How many of you agree that WordPress is the best blogging platform?
WordPress is the #1 CMS in the world used by millions of sites worldwide. If you’re looking for a solid platform to run your websites, WordPress is definitely a great choice.
Although there are a wide range of alternatives to WordPress but one thing that separates WordPress is that, it comes equipped with a ton of SEO friendly options.
But that doesn’t mean, you don’t have to worry about optimizing your site or contents to increase your search engine traffic.
There are a few things you can do to improve your WordPress SEO to attract more organic traffic and build a better blog. So let’s talk about them now.
Actionable WordPress SEO Tips for 2019 for Bloggers
Make use of WordPress SEO plugins
WordPress is great for one main reason: it offers a TON of useful WordPress plugins ranging from SEO to eCommerce to optimizing images.
Here’s a list of few of the essential SEO plugins that you must install on your sites to improve your website’s WordPress SEO.
Yoast SEO: If you’re a WordPress blogger, I would highly recommend you to install this plugin as it is one of the most downloaded plugins in the WordPress directory (used by more than 20 million people worldwide).
It helps you quickly optimize your blog posts for specific keywords.
Broken link checker: Broken links are bad for your site’s SEO. Google always avoids the sites that have broken links.
As a blogger, it’s your job to find and fix all your broken links. Luckily, there’s a WordPress plugin called Broken Link Checker which you can use to monitor your links. It notifies you whenever any broken link is found.
W3 total cache: A caching plugin is very important for every WordPress site, given that otherwise, the dynamic nature of generating all pages utilizes excessive resources on every page load.
Caching reduces all that excessive data significantly which also helps you improve your overall page loading time. Although there are a wide range of caching plugins available but the one plugin I found extremely useful is W3 total cache.
It helps you increasing website performance, reducing download times via features like content delivery network integration such as Cloudflare CDN.
Google XML sitemaps: An XML sitemap is a must for every WordPress site which helps in crawling, indexing your posts and so on.
In simple terms, an XML Sitemap is a special file containing pages that you want to be indexed by search engines like Google.
If you’re a non-tech savvy, you can simply install this Google XML sitemaps plugin which takes care of everything from creating a sitemap to getting indexed your pages faster in Google search results.
Use this plugin to create special XML sitemaps which will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your WordPress website. If you have NOT yet created any sitemaps for your site, you should install this one as soon as possible.
Use SEO friendly WordPress themes
Fast loading WordPress themes are always good for your Google rankings since the performance of your website is one of the most important ranking factors on Google (there are over two hundred Google ranking factors that determine your rankings).
Make sure your WordPress theme provides offers:
- Mobile responsive themes
- SEO optimized
- Cross-browser compatibility (loading on all the browsers without any issues)
- Clean code (which should be light-weight as well)
Here are few premium WordPress themes recommendations for you;
- GeneratePress (Use code NEWYEAR19 to get it at 15% Off, Limited Time Offer)
- Elegant Themes
If you’re using any other WordPress theme, make sure to at least test your site on mobile to see if it is loading properly or not.
If your website is not loading up properly, then you should install a plugin like WPTouch to create a mobile-friendly version of your site (it’s also free).
Even if you’re running coupon related sites, investing on the RIGHT WordPress theme always gives you high ROI in the long run. So don’t think twice about investing money on your website design.
Perform a detailed site audit
Site audits help you figure out what is preventing your website from getting higher search rankings on search engines like Google.
It doesn’t matter what kind of hosting you use or blogging platform you’re using, but you must perform detailed site audits to find and fix your issues.
That being said, here are a few most important things to fix while doing site audits to be able to take your website organic traffic to the next level.
While doing site audits, make sure to find out how your website is performing in terms of loading times. You can use the following tools to find out if your website has any speed related issues.
- Google PageSpeed Insights (a tool from Google itself which helps you easily find out how your site is performing and also gives you suggestions to improve your page loading time)
- Pingdom tools
That being said, here are few quick tips to fix speed issues:
- Minimize HTTP requests (you can minimize HTTP requests by deleting unnecessary images, reducing file size, creating a CSS image sprite, do lazy loading of your images)
- Minify and combine files (wherever needed, you can seek professional help from any web developer)
Note: Also make sure to check your website for crawling issues. Find out if your site is getting crawled by Google properly or not.
