15+ WordPress SEO Tips for Beginners
WordPress is the best tool for Bloggers and Webmasters. There are millions of websites using WordPress. The primary reason for using WordPress is that it is easy to install, learn, and use. WordPress is flexible and there are thousands of themes to make a good-looking WordPress website. With the help of plugins, you can add more features and options to your website. WordPress offers a well-structured website that Google can easily crawl. But We must also follow some SEO tips to make the website better for search engines. Although SEO works the same for all websites, WordPress users can easily optimize the website with available plugins. Just because you have a WordPress website, it won’t rank automatically. You will have to follow on-page and off-page SEO guidelines to optimize your blog for SEO. In this guide, I will share the best WordPress SEO tips that will surely help you in improving your WordPress website’s visibility in search engines and get more organic traffic.
I don’t think I need to explain SEO or the importance of SEO. So, I am coming to the point, and here are a few SEO tips for WordPress.
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SEO Tips For WordPress
1. Optimize Images
Images are the major factor in slowing down a website and load time is an important factor in ranking. So, you must focus on optimizing images. You must use tools like CompressJPEG to optimize images before uploading them to your WordPress blog. You can also use WordPress plugins to optimize images. Now Google recommends users use WebP images. If you are not sure how to do this, I have a detailed guide on how to use WebP images on WordPress. If you want to server images faster, you can also use CDN to optimize image delivery and make your website faster. I made a list of free CDNs for WordPress. If you can pay, MaxCDN is the best CDN service you can try.
It is also advisable to use descriptive names of images. Before uploading the image, give it a descriptive name with the keyword.
2. Interlink your Articles with Keywords
Interlinking is also very important for a website. It not just reduces bounce rate but also passes page rank juice to internal posts. It also makes your website easy to crawl and your readers can easily find good content. I always try to interlink related articles as much as possible. The link tool of WordPress allows you to search for older articles. Hence it makes interlinking easier.
3. Improve Blog Speed with Caching
In the first point, I already made it clear that the website’s load time is important. Along with image optimization, there are also a few things that you can do. Caching is the best way to improve blog speed. There are several good cache plugins for WordPress to make the website faster. WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache are some popular WordPress plugins that are used for caching your blogs. I personally use WP Super Cache along with Autoptimze. Without caching, it performs several SQL queries to fetch content from the database. But caching keeps the output in a static file and saves a number of queries. In this way, it makes blogs faster. You should also read my guide on How to Speed up WordPress Blog. This detailed guide covers everything you can do to improve performance on your WordPress blog and improve load time.
4. Install WordPress SEO Plugin
SEO plugins make websites SEO-friendly without much effort. These plugins help you understand the keyword density and make a checklist of on-page SEO while writing an article. SEO by Yoast is the most popular SEO plugin for WordPress. I personally use it to edit meta descriptions, check keyword density and ensure proper on-page SEO, This plugin is easy to install and use. All in One SEO Pack is another good plugin. You can check this list of the best SEO Plugins for WordPress. This article covers popular WordPress plugins and help you decide what SEO Plugin you can use in your WordPress blog.
5. SEO-friendly Permalink structure
Permalink structure is also an important factor that you should not ignore. SEO-friendly permalink helps in better ranking. By default, WordPress users‘?p=[id]‘ permalinks for posts. You must change this to have a static URL. If you are not making any news websites, I recommend staying away from month-year things as well. I prefer yourdomain.com/post-name.html structure. You can choose this one. These kinds of URLs are also readable and ensure a high CTR rate.
For choosing the custom URL structure, go to Settings > Permalinks. Here, you can select the desired permalink structure.
6. Noindex Tag, Category, and Author Archive pages
The duplicate content issue can cause a negative impact. So, you must mark Tag, Category, and Author Archive pages as no index. Yoast plugin allows you to do that without going to the code level. Other SEO plugins also offer an easy way to do this. You just need to go to Yoast SEO and select Search Appearance from the left sidebar. Now select Taxpnomies tan and turn off “Show Categories in search results” and “Show Tags in search results?”.
7. Block spam comments
If you are using the default WordPress comment system, you must take care of comments as well. Many people comment just for getting backlinks. If you blindly approve comments or set auto to approve, you may put your website at big risk. I have seen lots of SPAM comments with links to casinos or porn websites. These kinds of links put a negative impact on ranking. Google Penguin slaps websites with low-quality outgoing links.
8. Do not ignore image SEO
Images can also bring a good amount of traffic to your website. So, you must consider doing image SEO as well. Always insert proper titles and ALT tags in images. The title and ALT must have proper keywords to ensure better visibility on search results. WordPress allows you to add titles and alt tags when you upload images. You can also use a good SEO plugin that automatically optimizes the SEO of images.
