How can you improve your website's SEO performance?
You want as many visitors to your website as possible, whether the goal is to inform them in an engaging way, to promote your business, to sell products and services, or to offer the best web hosting in the world. Either way, the more visitors you get, the easier it will be to build an audience you can count on.
But where or how can you start? There are many ways to control website traffic, but search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most effective. SEO is a multitude of strategies and techniques designed to help your pages rank higher in search engine results. This increases website visibility and helps you grow your fledgling business.
So, I think, you can understand why improving your on-site SEO performance is the way to success.
Moreover, there are a lot of simple ways to improve this SEO performance on WordPress, even if you are just starting out. In this article, we'll discuss 13 techniques you can use right away!
An introduction to SEO
Think about it: When you sit down and search for something on the Internet, there's only one thing you come back to and need: a search engine. This means that if you want to launch your website, you need to make sure that it appears in Google searches. And most importantly, you'll want your website to appear as high as possible in the search results.
The best way to do this is through SEO, which is a wide range of strategies and activities based on what we know about how search engines rank websites. There are many advantages to website optimization for search engines such as:
A site that ranks highly in search engine results pages (SERPs) has more visibility and a better chance of increased traffic and looks more trustworthy.
You will present more useful and relevant information to your visitors because SEO tends to focus on producing quality content.
If you are new to SEO, there is no need to panic. By creating a WordPress site, you have already taken a big step because the platform is well optimized for search engines. In addition, there are a lot of simple and beginner-friendly modes.
When we organized the list of SEO strategies, we started from the premise that you are always busy. So these techniques are ones you can implement right now (no long-term commitment required). Obviously, there are lots of other techniques, but this is a great place to start. And don't forget: you don't have to use them all, even a few should give your WordPress site a boost in the SERPs.
We'll also focus specifically on helpful tips for Google, as it's by far the most popular search engine and releases the most information about its algorithms. That said, many of these strategies can also help you on other sites like Yahoo Search or Bing.
- Choose your host site carefully!
It's true: the hosting provider you choose is vital for SEO.
Since Google takes speed into account when ranking websites, a good host can help you rank at the top of the SERPs. The host also affects the amount of idle time your site experiences and the physical distance between servers and visitors – both of which are ranking factors. Last but not least, since Google gives HTTPS sites a slight advantage, you'll want to take advantage of that, too. At Mensis Host, it's free for any type of website or business.
If you haven't built your site yet, you'll want to choose a host that's reliable and has an excellent reputation. Even for an existing site, you may want to consider switching hosts if your current provider doesn't meet these criteria.
A smart way to go is with a WordPress hosting plan.
- Choose a search engine optimized theme
The theme is one of the most important choices you will make for your WordPress site. It determines the look of the site, provides new functionality and also plays a role in SEO. For example, the theme can affect site speed – which (as we've already discussed) is vital. How a theme was developed also matters because the code gives the site the best chance in the SERPs.
Therefore, when choosing a theme, you'll want to opt for one built with SEO in mind. These themes are often referred to as “SEO-friendly”. You may also want to look for a theme that offers features specifically designed to improve your SEO, such as new tag options. Fortunately, there is lots of themes available now.
- Use a dedicated plugin SEO
If you are new to WordPress, you may not yet be familiar with plugins. These are small pieces of software you can install that add new features and functionality to the site. There is a plugin that helps your website do almost anything, including ranking higher in search engines. In fact, there are many plugins designed specifically to improve your website's SEO.
These plugins can provide small but well-targeted functions, such as creating a sitemap. For even better results, you can also opt for a complex SEO plugin such as Yoast SEO, which will add a whole suite of features focused on site optimization.
- Change the "Permalink" structure
Permalinks are the permanent URLs that point to your site's posts, pages, and other content. They are what people use to reference and link to the site, and their appearance matters. Clear, concise links that describe their content are easier for search engines to understand and get an improvement in ranking.
WordPress offers a number of automatic permalink options:
A few are number-based (like the Simple and Numeric options), which isn't ideal because it conveys little useful information to search engines. The best choice is “Post Name” because it clearly communicates what the content is about. You can easily modify link structure permanent by visiting the backend of the site and navigating to Settings > Permalink.
- Create a sitemap
a Site Map | is a list of all the pages and other content on the website, usually organized in a hierarchy. It provides a quick way to see how the site is laid out and what it includes. While these sitemaps were once designed to help users navigate websites, their primary purpose is now to communicate information to search engines (also known as crawlers).
While adding a sitemap doesn't directly improve your search engine rankings, it does a valuable SEO tool. It allows crawlers to see all the pages on your site and understand how they relate to each other. This makes it easier for search engines to index your site and present relevant content in user searches. Adding a sitemap to WordPress is simple – you can do it with a targeted plugin such as Google XML Sitemaps or through a full SEO tool such as Yoast SEO.
