19 killer SEO tips for your WordPress site
Must follow SEO tips for WordPress site
One of the most popular and freely available content management system’s available today is WordPress. But WordPress content management system is search engine optimized by default? No, WordPress is not search engine optimized CMS but it is a search engine friendly content management system. What does this mean? You have to do some work.
Just installing, configuring and implementing a theme will not rank any site on Google’s first page automatically. You need to optimize the site on your own. Even just installing SEO plugin does not mean that things are done, you need to go beyond installation and follow basics of WordPress.
Following these basic SEO hints will improve WordPress site for search engines and also for the user experience.
1. Use of proper HTML tags in your theme
Headings help Google to grasp main title or topic of any post or page. It also helps visitors as well, because it organizes the content for reading. H1 and H2 tags are most important for any page. Make sure you’ve used one (and only one) H1 tag on all pages of your website. H2 is for subtitle and you may use multiple times but only within the content for headers.
2. Images with ALT text
ALT attribute of image is used to describe the image. Googlebot does not see the images directly but it focuses on the text provided in the “alt” attribute.
3. Follow on-page SEO techniques
It is about permalink, usage of keywords, links, etc.. A great on-page checklist to follow here (backlinko.com) by Brian. This simply means write relevant content and link it around your site.
4. Site visibility
Uncheck “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” and turn on the site visibility under the Settings > Reading. Sometimes these smaller things can have a significant impact.
5. Non WWW vs. WWW
There are no benefits of using one over another. But the important thing is to stay consistent with your choice. Choose any one at the starting of website and use same throughout the site. Redirect the ‘non-www’ to ‘non’ or vice versa. Chossing one depends on personal preference, but consitentcy matters for SEO.
6. 301 redirects
Permanent redirect or 301 redirects should be put in place to permanently redirect a page. Usually we need to redirect a page in situations where a URL no longer active, the URL is broken, temporary redirect while someone working on page. All these are very important in terms of SEO ranking for a page.
7. Meta limits
Meta tags are a great way for webmasters to provide search engines with information about their sites. There are no restrictions and meta tags can be any length. But search engine gelerally truncate meta description longer than 160 characters, so the best option is to use meta description between 150 to 160 characters. Similarly make sure that meta title contains only 55 characters long.
8. Use original content
In terms of SEO rankings, duplicate content can be troublesome. Using original content is very important. You can use Copyscape Plagiarism Checker to make sure that content used on your site is unique and original. (interesting helps, too)
Use breadcrumbs and make sure they are working. Search engines like the way they provide context to the inner and outer pages of your website in a structured way.
10. Content interlinking
Interlinking page will help you in broader sense by increasing the page rank of your internal pages. And it also helps in building the relevancy of a page to a keyword phrase that you include in the link tag.
12. External links
External links are is also important and the more authoritative the inbound links; the better.
Make sure your site is mobile friendly. You can take a mobile friendly test fopr your site here on Google Webmaster Tools. Google is considering responsiveness in their result filtering.
14. Optimize site
The most important thing after or just before moving site to production is optimization. Essentially…that means doing the other 18 items on this list!
15. Generate XML sitemaps
Use either Google Sitemap Generator or Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin’s inbuilt sitemap.
Use Robots.txt to stop search engines indexing sensitive directories and files on your site. Here is one great article about Robots.txt by Elegant Themes. (sometimes you don’t want search engines to find your site)
17. Social sharing
Always provide social sharing options to your site visitors. There are many plugins available like AddThis and ShareThis which allows placing social sharing links on every page very easily. (And share from your social media)
18. Speed up your site
Compress images, use CDN, use caching to load your site faster. You can test your website’s speed here on Google PageSpeed Insights
19. Google analytics and Webmaster tools
Do not forget to add Google Analytics code on every page of your website. Also sign up for Google Webmaster Tools which can help to identify and fix any issues related to your website.
And, if you decide you need help with your SEO, just let us know.