Creating a WordPress blog nowadays is super easy. But driving traffic to your website isn’t.
If you don’t get traffic, you hardly can make any profit out of your website.
This is one of the reasons many WordPress beginners end their blogging journey too soon.
But don’t be demotivated by what I just said (the reality).
It’s still possible to drive traffic to your website and make a lot of money in whichever way you want.
To achieve this, you’ll have to put extra effort into crucial areas, such as keyword researching, content planning, content creation, publishing, etc.
Here are 15 quick ways to make a WordPress site SEO-friendly.
15 Ways to Make Your WordPress Site SEO-Friendly
1. Choose Your Web Hosting Carefully
One of the essential things for optimizing your WordPress site for search engines is choosing the right web hosting service.
By choosing the wrong web host, you can have all kinds of complications with your site, and it may cost you lots of money on fixes that aren’t necessary.
Even it can lead to slow load times, frequent outages, data loss, and security issues. As a result, your site wouldn’t grow as expected.
The most important qualities you should look for in a host are uptime, speed, support, and scalability. In addition, you need a service that’s reliable enough to keep your site up and running smoothly 24×7.
There are more than hundreds of web hosting companies out there, and finding the best one could be challenging.
I recommend Whogohost for your WordPress site. It’s my go-to web hosting recommendation because of its performance, security, and customer service.
Their servers are hosted on high-performing Amazon AWS, and each plan includes built-in caching, automatic updates, and daily backups to help ensure that your site runs smoothly and has minimal downtime.
Plus, their support staff is available 24/7 to answer any questions you have about their platform or WordPress in general.
Pricewise, they are cheap too. Their WordPress hosting price starts at $5.02 per month, allowing you to host one domain.
Plus, you get 10 GB SSD storage, a free SSL certificate, free .NG domain for a year, automatic plugin and WordPress updates, etc.
2. Select an SEO-optimized WordPress Theme
Selecting a theme designed to be SEO-friendly from the start can help you avoid problems down the road.
While you can optimize any theme for search engines, some themes are built with particular attention to this aspect. For example, many developers include necessary Schema.org markup when releasing their theme.
When selecting a theme, look for a lightweight and responsive design that works well on smartphones and tablets. It’s also vital to check if the theme gets updated regularly to avoid any plugin compatibility issues.
There are over thousands of free themes available on the WordPress theme gallery. However, we don’t recommend them because of their limited functionality, customization options, and support.
So, it’s better if you invest in a premium WordPress theme. Some of the SEO-friendly WordPress theme vendors I recommend are WP Astra, GeneratePress, OceanWP, Divi, and Hestia. You can also try custom software solutions to ensure your site is fast, efficient, and technically sound.
3. Optimize Your WordPress Site’s Speed
Speed is vital for SEO. Google has always considered site speed a ranking factor, but it’s becoming more critical. This is because faster websites are more likely to retain visitors and improve their overall user experience.
Besides, more than 50% of total internet users use mobile devices to access the web, and they expect websites to load in just a few seconds.
If your website fails to load within 3 seconds, users will abandon your site and land on your competitors’.
Various things can cause a slow WordPress site, but fortunately, there are many ways to address the situation.
Here are some tips on how to improve your WordPress site’s speed:
- Choose a quality web hosting service
- Implement Content Delivery Network (CDN)
- Use a lightweight WordPress theme
- Use a caching plugin
- Optimize and resize your images
- Compress files and optimize databases
- Enable GZIP compression
- Delete unused themes and plugins
- Keep your WordPress core, theme, plugins updated
- Disable pingbacks and trackbacks
4. Set Up SEO-Friendly Permalink
A permalink is the URL address of a blog post or web page.
By default, WordPress uses URLs that look like this: “https://yoursite.com/?p=123”. Unfortunately, this isn’t very useful for search engines and users when finding a specific post or page on your site.
The solution is to change the permalink structure to include the relevant title of your content, like this: “https://yoursite.com/your-post-title/.”
To change your website’s permalink structure, go to Settings > Permalinks in your WordPress dashboard and select the Post name option.
Once done, click on the Save button.
5. Create and Submit XML Sitemaps to Search Engines
An XML sitemap is an essential part of SEO. It lists all the pages on your site and tells web crawlers what pages to look for in their searches.
Without one, search engines won’t index your site, which means you’ll lose out on any traffic from search engines.
That’s why it’s crucial to have a sitemap on your website. You can easily create an XML sitemap using plugins like Yoast, RankMath SEO, etc.
Once created, don’t forget to submit it to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.
6. Optimize Your Page Titles and Meta Descriptions
Page titles are the text that shows up at the top of your browser window when you visit a website.
They’re also the first thing people see in search results. So make sure each page has a unique title to stand out from others in the results.
Having catchy and relevant titles significantly improves click-through rate (CTR), increasing search traffic.
Here’s how you can boost CTR by optimizing your page title:
- Keep your page title short and sweet
- Use current month and year in the title
- Must use one or more relevant, targeted keywords
- Use power words like the best, quickly, easily, etc.
- Don’t forget to mention your brand name.
On the other hand, Meta descriptions are also an essential aspect of on-page SEO. These are the short paragraphs of text that appear under your page title in search results.
Meta descriptions do not directly affect rankings, but they can help users decide whether your page is relevant to their search.
7. Optimize Your Images
Images help in making your content more attractive and exciting. However, images can slow down your site and harm SEO if not appropriately optimized.
That’s why it’s crucial to make them as small as possible in size. By doing so, you can improve the overall speed of your site, which contributes to both user experience and search engine optimization.
