15+ WordPress SEO Tips for Beginners
WordPress is the best tool for Bloggers and Webmasters. There are millions of websites using WordPress. WordPress is easy to use and offers a well structured website that Google can easily crawl. But We must also follow some SEO tips to make website better for search engines. Although SEO works same for all websites, but WordPress users can easily optimize the website with available plugins.
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 engine and get more organic traffic.
I don’t think I need to explain SEO or importance of SEO. SO, I am coming to the point and here are few SEO tips for WordPress.
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 optimising images. You must use tools like Compress.photos to optimize images before uploading to your WordPress blog. You can also use WordPress plugins to optimize images. You can also a use CDN to optimize image delivery and make your website faster. I have already made a list of best free CDN for WordPress. If you can pay, MaxCDN is the best CDN service you can try.
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 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 first point, I already made it clear that website’a load time is important. Along with image optimization, there are also few things that you can do. Caching is the best way to improve blog speed. Without caching, it performs several SQL queries to fetch content from the database. But caching keeps the output in a static file and saves numbers of queries. In this way, it makes blog faster. There are many popular caching plugins which help in improving blog speed. WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache are some popular WordPress plugins that are used for caching of your blogs.
4. Install WordPress SEO Plugin
SEO plugins make websites SEO friendly without much efforts. These plugins help you understand the keyword density and make a checklist of on-page SEO while writing and article. SEO by Yoast is the most popular SEO plugin for WordPress. I personally use it to edit meta description, check keyword density and ensure proper on-page SEO, This plugin is easy to install and use.
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 static URL. If you are not making any news website, I recommend to stay away from month year thing as well. I prefer yourdomain.com/post-name.html structure. You can choose this one. These kinds of URLs are also readable and ensures high CTR rate.
6. Noindex Tag, Category and Author Archive pages
Duplicate content issue can cause negative impact. So, you must mark Tag, Category and Author Archive pages as no index. Yoast plugin allows you to do that without going into code level. Other SEO plugins also offer an easy way to do this. I have written a guide explaining how to remove WordPress Tags & Categories from Google Search.
7. Block spam comments
If you are using 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 approve, you may out your website at big risk. I have seen lots of SPAM comments with link to casino or porn website. These kind of links put 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 title and ALT tags in images. The title and ALT must have proper keyword to ensure better visibility on search results. WordPress allows you to add title and alt tags when you upload an images. I have written ways to optimize website images to increase traffic. You must read that article. You must also consider installing any of good plugins for Image SEO.
9. Limit URL lengths of your posts
While this doesn’t contribute big, but 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 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. So, try to write a long articles by explaining everything. 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.
11. Keyword Research
Keyword Research is the key to blog’s success. If you do proper keyword research and write articles based on profitable keywords, you can easily achieve good traffic. I have written ways to perform keyword research. You should start using SEMrush. It helps in tracking ranking or your website and find profitable 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 plan. Google has confirmed that HTTPS or SSL is also a minor ranking factor. SO, why to ignore this. If you do not want to spend in buying 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
XML sitemap is important. It makes it easy for search engines to find all of your content. It does not boost ranking but help Google or other search engines to find all the pages of your website easily. So, you must create XML sitemap of 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.
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 error faced by Google crawlers, link data, indexing data and keywords that are ranking good. If Google find any big issue on your website, it will send you alerts.
It also allows you to submit the sitemap. So, it is advisable to start using 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 in 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 best managed WordPress hosting providers.
These are few SEO tips for WordPress users. I tried to cover everything that you should must take care 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 list of best SEO tools, best SEO plugins and more.
I hole this article helped you learn how to properly optimize WordPress website for SEO. If you found this article interesting, share it with your friends.