So you are ready to launch your new WordPress website. You have chosen a perfect theme for your blog, and written interesting topics for your posts. All you need to do is hit the publish button for your blog to finally go live. Days pass by but still, you are not getting traffic and engagement so you can’t help but wonder what is wrong with your website.
The thing is, website traffic is mostly gained from organic search wherein visitors discover your website through search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo by inputting a relevant keyword. However, only websites that have optimized their content for search engines usually make it to the first page of the search results, making them more accessible to visitors, and thus increasing their website traffic significantly.
That is called Search Engine Optimization or SEO, which is exactly the missing puzzle piece needed to make your blog or website a success. Simply put, SEO is the method of increasing the popularity of a website or webpage on a search engine results page (SERP) in order to increase traffic and engagement by making a website more discoverable online.
Here are some of the simple ways jumpstart your website through search engine optimization.
Speed Up Your Website
You want visitors to your site to have a positive experience and to be able to easily access and share your content. Google feels the same way. And it will give higher rankings to websites that provide fast access to information and relevant content.
You can easily speed up your website by installing the right speed-boosting plugins. Installing a caching plugin like WP Rocket or WP Fastest Cache will significantly speed up the loading time of your website. Also consider installing Lazy Load plugin to prioritize the loading of above-the-fold images. You can also check your site’s performance with the help of WP Hosting Performance Check plugin to determine if your server is quite slow and whether your PHP, MySQL, or WordPress versions are already outdated and needs an update.
Add A Security Certificate
One of the most recent additions to Google’s ever-changing algorithm for SEO rankings is the incorporation of SSL certificates as a factor of a website’s “trustworthiness.” However, adding SSL is just one aspect of a larger security strategy. If your website is compromised, it will have an effect on your search engine rankings.
Simple site security measures include using a strong password to log into WordPress. You can also activate the fail2ban WordPress plugin, which is typically included with a new WordPress installation. Attempts at brute force login are prevented by this plugin. Also allow Akismet, a default plugin that prevents comment spam, which can have a negative impact on search engine rankings.
Choose a Theme That is SEO-Friendly
One of the most important decisions you’ll make for your WordPress site is choosing the right theme. It defines the appearance and layout of your web, can add new features and contributes to its SEO. For example, your theme can have an impact on your site’s speed, which is important as you already learned in the first tip. The way a theme was created is also important because clean code gives your site the best chance of ranking well in search engines.
As a result, when choosing a theme, look for one that is SEO-friendly. You may also want to look for a theme that includes features like new heading tag choices that are specifically designed to enhance your SEO. Fortunately, there are a plethora of themes to choose from.
Write A Descriptive Website or Post Title
When you go to the general settings of your WordPress site, change your title to something more descriptive and direct to the point in terms of what your website is all about. Also, giving your website a clear tagline with keywords that Google will recognize is ideal. This is because, when ranking websites, search engines first look onto your site title and tagline so when the keywords match right away, you will have a better chance of landing on the SERP’s first page.
Also, change the way your permalinks appear. Go to permalinks settings and make sure that your URLs are based on your blog post and page titles. WordPress uses a numeric URL structure by default, which isn’t as helpful for SEO as descriptive URLs are.
Create An XML Sitemap
A decent XML sitemap serves as a map of your website, directing Google to all of your key web pages. Even if your internal linking isn’t great, XML sitemaps will help with SEO because they enable Google to easily locate your important content.
Simply put, a sitemap is a list of all of your website’s pages and other content, typically arranged in a hierarchy. It allows you to quickly see how the site is set out and what it contains. Although sitemaps were originally created to assist users in navigating websites, they are now mostly used to convey information to search engine crawlers. SEO plugins like Yoast SEO can help you generate your XML sitemap and submit it to search engines.
Use Relevant Keywords in Your Website’s Contents
Choosing a keyword for each post or page and using it in several ways such as in the title, headings, and text is a common way to convey your topic to search engine crawlers and increase the likelihood of your content appearing in related searches. Of course, you must exercise caution when using this method. For example, it is better to avoid forcing keywords into too many locations, making it look unnatural.
A lot of available SEO keyword tools are available to help you find the right keywords for your next blog post. One of which is Semrush that has impressive keyword research tools, ranking monitoring features, backlink analysis, and even audit your website for any SEO issues.
Add Internal and External Links
Adding external links that redirect the users to another website and internal links that lead to another related content or blog post within your website can be both beneficial for SEO. However, SEO experts recommend focusing more on including internal links to your contents, while still adding a few external links and using nofollow tags. This allows Google to consider the external link to be not particularly a positive vote to another website’s trustworthiness.
It is also important that when linking to an internal or external webpage, it should appear seamlessly and not forced. To do this, you have to make sure that the links are related to the blog post topic and see to it that the keywords you use for the hyperlinks are descriptive enough.