Non-optimized titles and meta description
There are tools like SEMrush which gives you access to site audits where you can easily find out a list of all the blog posts and pages where you have NOT optimized your titles and meta descriptions.
Whether you know it or not, titles and meta description play a KEY role in increasing your content visibility in search engines.
So you need to target at least one keyword with every blog post you publish. If you find any non-optimized posts, make sure to spend time on optimizing them before posting new contents.
Images with no alt tags
There are a lot of bloggers I know use a ton of images on their blogs but don’t often optimize their images for search.
While doing site audits, it’s also important to find all the images that have no alt tags (and bigger in size) so you can optimize them well for search and speed.
Quick tip: Although there are a few SEO tools out there which help you with site audits but I recommend you to give a try to SEMrush once (they also give you free trials) as their site audit feature is top notch where you get a health score for your website.
They also show you all the issues which you can fix to improve your WordPress website’s SEO.
Focus more on creating in-depth content
Nothing beats quality content.
It doesn’t matter what hosting you use or how many social shares you attract, if your content is generic, it won’t perform well in search engines. It’s as simple as that.
Creating ONE in-depth article is better than creating 10 ordinary blog posts. So how many words should you include in every article you publish?
I’ve been publishing detailed blog posts with over 2000+ words since 2014 and I know this kind of in-depth articles work really well when it comes to increasing organic traffic and sales.
Here are a few great tips if you want to create in-depth articles even if you’re a beginner.
Analyze your competitors: Create a list of websites which publish similar posts and find out how they are ranking for a ton of blog posts.
Find out their traffic generating keywords (you can use tools like SEMrush) so you can create content on similar topics. The key here is to create 10x better content so you can outrank your competitors in search.
Include lots of examples: When it comes to creating in-depth articles, you can use a lot of illustrations, images, videos and examples to make your content useful for your target audience.
Don’t write 2000+ words filling out junk as it won’t help you much in search.
Create guides: You can write in-depth articles if you focus on creating guides such as beginners guides, complete guides, ultimate guides etc. where you can cover almost A to Z information about a particular topic.
Use bucket brigades: It is a copywriting tactic used by experts like Jon Morrow, Brian Dean etc to keep readers interested.
Basically it involves breaking a topic into smaller points using a colon. You can quickly engage with your target audience and make your introduction captivating by using bucket brigades.
Pro tip: Keep an eye on your keyword rankings. You need to track your keywords performance so you can make necessary changes to your content.
Your primary target with every keyword should be able to get first page search results. You can use tools like Moonsy, SEMrush etc. to easily track your keyword positions on Google.
Few more quick WordPress SEO tips
Here are few more quick yet most effective WordPress SEO tips you can use to get higher rankings for your website in 2019 and beyond.
Optimize your permalink structure: The Permalink settings determine the URL structure of your posts and pages.
How URLs are structured plays a vital role in how your website’s content ranks in Google search. So make sure to properly optimize your permalink structure.
To configure permalinks, click Settings from your WordPress dashboard and select Permalinks. On the page, select the Post name option and pick “Post name” permalink structure which is simple and properly optimized for readers and search.
Don’t ignore schema: Schema markup not only tells search engines what your data means, but what it says as well. So make sure you’ve schema set up properly to get more organic traffic and increase your rankings in search.
There’s an incredible plugin called Schema which helps you add schema.org structured data markup in recommended JSON-LD format automatically to WordPress sites.
Content is still king: Be sure to publish new content on a regular basis and it’s better if you can publish long form of articles ranging from 2000 to 3000 words.
Also make sure to regularly update your long-form articles along with your website’s cornerstone content to give more organic visibility to them.
Final thoughts about WordPress SEO in 2019
Although WordPress comes with out of the box SEO solutions but you need to take necessary steps to take your website search traffic to the next level.
Make sure to create in-depth content, use proper SEO plugins, focus on improving your site speed and optimize your contents better to be able to attract more search traffic.
Did you find these WordPress SEO tips helpful? Do you’ve any more questions? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Author Bio: This is a guest contribution by Anil Agarwal. He is the guy behind BloggersPassion.com where he is aiming at helping his blog readers in taking their blogs traffic and revenue to the next level. You can connect with him on Twitter.