Clear Door SEO is a proud WordPress site owner and like any other business, we want to make our blog and website SEO friendly to rank higher on search engines. When you perform SEO optimization you will be able to rank higher on Google and other major search engines. WordPress for SEO is one of the easiest ways to increase your visibility for your WordPress website and help generate more organic traffic.
If you are new to digital marketing and search engine optimization you may be wondering why SEO is so important. Well, Search Engine Journal shows that websites that appear on the first Google search results receive 91.5% of the traffic for a phrase or keyword. The first search result alone receives 32.5% of that traffic! So how do you get your website in the first position in search results (or better yet position 0 – that has to do with featured snippets though and another topic in itself!)
The answer is SEO and for many website owners, it’s going to be with WordPress SEO optimization.
However, don’t think it is as easy as buying a WordPress website and watching search traffic pour into your site. When it comes to driving organic traffic, there’s no magic trick to besting Google’s search algorithm. But you can take steps to optimize your page, making sure it is formatted correctly and has high-quality content to increase your chances of performing well on search engines.
WordPress for SEO is a user-friendly platform that is easy to learn and allows for full optimization of your website. You can use a WordPress theme to perform well on Google pagespeed insights; or use a WordPress SEO plugin like Yoast SEO to edit the meta description and page title on each of your blog posts.
We have briefly discussed the power of WordPress for SEO in our earlier comparison post about WordPress vs Squarespace. Check that out if you have doubts about which content management system to use.
In this post, we are going to focus on providing a complete WordPress SEO guide to fully optimize your website for success! We will touch upon WordPress Plugins as well as WordPress hosting.
Without further ado, let’s discuss how good WordPress is for SEO.
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Is WordPress good for SEO?
WordPress is great for SEO! It provides the website owner complete control over editing SEO features like meta description, permalink structure, titles, and optimizing image text. WordPress is a professional platform that continues to grow and increase its usability and accessibility.
What started off as a blogging platform, has grown into a full-fledged website hosting platform. The platform allows beginners to easily use WordPress plugins, ensure they have SEO optimized images and perform various technical SEO tactics. Not to mention the on-page SEO capabilities it has.
Additionally, if you use an SEO theme from their portfolio of themes, you can start off with a great lightweight SEO-optimized theme that will help your website perform well with Google core web vitals.
So is WordPress good for SEO? Yes, without a doubt. By using their platform, any webmaster can feel like a SEO expert!
Without further ado, let’s jump into our WordPress SEO tips for an SEO-friendly blog!
1. Get a managed hosting service
You can either select a hosting service before signing up for WordPress or use WordPress hosting! A hosting service provider will create, maintain the site, provide security and make your site accessible on the world wide web (www). Ensuring that your site is protected and has great page speed, will not directly affect your ranking. However, if you end up having a breached website and with a slow load speed, it will affect the user experience which leads to losing out on traffic. Thus, ultimately impacting your WordPress SEO performance.
Of the many types of services, managed hosting service is the perfect option for optimizing your website . Managed hosting service means that you and your hosting provider will share responsibilities of running your blog. The service provider will regularly cache your WordPress website, run daily backups and malware scans, check for security loopholes and update your WordPress plugins, themes, and other functionality. In other words, a hosting provider ensures that your site is reliable, protected and fast.
Since page load times, site speed and security affect SEO, a managed hosting service can help to make the optimization process simple. After you’ve decided on which type of hosting service you will want to use, you will have to choose a hosting provider that is high-performing and reliable.
2. SEO-optimized WordPress Theme
After you’ve decided your hosting provider, now it’s time to select a seo-optimized website. Stats show that in the fourth quarter of 2021, mobile devices accounted for 63% of organic search engine visits! Therefore, for this majority of the queries, mobile-friendly sites are displayed first in Google. This means you need a responsive theme to optimize both desktop and mobile devices.
You will also need to consider the theme’s code and design when selecting your theme. A poor coding or feature rich theme can slow down your website. This will give your users an unpleasant experience and have an impact on your ranking as well.
3. Permalink Settings
Permalinks are permanent URLs or links to your specific page or post on your WordPress site. Permalinks helps search engines to find your page and match them to relevant queries on the web and adds them to the search engine to be indexed. Therefore, it is important to use specific and relevant keywords to make this process easier for search engines.
WordPress uses a simple permalink structure and will assign a random series of numbers and symbols, especially a question mark to differentiate from other blogs. But this structure doesn’t help search engines crawlers or readers to understand what the content is about.
