2 July

The Ultimate WordPress SEO Checklist to Grow Your Organic Traffic

WordPress SEO Checklist

So, you’ve got a WordPress site and that’s why you’re here. The most obvious reason why you’ve chosen WordPress CMS for your site is that the platform itself is SEO-friendly. However, building a website on an SEO-friendly platform only is not just enough. Besides leveraging the powerful SEO features of WordPress, it is important to understand the SEO tactics and how to implement the right strategies to secure the higher ranking in the search result pages. This is the time when you need to hire WordPress experts for their WordPress SEO service. However, there are certain basic SEO practices that you can follow to get a higher ranking in the search result pages. Here’s a complete WordPress SEO checklist that will help you optimize your WordPress site and make it SEO-ready.

20 Top WordPress SEO Tips to Optimize Your WordPress Site

1. Host Your WordPress Site with a Reliable Hosting Provider
Choose a reliable hosting provider that guarantees site speed, uptime, and security. Site speed has a direct impact on the overall SEO performance of your website, and both uptime and security issues can significantly affect the site’s quality. Don’t be lured with the cheaper options as this will bring no good to your site and you’re likely to suffer from performance issues.

2. Install an SEO-friendly WordPress Theme
There are thousands of free and premium WordPress themes available in the WordPress repository. When it comes to choosing a theme, you should consider choosing something that is both SEO-friendly and lightweight. Before installing a WordPress theme, make sure you run its preview version through Google’s web.dev tool to gain valuable insights on potential performance and SEO issues.

3. Install Yoast SEO Plugin
Yoast SEO plugin is one of the widely used freemium WordPress plugin that is designed to cover all aspects of WordPress on-page SEO. It creates the sitemaps, optimizes the metadata, and applies no-index attributes for a particular field of the website, and does a lot more. Yoast plugin makes it much easier to implement the SEO techniques and improve your website’s ranking results. The WordPress repository offers a plethora of SEO plugins, both free and paid, however, there’s nothing better than Yoast SEO plugin.

If you have a unique set of requirements and need WordPress plugin customization, you can hire WordPress experts from a reputed WordPress website development company and they will develop a custom WordPress plugin or customize the existing plugin to meet all your unique needs.

4. Check Your Website’s Visibility Settings
WordPress allows you to “Discourage search engines from indexing” your website while it is still in the development phase. It prevents search engines from indexing the content and pages that are not complete. To do this, you need to check your site’s visibility settings under: Settings -> Reading. You will find a checkbox right at the bottom of the page. If the box is checked, you need to uncheck it.

5. Create a Sitemap
Sitemaps help search engines to know where they can find the important content on your website. Search engines then crawl and index the content and pages. You can easily create a sitemap using the Yoast SEO plugin or any other sitemap generator.

6. Create and Add Robots.txt File
Robots.txt file is a plain text file that commands the search engines where to go on the site. This file also includes a link to the sitemap followed by some of the directives that further directs the search engines. This commands the search engine not to crawl or index the content of the pages having these directives. You can easily create the robots.txt file using the Yoast SEO plugin.

7. Measure Performance Using Google Analytics
Google Analytics helps you to gain deeper insights into your WordPress site. It gives complete information about your site as to how many people visited your site, which pages they have stayed for a longer duration of time, what time most people visit your site, and much more.

8. Set Up Google Search Console, Verify Your Site, & Submit XML Sitemap
Google Search Console is one of the most powerful tools for all the webmasters. It provides you with all the information about your website’s performance. GSC helps you tweak your SEO strategy and identify loopholes in the strategy that you’ve been using.

To gain valuable information about your site, you need to verify your site with Google Search Console. You may then submit the XML sitemap to GSC. If you’ve never done this before, you may hire WordPress experts for their WordPress SEO services and they can get your job done in no time.

9. Optimize Website URLs
WordPress provides you with various options for how URLs are structured, and you need to ensure you’re using an SEO-friendly option. WordPress, by default, uses URLs given as https://domain.com/?p=123. These URLs are not SEO-friendly and it’s difficult to identify what the page is about from the URL.

You can choose a custom URL structure under Settings -> Permalinks. Practically, you may choose ‘Post name’ for your permalinks. Besides, using target keywords in the post URL also helps you boost the ranking of your site.

