If you want more people to find your WordPress site, improving your SEO is key. Unfortunately, most WordPress SEO tutorials are too complicated for novices to understand. If you want to increase the number of people that visit your website, you should consider implementing WordPress SEO best practices. In this guide, we will share the top WordPress SEO tips to help you improve your WordPress SEO and get more organic traffic.
You might have heard experts saying that WordPress is SEO-friendly. This is actually true! The majority of WP themes are coded following the latest SEO trends. However, there is more you need to do if you want to improve your WordPress SEO.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of optimising your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), like Google. Think of it this way: The goal of SEO is to help people find your site when they are looking for information you have on your website. So if you have a business and think about creating a website, consider getting a custom SEO-ready website on WordPress from a professional agency. For example, let’s say you have a blog about WordPress. If someone is looking for “WordPress tips”, then you want your website to show up in the search results. That way, they can click on your website and read your content.
Why is SEO important?
SEO is essential because it can help you get more website visitors. The higher your website ranks in search results, the more likely people are to find it. Not only that, but SEO can also help you get more targeted website visitors. That means people who are actually interested in what you have to say or sell.
Moreover, SEO is not just about ranking higher in SERPs. It’s also about improving your click-through rate (CTR). That’s the percentage of people who click on your website link when it shows up in search results. A higher CTR means more traffic to your website. And that’s what we all want, right?
Now that you know why SEO is crucial, let’s take a look at some of the best WordPress SEO tips to help you get started.
Use an SEO-friendly WordPress theme
There are thousands of free and paid WordPress themes available. While most of them claim to be SEO-friendly, not all of them actually are. For a WordPress theme to be truly SEO friendly, it needs to meet the following criteria:
- It should be lightweight and fast loading.
- The code should be clean and well-organized.
- It should be mobile-friendly.
- It should be optimised for conversion.
- It should have Schema markup integrated.
When choosing a WordPress theme, check whether it meets the above criteria. You can also read our article on how to choose a fast WordPress theme.
2. Use a good SEO plugin
There are many SEO plugins available for WordPress. However, we recommend using Yoast SEO because it is the most popular SEO plugin with over 5 million installations. It is also regularly updated and well-supported.
Once you install and activate the plugin, you will need to configure it. Yoast SEO comes with a setup wizard that helps you with the initial configuration. Once you are done, check out the settings so that the plugin works as intended.
3. Pick a good permalink structure
A permalink is the URL of a particular blog post or page. It should be permanent, meaning it should not change. By default, WordPress uses an ugly permalink structure like this:
This is not only ugly, but it’s also bad for SEO. Instead, you should use a permalink structure that includes the post name:
This is not only pretty, but it’s also good for SEO because it includes the keywords in the URL.
4. Use categories and tags
Categories and tags are two important taxonomies that help you organise your WordPress content. While categories are for broad topics, tags are for more specific keywords.
For example, let’s say you have a blog about SEO. You can create a category called “SEO” and then add tags like “on-page SEO,” “link building,” etc. to individual blog posts.
Categories and tags make it easier for users to find related content on your website. They also help search engines understand the topic of your blog post. You can manage your categories and tags from Posts » Categories and Posts » Tags pages respectively.
5. Optimise your images
Images are an essential part of any website, especially a WordPress site. They make your content more visually appealing and help break up large blocks of text. However, images can also slow down your website if they are not optimised properly. That’s why you need to make sure your images are as small as possible without compromising on quality.
There are many WordPress plugins you can use to optimise your images. We recommend using the WP Smush plugin because it is free and easy to use. Once you install and activate the plugin, it will automatically optimise all the images on your website. You can also manually optimise your images before uploading them to WordPress. You can learn how to optimise images for web and performance.
6. Use an SEO-friendly URL structure
URL structure is crucial for both users and search engines. A good URL is easy to read and understand. It should also include the keywords you want to target.
Here are a few tips for creating an SEO-friendly URL structure:
- Use short and descriptive URLs.
- Use keywords in your URLs.
- Avoid using special characters like &, %, $, etc.
- Avoid using stop words like a, an, the, of, etc.
You can change your WordPress URL structure from Settings » Permalinks page. We recommend using the “Post name” option.