistance, we’re here to help.