Do you have a WordPress site that is visually outstanding and rich in content, but when it comes to site traffic, it is as nonexistent as life in a desert? Well, as a beginner at WordPress, you are not the first one to face this issue. If you don’t optimize your WordPress site for the search engine, you will not see much traffic even in years.
And that leads us to learn some strategies for WordPress optimization. There are various plugins, widgets, and tactics that you can apply to boost the SEO of your WordPress site. Read on to find out the best WordPress SEO practices for 2021.
1. Choose a Suitable Hosting
Your WordPress site speed, security, and uptime all depend on hosting. If the website launching speed is slow, your SEO will be affected. There are various options available for WordPress site hosting- free, VPS, shared, or dedicated. While you might have to pay more for a reliable host, it will be well worth it in the long run by increasing your website’s visibility to your audience.
There is a vast difference between the site performance of free hosting and a paid hosting. You can understand this if you create a sample website on each hosting and compare the outcome.
2. Install a WordPress Theme That Supports SEO
While WordPress comes with the default theme and myriads of free and premium themes, not all of them are SEO-friendly. Besides, some SEO-friendly themes come with additional plugins and scripts that you might not require. Having these extra features will slow down your site noticeably. Make sure your WordPress theme is perfectly coded and suitable for any browser and device.
To check the theme’s suitability, you can open it in different browsers, and if there is any flaw in coding – it will be apparent. Besides, the WordPress theme should be user responsive – navigation, loading time, and accessibility should attract traffic. You can look up online best WordPress themes that are the most SEO-friendly.
3. Install an SEO Plugin
Installing an SEO plugin is essential for optimization. And you can find various free and paid plugins for it. While the plugin itself can’t take care of the site SEO, it can be a massive help for you to optimize the site.
Yoast is popular SEO plugins that have both a free and a premium version. To get you started, the free version of Yoast will just work fine. When you install Yoast, you will find an SEO command center for your every post. It will enable you to see how your post will appear in the search engine; depending on your preference, you can manipulate the post snippet. It will also suggest you the readability, title, keyword placement, and so on. Aside from individual posts, you can also gain SEO insight for the entire site in Yoast.
4. Carry Out Keyword Research
Keyword research will enable you to focus on content that users want. With keyword research, you can also gauge the market needs and implement required strategies.
To conduct keyword research, create a list of keywords relevant to your site or topic. Run these through a keyword research tool to find which will attract the most traffic with the least competition. To gauge the competition, you can run similar sites through the keyword research tool and see how those keywords fare against competitors’ sites.
5. Optimize For Mobile Use
Almost 50% of all site traffic nowadays comes from mobile devices. And optimizing your site for mobile users is much more challenging because you don’t have that much processing space for flashy graphics and videos, and you have to work with a relatively small interface.
To optimize for mobile viewing, you have to cut down all the excess and flashy features and keep only the essentials. Besides, make sure you keep the buttons and tabs on a suitable scale, so it becomes easy to click from a small smartphone screen. Design your content in a vertical layout, so the interface becomes more mobile-friendly. Resize and reduce the size of your site images and icon; it will significantly boost the site speed for mobile viewers.
6. Adjust Permalink Structure
Permalink is the web address for your site or page, and it is cached in Google and other search engines. It is the address that the user sees in the search bar when navigating to your site.
Permalink can affect SEO as search engines use it to rank your page. Besides, the permalink informs viewers what your page is all about. From the address, they might decide whether to click on that link or not. While WordPress has several permalink structures, you should choose the one that resonates with your site structure. You can also improve the SEO performance by inputting keywords in your permalink.
7. Link the Site to Google Search Console
Adding your site to the Google search console will allow you to track and monitor your site’s ranking, index, error, and security. Google search console is a comprehensive tool for monitoring external and internal links, crawl rate, total clicks, crawl errors, and so on. You can add your WordPress site to the Google search console simply by inputting your URL and installing the plugin to your WordPress.
8. Create a Sitemap
A sitemap is a list of pages within your domain that help search engines crawl and verify their importance. With this hierarchical flow chart, you will be able to determine which pages are essential and which pages you can discard. Besides, as search engine crawlers depend on sitemap to extract data, building an appropriate sitemap will increase your site’s SEO.
9. Incorporate Google Analytics
Google Analytics allows you to evaluate your SEO performance. It also helps you determine effective strategies. To conduct an SEO audit with Google Analytics, you need to create an account and input your tracking code.
You can extract information about overall site traffic, page-specific traffic, and organic traffic from the site statistics.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to optimization, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. As the SEO landscape is ever-changing, so are the criteria for site ranking. While these strategies might give you a good start in WordPress SEO, you still need to keep pace with the new SEO practices. And there are many plugins and resources that you can work in your favor. WordPress might be the best platform to put those plugins and strategies into action.