If you want a good position on the search engines, you need to take SEO very seriously. Luckily, you already use WordPress as it is a platform that helps your SEO. That is why WordPress is chosen by so many people.
Still, there are a number of things you can do to take the SEO of your WordPress site to the next level. To make this easier, we’ve created this guide. Below you will learn 30 of the best SEO techniques to improve your site’s traffic.
1. Install a plugin for WordPress SEO
WordPress already has some very solid internal SEO features. But you can take your optimization to the next level using an SEO plugin. The best SEO plugin for WordPress on the market is Yoast SEO, in fact, is what we use here at Hostinger.
With this plugin, you can perfectly optimize each page and post the content with your chosen keyword. It also has a built-in analysis based on the latest algorithm updates. You can even generate an XML sitemap and add schema markup to your site.
To configure Yoast, navigate to your WordPress dashboard and select Plugins> Add New. In the search bar, type “Yoast SEO” and click “Install Now”. installing the Yoast SEO plugin.
Finally, click “Activate” as soon as you install. The plugin is running on your website and you can access it by clicking the SEO icon in the left menu.
2. Do a keyword research
Keyword research will make or break your WordPress SEO strategy. This survey will allow you to:
- Create content that your visitors are looking for.
- Develop a better understanding of your market needs.
- Follow the success of everything you write.
- Generate valuable traffic to your site.
There are a variety of tools to help you search for keywords. Some of the top tools include KWFinder, SEMRush, and even Google Keyword Planner. Although several posts can be written only on keyword research, the basics are as follows:
Create a list of targeted keywords related to your topic.
- Put them in a keyword research tool to discover keywords that receive a decent volume of traffic and have less competition.
- Search for competitors running similar sites using keyword search tools to see which keywords drive the most traffic.
- See which of these keywords have competition low enough to compete.
With your keyword list set up, it’s time to start creating content and optimizing it.
3. Enable search engine visibility
There is an internal option in WordPress that will hide your site from search engines.
You may find this option useful when creating your site, but this may make it impossible to rank on Google. If you are employing some of the SEO techniques from this list, but you are not improving your ranking, this may be the problem.
To see if this setting is enabled, go to your control panel and click Settings >Reading. Scroll down and you’ll see a section called Search Engine visibility. Allowing search engine visibility be sure to leave this box unchecked. Then click “SaveChanges.”
4. Adjust the structure of the permanent links
When you install WordPress for the first time, the pages and posts on your site will have a strange URL structure. This standard framework is not good for your SEO. The cleanest URL structure of the search engine is the “post name” setting. By switching to this setting, you can also include your post or page title and even a keyword in your URL. To change this setting, go to the control panel and click Settings > Permanent links. Setting the permanent link.
In the “CommonSettings” section, select the “PostName”
If you’re making this change after you’ve made too many posts on your site, you may need to redirect your old URLs. You can do this with a plugin called Change Permalink Helper. Simply enter your oldest URLs and they will forward your updated URLs.
5. Add your site to Google Search Console
Using Google Search Console will show your site’s current performance on search engines and will alert you to errors in it.
To add your site to Google Search Console, simply visit this page and log in with your Google account. Then just click on “add property ” and put the URL of your site. Adding the site to google search.
Click “Add” and you’ll be taken to a screen where you’ll need to verify ownership of your site. There are several methods you can use to check your website, but the easiest is to select alternative methods and then choose the HTML tag. Copying the HTML code.
Copy the code and go to your WordPress dashboard. To add this code to our header, we’ll use a plugin called Insert Headers and Footers. Installing plugin insert headers and footers.
Install and activate the plugin shown in the figure above. Then open the plugin by going to Settings > Insert headers and footers. Configuring the site through the headers and footers plugin.
Now, paste the code in the space marked “Header” and click “Save “. Finally, go back to the Google Search Console page and click the Verify button.
6. Integrate Google Analytics
Another Google tool you’ll want to have is Google Analytics. This tool shows the performance of your SEO strategy by analyzing in detail the traffic of your site.
To set up your account, navigate to the Google Analytics homepage and create an account. Next, you’ll need to find your tracking code, which should be in Tracking Info > Tracking Code. Then, copy the code similar to the example below: tracking the site using google analytics.
Depending on your theme, you may have an option to directly add the Google Analytics tracking code. If this is not possible, you can use the same Insert Headers and Footers plugin we used above.