That is the default permalink structure that comes in WordPress, but you can structure the permalink to include relevant keywords that you are targeting in your post. Just navigate to Settings> Permalink and choose the option marked as “Post Name.”
4. XML Sitemaps
Another key step to optimize your blog is creating XML sitemaps. XML sitemaps list every page and posts that exist on your website so that search engines can easily find, crawl and index them. You can either create an XML sitemap manually (but that comes with a bit of coding!) or there are plenty of sitemap plugins you can install to do the work for you!
After you’ve created your sitemap, you’ll submit it on your web server and submit it to Google Search Console or any other search engine. Unless you use any other app that automatically updates sitemaps, you will need to update and resubmit your page or post anytime you have made changes or updates to it. By doing this, it will help search engines to understand how your website is built so that they can evaluate and rank it easily.
5. Page Titles and Meta Descriptions
Page titles and meta descriptions are the two key factors for on-page SEO. Just like your URLs, they tell visitors what the content is about and what they will receive by clicking on your post or page on search engine results pages. They also help search engines to determine the relevancy of the content and then match with the queries asked by the visitor.
You can optimize title and meta descriptions by yourself. To optimize your titles and meta descriptions, you need to include your main keywords you’re trying to rank for and not exceed the length requirement. Your titles need to be under 60 characters and meta descriptions under 160. If your titles are longer make sure to insert keywords in the front. This will help your post to be considered relevant to search engines even if the titles are cut off in the search results in the end.
In the example above, you can see that the ranking keyword “4 pillars of SEO” is placed at the beginning of the lengthy title so the snippet is still optimized for search engine results and visitors.
Keyword optimization bonus tip – Local SEO:
If you are a business that is focusing on local customers to purchase your service or product, then you should also focus on local SEO. Local SEO will help get your business in front of potential customers by showcasing your business in a local SEO pack and map pack. To do this you should conduct keyword research with an SEO tool to find locally based search queries. Make sure to include these keywords in your blog content, image alt text, meta descriptions, and title tag.
For a full account of local SEO, take a look at our guide to Local SEO
6. Optimize Your Images
Optimizing your images is a two-way process. First, you will need to ensure the images are properly sized and compressed so that it doesn’t hurt your site’s speed and performance. You can find different plugins that can do the work for you or can do it manually as well. Then, make sure the images include an alt text.
Since search engines cannot read images, alt text will help search engines to know what the image is about and aids to rank better in the search engine results page (SERP). Alt text also helps your ranking on SERPs since Google now displays image results above the text-based results for certain keywords. In the example below, you can see that the search query “newsletter template” includes a considerable amount of clickable images before organic results.
7. Use Internal Linking
Internal links are one of the easiest ways to increase SEO and are essential to on-page SEO. By interlinking content to other relevant content you help search engines find all of your content on a specific topic. This will help to improve your chances of ranking the keywords associated with that topic. By linking all your helpful pages and posts, you will also offer your visitors a positive experience and convince them to stay longer on your website.
You can manually link your pages and posts every time you create a new post. Or you can use a plugin that automates the internal link building process.
8. Organize Your Content
Site structure plays an important role to help search engines and visitors understand your content. You organize your content with categories and tags. For instance, with categories you can separate posts and pages and then you can get more specific with your tags. Using these taxonomies will help visitors to find content quickly and easily and help search engines understand your site’s structure better.
You easily create a category by going to Settings>Writing in your WordPress dashboard. To add a new or manage an existing tag, click Posts>Tags.
WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system and powers many websites including BBC America, Time.com and TechChrunch. If it has been working for tech moguls, then you know why it’s the go to for many businesses and website developers.
However, WordPress isn’t a replacement SEO tool for an SEO strategy rather helps to put best practices in place. WordPress is not magic, and it won’t bring your results in a day or a month rather a consistent effort. You will still need to conduct keyword research, perform an SEO analysis of your website periodically, and utilize tools like Google Search Console and Google Analytics in order to perform well.
WordPress is good for SEO and does help with many SEO basics. It will help streamline website processes for your as a webmaster, and drive website traffic back to your business.
If you’re looking for more information about WordPress for SEO, the best WordPress SEO plugin, or anything we highlighted in our WordPress SEO checklist, then make sure to contact Clear Door SEO!
We are an Oregon SEO company that provides SEO services to help businesses all over the United States. We provide on-page SEO, off-page SEO and technical SEO related services to ensure your website is performing well. Reach out to us today to get your free website analysis!