W ordPress is without a doubt the most commonly used content management system. In the latest post from CODEINWP WordPress now comprises about 28% of the web! The fact is, it only grows more and more popular as improvements and updates in the source code make this content management system even more secure, and multifunctional from brands to small and large businesses to Ecommerce. One of the greatest attributes is scalability and usability, but one thing many people may overlook is the ease of on-page SEO, technical SEO or keyword research that you can implement and its great potential for search engine optimization: WordPress SEO everything you need to know for 2017.
WordPress & SEO What Is It All About? SEO Friendly Right Out Of the Box
☑Website Structure, Architecture and Responsive Design (Mobile)
Google loves a website that has a logical and easy to navigate website structure. Well, guess what WordPress will do that for you! This is just one of the many benefits of using a content management system opposed to using plain HTML code. These systems are ready to keep your website in order, keep your links to internal pages where they should be and automatically create a silo structure using your categories, sub-categories, pages, and posts. One of the biggest benefits of Wordpress and SEO is search engine friendly URL paths that can be edited easily.
WordPress will automatically create H1 tags and internal links from the title of each and every post you make. This makes your site more usable from a user standpoint. The H1 tags tell search engines that this is the most important information on a page, so make sure to make them relevant. Secondary to the H1 title tags WordPress uses a text editor called WYSIWYG short for what you see is what you get. Here you can add the subtitles or H2 tags for your content, add links to external sites and internal pages passing all the wonderful SEO juice you can mash up.
☑Proper HTML Markup
We know now mobilegedden is here and in one of my previous posts the Step By Step Guide To Setting up AMP On WordPress I touched on the subject that Google is very vocal about mobile friendliness as ranking factor, no website that is mobile unfriendly will do well in search results or SEO. AMP is now part of the mobile-first indexing features you can take advantage of. Its a fact, without mobile optimization websites, Google won’t display or rank your website in mobile search requests.
WordPress content is usually dominated by media images and images can slow down a website if not added properly. With the addition of a free plugin called Smush Image Compression and Optimization image optimization can be done for you instantaneously as you add images to your WordPress site in addition for SEO purposes the WordPress image editor also allows you to further optimize images with ALT tags, descriptions, a great way to add keywords for SEO for technical on page optimization as mentioned.
One of the best ways to destroy search engine rankings is for your site to be flagged or suspected of spamming, infecting other sites or visitors with viruses or causing some type of harm to website visitors devices. WordPress once had the reputation as not being secure and nothing could be further from the truth, the core content management system is extremely secure and continues to improve. Although some aspects of WordPress website security are your responsibility, WordPress is one of the most secure content management systems out there.
☑Tons Of Free And Premium WP Plugins
There are a plethora of plugins to add features, clean up old URL structures, including metadata and even automatically publish content on social networks directly from WordPress. Using these plugins can be fantastic for SEO and to drive new traffic. However, make sure you are only installing plugins from trusted resources and don’t go overboard only use the essential plugins to make your website functional and optimized. Too many plugins can slow down your site load time and Google has made it publicly known that they are rewarding websites with favorable rankings that load faster than comparable sites with slow load times.
Used correctly there are some powerful plugins that can help you perform tasks on auto-pilot that will really help your overall website rankings. So launch into SEO Bliss with WordPress and all that it offers.
7 Plugins Professionals Use For WordPress SEO
Yoast SEO Plugin for WordPress is by far one of the easiest to configure and complete SEO plugins you can add to your website. Out of the box with a little configuration with the settings wizard, you are good to go. With that said there are some settings you will need to understand because one size doesn’t fit all for all for every website. See the Video Below that I have added for a complete guide on setup Yoast SEO.
Broken links can lead to search engines not being able to find links or pages on your website. Specifically, we are talking broken internal and external broken links that lead to your internal pages or to external websites. 404 pages are a dead end for search engine spiders and you could be losing valuable link juice and this plugin is a useful tool to use. I highly recommend running a scan every once and while to make sure links in your blog posts are still working in addition if you recently migrated your website to a new domain this is a great way to make sure all your links are working.
Google uses a special page that will be added to your website called a sitemap that will be generated and updated automatically and also notify search engines when you do. The sitemap created by this plugin is compatible with Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Ask.com so you are good to go out of the box with a few steps. If you aren’t sure what a sitemap is it’s basically a complete mapping of all the pages and media on your website for search engines to crawl and index in search results. This is a must for all websites! Once you install the plugin you must configure what pages, posts, author archives, custom posts, media you want to be indexed. This a big part of technical SEO. Heres a great guide for sitemaps and SEO in 2017
Getting the statistics and analytical data from search engines is critical to SEO. Google Analytics helps you track website traffic, user behavior, conversions, all the way to Ecommerce goals and tracking. If you have a website you must have some goals. Monster Insights will help you understand your website visitors better where they are coming from and what pages, posts or content have the most traffic. Knowledge of your website traffic helps you improve and identify keywords, ebb, and flows of traffic can give you the power to further focus your SEO efforts.
Website security is a must to prevent spam, hacking, link injection and especially for SEO. If your website has a security threat potentially affecting website users your site will be removed from search results. Ithemes security plugin has all the features you will need to lock down and secure your WordPress site with an easy one-click install and a few steps to configure preventing hacking and files being uploaded to your directory and blacklisting bad behavior. Heres one of my latest posts on the importance of WordPress website security and how to secure and lock down your website titled 5 Ways to Protect and Secure Your WordPress Site.
Smush it is your go to free and paid plugin for image optimization. One of the known factors of on page search engine optimization is load speed. Google rewards websites via search engine traction and rankings based on how fast your site will load. Google is looking to provide search results that are quick and efficient. With so many images that can be uploaded to WordPress you definitely want to make sure they are lean and mean. Smush it will automatically optimize every image you upload and can also optimize the images you have already. If you’re looking to optimize your website for load speed smush it is definitely a plugin you want to have.
If you are looking to improve load speed on your website for visitors and search and SEO you must have a cache plugin. w3 total cache is the most popular caching plugin you can install to your WordPress site. A cache plugin stores your pages, post, product pages, images, to serve your pages faster reducing bandwidth usage and server load. A quick install and configuration can drastically improve your Google page insights or Gtmetrix score. Heres a great simple guide How To Install & Configure W3 Total Cache WordPress Plugin
Have You Setup WordPress For Success?
If you have invested time and money into your website, simply blogging and making your site look awesome won’t get you far as far as organic search results and indexing are concerned. To setup WordPress for success, you need to have the right combination of basic SEO knowledge and the right plugins to help you reach your business goals. With the above plugins that professional SEO providers use you can gain the upper hand on your competitors. The video you see to the right is a great guide on how to setup Yoast SEO for success and will give you the best configurations based on your website. Keep in mind there is no cookie cutter approach to the settings so make sure to research what specific needs you might have for your website.
The Wrap Up And Final Thoughts
WordPress, in my opinion, has so many advantages not only for the webmaster but for SEO and is considered by some the perfect SEO machine. As Google content guidelines change and new and exciting ways to deliver content are added to the web such as AMP and mobile first indexing you can’t beat the performance of the WordPress Content System. As a professional SEO provider having easy access to implement and improve on page SEO without a developer is pure bliss. If you are looking to improve your website rankings and traffic it’s always best to build websites that will perform in search results and WordPress has it all and its not just for bloggers anymore!