Open the plugin, navigate to the header section, and paste your tracking code. Okay, now you can view the statistics of your site.
Sitemaps are used by search engines to better track your website. Your site will still be crawled without a sitemap, but creating one allows you to grab the data you want search engines to crawl.
You can ensure that certain pages that do not contribute to your ratings are not crawled, as well as giving priority to your most valuable pages. If you are using the Yoast SEO plugin, you can create and submit a sitemap with ease.
Go to the control panel and click SEO > General >Features. Then scroll down and enable “XML Sitemaps”. Activating the XML sitemap.
Click the link that says “View XML Sitemap” and this will open the sitemap to ensure that it is actually created.
Now, let’s submit this sitemap to Google. Go to the Google Search Console dashboard and click on “Sitemaps.” adding the site to sitemap crawl.
In the right corner, you’ll see an option to add or test the Sitemap. Click this option, enter the Sitemap URL and click “Submit.” Now, Google will crawl your sitemap regularly, which can help in quickly indexing posts.
8. Optimize your site for mobile devices
Google has just announced that they are starting to test their first mobile index. This means they will begin to use the performance and functionality of their mobile pages to determine their ratings. So if you are not using a theme that hurts someone who is accessing your site from a mobile device, this is the best time to fix the problem.
But in addition to choosing a responsive theme, you can check the current performance of your site for mobile devices. To do this, open the Google Mobile Compatibility test and enter the URL of your site. Making sure your site is well-optimized for mobiles.
This will provide a detailed analysis of the performance of the mobile version of your site and will offer some seo techniques on how to improve it.
9. Accelerate your website
The speed of the site has always been important. Having a site that takes years to load content will negatively affect your rankings and user experience. Page speed is a factor that Google takes into account when it comes to ranking your site. Fortunately, it is not difficult to fix a slow loading site. The steps below will help you get started:
Get a baseline number
First, you need to get an idea of how your site is actually working. Open a tool called GTMetrix and run your website through the tool. This will provide an analysis of current performance figures, so you can see what you need to improve.
Update your accommodation
Sometimes, incorrect server configuration can cause slowness. That is why it is important to choose well which company you want taking care of hosting your site. For the performance of the WordPress site, we recommend the use of a specific hosting package for WordPress custom for the configuration of your site.
Use a cache plugin
A cache plugin will generate static HTML files instead of the PHP files normally required to run WordPress. This will minimize the number of requests between the server and the user’s browser, which will slow down the loading time of your site’s pages.
Some of the most common WordPress cache plugins include W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache.
Optimize your media
If you are submitting images to your site, they need to be optimized accordingly.
To optimize your images, follow the steps below:
- Reduce the size of the file by running your images through a tool like TinyPNG .
- Resize your images before uploading.
- Install an image optimization plugin such as WP Smush. Correct all broken links
10. Correct all broken links
Having too many broken links is not good for your readers or for your rankings. In addition, they make it more difficult for Google bots to crawl your site. The easiest way to check for broken links on your site is to open Google Search Console and click “Crawl Errors “. Correcting site errors through google search console
Then open each error and it will show where the broken link is. Then just fix it.
11. Have a Focus keyword for each post
Although the way we optimize your keywords has changed, they still play an important role in SEO. Whenever you’re writing a post on your site, you should have a focus keyword for that particular post.
Here are some best practices for optimizing a chosen keyword:
- Do not include the keyword in your post, only include it when it is natural.
- Include your keyword in the first paragraph of your text, if possible.
- Use your primary keyword in your title and in your captions.
- Add your primary keyword to your URL and Meta description.
Yoast SEO facilitates the implementation of SEO techniques above. Whenever you’re writing a post, enter your main keyword in the tool. You’ll see an analysis of how this post is optimized for the chosen keyword. Optimizing SEO for website posting.
You’ll get tips from SEO techniques to improve your keyword optimization and increase your chances of ranking on search engines.
12. Create high-quality content
Google loves quality content. It’s just you take a look at the top 10 positions in their ranking. All articles contain two very important requirements:
The content is generally longer and has high quality.
The content satisfies the search intent.
Long and well-written content is great. But you may not know what the research intent is. At the core, the search intent is the intent behind the keyword (or phrase).
When you create any type of content, search for what you’re currently rating and try to understand why it’s ranked in that position. Sometimes content will be ranked only by domain strength. But if each site has a similar amount of authority, the content itself will be the differentiating factor.
