Are you converting a website to WordPress? Then you must know about these WordPress SEO best practices which will boost your online visibility. Anyone who is familiar with the open-source CMS is aware that it is an SEO-friendly platform. However, most of the features do not start working out of the box. Website owners need to take some necessary steps in order to fully exploit the platform’s optimization potential. Another factor that impacts optimization in a major way is search engines. Google regularly alters its algorithm to make sure its users can access accurate and helpful results. This forces webmasters to change their approach to make certain their pages are placed in prominent positions in relevant searches. The following SEO best practices must be followed by WordPress website owners to improve the performance of their interfaces.
1. Conduct An Incisive Keyword Research
In the early days, people used to stuff their content with keywords irrespective of their relevance to the text material. Once Google understood this tactic, it made changes to penalize this practice. Now, it is impossible to rank a content matter unless it is informative, interesting, and well-written. However, keywords still remain an integral part of the optimization strategy. Incisive research is required to unearth terms that are being used the most by people. Use Google Ads Keyword Planner and the Analytics tool to find top phrases and their variants in a domain. The choice of keywords is also affected by new trends like increased voice searches. Using longtail terms will give a much better chance of ranking well as compared to choosing single words. Make sure that the main phrases are included in the title and header tags along with the content.
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2. Content Forms The Core Of SEO Strategy
Content is the foundation of any optimization strategy. Posting unique and relevant material for the target audience was and still remains the best way to improve online visibility. Keyword planning and insertion is only a part of the overall content strategy. It is essential that the user base you are focusing on finds the material helpful and interesting. Moreover, search engines like interfaces which regularly update their content. Add a blog to the website so that new stuff can be regularly uploaded to the interface. Sprinkle the keywords naturally throughout the text and remember to write for humans and not to target search engine algorithms. It is not only write-ups that can help in improving SERP rankings. Visual content like photos and videos can also do the job. Choose the best file format for the visuals and resize them before uploading. Add optimized titles and descriptions with the clips and ALT tags with the images. This will help people as well as search engines to understand the nature of the content easily.
3. Create An Efficient Permalink Structure
Selecting an efficient permalink structure is one of the most vital WordPress SEO best practices. The default URL structure of the CMS looks like this:
This does not give any idea about what the page contains. Take a look at some other URL structure examples:
The latter URL clearly defines the content of its page. It will also be liked by search engine spiders as the structure helps them to know what the link is all about. WordPress users can easily create a similar permalink structure. They have to access the admin dashboard of their website’s installation and visit “Settings > Permalinks”. There they can select a format for their posts according to the post name, month and date, etc.
4. Mobile-friendliness Is Mandatory
One of the biggest factors to impact searches in recent years has been the popularity of mobile devices. These gadgets are driving modern day internet traffic and people are using them for searching as well as conducting transactions. People who only have a desktop website will lose the chance to reach out to mobile users. Webmasters must ensure that their interfaces are displayed perfectly on all kinds of devices. Responsive web design techniques help in creating pages that fit themselves according to the device they are being viewed on. Google uses mobile-first indexing which means that it uses the mobile version of a page for indexing purposes. Earlier it was using the desktop format for the same task. The ever-growing number of mobile-using people forced it to change its approach. In today’s world, a mobile-friendly interface is mandatory for achieving a high search ranking.
5. Ensure Optimum Page Load Speeds
The increasing use of smart devices gave rise to an interesting trend. It is seen that people using such gadgets are more impatient than traditional desktop users. In case, a page takes more than 3-4 seconds to load, people abandon it in favor of another option. Even desktop users will switch to another website if the time taken by a page goes beyond 8-9 seconds. Slow pages, therefore, witness high bounce rates, poor traffic and lack of user trust. Moreover, page loading speed is an important ranking signal for Google. All these factors necessitate that webmasters take steps to ensure optimum loading speeds for their interfaces. They can implement image optimization and browser caching to speed up their websites. Using code minification techniques during development will also help in building a fast interface.
6. Include An XML Sitemap On The Website
It will be pertinent to note that Google ranks pages and not just interfaces. This makes it essential to provide updated information about all the pages of a website to search engines. An XML Sitemap which contains all the details related to each page of an interface helps in this purpose. Adding it to the website helps search engines as well as visitors in locating the different sections. Do remember to keep the information in the sitemap and the robots.txt file consistent. For example, if a page has been blocked in the robots.txt, then it should not be a part of the sitemap.
These WordPress SEO best practices will help in optimizing interfaces and improving their online visibility. Website owners must keep track of changes being announced by search engines as well as developments in their industry to modify their optimization approach accordingly.