Before you upload images to your blog, give it a proper name with keywords. Having keywords in the image names helps get your images ranked on Google images.
9. Limit URL lengths of your posts
While this doesn’t contribute big, you should avoid long URLs for your posts. WordPress allows you to edit the slug and put the desired URL you want for your website. If the default slug is long, you need to edit it and put a short slug with keywords.
10. Write high-quality and lengthy posts
This advice is not WordPress specific, but I included it here. Long articles with over 2000 words do better in search engines. Although Google has said several times that word count doesn’t matter, we have seen how long articles do well in SERPs. So, try to write long articles by explaining everything about the topic. Focus on quality and content. If you write a long article, you will automatically get space for including the keywords. Google prefers content-rich sites because readers love to read detailed content that explains everything.
In recent updates, Google has explained what matters the most. It made it clear that we should write articles that answer user queries and explains the topic. So, you should not focus on Word count. You should focus on explaining things in a better way. when you explain a topic in detail, your article will automatically be long.
11. Keyword Research
Keyword Research is the key to a blog’s success. If you do proper keyword research and write articles based on profitable keywords, you can easily achieve good traffic. There are several ways to perform keyword research using available keyword research tools. You should start using SEMrush. It helps in tracking the ranking of your website and finding profitable keywords. I personally use this SEO tool for keyword position and tracking the ranking of my website for different keywords.
SEMRush’s Keyword Overview tool helps you find keywords on a certain topic. Then group similar keywords and write a detailed article using these keywords.
12. NoFollow external links in WordPress
External links on your blog posts must be nofollow. Nofollow links do not pass link juice. For better ranking, you need to make sure your pages are getting more link juice from other websites than you are giving away. So, start using nofollow for all external links.
13. Start using SSL/HTTPS
SSL tech encrypts the connection between a user’s browser and the server. So, it offers a layer of security. Few good web hosts provide free SSL certificates in their plans. Google has confirmed that HTTPS or SSL is also a minor ranking factor. So, why ignore this? If you do not want to spend on buying a dedicated SSL certificate, you can use flexible SSL by Cloudflare. I have written a guide on that as well. So you do not miss that.
Let’s Encrypt also offers a free SSL. Many WordPress hosting companies like Siteground, Dreamhost, and WPEngine have started offering easy Let’s Encrypt integrations. So, you can use SSL at no additional cost if you are using any of these hosts.
14. Add XML Sitemaps in WordPress
An XML sitemap is important. It makes it easy for search engines to find all of your content. It does not boost ranking but helps Google or other search engines to find all the pages of your website easily. So, you must create an XML sitemap for your website. If you are using Yoast SEO plugin, then it will automatically create an XML sitemap for you. It can be found at: http://example.com/sitemap_index.xml.
Read: How to Create an XML Sitemap in WordPress
Now after you have created an XML sitemap, you need to verify your website in the search console and submit the sitemap.
15. Submit your website to Google Search Console
Google search console is the rebranded Google Webmaster Tools. It helps you to understand how your content is seen by search engines. It provides errors faced by Google crawlers, link data, indexing data, and keywords that are ranking well. If Google finds any big issue on your website, it will send you alerts. I use Search Console to check what keywords are giving my website clicks on SERPs and keyword positions. Then I try to improve my position by updating articles.
Search Console also allows you to submit the sitemap. So, it is advisable to start using the Google search console.
16. Switch to a better web host
Web hosting plays an important role. Slow websites get less priority in organic ranking. If your host is not good, you cannot focus on content as you are mostly busy fixing server things. So, I recommend good hosts like Bluehost. If you do not know much about hosting and WordPress, you can switch to managed WordPress hosting. Managed WordPress hosts provide WordPress-optimized service. So, you always have peace of mind. Here is the list of the best managed WordPress hosting providers.
17. Install SEO-friendly Theme
When you first install WordPress, you get the default theme. Most people then search for free themes and install them. Some people even buy Premium themes. But not all themes are SEO friendly, even if they claim to be. Many come with heavy CSS frameworks, heavy fonts, and poor structure. So, don’t just look at the design but also focus on its structure. I recommend people run a demo of the theme on Google’s web.dev tool to get an idea of performance and SEO issues.
These are a few SEO tips for WordPress users. I tried to cover everything that you should need to take care of if using WordPress. I have written several other guides on SEO and WordPress. You can also read those posts to know more. about SEO and WordPress. I have compiled a list of the best SEO tools, best SEO plugins, and more.
I hope this article helped you learn how to properly optimize your WordPress website for SEO. If you found this article interesting, share it with your friends.
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