To get a better perspective on the keyword and what researchers are looking for, ask the following questions:
- Is the researcher looking for information or product content?
- Are they looking for something in-depth? Or a brief reading?
- Why the ranking of current pages?
- Which content style will respond best to the keyword?
With a better understanding of the keyword, the pages with the highest ranking and what the user wants, you’re ready to create epic content.
13. Create long content
Longer content tends to rank better in search engines. Recent studies by Buzzsumo and Moz have found that longer content gets more shares and social backlinks, which means higher rankings.
Another study found that most of the content on the front page of Google has more than 2,000 words. This does not mean that every post on your site needs to reach that content size, but it should be your focus.
But that does not mean that you should include your content in unnecessary words to achieve your word-counting goals.
Instead, you should focus on the intent of the keyword. Meaning: what is the reason the user is searching for this keyword? Then respond to the purpose of that keyword in the most complete and useful way possible, which in some cases may mean writing fewer words.
14. Create updated content
The content you upgrade can be a powerful weapon of traffic. This style of content will always be relevant as it does not depend on timely information. Think of a post like “The definitive guide to SEO on the spot” and something like “What you need to know about the latest Google Update”
The former will be relevant for a long time, while the latter will depend on time-based information. This does not mean that you post your content once and forget it forever. But instead, you regularly update the content to reflect the most recent and relevant aspects of your industry or topic.
Updated content is valuable as it does not lose its relevance. This means that you can continuously share, promote and select backlinks for that content. This style of content usually holds the highest ranking positions for years.
Even if the continuous content takes more time and effort to create, the results will be rewarded in the coming years.
15. Link to quality sources
Connecting to high quality sources will not hurt your SEO, in fact it can really help. When you link high quality authoritative sources, tell Google that the linked content is similar to yours. In addition, it enhances the user experience by providing readers with more information about the topic.
Do not let your website become a dead end on the internet, share the link is good. Regularly link to useful sources as this will help improve your credibility and reliability. When you link to other people, you also have a reason to get in touch and start a dialogue.
You know that linking is important, but you also want to link yourself in the right way. To avoid sending readers off the site, you may want to have all external links open in a new window. To do this, follow the steps below:
Create a hyperlink
To create a hyperlink, highlight some text and click the hyperlink button: inserting link in post.
Then click the icon shown above, which will display your link options.
Change link options
A text box will appear, and then select the box that says “Open link in a new tab.” opening the link in a new tab
Now, whenever a user clicks the link, it will open in a new tab, instead of being redirected to outside your site.
16. Connecting content
Whenever you have the chance, you must link content to an old one you’ve posted. This can bring benefits like:
- Make it easier for Google robots to crawl your site and access deeper pages and posts;
- Sending links to other blog posts and pages that may not be attracting links on their own;
- Help Google understand the context of your page content by using related hyperlink text;
- Keeping visitors on your site longer by visiting more pages, thereby reducing bounce rate, improving time on the site.
WordPress makes it easy to interconnect your content. Whenever you’re writing a post, just highlight a portion of the text and click the hyperlink button. Then select the icon that we show in the paragraph of the creation of the hyperlink, displaying your link options. Configuring the content link.
In the window that will open, you will see a list of the previous posts you wrote. Just select the most relevant content from the list. Configuring the contents of the link
17. Optimize your page and your post titles
Your title tag is your most important tag. It tells Google what your page is and will influence readers’ access to your site. If you’re not sure what the title tag is, it’s the name of your post or page.
Follow the SEO techniques below to optimize your title tag:
- Include your target keyword as early as possible in the title.
- Create a title tag between 60 and 70 characters.
- Create a compelling headline that will get people to click.
Changing your title tag to something well optimized and clickable is very easy. Especially if you are using the Yoast SEO plugin. To change your title tag, open one of your posts and scroll to the end. You will see a section called “Sample Editor”.
In this part you can adjust your SEO title and optimize it for ranking in Google.
18. Optimize your header tags
Your header tags give search engine crawlers an idea of what your content will say. Using these tags throughout your content will make it more readable and well-optimized for search engines.
In general, you must have an H1 tag per post and use a hierarchy of H2, H3, H4, etc.
Your H1 tag will also be the title of your post. So you need to include the keyword there. For the remainder of your header tags, use a variation of your targeting keyword, if possible. But only do this if it makes sense, since SEO is not everything, you also need to think about the user’s experience in reading the text.
