It’s no secret that incorporating proper SEO is essential to optimize your company’s success online. After all, even the greatest content is largely irrelevant if nobody can find it.
WordPress is one of the most popular platforms for running a business website, and it offers a multitude of ways you can boost your SEO. But, not everyone knows how to go about it.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about how to boost your WordPress SEO.
1. Install an SEO Plugin
Although WordPress has notable utility on its own, you won’t be able to get the most out of your SEO efforts without installing a quality SEO plugin. This will provide you with far greater control over how Google views your managed WordPress hosted website.
It can be difficult, though, to choose from the broad list of available plugins. Fortunately, you can download Yoast SEO for free and it’s one of the most popular options.
You’ll be able to use it and have better management over your keywords, meta-descriptions, and XML site maps. You can find this plugin in the official WordPress repository.
2. Set up Permalinks
Although some people may not pay attention to it, Google isn’t a fan of long, messy URLs. While optimizing your content’s permalink won’t result in a groundbreaking change, it offers a simple and straightforward way to increase WordPress SEO.
Left unchanged, WordPress will generate a permalink for your posts. However, Google prefers that your URL includes both your post’s title and relevant keywords.
WordPress has a solution, though. By navigating to your permalink settings in the WordPress dashboard, you can select the option ‘Post Name‘ to automatically generate URLs that incorporate your post’s title.
3. Heading Tags
Google looks at your content’s headers to understand what a specific page on your site is about. So, it’s crucial that you take these into account.
For proper SEO, you should ensure that your target keyword is included in at least one H2 header. Your secondary keywords can be included across a combination of H2 and H3 headers.
4. Choose a Target Keyword
Regardless of how many techniques you use to boost your SEO, choosing relevant keywords to incorporate in your content is still as important as always.
This process is made easier by using Google’s free Keyword Planner tool. It will allow you to research various keywords you may have in mind for your content and narrow down the ones that would be best for you.
You’ll want to pay attention to both the keyword difficulty rating as well as the overall traffic. Choosing a keyword that is easy to rank for won’t mean much if nobody is searching for it.
Lastly, make sure that you incorporate your target keyword in a way that sounds natural. Otherwise, both your reader’s experience on your site and that article’s SEO value may be negatively affected.
5. Image Title Tags
Image title tags shouldn’t be confused with image ALT text.
The latter term refers to a written description for an image on your site. You’re able to include your keyword in this field, and it can help you get better WordPress SEO.
An image title tag doesn’t have any direct impact on your ranking. What you can do, though, is use this section to provide your audience with a call to action when they hover over the image with their cursor.
This process is easily accomplished by filling in the title field for the image when browsing through your WordPress Media Library.
6. Meta Descriptions
Interestingly, your WordPress SEO won’t be impacted by whether you include a meta description. But, not including one will hurt your chances of someone clicking on a link to your content.
As your click-through rate increases, Google will begin to see that your content is both engaging and high-quality, which will boost your search engine ranking.
You can further increase your search engine optimization for WordPress by including your target keyword in the meta description. So, it’s in your best interest that you take the time to write a description of your content.
7. Short URLs
Similar to how Google prefers a URL that includes the title and keyword, your search engine ranking will also depend on how long your URL is.
In general, Google prefers short, straightforward URLs. In fact, you should strive to keep them as short as possible while still being able to convey what the content is about.
To edit a post URL, you’ll find an option to edit the ‘slug‘ in the classic WordPress editor. This term refers to the section of the URL that follows the final backslash.
A solid practice is to simply make this segment of your URL the target keyword for your content.
8. Proper Title Tags
It’s essential to include your keyword in the appropriate titles and headers for your content. This will allow you to accomplish two tasks:
- You’ll show your audience that your content is relevant to what they’re searching for
- You’ll boost your SEO value
These two factors combined will help you drive an increased amount of traffic to your page as time goes on.
To further optimize the traffic you receive, you’ll want to ensure that your title is less than 65 characters long. While there’s nothing preventing you from going over that, Google only allows users to preview the first 65 characters of a title.
This also means that it’s important to put your keyword towards the beginning of the title so that your audience will know what your content is about.
How Pressable Can Help
Remember, speed is a huge part of boosting SEO performance. Pressable offers managed WordPress hosting solutions optimized for WordPress websites. That means faster performance and 100% uptime. Want to learn about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.
I am a growth marketer with diverse experience across startups. A researcher by training, and an avid reader of science fiction, I take a special interest in all things tech. I have been involved with WordPress for the last 8 years, and currently lead growth marketing at Pressable.