WordPress is the most SEO-friendly Content Management System but that does not mean that you sit back and hope your site make an appearance on top of Google search results with no additional efforts. Manual SEO efforts are always required if you want your website to perform well in organic searches. It works for you that WordPress makes it very easy and convenient to weave in SEO best practices into the structural fabric of a website.
Search Engine Optimization is essential for a seamless user experience, where you are primarily fine tuning your blog for human visitors and not search engines.
Google updates have ensured that websites take the required efforts to make it to higher rankings and do not resort to black hat practices to garner results.
Spammy links, keywords overload and non-responsive websites fail to make it good in Google rankings, in fact, the search engine giant penalizes sites that make these mistakes.
Here are a few tips for you to ensure that your WordPress blog is optimized for SEO and delivers a fabulous UX.
#1: Invest in Content
Search engines place much importance on user traffic and the more traction you pick up higher are the chances of getting better rankings.
For your blog to get more visitors, subscribers and shares, you need to focus on generating world class content. Read up popular and high authority blogs in your niche to get an idea on what appeals to your target audience.
Have an inside-out understanding of the user base you are aiming for. You should have proper insight into what will appeal to that particular segment and what you should do to get the audience’s attention.
Unique, interesting, sharable and useful content is always appreciated on the Web. If you are persistent and regularly update and publish quality content you will be able to generate genuine, organic and recurring traffic that will eventually result in a positive change in your SERPs.
Research on trending topics and write in-depth, expert and useful content that aims to address problems or issues that your core audience experience. How-to guides, tutorials, history or origin stories, curated lists and Q&As or FAQs are all favorites of niche audience and can lay the claim to being online evergreens.
As opposed to a tweet which peaks in about 18 minutes an evergreen post can pull in visitors for years!
#2: Choose a Great SEO Plugin
WordPress offers you the option of choosing from a plethora of plugins to maximize the SEO potential of your website or blog.
WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast is the most popular SEO plugin and offers many options to make use of the power of social sharing. Other popular options include All-in-one SEO pack, WP Social, Rank Reveal and SEOPressor.
Keep in mind that an SEO plugin alone will not make your blog win the rankings battle. You need to follow it up with SEO-friendly practices and make sure that your site is optimized for the plugin.
Yoast is quite simple to set up and can integrate with all social sharing sites to give regular updates whenever you publish content.
Using a plugin optimally requires you to tailor your meta descriptions. Ensure that you craft the right meta description for every web page article. You can ideally limit your characters to between 130 and 155. Google will truncate the description if you exceed the limit. Use the keyword around which your content is structured in the meta description because it will show up below the URL in the search results.
Yoast checks whether you have keyword mentioned in the article heading, title and URL of the page, meta description, image Alt description and content of the page and gives you a green/red score indicating SEO-friendliness. You also must ensure that other pages of your website do not focus on the same keyword to avoid traffic leak.
#3: Choose a Good WordPress Host
You know that Google takes into consideration the load time of a site when ranking it. If your site loads quickly, then it is a big step towards providing the best user experience.
There are a variety of hosting solutions for you to choose from and the right host can improve your SEO and outreach.
Free hosting and shared hosting work if you have a small website with limited traffic, but if you have advanced business needs this option may not offer you all the facilities you need.
Shared hosting is very cost-effective, but you will be sharing server space with a ton of other companies. Customer support will be tardy but will definitely be the right solution for small companies. If your website does not generate much revenue and you only have a few hundred visitors a month then shared hosting can be perfect for your budget.
Managed web hosting is another great option for you, especially if the business site contributes the majority of revenue. There are many benefits if you prefer this more expensive option. You get additional customized services like server monitoring, state-of-the-art security, customer support, data backup, WordPress and plugin updates, and theme and plugin compatibility. This is highly convenient for busy business owners and frees up time to concentrate on other things.
Managed WordPress hosting also gives you inbuilt caching capabilities which can massively reduce website page loading time.
#4: Build Juicy Links
Suitable and appropriate backlinks are great to pass on valuable SEO juice to your blog.
Spammy links and wrongful tactics cannot escape Google and you will be met with the harsh penalty if you resort to them.
Place natural and useful links in your blog posts. They should ideally link to quality and authoritative sites in your niche. You will inevitably pass on SEO juice to those sites, but they also help you increase your sharable worth. Your blog will appear socially interactive, user-focused and informative to Google thereby giving you a higher link profile which reflects in improved SERP rankings.
If you publish fresh, unique and interesting content, other blogs will also backlink to your blog thus improving your search rankings. When good quality websites link to your blog, Google reads this as a verification of the usability and sharability of your website.
Interlinking to relevant content in your own site and to authoritative sites is the way to go as far as building blog authority goes. Anchor text is important when trying to build quality links. Use natural anchor text and do not overdo it because Google might see it in an unfavorable light.
WordPress is a very well coded CMS platform that is intrinsically SEO-friendly. But if you do not work on it, it will be difficult to leverage the advantages the system has. Stay on top of all updates and ensure that you take the necessary steps to land yourself in the first page of Google searches.
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