Within the WordPress editor, you can easily add header tags through the menu shown below: changing the content header.
19. Use short URLs
When it comes to your URLs, the smaller the better. Do your best to shorten your URLs, so they do not show multiple categories or directories. Try to include only your target keyword and get rid of everything else.
A long URL does not penalize your ranking. But this can make your link look like a spam link and slow down the CTR. If you’ve changed your permanent links, this will help you have more control over your URL structure.
Follow the steps below to create a good URL:
- Use a shorter URL whenever possible and cut out fill-in words
- Include your target keyword in your URL
- Combine your titles and URLs sensibly
- Make it human-readable
Avoid multiple categories and folders whenever possible
With the above SEO techniques, you can easily edit your URLs from your WordPress site. On the page screen or post-creation, just click edit in the “Permalink” section, just below the title: editing the post URL
20. Optimize Your Meta-description
Meta-description is that little text that appears below the links when you search for some content on Google. Optimizing the Meta description of the post.
Your meta-description is not a direct ranking factor but will help improve the search engine’s CTR. A well-written and attractive meta-description will call the researcher to click on your post instead of the other search results.
Data is based on correlation, but if you have a high CTR, Google will consider your page more relevant, which can improve your ranking.
To optimize your Meta description, implement the SEO techniques below:
- Include your main keyword in your description. Google will highlight this keyword in bold, so your listing gets more prominent.
- Think of your Meta description as one copy of an ad. You are persuading the reader to click on your listing about other people on the page.
21. Include “schema markup”
You’ve probably heard the phrase “schema markup” before and even saw it in action. It’s an additional code that helps search engines provide data to their users. By implementing this tagging, you can make your search engine listings more attractive. This can lead to improved CTR and more traffic to your website.
Your WordPress theme may already have a schema markup installed. To see if your site already has a schema markup, run it using this tool. If you do not have schema markup installed, you can use the Schema plugin. It’s easy to set up and automatically adds schema marking to your site.
22. Optimize for Google SERP
You’ve probably seen the boxes that appear at the top of Google’s search results. If not, they look like this: google zero position
This is position zero, so you get more traffic and clicks. But if you’re already ranked on the first page, getting that position will give you two listings in the results.
There is no proven, true way to get first place, but the following optimizations will increase the likelihood that you will:
- Add schema markup to your site
- Answer the implied keyword question at the beginning of your post
- Format your response in the form of an ordered or unordered list
23. Optimize images for search engines
Using images throughout your content will create a higher quality reading experience. This will help keep your users engaged with your site, which will provide positive indicators of site performance. But apart from adding images, you can optimize them to improve your SEO too.
There are three components of proper image optimization:
The title of the image
Image title text is not crawled by search engines, but maybe a factor in your user experience. When a user passes over your image, a pop-up will appear with the title text of the image. To change the caption text for the image, navigate to the post editor in which you placed an image. Hover over the image and click on the pencil icon, which will display the ” Edit ” option.
Under “Advanced Options”, you can enter the title of the image. Changing the title of the content image
The “Alt text”
The alt text, or alt text, of your image will provide a pointer to Google about what your page is. In the first image of your post, you should change the text for the post focus keyword. For other images, use keywords that are variations of your target keyword or describe the image.
To change the alternate text for your image, navigate to your visual editor and hover over an image you’ve inserted. Again, click the pencil icon that will open the “Edit“option. The pop-up box will display the details of your image. Look for a field called “Alt-text” and enter your related keyword or keyword. Changing the alternate text of the image
The image filename can help you rank your image on Google image search, which can bring additional traffic to your site.
Most default image file names are long and confusing and do not relate to the post topic. Before submitting an image to WordPress, consider the purpose of the image and the keyword phrase you are targeting. Then include that keyword and other descriptive phrases in the file name of your image.
Also, if you’re using multiple words in your filename, make sure you’re using a hyphen between them because Google will read those hyphens as a space.
24. Leave the links in “No-Follow”
Many websites use affiliate links to generate revenue. These links are used to track commissions when you recommend a product, service, or course.
But using many of these links is frowned upon by Google. If you are using affiliate links, you can disguise them and ensure that they are not followed using a plug-in called Pretty Links.