There are several ways you can optimize your images without compromising the quality.
The most basic way is to compress your images before uploading them to your website. Then, using WordPress, you can use plugins like Ewww image optimizer, Optimole, etc.
You can also crop out any unnecessary parts of the image. For example, you don’t need to upload a photo of 2000×2000 pixels when it’s shown at 300×300, so crop your image accordingly before uploading them on your site.
8. Perform Keyword Research & Plan Your Site Content
Creating search engine optimized content requires some planning. The first step is to determine what keywords and keyphrases you want to rank for.
Keywords and key phrases are the phrases that Internet users type into search engines to find the websites they are looking for. For example, if you were looking for information about building a chicken coop, you might type something like “build a chicken coop” or “how to build a chicken coop.”
You can use tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, Serpstat, etc., to generate hundreds of thousands of keywords ideas in your niche.
Once you know your keywords, you can add them to your site content. The ideal place for your keywords is in your page title, URL, headings (H1, H2, H3 tags), and body text. Your keywords should also appear in the meta description tag.
Pro Tip: If you are brand new to blogging, consider using low-difficulty keywords as they are easier to rank.
9. Build Internal Links Across Your Site
Another easy way to improve your WordPress SEO is by using interlinks or internal links inside your posts and pages.
Interlinking helps search engines like Google crawl through your website and index your web pages correctly.
You can build internal links by linking different pages of your website together so that whenever a user clicks on a link, they’re directed to another page within your website.
It also helps reduce bounce rate and improves your website’s user experience (UX) by providing more information related to their search query.
10. Install WordPress SEO Plugins
While the WordPress platform is SEO-friendly out of the box, there are some tweaks you can make to improve your SEO efforts.
With the right WordPress SEO plugin, you can optimize every page and post for search engines.
These plugins help you optimize the most critical parts of your website, such as title tags, meta descriptions, internal linking, XML sitemaps, breadcrumbs, speed, schema markup, and more.
There are plenty of SEO plugins available out there that can help you optimize your website. But choosing the right one can be a challenge, so in this post, I have picked a few of the best ones that will help you get started on your optimization journey and boost your traffic.
- RankMath SEO
- Broken Link Checker
- Republish Old Posts
- Really Simple SSL
11. Organize Your Content with Categories and Tags
One of the first things you should do is make sure that you’re using categories and tags in your blog posts.
What’s the difference? Categories help you organize your content according to broad topics, while tags are used for narrower labels that help readers find specific posts on a similar topic.
If you are in the eCommerce space, make sure your product category is designed for your customer, making it easier for them to navigate. You can also add relevant products for each item listed to help boost your sales.
12. Update Your Posts Frequently
You’re giving Google new reasons to crawl your site by updating your blog regularly. If there are no new updates, Google won’t crawl your site as often. This means that your site could still be ranking highly in search results, but it may not be updated as frequently as other sites with newer content.
On top of this, updating your posts frequently allows you to expand old topics or introduce new ones.
This allows you to rank for new keywords and phrases that may not have been relevant at the time of publishing.
13. Check for the Broken Links and Redirect
If your WordPress site has broken links, then the Google bot won’t crawl all of your pages, which will affect your rankings in the search results.
That’s why you need to check for the broken links on your website more often. And, if there are any broken links, you should fix them as soon as possible.
There are many tools available that automatically help you find your website’s broken links. Some of the great plugins are the W3C Link Checker Tool, Broken Link Checker Plugin, etc.
Also, if you deleted a page that you no longer need, configure a 301 redirect to send visitors to a relevant page.
14. Build High-Quality Backlinks
Backlinks are one of the most crucial ranking factors determining a website’s position in search engine results. When an external site links to your site, it shows that your content is valuable enough to be referenced by others.
(image source: Alexa.com)
Search engines look at the number and quality of backlinks pointing at your site when determining its rank in search results. Therefore, you need both quantity and quality. Quantity is not helpful if the backlinks are not from trusted and relevant websites.
In the past, SEO was about creating as many backlinks as possible. The more backlinks you had, the higher your rank on Google. But now, with the latest Google algorithms, backlinks are not enough to rank high on Google.
You need to have high-quality backlinks from reputable websites with high domain authority.
There are several ways you can build high-quality backlinks on your website.
1. Guest posting:
Guest posting is when you write articles for other websites. When you submit your written guest posts, make sure to include your website’s URL or a blog post.
2. Broken link building:
Using tools like Ahrefs, you can easily find any website’s broken links. Then, after seeing it, you can reach out to the webmaster and ask if they would like to link your content.
3. Write testimonials:
Writing testimonials is another way to build links to your website. For this, find websites that accept users’ testimonials. Then, after providing an in-depth and valuable testimonial, you can ask for a link.
15. Perform SEO Audit of Your Site Regularly
Like an automobile needs regular service to keep it running, so does your website.
Perform a regular audit that includes checking your pages for outdated content, broken links, images, and more.
Performing an SEO audit is the first step to improving your rankings. This type of analysis will give you a clear and actionable report of where your site stands and what you need to do to improve the overall health of your website.
You can use tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, Serpstat, etc., to run an SEO audit of your website.
Improving search engine rankings is all about creating a better user experience.
Whether you want to focus on rankings or conversions, the key thing we want you to take away is that SEO is more than just a marketing tool. It can help improve your site in many ways, including increasing traffic and making it easier for your users to find what they’re looking for.
Hopefully, the suggestions listed above can help you optimize your WordPress site for SEO. However, if you have a specific question or problem relating to your site, make sure to check out the comments box.