- Use tags for the title
While a sitemap is useful for helping search engine crawlers see how your site is organized, it doesn't help them understand individual content. For this, you will need to use header tags. These are formatting options you can apply to section headings in pages and posts.
Using these headings to structure your content helps two things. It provides a visual benefit by breaking up the text and making it easy to read. Crawlers also pay a lot of attention to headings, using them to understand how your content is organized and what it's about. Therefore, when creating posts and pages, remember to use title options.
- Create your content around your keywords
You may have come across the concept of keywords by now. These are short sentences that describe the topic of your content. For example, you might choose the keyword "easy networking" for a blog post about networking for beginners. By doing this, it is much more likely that a lot of people will enter the phrase into a search engine when looking for this type of post.
Choosing a keyword for each post or page and using it in various places – such as the title, headings and the content itself – is a common way to communicate your topic with search engine crawlers and increase the chances of your site ranking higher in searches.
Avoid "keyword stuffing" or using a single keyword in too many places or your site will look unnatural or spammy.
- Use internal and external links
Google and other search engines look at how well a site is connected, both internally and externally to other sites. Using a lot of links across posts and pages tells crawlers how to relate to similar content.
It also encourages other people to link to your site.
As with keywords, this is a strategy you need to use carefully. If you include too many links in your content or use a lot of links that point to irrelevant pages or exist only to promote products, your page's search engine rankings will likely suffer as well.
Look to insert links where they fit naturally and direct readers to high-quality websites that are already ranking extremely well in the SERPs. Smart use of internal links and ofexternal anchors is essential for achieving the best possible SEO results.
- Use responsive design on your website.
Many people use mobile devices to surf the Internet. This means, the website must look and work equally well on whatever type of device a visitor is using. You can ensure this by following the responsive design strategy – in other words, designing your website so that it reacts and adapts to each user's device.
Design is so important that Google uses it as a ranking factor. If the site meets these requirements, its chances of appearing in the SERPs will be much more promising. For WordPress users, the best way to get started with responsive design is to choose a theme.
Don't forget to check out the other SEO features of each theme!
- Optimize your images
Images are important to almost any website. They provide a pleasant visual framework, help to decipher the text and make it more readable. As you may have guessed, they can also impact your SEO performance.
First, the quality and size of images can affect page load speed, which is a ranking factor.
Second, crawlers will see certain information attached to images – such as filenames and alternative text– when trying to index and understand your site.
Addressing these two issues goes a long way in improving your SEO performance.
So, make sure that optimize images and other media so that they have as little impact on your site's performance as possible. Next, give each image a descriptive file name and alt text.
- Compose long texts when possible
When Google's algorithms decide how to rank content, they pay particular attention to its length. That doesn't mean shorter content doesn't rank just as well.
However, longer content has an advantage, because search engines think it's more likely to be useful. Additionally, the more comprehensive the content, the better it can communicate its topic to the crawlers through keywords, headings, and so on.
Longer content is also valuable to readers, can increase your perceived credibility, and encourages visitors to spend more time on your site. So, when you create content, try to make it as good and relevant as possible. There are many ways to do this, but “skyscraper technique” – improving existing content, making yours better and more comprehensive – is one method to check out.
- Add and update posts frequently
In addition to content size, Google's algorithms consider the frequency of content posting when deciding how to rank your pages. Thus, it will be given a greater boost newer, "fresh" content, which is more likely to be considered relevant to users.
Therefore, if you want your site to consistently perform in the SERPs over time, you'll want to add new content regularly. Also, don't neglect older posts and pages. Updating existing content prompts search bots to reevaluate it and give it more attention than pages that never change. You can use our services copywriting, or you can search for a suitable person on a classifieds site such as Jobs.
- Quality content
When Google and other search engines create complex algorithms for website ranking, their goal is to help the most relevant websites get a high score. That's why you need to focus on creating quality content!
We have already discussed long texts and how they represent a solid way to increase the quality of your posts and pages. However, there are plenty of other ways to achieve this goal. For example, consider what your site visitors want or need most, and focus on providing content for those things. Also, don't forget to carefully check everything you add to the site - details matter and make the difference!
SEO encompasses a wide range of strategies and techniques. Fortunately, you don't have to become an SEO expert to help your website rank higher in the SERPs. If you want to start seeing great results, all you have to do is follow these simple tips.
Of course, choosing WordPress as your host platform is the perfect first step to creating a well-optimized website. Choose a suitable theme and consider targeted plugins. By implementing these strategies, you will be able to improve your website's visibility and traffic.