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How to Optimise Your WordPress Website for SEO

by Zachary Fry
Optimising Wordpress

WordPress is an internet giant; there’s no doubt about it. There are more than 455 million sites that use WordPress, that’s an impressive figure all on its own, but things get even more impressive once you dig a little deeper...

WordPress is the content management system for a whopping 65% of the world's businesses and makes up a total of 43% of all websites.

So what drives so many companies to select WordPress over the other options out there? Well, it could be the simple fact that this CMS has a lot going for it. It’s easy to use, highly customisable, and it comes with pretty solid SEO credentials straight out of the box.

However, while WordPress offers decent entry-level SEO, it won’t do all of the work for you. You’ll need to do some of the legwork yourself to ensure that Google (and other search engines) can find your site. In this blog, we’ll run through the ins and outs of WordPress SEO, including how it can help your business and the best ways to optimise your WordPress website.

What To Know About SEO

Before we get into how you can improve your site’s SEO, let’s all get on the same page regarding what SEO is. It stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It’s basically the act of making a website as pleasing as possible in the eyes of Google (and others, but for all intents and purposes, just Google: their market share is 92%).

Once you’ve gone through the process of making your website attractive to Google, you’ll enjoy a whole host of benefits. More people will find your site, which means more visitors and more potential customers. It’ll help to boost your trustworthiness (everyone trusts a first-page Google result). And it overall enhances your brand awareness goals, among other benefits.

How Can You Boost Your Site’s SEO?

As we said at the beginning of the article: WordPress has some pretty solid SEO credentials from the get-go. But if there’s one thing to know about SEO, it’s that the more you put into it, the more you’ll get out. As such, it’s best not to get comfortable with having a basic SEO site, especially if you’re running a business.

Thankfully, the highly-customisable nature of WordPress means there are plenty of things you can do to nudge things in the right direction. Try some of the methods outlined below, and your SEO score will improve.

Check Under the Hood

First thing’s first: make sure you optimise your WordPress settings. We’ve been going on about WordPress’ SEO merits out of the gate, but that’s only true if you have the right settings. There’s a sneaky button in the WordPress settings section that, if left unchecked, would make your site invisible to search engines. And that’s the opposite of what we want.

To ensure that’s not the case, click the ‘Reading’ tab in the ‘Settings’ part of your WordPress dashboard. At the bottom of the page, you’ll see a heading that says ‘Search Engine Visibility.’ This box should not be checked.

Enhance The User Experience

Google’s main commitment isn’t to the websites they feature on their result page but to the users that use their service. To that end, the internet search company is increasingly factoring the ‘user experience’ element into how it ranks websites. A WordPress site might have great content, but if the user experience is awkward, then it’ll be punished.

There are plenty of ways that you can guide your user experience along the right path. Things like having a clean design, easy navigation, and content that’s aesthetically pleasing (think: photos and headings, rather than a wall of text) will all help.

You should also ensure that your site meets the minimum standards that users expect, for example, by adding SSL and security plugins.

Boost SEO

Speed It Up

Nothing good comes from having a slow-loading website. Did you know that 25% of people will hit the ‘X’ button on a site if they have to wait four or more seconds for content to load? That’s a pretty ridiculous reason to lose a potential customer. Plus, Google doesn’t like it either — we mentioned above how they’re all about the customer experience, and slow load times ain’t a good customer experience.

Check your page load times by using PageSpeed Insights, and then take things from there. Using a lightweight theme, optimising your images, removing unnecessary plugins, and keeping everything up to date should all have a positive impact.

Make the Most of Plugins

There are plenty of WordPress plugins available. In fact, no matter what you’re trying to do, you’ll probably find a plugin available. And this applies to your SEO, too. The three highest-rated SEO plugins are Yoast, Rank Math, and All In One SEO. They’re all broadly similar but also serve different purposes, so it’s best to do your research before committing to one.

They’re highly powerful tools that’ll make it much easier for you to keep all elements of your site website friendly.

Make Each Page SEO-Friendly

It’s best to focus on each individual page on your website rather than the whole website in general. If every page is watertight, then the site will be watertight; it’s as simple as that.

So what can you do to each page on your site? Even doing things as simple as creating a heading, title tag, meta descriptions, and a custom URL for each page will take you quite far. High-quality images with optimised file names will also help, as will internal linking to other pages on your site. With those things, you’ll be making your site a Google favourite.

Final Thoughts

A WordPress site that has been optimised for Google is a powerful beast. And that means it’s not something that you can ignore. Ensure your site is SEO-friendly, and commit to keeping it that way.

If you need some help making your WordPress as Google-friendly as possible, then be sure to contact us today.

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