WordPress is the best, and the most user-friendly CMS( content management system) WordPress is considered to be highly SEO optimized but still it requires further SEO optimizations. So, let us discuss the anatomy of a perfectly optimized WordPress site that has perfectly structured SEO. In this article, we will go through the different aspects of WordPress SEO that are to be taken into consideration for correctly optimizing our WordPress site for SEO.
One of my friends asked me- What is the necessity of writing about WordPress SEO as WordPress itself is highly optimized for search engines?
Is it so? What are your thoughts?
Though, WordPress provides a bunch of tools that makes our lives easier as a website owner but still we have to use those instruments to make our blog flawlessly SEO optimized.
Here I am going to discuss a WordPress SEO strategy that you should follow to get maximum out of your SEO optimizations.
WordPress SEO strategy for a perfectly SEO optimized page
1. Responsive WordPress theme
On May 2015, Google announced that they are getting more traffic from mobile devices that than they receive from PCs. Thus, they are planning to penalize websites that are not optimized for mobile usage. Thus, WordPress theme with responsive design should be adopted to work fluently on different types of devices whether it is a PC or a mobile.
There are many WordPress themes to choose from. You have the choice of both paid and free themes. Depending upon your requirement, select a free theme if you are a beginner and the go for paid theme when you are well acquainted with WordPress. Test them on IE, Chrome, Firefox and other browsers. Also, verify the theme on mobile devices and then make the final choice.
Themes can be tested by using the live demo option attached with every theme. To go through some free highly customizable themes go through the below link
2. Permalink structure
Permalink structure is crucial for WordPress SEO. Permalink is nothing but the URL of the page. For example, the Url of this page is yourblogmy.com/wordpress-seo/. If you want that your page should rank higher on SERPs then, you should include the focus keyword or the main keyword that you had selected in your permalink.
To change your permalink structure, in your WordPress Dashboard, go to Setting and click on Permalink. You will be presented with the below page. Select either post name or custom structure and hit save.
When you select post name, your Post URL will automatically transform into your post title. For example, if my Post title is ‘10 Best SEO strategies’ then my permalink will be http://yourblogmyway.com/10-Best-SEO-strategies/. When you select custom, then you have to define your permalink structure while editing the Post.
Remember that permalink structure is an important part of any WordPress SEO strategy.
3. Social media sharing links
Though adding sharing icons don’t have any effect on the SEO of any website but yes it increases chances of your content being shared. Thus, adding of social media sharing buttons may increase traffic to your blog drastically.
To add Social media icons in a more modern way, you can use floating icons at the left or the right. To do so, you can use Sumome plugin which further comes with list and scroll addons which are very helpful. In the free version you of Sumome, there will be their branding but believe me, it looks awesome.
4. Titles and meta
Any SEO strategy cannot ignore this i.e. including focus keyword in the title of the blog post and also using it in the meta description. If you are using Yoast, you can write two titles for the same post, one for the search engines and the other for the viewers. You can also edit the meta description. To know more, you can go through the below link
5. h1, h2, h3 tags
When your post contains different heading tags, the search engine bots will consider your article to be deep and more reliable. In WordPress H1 tag is preserved for the headings, and thus, you have to use only H2, H3, etc. tags. Don’t use a second heading tag in the same blog post. Also, avoid using too many repetitive heading tags in the same blog post.
Remember that heading means something for search engine bots. A heading tag is an indication that a good amount of content is placed after this tag. So, avoid using heading tags whenever you create lists of 10, 20 or more about any topic.
6. Content priority( sidebar to the right)
Content has to be prioritized to rank higher or search engines. To do so, you have to design your page navigation correctly.
Search engine crawlers scan pages from left to right. So, it is better to place navigations such as categories, social buttons, etc. to the right and keep the content to the left. We use a sidebar to put our navigation stuff, and thus, we should maintain the sidebar to the right.
7. Install Yoast or All in one SEO plugin
To perform efficient On page SEO, you have to install at least one SEO plugins. Either you can install Yoast or All in one SEO. I prefer using Yoast as it uses the most modern approach to SEO. Some, bloggers use more than one SEO plugins. It completely depends on your choice. I use Yoast, which I feel is the best because of its simplicity.
8. No flash Videos – Youtube and Vimeo better option
If you are using flash videos, then please avoid them as they are more outdated in their approach and sometimes lead to poor user experience due to loading problems. If you want to embed videos, use Youtube or Vimeo videos.
The best part in WordPress is that you have to just past the URL of the video, and your video is embedded. It is that simple.
9. No index tags to categories, tags, archeries
Page ranking depends heavily on the quality of content we produce. As we know that pages like categories, tags and archeries don’t have much useful content and thus, if they are indexed in search pages would result in a decrease of page ranking for our blog.
Remember, this is not the case with news blog. You can index your categories and archeries but not tags if you are running a news website. Also, it may lead to poor end user experience. If your pages are already indexed, then you can add no index tags to them.
If you are using Yoast SEO plugin, you can easily do it by following the below link
10. Blog post date and author description
The date is a major factor and acts differently for different types of blogs. You may choose to show the date, or you may remove it. If you are running a news blog, then you have to show the date as the news is only significant if it has the date embedded in it.
If you are writing evergreen content, then you can remove date by either by editing the theme code or by using plugins like Date Exclusion SEO. You can also show the last modified date on each post. You can use various plugins available to do so.
If your blog is a single author one like mine, then showing author description at the bottom of every blog post is a bad habit. Just add the author name to your blog post which is enough. For multiple author blogs, it is very necessary to provide author bio at the bottom of each blog post.
11. Using slider
Sliders make your blog visually appealing and at the same time may create loading problems on slow networks and mobiles. Therefore, don’t use sliders on mobile sites and use sliders only if it is very much necessary.
In place of a slider, you can use a single image with describes your entire site.
12. Using alt tags for Images( SEO friendly images)
Search engine bots are not humans, and thus, they are unable to identify the meaning of images and thus, you should tell them by providing proper alt tags and title to the image. If the image is an infographic, you can also add a short description
In WordPress adding Alt tags can be simplified by using a plugin called SEO Friendly Images that adds alt tags to images depending on the title of the post in which you are using the image.
13. Page speed optimization- Speed booster plugins, W3 Total Cache, WP Smush, WP Super Simple Speed
Google has clearly stated that they are considering page speed as important criteria for ranking the pages and thus, you should optimize your pages for maximum page speed. To do so, you can use plugins like W3 Total Cache, WP Smush and WP Super Simple Speed, which can considerably reduce the page loading times. One more plugin which you can use is Speed Booster plugin that drastically affects the page loading times.
14. No follow tag to external links
If you don’t want to pass link juice to the external links, then you can add no follow tags to all the external links. To add no follow tags to all the external links that we are using is an uphill task. To reduce your effort, you can use the plugin called No follow External Links that adds no follow tags to all the external links. It takes only 2 minutes to install and add no follow tags with the help of this plugin
The last thoughts
Though, WordPress is a highly SEO optimized content management system but still you have to carry out the above-mentioned WordPress SEO strategy to rank better on search engines. There, are few more points such as adding popups and popunders to increase subscribers but I had not covered them here as it is not completely connected to on page SEO. Further, they are more connected to the entire site rather than a single page. Follow these WordPress SEO tips using different SEO plugins for best results from your SEO strategy.
What are your thoughts on these WordPress SEO tips? Please, let me know in my the comment section.
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