In the past ten years, SEO has seen a significant adjustment and as the market share of WordPress increases, more individuals are seeking for Best SEO practices to boost WordPress SEO. To succeed in the never-ending battle to the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs), businesses must now use novel and distinctive strategies.
The whole brand of many bootstrapped businesses and blogs is based on organic search and WordPress SEO. This is a hint that SEO is still relevant even if it might be hazardous. In this in-depth guide on WordPress SEO, we’ll share best SEO practices & SEO tips that helped us grow our organic traffic regularly. I’m sure they will help you boost traffic to your WordPress site and outperform your competition.
Table of Contents
5 basic SEO Practices for On-Page SEO
Install a WordPress SEO Plugin
WordPress is already pretty good for SEO. However, we always recommend that an SEO plugin be installed as well. This allows you to have full control over optimizing what Google sees on your website. When it comes to popularity, the free Yoast SEO plugin is the clear winner, but it’s not the only one! Take a look at Rank Math and AISEO, pick the best SEO plugins for more inspiration.
Check out the paid guide to Optimize Your WordPress Website Speed and Performance that we are providing for free. WordPress Speed is also a ranking factor in SEO.
1: Search for Yoast SEO
In the plugins section of your WordPress dashboard, select Add New. There, search for Yoast SEO: Find Yoast SEO in WordPress Control Panel You’ll see a card with the name of the plugin, along with an Install Now button.
Install and Activate the Plugin
Click the Install Now button, and it will be replaced by the blue Activate button : Activate the Yoast SEO plugin. This will enable Yoast features on your site.
Access the plugin settings
Once the plugin is activated, you will see a new SEO section in your sidebar: Yoast SEO settings in the WordPress control panel
Here you can access Yoast settings to optimize your site. We will return to this area in other sections of this post.
2. Optimize Your Title Tags
Include your main keyword in the title tag of your blog or page. When feasible, SEO specialists even advised starting your keyword at the beginning of the title to give it more weight with search engines. In 2022, this approach is falling out of favor. While having important keywords at the beginning of your title tags is still important, things are evolving towards more complex scenarios where click-through rate (CTR) optimization should be considered above keyword relevance. Some claim to have seen a 20% increase in their CTRs, simply by making small adjustments to their titles.
For example, we have placed our keyword “SEO for WordPress” at the beginning of the article title, not only to get a little SEO boost but mainly to make it clear to readers what the blog article is about, thus improving our click rate. clicks.
3. Write Meta Descriptions to Increase Click Through Rate
The placement of your WordPress SEO is unaffected by meta descriptions. However, they do affect your CTR. A well-written meta description can entice users to click on your post, rather than the one above or below it in the SERPs. The higher your CTR, the more traffic you will get. If users don’t return to Google, it’s a strong sign that your content has been a success, which means that Google is more likely to rank your pages higher. Meta descriptions can therefore somewhat indirectly impact your SEO.
4. Use the Proper Heading Tags
Google’s crawler (Googlebot) checks HTML header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) to determine the relevance of your site’s content. Generally, the best practice is to have a single H1 tag per post or page, and then multiple H2 and H3 tags below it. Consider this to be an order of importance. The most significant heading, or H1, should include your primary keyword. Additional headers can also include your keyword or long-tail variations of it. But don’t abuse the headers. They should only be used to break up content and make it easier for visitors to read, not as a means to insert keywords prominently on pages.
5. Create Key Pages to Build Your Credibility
This tip is not about a direct ranking factor, but we still think it’s critical. There are some key pages that every quality website has to have. If you haven’t previously, you should (at the very least) have the pages listed below on your WordPress website:
- An “About” page. This should provide some basic information about your brand, mission, and what you have to offer your visitors. It often helps to contextualize this content as a narrative describing how your brand came to be.
- A contact page. Displaying a physical address (if your business has one), phone number, email, and other relevant contact details shows users that there is a real person behind your site. It also makes it easier for them to contact you with questions about your products or services, which can help you get sales.
6. Build Quality Backlinks
Backlinks are still vital when it comes to WordPress SEO. Google uses them to measure the authority of a web page and to show another relevant or essential site with supporting information. When a high authority domain links to you, it does a lot more than you think. Backlinko’s Brian Dean analyzed over a million search results and concluded that backlinks are still an important ranking factor.
In general, it’s a good sign if the number of referring domains linking to you is trending upwards. This means that more and more websites link to yours over time. In Brian’s research, the number of unique referring domains was most closely associated with high rankings. Websites that had more referring domains ranked higher:
7. Find sites that link to your competitors
Getting other sites to link to your content can be very difficult. But chances are sites similar to yours have already invested time in doing this, so taking a look to see which sites are linking to your content can help you spot opportunities to build links in the same way. Some freemium tools can help you with this, such as Ubersuggest, to check a few sites each day before moving to the paywall. Other tools like Ahrefs can also help you see all links pointing to specific pages or entire domains.
8. Rate Your Outbound Links
Sometimes it is necessary to highlight the relationship between your website and the sites it links to. For example, if you include affiliate links in your content to earn a commission from the linked site, the links should have no SEO value, as they are considered unnatural. The same goes for sponsored banners that link to other sites. The following ‘rel’ attributes can be used in the tag <a>to offer suggestions to search engines on how to handle links.
9. Dofollow Links
Although dofollow is not a ‘rel’ attribute of links, the term has been generalized to refer to regular links. By default, all links that are created in WordPress do follow links. Google tracks these types of links when it analyzes your site. These links help build authority which affects your ranking, as the link juice is passed from the linking page. You may have heard people say that you need more backlinks. If so, they were most likely referring to dofollow links from other high-authority sites.
10. Nofollow Links
The Nofollow attribute tells search engine crawlers to ignore these links. However, this is not to say that nofollow links are not necessary. They can still drive traffic, even if they don’t convey authority and influence your rankings. You can read our tutorial on the different ways to add nofollow links in WordPress.
Nofollow links are often used when a link is placed at the request of the linked website. This is because links pass value between pages, so it should happen naturally. Manipulating sites to link to you is against Google’s guidelines, so ignoring this could get your site penalized.
Typically, a natural backlink profile includes a good ratio of dofollow to nofollow links.
11. Sponsored links
Sponsored links are often used as part of paid campaigns, where the purpose of the sponsored link is to drive traffic and not to convey value from the linking page. It’s against Google’s guidelines to pay for links that convey value, so it’s important to ensure that any sponsored links use the sponsored link attribute.
12. UGC links
UGC links are used to show when users have created a link. They are usually added to links placed in the comments of blog posts or in forums where users can add links.