Guest Post by Andre Oentoro
Image via Freepik
Optimizing SEO on your WordPress site is the cheapest yet most effective way to drive traffic, increase the site’s visibility on search engines, and level up your overall marketing strategy.
If you’re under the impression that optimizing SEO is a long process, don’t get discouraged just yet.
In a nutshell, you only need to do two things to optimize SEO for your WordPress site:
- correct technical issues
- create SEO-friendly posts.
When you cover those two bases, you’ll see that SEO works wonders for your site.
Keep in mind that optimizing SEO is not a one-night battle, so you need some time to adjust and continue improving your content.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the list below to find out how to optimize your WordPress site for SEO.
Get the Basics Right
#1. Fix your WordPress visibility settings
The first thing you need to do is check your WordPress visibility. Due to the built-in option on WordPress, it may hide your website from search engines.
First, open your WordPress settings and go to the admin area. Click on Settings / Reading, then scroll down until you see Search Engine Visibility.
You’ll find a checkbox that says “Discourage search engines from indexing this site.” Make sure it’s unchecked. Remember to save your change by clicking Save Changes.
#2. Make sure the URL structure is SEO friendly
Having an SEO-friendly URL structure is vital to optimizing your SEO. However, some people may be confused about the difference between friendly and non-friendly SEO.
To put it simply, a friendly SEO URL contains words that refer to the content, so visitors can grasp right away what the content is about. For example, this URL is pretty meaningless: yourdomain.com/?p=372. But changing the URL to yourdomain.com/seo-friendly-urls actually tells the reader (and the search engines) what the page is about.
To change your URL structure across your site, navigate to Settings / Permalinks. From the list of Common Settings, choose Post name, then click Save Changes.
#3. Choose WWW or non-WWW
What’s the difference between https://www.yoursite.com and https://yoursite.com for your site URL?
Just the www. . . but search engines consider those two URLs to be different websites, so choose one and stick to it to optimize your SEO in search engines.
If you’re wondering which one is better, there’s no definitive answer. Many SEO experts say that both URLs work equally and there’s no advantage for either one — as long as you use it consistently.
#4. Choose an SEO plugin
There are two most popular plugins for WordPress to optimize your SEO game: All in One SEO (AIOSEO) and Yoast SEO. Both options are free to use.
AIOSEO is a more popular one since more than 3 million websites have been using it to handle their technical SEO optimization. (However, this site uses and recommends Yoast.)
#5. Use XML sitemaps
Some plugins, like AIOSEO and Yoast, provide XML sitemaps to its users. An XML sitemap refers to a formatted file that includes a list of pages on your website.
An XML sitemap will help search engines to crawl and find your site quicker. When your site is more visible to search engines, it will affect your site rank positively.
Optimize Content Performance
Once you have the technical issues covered, your next job is to create SEO-friendly content regularly. You may need to do keyword research relating to your niche so search engines can easily find your site.
Other than that, make sure to add tags and categories to each piece of content you post. The tags must include keywords, which can be in the form of single words or phrases (long-tail keywords). Many experts say that implementing long-tail keywords is beneficial to competing against bigger websites.
You should also maximize your SEO strategy by developing an internal linking habit. Internally linking your pages or posts can increase the website’s authority. You can do this in the editing process prior to publishing your post.
Promote your content
The more people that see your content, the more likely it is to rank well in search engines. Promote your content through social media, email marketing, and other channels to get as many eyes on it as possible. From e-commerce to even blockchain games, companies rely on social media channels to engage their audiences.It’s one of the most effective ways to get your content seen by more people.
Make sure to share it on all of your social media channels, and encourage others to do the same. When promoting your content, it’s important to be creative and think outside the box. This is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. Use social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest to share your content and reach a wider audience.This will help to improve your site’s ranking and keep visitors coming back for more.
Adjusting SEO on your WordPress site will take some time to work properly, so asking for instant results after tightening some loose bolts is pointless. You need to keep on creating SEO-friendly posts and publish them on a regular basis to drive more traffic and increase your site visibility on search engines.
Make sure to fix your WordPress settings to make your SEO work maximally. One final tip — improve your site speed and optimize your site security. Then leverage social media to share your posts so they can generate more traffic to your site.
Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video production company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).
LinkedIn: Andre Oentoro