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September 14, 2021

Top 9 WordPress SEO guidelines you should follow

Make WordPress SEO simple

There are several WordPress SEO guidelines to follow when you are thinking of increasing your website traffic.

WordPress remains the most popular content management system when it comes to websites. While WordPress is built to be SEO friendly, there are still ways to maximise your SEO efforts.

From SEO plugins to basic guidelines, we have created this article to help you optimise your website.

Top 9 WordPress SEO guidelines:

#1 Check WordPress site visibility

WordPress has an inbuilt setting to discourage search engines from crawling your website. To make sure your site appears in search results, make sure this is not switched on,

These settings are in your WordPress admin panel. Go to Settings > Reading, and view the last option “Search Engine Visibility”.

#2 Change your permalink (URL) settings

A website is made of multiple pages, and each page has its URL. Permalinks are an essential part of your SEO practices as search engines and users use them to understand what a page is about.

By default, WordPress settings don’t allow you to use custom or post names as your link. The good news is that you can change this setting from the default “Day and name”. To do this, simply set the permalink structure you want under Settings > Permalinks.

#3 Use Tags and Categories

Tags and categories are useful for organising your blogs into groups and topics. By doing this, you can improve your SEO as it can help search engines understand your blog structure. Be sure to add related tags and add a category type to your post the next time you write a blog.

Tags and Categories can either be added through individual posts or by navigating to Posts > Categories or Posts > Tags.

#4 Internally Link Your Site

Internally linking your website can not only help improve your SEO but increase website authority. One way that website authority is calculated is through the number of internal links you have. There are also several ways you can link your content together, such as hyperlinks, buttons, navigation menus etc…

#5 Optimise Your Images

The best thing about WordPress is that you can optimise pretty much everything. This includes optimising your images. You should thing about compressing them (to reduce the image size) and also you should optimise them for SEO by using “Alt text” (alternative text).

Image file size can be decreased using TinyPNG and then again through a plugin on your website.

Alt-text is the written copy that appears in place of an image on a webpage if the image fails to load on a user’s screen. This text helps screen-reading tools describe images to visually impaired readers and allows search engines to better crawl and rank your website. Alt-text can be added when you upload your image or accessed through the Media section in your WordPress admin panel. Find the “Alt text” section and then add your text.

#6 Manage Your Website Security

30,000 websites are hacked globally each day, according to 2020 cyber security statistics. Therefore it is important to secure your website. Website security depends on several factors such as SSL certificates, security plugins, secure hosting, strong admin passwords, etc.

SSL certificates directly related to SEO, back in 2018 Google made this a ranking signal. This means that Google may recommend websites with HTTPS if you only have HTTP.

Security plugins are also helpful in securing your website. These plugins offer scans, firewalls, and recommendations to better secure your website.

Some WordPress security tips:

  • Keep plugins, WordPress, and themes updated
  • Use SSL certificates to enable HTTPS encrypted connections.
  • Don’t use common login usernames such as “admin” as your username
  • Use a strong admin password, you can even use a password generator for stronger results.
  • Make sure you use a reputable hosting provider
  • For extra security, you can change the login URL from the default “/wp-admin”

#7 Choose WWW or non-WWW

There are two different URL types you can choose for your website, WWW or non- WWW. Now there has been a lot of debate about which is better but there is no proof that one is better than the other in SEO terms.

The only problem with your website URL is having both. If you happen to have two versions of your website (WWW and non-www), this can cause search engines to get confused. To change to view your URL preference, go to Settings > General and enter what you prefer.

Once you pick your URL, stick with it and only use that URL type to link throughout your website. This will not only help search engines but keep the experience consistent for users.

#8 Use a Caching Plugin

A caching plugin is used to create static HTML versions of the website to considerably reduce server load times. A faster website will increase your user experience which will increase your SEO. There are some different options, including free and paid versions.

#9 Find & Fix Broken Links

Broken links can not only be an inconvenience for users but also cause severe SEO problems. You can use plugins or websites to find and fix these broken links. Be sure to look at the recommended plugins below.

WordPress plugins you can use:

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is an All-in-One SEO solution for WordPress and is currently one of the most popular plugins used. This tool comes with all you will need to help optimise your website for search. Installation and setup are easy, and putting your SEO into practice is not challenging.

Rank Math

Rank Math is a newer WordPress SEO plugin but offers more functionality when compared to Yoast. It’s fairly simple to use and install as well.

Broken Link Checker

Broken Link Checker is another important plugin to have as you can scan and find broken links on your website.

Redirection

Redirection can be used to fix your broken links and automatically point them to other pages. This is especially helpful if you are changing URL’s but don’t want users to view a 404 page. 

Wordfence

Word fence is probably the most popular security plugin on WordPress. The free version offers basic security and reporting capabilities. 

Smush

This plugin is a image optimising plugin and can drastically reduce your file size, even if you have optimised them through TinyPNG. 

Wp Fastest Cache

Fastest Cache has the be one of the most simple and powerful caching plugins on WordPress. It is perfect for beginners and non-technical people.

Wp Rocket

Wp Rocket is a popular premium (paid) caching plugin used on WordPress. Unlike Wp Fastest Cache, it can be more confusing for beginners because of its in-depth settings.

Conclusion

In conclusion, be sure to follow these WordPress SEO guidelines if you are looking to maximise your efforts. As your website is the anchor of your online presence, you want to be making sure that your website is seen.

Dorin Blaga Upward Consulting