The question that the vast majority of bloggers running WordPress sites always have is: “How do I get more people to visit my blog?” Understanding of how search engines work to provide results is perhaps the most important part of the answer. Many WordPress users select a stunning theme and gorgeous photos for their websites, but Google does not care about that at all.
The truth is, Google cares about boring tech-related things like keywords and alt tags. Optimizing them is the key to ensuring as many eyes as possible on your website. But where to begin?
I have compiled a list of ten tips for you to start building your audience without being an SEO expert.
Tip #1: Install the Yoast SEO Plugin
To begin, let’s install a complete SEO plugin for WordPress. It will serve you well by going an extra mile to take care of all that boring tech things as well as creating an optimized web content.
For example, after you installed and activated it, visit one of the posts and scroll to the bottom. There, you’ll find a Focus Keyword and Analysis section. By entering a keyword for ranking in the search bar and clicking Update, you will generate a report of SEO-friendliness of the post.
Tip #2: Pick Up an SEO-Friendly Theme
Page load time is another critical factor that has an impact on search ranking. Starting from 2010, Google announced that fat-performing sites will be prioritized because they provide the best user experience. Therefore, to ensure that your site deserves a promotion in search results, you need to select a theme that allows it to load fast, preferably within 5 seconds.
Check out SEO-friendly WordPress themes from leading theme providers to get this one covered.
Tip #3: Optimize Your Content
Many WordPress experts say that content optimization is the most effective method for boosting the effect of other optimization efforts. Indeed, having a readable, high-quality, and unique content is key to increase readership.
Even though you want to get higher in Google results, the content should be created for visitors. For example, you can create:
- How-to articles;
- Product tips;
- …and other helpful information that a particular target audience will find interesting.
Tip #4: Add Your Blog to Social Networks
If you’re running a blog, there is a good chance you have a social media page as well. Create posts with links to your blog there, it’ll be a good promotion for you. However, do not spam and post only 2-3 articles per day.
Also, promote posts from other trustworthy websites to make the feed more diverse. Use Buffer to schedule the posts.
Tip #5: Fix Permalinks and Shorten URLs
Out-of-the-box WordPress does not apply the most efficient URL structure setting as far as Google is concerned. Also, the visitors will use permalinks as a reference back to the site, their appearance should be appropriate. To configure them, you need to go to Settings in the admin sidebar and click on Permalinks.
There, find Post Name option and select it. This option is the most understandable plus it follows Google’s policy against duplicate permalinks.
Moreover, the number of words in the permalink section should not exceed four. For example www.mywebsite.com/wordpress-seo-tips-2017
Tip #6: Produce Evergreen Content
Creating a content that does not lose its relevance over time is a great SEO strategy. The examples of evergreen content include how-to articles; for example, an article titled “how to write a product review” is an evergreen content because marketers wrote them in the past and will continue to do it in the future.
Given that this type of content works for the visitors, Google notices that and ranks it higher. Keep in mind that any evergreen content style article should be written according to SEO rules. For example, it should contain keywords and internal linking to support it with other pages on the website.
Tip #7: Use Heading Tags in Your Content
Readers want a clear and understandable structure of the content in order to quickly find the information they need. A great way to ensure that the structure of your content meets this requirement is to use heading tags. This is a basic WordPress function that you can find
when creating or editing a post.
There are six options for you to select there. By applying them, you’re enhancing the visual appeal of your text and making it easier to read. Thus, you’re helping the visitors to understand how a post is organized so they could find the needed information quickly.
Tip #8: Optimize the Images
Visuals enhance textual material and increase readership. In fact, Inc. reported that posts featuring images produce 650 percent higher engagement than text-only posts. However, this doesn’t mean that you should stuff your posts with whatever images you like. Instead, you should pay attention to their size and quality because they can significantly reduce the loading speed of the website.
Try the following techniques:
Resizing (never increase the size!)
Use proper formats (jpg, png, gif)
Remove extra meta data
If you need to read more, check out this guide to optimizing images for site speed & SEO from TSL Marketing.
Tip #9: Have a Mobile-Friendly Version of Your Blog
Having a responsive website that loads fast on mobile devices and delivers a good experience is a great advantage in terms of search rankings. If your design is not responsive, Google will not prioritize it because it doesn’t provide the best user experience. For instance, check Assignmenthelper mobile-optimized website to get the idea of really great UX design solution.
To avoid that, you need to make sure that your website is optimized for mobile use. You can then test it for mobile usability to define just how friendly it is for users of smartphones, tablets, and other handheld devices.
Tip #10: Use Ideal Length of Content
Content length affects search rankings and conversions in a profound way. According to a recent survey completed by SerpIQ, there are many options that are considered good but articles that exceeded 2,000 words performed the best.
Although there are no hard rules on this, it is typically recommended to aim for a minimum of 1,200 words to ensure a good readership.
Getting to the top of the search results is certainly a daunting task, but using these tips will improve your chances!