10. On-page Optimization
When it comes to optimizing a CMS-based or any other platform or language-based website, it must be optimized with the right SEO strategy. When optimizing WordPress, make sure you use the content headers from H1 to H6 as the core part of your SEO strategy. You must use the keywords in the headings at least in the H1. In addition to this, you must also check for the headings in the theme that you’re using.

11. Set Up a Preferred Domain
Setting up the right domain is crucial for a website, make sure you select your WordPress website’s domain properly so that your site is easily accessible with that domain. Also, when you are launching a new website, make sure you replace the existing site, however, you need to use the same version of the domain that you’ve used earlier.

12. Optimize Your Site with One Main Primary Keyword
Finding relevant keywords and optimizing your site with those keywords is critical to any SEO strategy. You should consider optimizing each page or post on the website with at least one main primary keyword. You may use various tools like Google’s Keyword Planner to find the right keyword for your website and start optimizing it with that keyword.

13. Make Use of Long Tail Keyword Variations
To search for any product or service, people use various search terms and phrases. It has been observed that 15% of Google searches are new, and thus, it is important to optimize your website for these long-tail keywords.

14. Use Unique Titles and Meta Descriptions
Title tags tell the search engines what the page or website is about. Therefore, these are considered to be one of the most important ranking factors. Using the Yoast SEO plugin, you can automatically set the title tag and overwrite it as per the requirement.

15. Internal Linking
Internal linking within your content is critical to your SEO strategy. This engages the readers to view other resources and helps in the creation of the relevancy between the different web pages. Moreover, it makes it easier to navigate the website. With WordPress, you can easily add internal links by highlighting the text that you want to link and then clicking on the link button present in the toolbar.

Also Read: Top 9 WordPress Development Trends that You Can’t Ignore in 2020

16. Use Optimized File Names for Images
Images are an integral part of the content. At least one image on the web page is required to rank your website higher in the search results. It is easy to simply upload an image on WordPress sites. All you need to do is alter the name of the images after they have been uploaded on the website.

17. Add Alt Text to the Images
Once you have uploaded the images, make sure you add Alt text to all the images. This helps to give a context and description of the images to the search engines. With WordPress, adding Alt text to images is much easier than any other platform.

18. Install Cache Plugin
A cache plugin is needed to improve the speed and performance of the website. Using a cache plugin to cache your pages and posts as the static files is critical to your SEO strategy for achieving higher website ranking.

19. Keep a Check on the Content Quality
Google and users love sites that provide relevant and interesting content. Content still remains the King and is one of the major strategies used for the SEO strategy for a website. Make sure your content has a catchy and interesting title and introduction that will grab the attention of the users and keep them hooked to your content. Besides, you should also keep a check on the readability of the content and that the content is optimized with relevant keywords.

20. Identify the Crawl Errors
If your website has encountered crawl errors, it means that Google is unable to access and crawl over your content, thereby not ranking your site in its search results. You can overcome this issue by using the Google Search Console as it will give you a complete list of pages with crawl errors.

Wrapping Up
These are some of the basic yet the most important WordPress SEO tips that you should follow for better SEO of your website. As search engine optimization of a website is a dynamic and ongoing process, webmasters and SEO experts should keep an eye on the changing algorithms, trends, and technology to develop an effective SEO strategy for their website.

At WordPress India, we offer reliable WordPress SEO services as parts of our complete suite of WordPress website development services to help you boost your digital presence with proven SEO strategies and tactics. Hire WordPress experts from us and take advantage of our full-fledged WordPress support services for designing, developing, testing, and marketing your WordPress website.

FAQs

FAQ
Q.1. Do you offer WordPress SEO services?
Yes, we do offer WordPress SEO services as part of our WordPress website development services. To know in detail, get in touch with our WordPress experts.

Q.2. Is WordPress best for SEO?
WordPress itself is an SEO-friendly CMS. With WordPress, you get a variety of SEO-friendly themes, plugins, and tools. When you’re leveraging WordPress’s powerful SEO features, you get much closer to the top of Google’s SERPs.

Q.3. How long does Yoast SEO take to work?
Yoast SEO plugin quickly inserts the code into the backend of your WordPress website. If you’ve just launched a WordPress website and optimized your site using Yoast, then it could take at least 3 months to rank in SERPs. However, if your SEO strategy is solely dependent on Yoast SEO, you’ll take months to rank in SERPs. You may hire WordPress experts from WordPress India to get the best and proven SEO strategy for your WordPress site.