WordPress is the most popular content management system available today. It powers a large number of the websites on the internet, is very easy to setup and can create anything from a simple blog to a complex website. However, downloading, installing and setting up your website with WordPress is not enough.
First, you need to make sure your website gets out there; and that the people who need to see your website can actually see it. Setting up your website is the easy part, this is the hard part.
There are several methods you can adopt to drive traffic to your website and one of them is search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is the aggregation of techniques and strategies you adopt to help your page rank higher in search engine results page, thereby improving your website’s visibility.
If you already have a live WordPress website or you’re planning to set one up, the following 6 methods will come in handy to help you improve your WordPress website SEO. And if you don’t have the time or vital skills, then you can take advantage of the top level expertise of the good people at marketer’s center.
- Pick a theme that is optimized for SEO
After your web hosting provider, your WordPress theme is the next most important element in the success of your website. Your theme determines the design and layout of your website. The right theme provides your website with the right functionality, the right structure and the right user experience. All of these are crucial for SEO.
User experience and website load speed are just two of the factors Google consider when determining page ranking and your WordPress website theme can affect these two factors.
When picking a theme for your website, it is important you pick one optimized for SEO. There are several of these SEO friendly themes on the market that offers specific features designed to boost your website’s SEO such as advanced options for tags. The good news is that these themes are actually quite affordable.
- Use a dedicated plugin for SEO
For those that are not familiar with the term, plugins are tiny bits of software or scripts that can be added to your WordPress website to provide more functionality. There are different plugins to help you do just about anything on your WordPress website, including one to help you optimize for SEO. There are actually very many plugins specifically designed for the purpose of improving your website’s page rank, you just have to search for the one that works for you.
These plugins provide special features such as the ability to create a sitemap for your website as well as advanced meta and keyword features. There are both free and paid plugins for SEO. You can start with a free one if you are considering your budget. However, if you can afford to buy the paid version, do so, so that you can enjoy all the features it offers.
- Update your permalink a structure
Permalink a are WordPress URLs that point to the pages, posts and other content in your website. People use these links to refer and link back to useful contents on your website.
By default, WordPress uses a page ID permalink structure for your posts. This system has two obvious disadvantages. Search engines do not find these links friendly and it prevents you from placing important keywords within your post title.
To make your WordPress website SEO optimized, it is advisable that you change from the default WordPress permalink structure to the ‘post name’ structure in the settings page.
This will update your permalink to a structure that makes sense to search engines and so improve your chances of better page ranking.
- Incorporate keywords in your content
Keywords not only describe your content, it also embodies what users are searching for. To boost your website SEO, it is important that you craft your content around useful keywords.
Look for keywords that describe what your content is all about and strategically position it all through your post. Try to craft it in such a way that it will double as keywords users use when searching for the type of content your website provides.
Choose a keyword for each post or page on your website and position it in different plans such as the title, the headings and the main content. This will improve the chances of your content showing up in search engine results when the relevant keywords are used.
It is important, however, that you are careful with this strategy. Avoid ‘keyword stuffing’ or using them in such a way that they appear unnatural.
- Optimize for mobile
Now more than ever, many people are using their mobile phones and devices to browse the Internet. This means your website needs to look and perform as good on a desktop as on a mobile device. You can get this done by making sure your website follows a responsive design, which means that it detects and adapts to your visitors’ device, whether PC or mobile.
As earlier pointed out, user experience is a critical factor in Google’s pagerank algorithm. When your visitors can access your website on their mobile devices without losing functionality, it makes for a good user experience.
Mobile responsiveness is also a factor in Google page ranking algorithm, therefore if you want to improve on the chances of your website’s visibility, then you have to make sure your website is optimized for mobile. The easiest way to achieve this on your WordPress website is to look for a responsive theme. These themes are already optimized for mobile devices which mean you have little or nothing to add.
- Make good use of links
Search engines determine how well your website should rank by looking at it as it relates to others. Therefore, it is important that the content on your website has links to credible external sources. This tells the search engine that your content relates to other useful contents elsewhere.
It also encourages others to link back to you, thereby increasing your credibility and boosting your chances of visibility. It is also important that you link new contents on your website to old but relevant contents. It is vital that these links come in naturally though and not appear artificial.
If you have decided to use WordPress for your website, you are already on the right part. Once you have gotten your host right, the six strategies above will help ensure that your website doesn’t just hide away somewhere on the Internet, but is available for your target audience to find.