Pretty Links is a very useful plugin that can help you provide a unique, no-follow URL to all the links you’re using. As a benefit, this tool also have tracking, so you can see how many people are clicking the links. To install this plugin, navigate to Plugins > Add new and search for “Pretty Links”. Installing the pretty links plugin
Install and activate the plugin and navigate to Pretty Link > Options in the left sidebar. To ensure that all your links are “No-Follow”, check the “Addno follow to link” option in the “Link patterns “setting. Configuring the pretty links plugin
You can create a new link by selecting the “Add new link “option, enter your URL and create a custom one.
25. Add HTTPS to your site
HTTPS is officially a ranking factor, so sites that upgrade will have a ranking lead. It allows your browser to make a secure connection with any website to which you are connected and encrypt all data sent between the two.
To change your WordPress site to HTTPS, follow the steps below:
- Make sure that your current site hosting supports both HTTPS and SSL.
- Buy an SSL certificate or get one through the Let’s Encrypt command.
- Install the SSL certificate on your host.
- Make sure SSL is working.
- Redirect all your HTTP traffic and links to HTTPS.
26. Build high quality backlinks
Backlinks are still one of the top-ranking factors. The more high quality links your site has, the better your chances of ranking. According to a survey by Matthew Barby, if a page has a higher number of backlinks, the ranking will be higher in search results.
Now, this is not a post about creating backlinks, so it would be impossible to address all of the strategies in detail here. However, here are some methods that can help you generate quality backlinks for your site:
- Create great content.
- Look for broken backlinks.
- Create content that will promote your product.
- Write content to other sites.
- Make the link building.
27. Do an SEO Audit
If you are not sure that your site has been properly optimized, you can conduct an SEO audit. But instead of going through all the steps, you can run the site through an SEO audit tool. These tools will run your site through a series of checks, and you will receive a report stating what you are doing right and things that can improve.
The SEOSiteCheckup is a free tool that will analyze more than 50 different factors classification on the site and will let you know the performance of your site. You can also use the Varvy SEO tool, which will check how your site is aligning with Google’s guidelines.
28. Monitor your backlink profile
By tracking your backlink profile, you can see if external SEO efforts are improving. Backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors, so it’s something you want to check frequently.
Seeing an upward trend in the number of websites linking to you over time is a good thing. But remember that it is not only the amount of backlinks that matters, but also the quality and relevance of those links. The more authorized and relevant sites connect to you, the better.
There are several different tools that will help you to monitor your backlinks. One of the most used is Ahrefs. This tool will provide a detailed analysis of the number of sites that link to you, the quality of those sites, the number of referring domains, and more. It’s a premium tool, but the data you’ll get will be invaluable.
If you are looking for a free option, the SEOProfiler tool may be a good option. Just create an account and you can get a detailed backlink report across the site and per page.
29. Force Google to crawl your site
Typically, your site is tracked by how often you post new content. However, there is a workaround for your content to be indexed immediately by Google. Open Google Search Console, navigate to Crawl, and click Search as Google. Enter the URL of the post you just posted or updated and click “FETCH”. Forcing google to crawl your site.
Then click “RequestIndexing” and your new URL will be indexed by Google. Sometimes this does not happen instantly, but it will be much faster than waiting for Google to crawl your site.
30. “LongTail Keywords”
Depending on your branch, ranking on the top Google page for key keywords can be really difficult. Many of them are conquered by veteran pages with content that have been worked on and perfected for a long time. Not to mention a great profile of backlinks helping them out.
In these cases, you need to think differently and go your way by targeting smaller, but highly specific, keywords. These are often referred to as “longtail keywords” or long-tail keywords. For example, try to discuss what a potential visitor can look for before buying a product. Then use a tool like KWFinder to get a rough estimate of the difficulty and the search volume. Make a list of options that can bring the most potential and post your post while applying all the SEO tips from WordPress mentioned above. This will bring a consistent flow of targeted traffic to your site.
As you can see, there is a lot to consider when optimizing your website for search engines. I hope the above post has been helpful in giving you a great place to start optimizing your site. Remember that SEO is a long term job. The more effort you put into SEO, the more results you’ll see, but usually those results will only happen after a while.
Are there any tips we have missed? Have you seen any success in implementing some of the SEO techniques of this post? Please share in the comments below.
Yousuf A. Raza is a great SEO Specialist currently serving in Local SEO Services for small businesses at Local SEO Blast. Apart from ranking small businesses into Google he’s spending his time to contribute highly informative content into different marketing related blogs to help people for free.