Creating and launching a fully-fledged website isn't enough to get your brand noticed by itself.
In order to enhance your online visibility, you'll need to carry out search engine optimization (SEO) practices.
If you want to achieve a higher ranking on Google and different search engines, you’ll need to get serious about search engine optimization. If you use WordPress as your Content Management System, there are an amount of inbuilt features that make optimizing your content for search particularly easier.
So what's it that makes WordPress such a strong platform for SEO? Let’s take a look.
1. Permalink Structure
Permalinks are the permanent URLs for your web pages, categories, posts and tag archives. It's the web address used to link to your individual blog post and web page. By default, permalinks look something like this:
This structure makes it troublesome for search engine crawlers to read and index your web pages and posts. That means you'll need to make it more accessible for both search engines and we visitors.
WordPress allows you to customize your URL permalinks for every of your pages & posts, adding a clear description of your page’s content as well as any relevant keywords - this makes your URL structure search-engine friendly.
To change your default permalink URLs, you'll need to go to Settings → Permalink. You'll change it either using /post-name/, or /category/post-name. You can also set it using date and name, however, i would prefer you to use “Post Name” to optimize your permalink structure for search engines. The custom permalink URL structure can look something like this:
Tip: after making a custom permalink structure, ensure you save all the changes.
2. Easy to make SEO-friendly titles
The “title tags”, or the title of a blog post, is one of the crucial aspects when it comes to getting a better ranking on search engine result pages. The title tags not only tell search engines what your web page is all about, however also leave the first impression on the people who see your post title in the search results.
Since search engines focus more on the initial words of the titles, ensure you add your keywords at the start of your title tag – this may help you rank better. Hence, WordPress allows you to optimize your title tags for SEO using the All-in-One-SEO-Pack plugin.
After installing this plugin, you'll need to access your WordPress admin panel → go to Settings → all in One SEO Pack and add the following:
Post Title: %post_title%
Page Title: %page_title%
This will help you to create unique, relevant, engaging & search engine friendly title for your site, which in turn increase your CTR as well as page views.
3. Creating unique Meta Descriptions for SEO
A meta description is a snippet of content that you will see under the page link within a Google search result page. It provides a brief summary of your blog post or a webpage to both the search engine bots as well as web audiences. This may help you get better ranking on SERPs.
It means that creating engaging, search engine friendly and unique meta descriptions for all your pages and posts will enhance your visibility across search engines & can also help you get a higher click-through rate.
The default WordPress settings make it easy for you to optimize your meta descriptions for Google and different search engines. Better yet, you'll use the Yoast SEO plugin or all in One SEO Pack to automatically create SEO-friendly meta descriptions for your WordPress site.
4. It’s easy to generate an XML Sitemap in WordPress
WordPress permits you to create and submit an XML sitemap simply to search engine webmaster tools. An XML sitemap allows you to tell Google and different search engine bots regarding all your web pages and posts exist on your site. It allows search engine crawlers to read and index your site quickly and easily.
Luckily, WordPress offers a ton of plugins which will help you generate an XML sitemap for all your pages, posts, custom post types, categories, and tags. You'll use Yoast SEO, or Google XML sitemap plugins to let search engines better index your WordPress site.
For an example: we are using Yoast SEO plugin to generate an XML sitemap for your WordPress site. Once installing and activating the plugin, you'll need to enable the XML Sitemaps. To do that, go to the SEO → XML Sitemaps and click on the checkbox to enable this functionality.
5. Use of tags and categories
The main purpose of tags and categories are to help web visitors navigate your blogs easily & quickly, that in turn, help you get a better search ranking (if used properly). In a nutshell, categories are the table of contents for your blog, while tags are the index that helps a search engine to interpret your blog’s subject matter with ease.
Both the categories and tags help you create a better structure and allow Google to notice it while indexing the blog posts of your WordPress. So, ensure you have all the subcategories and have a well-structured post to make it as easy as possible for search engine crawlers to “read” your content.
To add categories, you will need to go to the Posts → categories and Tickets → Labels.
Ensure that you use the most effective tricks to optimize the categories and tags in WordPress for SEO.
6. Simple and clean code
The code behind WordPress is clean and simple, allowing search engine bots to index your site with ease. Since it's an open source platform, you'll see constant modifications in terms of security, performance, and functionalities to let Google and other search engines to position your site higher up the SERP.
Although WordPress already performs well in this specific area, ensuring that you install well-coded themes and plugins to ensure the high quality of your WordPress site.
7. Optimization of images for SEO
If you want to drive more web traffic to your site, then you can’t overlook image optimization. It's one of the crucial aspects of good SEO.
Image optimization is all about creating engaging, relevant image titles and alt text so that you'll get better visibility on Google and other image search engines. WordPress makes it simple to add alt text and titles to your images when you upload them to its CMS, so that image optimization is simply a matter of filling in the right fields.
8. Linking to related posts
Allow search engines to crawl your older posts easily and quickly using the related posts plugin. It's a great WordPress plugin which will help you add a link to related posts within your new content, thereby increasing your SEO capabilities with ease.
The plugin makes it incredibly simple to add related posts to your blog posts and pages, re-ordering related posts via drag and drop functionality, without generating a single piece of code.
Other key points on WordPress SEO:
(a) Since Google loves fast loading websites, WordPress makes it simple for you to optimize the speed of your site by:
- compressing the CSS and JS files
- Minimizing HTTP needs
- Optimizing image file sizes
- using Caching
- Use of CDN services
- Upgrading the core WordPress, put in themes and plugins on an everyday basis.
(b) WordPress allows you to create a new page with fresh, updated and improved content to help you get better ranking on SERPs.
(c) In case you forget to optimize the permalink of an existing/older blog post, then you'll tweak the slug to a more relevant and search engine friendly URL.
If you want to avoid a 404 error, then ensure you add a 301 permanent redirect to the older version of your post. This will redirect your web visitors and search engines to the new URL, that in turn will boost your page views.
If you use WordPress as your Content Management System (CMS), these tips should probably help to you use it in the most effective way to boost your search ranking.
All you need to do is understand the WordPress SEO functionalities and how to get the most out from them and you'll drive quality traffic towards your website.