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6 SEO Best Practices for WordPress Users

by Olufisayo
SEO Best Practices

When you enter the world of digital marketing and are looking for any kind of organic growth, there is only one God that you need to look up to – Google.

None of your prayers, candles, treats, or money really works here. What matters is how reliable are you at SEO? But, SEO is a path paved with twists and turns that will always leave you wanting for more.

So, how do you get that coveted traffic on your blog or website? Well, you could hire a WordPress agency in London that takes care of everything, or you can go with the DIY approach.

Nevertheless, you’ll need some kind of direction, strategy, and techniques to win the war against SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). Sorry to say but, simply pumping keywords onto your page just doesn’t cut it anymore.

We have come up with 6 definitive ways to reach that summit. Beware, the road will still call for all the blood and sweat you have but, it shall not lead you astray for sure.

       

1. SEO-Ready Themes and Plugins

A WordPress theme goes much far than selecting the most aesthetic set of colours and layouts. Similarly, plugins are not about choosing the trendiest features. They provide an alluring appearance and determine the site functionalities that, in turn, drive SEO.

Let’s look at a few features that shall decide the SEO-friendliness of a WordPress theme or plugin.

  • Offers a clean HTML with a conical meta tag
  • Backs the use of headings (h1, h2, h3, etc.)
  • Has built-in support for schemas
  • Sports a developer-friendly interface
  • Ensures lightning-fast loading speeds
  • Ready for on-page SEO

2. Choose a Great Hosting Provider

A hosting provider, directly and indirectly, holds the power to boost your rankings. One of the chief differentiators for SEO is the page loading speed. A lousy provider can set you back in line without even you realizing it.

Plus, the downtime and server distance also needs to be checked. You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to analyze your website and gauge its performance over time.

Furthermore, be extremely cautious of the robots.txt file that a host employs. It may stop the crawlers from reading the entire content on your website or cause a significant delay in the crawl rate, thus negatively affecting your rankings on the search engine.

       

3. Create and Upload a Sitemap

Since Google Maps came to life, the instances of getting lost and asking for endless directions have come to a halt. The same notion applies to your website, as well. A sitemap gives the users and the search engine your location and the directions to go anywhere in your world.

Creating and publishing a sitemap allows the users to find your content with ease and move past the 404 pages without bouncing off. As for the search engines, the sitemaps act as a hierarchy model, helping them understand the correlation between different pages and indexing them as per their relevance. You can either create a sitemap manually or go for plugins like Google XML Sitemaps and Yoast SEO.

While the search engines can always locate your sitemaps, using the Google Search Console to submit them specifically works in your favor.

4. Change the Permalink Structure

Permalink is a part of the URL that bends at your will. These are usually accompanied by slugs that form the ending part of your URL. Now comes the great part. You can alter these slugs to include your keywords. Just go to Settings > Permalink Settings > Select Post Name. This will ensure that your URL is clean and straightforward.

Going a step further, you can also customize the slug to include the targeted keywords in your strategy. A perfect blend of keywords in the title, content, meta description & tags, and the URL primes the post for relevant results and boosts your page towards organic rankings. WordPress shows a separate “Slug” field for you to edit each post on the post creation page.

       

5. Optimise for Speed and Responsiveness

Cross-device compatibility is highly revered in the digital arena. No matter the device your customer, reader or visitor uses, you need to be ready to put your best foot forward. This starts with designing a responsive WordPress website.

Ever since Google mentioned mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor in 2013, adaption has become imperative. There are multiple ways to go here. You can either choose a Responsive Web Design Technique, build a hybrid solution or install a theme/plugin that adds responsiveness as a feature.

Another part you need to look at is page speed as it typically determines your bounce rate and hence, credibility in Google’s dictionary. Image compression and browser caching are great options, to begin with. You can also use a plethora of plugins such as WP Super Cache, WP Rocket, and W3 Total Cache to handle all the aspects individually.

6. Build Your Content

There is no workaround, alternative, or trick to genuine, high-quality content that provides value to your audience. Three aspects drive the content train – relevance, uniqueness, and keyword optimization.

Relevance

Relevance is the facet that decides whether your user gains something from your content or not. It is typically based upon knowing why your audience comes to you and how you can fill the informational gap in their understanding.

       

Uniqueness

Google marks negatively against plagiarism and duplicate content. So, even if you’re posting from your own blogs or profiles, make sure to repurpose the content in a way that it passes the plagiarism test effectively.

Keyword Optimisation

Last but not least, we know we said that only putting in the keywords isn’t enough. But, that doesn’t mean you stop doing it altogether. Conduct extensive keyword research, draft a strategy and place them within your content, headings, meta description, and tags. Avoid stuffing it everywhere and maintain a good density to get your spot in the SERPs.

Conclusion

The practices mentioned above are only the beginning of gaining a fully-functional SEO strategy. Organic growth is fickle and needs to be tended to regularly. Don’t forget to keep a check on what’s working and what’s not to stay ahead of the curve.

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