Advanced ways to optimize your WordPress site for search engines
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is one of the proven ways to drive traffic to a site. This means that your site needs to be aligned with certain requirements of search engines like Google (87.35% market share), Bing (5.53%), Yahoo (2.76%), and others. Your WordPress site could be an eCommerce platform, a blog, a brand promotional tool or a means to entertain a target audience; however, if you are not indulging in WordPress SEO optimization, these algorithm-based search crawlers will not be able to detect your site amongst hundreds of other comparable sites thereby reducing chances of organic traffic coming to your site, considerably.
There are technicalities involved in optimizing your WordPress website for which you certainly need the help of professional SEO experts for WordPress optimization services. But there are various simpler ways that you can optimize the website for SEO. In this writeup here, we are sharing some effective and advanced WordPress optimization tips and techniques that a non-technical person can also do.
Proven Ways to Optimize a WordPress Site for SEO
1. Keep the Site Engine Visibility option unchecked
WordPress comes with an in-built option of ‘Search Engine Visibility – Discourage search engines from indexing this site’. To optimize the site, you need to make sure that this option is kept unchecked after completion of WordPress website development, when enabled it will discourage search engines from crawling to your site. You can access the option as an Admin from Settings. Go onto Reading Page and look for Search Engine Visibility.
2. Decide in favor of a trusted web host
This is a key decision in your hands as a WordPress website owner. The hosting company needs to offer robust and reliable services. This is because the speed of your website is directly linked to the hosting company’s performance. SEO algorithms consider factors like loading speed of the site (it should take not more than 1.5 seconds to load the heaviest of pages), downtimes, the location of the servers, and so on. You need to spend time to research well for a sound hosting company so that it can speed up a WordPress site to the top of the SERP.
3. Choose an SEO-friendly plugin
Plugins are software programs that are used when working on a website. Using plugins, you can add more and better components to your website so that the overall look, layout, and experience on the site are enhanced. Thankfully, you can choose from hundreds of effective plugins that make the work of WordPress website development easy. And, fortunately, many of these plugins help in making the site optimized for search engines.
WooCommerce and Yoast are two commonly used plugins that help push WordPress websites to the top ranks. WooCommerce is a plugin that facilitates your WordPress website to work as an eCommerce store. This open-source plugin offers creative and out-of-box SEO techniques and works extremely well with WordPress. Of course, there are others too and you need to be prudent while making a choice. If it gets daunting, take help from experts to understand which plugins to work with.
4. XML Sitemaps need to be used consciously
XML Sitemaps help create a hierarchical system of presenting the entire content of the website. These sitemaps help provide clarity to the search engine, communicating information related to your site’s content to the crawler. The better and clearer the communication is, the easier it is for the search engine bot to understand the structure of your site; that in turn, helps it to rank your site better and enhances WordPress SEO optimization.
5. WordPress optimization by using SEO-friendly structures of URL
The whole concept of making your WordPress website optimized for search engines is that it should present information in a clear and transparent manner. Using SEO-friendly URLs means that the URL is easy for the user and the search engine to understand – for example, https://www.wpbeginner.com/how-to-install-wordpress/ rather than https://www.wpbeginner.com/. In the former, the readability and understandability indexes are far higher than the latter.
6. Use Nofollow attributes responsibly
The rel=’nofollow’ on a page is a way to inform the search crawler that the link should not be followed. On your WordPress site, ensure that you use this tool to set off all unrelated and untrusted links to nofollow. Doing this helps in WordPress SEO optimization of your site.
7. To speed up the WordPress site, make use of a reliable Caching Plugin
Caching Plugins help increase the speed of loading of the site while also minimizing the load on the server at the back. These plugins cache data that is reused every time the user comes back to the site; helping the site load faster. There are many amazing plugins that produce superior results with WordPress sites. W3 Total Cache is one such example. You could look for others too.
8. Content optimization
Content and SEO are interdependent and complement each other. Since optimized content presents an aesthetic appeal and also provides memorable user navigation, search engine algorithms mention that use of high-quality content is the best way for WordPress optimization. Not only does optimization make the content structured for the search engine and the user, but it also adds an aesthetic visual appeal to the overall site content.
These are some of the best practice to optimized content:
a. Heading Tags – SEO algorithms stress a lot on the use of heading tags optimally. Just to give more lucidity and sense to the site content, it is important that you use proper headings. WordPress facilitates the use of Heading tags as Heading 1, Heading 2 up to almost Heading 6.
b. Keywords are the most important aspect of WordPress SEO optimization – The entire gamut of website ranking on SERPs is based on the concept of keywords or short phrases of words. The better and more optimally you are able to use these keywords, the better is your site able to communicate to the crawler. The use of right location-based keywords gives the search engine a proper understanding of what your content is all about.
c. Image optimization where the use of compressed image files is encouraged so that sites load faster. Since it is important to speed up a WordPress website, this is an important parameter to address. Alt Text or Alternative Text or Alt Tags need to be used more often to help the search robot understand better, the function and description of images on the site.
9. Robots file
Robots.txt files are protocols that tell the crawler which pages on the site to crawl and which not to. Robot files are often referred by the search engine for instructions, before going onto the desired page. The best part is that you do not need to be tech-savvy to use the power of Robot files.
These are a few advanced tricks to help you optimize your WordPress website. It is estimated that as of January 2020, there are about 1.2 billion websites in the virtual world. To ensure that your WordPress sites do not get lost in this abysmal sea of websites in the WWW realm, you need to hire a proficient Digital Marketing Services Company like AvyaTech because WordPress optimization is not simple and requires the following certain best practices.