The infamous movie line “If you build it, they will come” isn’t necessarily true when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). When you have a website built with WordPress, it’s not enough to create your pages, start a blog, and upload some images. There are steps to take when you’re trying to attract visitors, creating content, and ranking for keywords. WPamplify explores some of the best WordPress SEO tips for businesses
What is SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is a marketing discipline centered around increasing the quality and quantity of visitors to your website through non-paid, or organic, search engine results.
One side of SEO involves being creative. That is, creating great content that provides value to your visitors. The other side is more technical, which may require using various tools to analyze what your content may look like to the search engines. Luckily, WordPress has many tools, both built-in and through plugins, that can help improve your SEO efforts.
Use a WordPress SEO Plugin
These plugins will help you automatically generate meta titles and meta descriptions while allowing you the ability to customize them. They also:
- provide support for Google Analytics and Google Search Console
- support for sitemaps
- integrates with other well-known WordPress plugins such as WooCommerce
They can also analyze your content by providing details about what can be improved to make it more SEO-friendly. How often are you using your focus keyword? Does your keyword appear in a sub-heading? Does your content use an image thumbnail? These questions and more are answered by using an SEO plugin.
Set up permalinks
Within WordPress is a setting for permalinks, which are the URLs of the pages of your site. The default setting isn’t very friendly for users or the search engines. It’s best to change this setting into something more user-friendly.
For most people, the “Post name” structure is the best option. Using this will give you a URL that looks similar to:
Create an XML Sitemap
A sitemap is a list of all of the important web pages of your website. It’s useful because it can help the search engines understand the structure of your site, and to find and crawl every page, including those that might not have any internal links.
According to Google’s documentation, a sitemap is best for
- Sites that are really large
- Sites with a large archive of content
- New sites that have few external links
- Sites that use rich media content
While you won’t get penalized for not having one, some SEO experts agree that you should use one regardless of your situation.
If you don’t know how to create one manually, you can download the Google XML Sitemaps plugin from the plugin repository. If you’re already using Yoast SEO, then you can create your own XML sitemap within this plugin.
Choose a Focus Keyword
You should always write with purpose. Creating a post or article just for the sake of it won’t cut it.
You should write to your customers to provide value and answer questions. You should also write for the search engines while having a focus keyword in mind. Including this keyword will help both the search engines and readers determine what your content is about, while also improving your rankings.
The focus keyword should be included multiple times within your content. However, it should come naturally. Don’t include it too many times, or try to force it into sections where it won’t make sense to the readers. It can confuse or turn them off, while also penalizing your site for keyword spamming.
The ideal places for the focus keyword are in header tags, the permalink or URL, and in the title of the article, as long as it sounds natural. It should also appear within the first paragraph of your article because Google crawls from the top to bottom. The earlier the keyword appears, the more relevant they will view your content.
While there isn’t one standard density percentage, achieving around a 1.5% density or so will be fine. There are several tools to check how often your keyword is in your content.
WordPress SEO is What We Do
There are a number of WordPress SEO tips for your business that can be used in order to improve your rankings. The ones we listed above aren’t the only ones, but using these steps can help you make progress. Contact WPamplify today to discuss these tips and more.