Top WordPress SEO Tips and Techniques Checklist
Most SEO guides feed you with too much technical stuff that new WordPress users can get lost. For better SEO, there are so many factors to consider which can be overwhelming if you are just starting out. Here are my own personal check list of best WordPress SEO tips and techniques to boost rankings in 2018.
Best WordPress SEO Tips and Techniques Checklist
My first recommended WordPress SEO technique is to install a good WordPress SEO plugin. There are some great SEO plugins like Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Plugin which encourage you to follow SEO best practices. If you are running a blog, I highly recommend Yoast SEO plugin.
Yoast SEO is a very popular plugin with more than 1 million installs. The plugin helps you write SEO optimized posts by doing complete keyword analysis for you. The plugin also helps you to automatically generate XML sitemaps, enable breadcrumbs, add social and schema markup.
By default, WordPress displays the ugly URLs with numbers at the end. These default URLs are not very SEO friendly. You can change these URL to text-based pretty URL by going to Settings > Permalinks. This is a simple yet important step for SEO.
Keyword research is still the most important element of SEO in 2018. The first step before writing any blog post is to do some keyword research. Find less competitive long-tail keywords that have 4-10 words. Take advantage of Yoast SEO plugin to set your primary focus keyword. The Yoast SEO plugin will automatically analyze the keyword in the blog post and give you suggestions for improvements. The more green buttons you get in the SEO analysis portion, the better WordPress SEO your post will have.
Sitemap tells the structure of your website to Google. An XML sitemap informs Google and other search engines about all the pages in your website available for crawling. To create XML sitemap you can take use a plugin like Google XML Sitemaps.
You can also use your WordPress SEO plugins like Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Plugin to generate an XML sitemap. If you have Yoast SEO plugin, you can go to SEO>>XML sitemaps from your dashboard and then enable the sitemap as shown in the image.
Using large size images can slow your website down. Use plugins like Smush Image Compression and Optimization to automatically compress your images in the dashboard.
If you don’t like adding an extra plugin to your website, then simply run your images through an online image optimizer like this one before uploading it to WordPress.
The next thing to remember about images is to add a proper ALT and TITLE tag to your images. These tags are observed by Google to check how relevant your image is to the content. Here is the proper HTML code to add the image tags.
<img src=”image.jpg” alt=”image description” title=”image title”/>
Fortunately for WordPress, adding tags to images is fairly simple. Select the image in the visual editor and click the edit icon.
This opens the image detail box where you can add the alternative text (ALT tag) for the image. You can also open the advanced option and insert the title tag.
It is a good practice to include focus keyword in your alt text. But make sure you don’t add just the keyword since it will be seen as spam by Google because it can make your WordPress SEO worse.
Content is king. No matter how much you work on your SEO, you cannot hold on to your visitors (and in turn Google) if you do not have engaging and useful content. User engagement has become a key ranking factor for Google in 2018.
Always focus on writing quality content with a good title. Use keywords in appropriate places like title, headings, URL, Meta description, first paragraph etc. Always try to keep your keyword density around 1-3% in the article. Make sure you have relevant internal and external links in every article. Every article should have a minimum of 300 words. Although Google loves long articles, a very long article can scare away your readers.
The best way to know how well your website is doing is by setting up a free account with Google Analytics. Using Google analytics you can know about your traffic sources, their behavior and various other important information which will help you make strategic plans in the future.
To track your keyword rankings, there is no better free tool than Google Webmaster Tools. Simply confirm your domain ownership after logging in, and see all the keywords your site are currently ranked for. These WordPress tips and techniques can help you in improving your rankings in 2018.
Google announced a while ago that the mobile friendliness of a web site will be taken into account as a ranking factor. More websites are being loaded in mobiles and tablets than on desktops. Adding responsiveness to your website enhances visitors experience and can get you better ranking in Google as a result.
I spent many hours on my site ErgonomicTrends.com making sure the mobile experience is as intuitive and user friendly as possible. Take for example my office chairs guide when viewed in mobile:
Every element of the page is optimized for mobile.
Firstly, I added a drop down menu that drops down and scrolls to any part of the page instantly. On mobile and on the small screen, pages become very long very quickly, and it’s critical to provide a mechanism to quickly jump to the key segments of the page.
By default the product images are right aligned, but on mobile devices, I made them block elements, front and centered to occupy the entire screen.
And lastly, I made sure that no horizontal scrollbars appear on mobile devices, which I see all too often on websites.
Finally, even if your site is mobile friendly, there’s more you can do. Use plugins like AMP plugin and Custom AMP to create truly mobile optimized versions of your pages that Google to eat up like ice tea on a hot summer day. These plugins create highly compact, fast loading versions of your site to show to mobile users that Google just love to see.
Page speed matters to both the Google and the visitors. 1 in 4 visitors will abandon your website if it takes more than 4 seconds to load. To speed up your website you can use various steps like implementing a CDN, going with a faster host and enabling page compression like grip.
Broken links are always harmful to your site. You can use Google Search Console or free broken link tools on the web to quickly locate and fix broken links on your site.
Social media can be an easy way to generate traffic to your website. Create your website’s social profile on all the social media. Your social media profiles rank very well in SERP, so it can help in branding. Next thing you can do is create the social share buttons in your website and encourage your viewers to share your articles on social media.
Whenever you search your keyword in Google, what comes back is over 900,000 results. This can lead you to believe that SEO is dead but that is not true. Google algorithm is changing continuously and website owners now have to come up with unique and dynamic strategies to win this race of search result.
Stay away from Black Hat SEO techniques since they can get you permanently banned from Google. In this article, we gave you some useful WordPress SEO tips and tricks which you can implement on your website to improve your search engine rankings.