WordPress is a great platform to start your website. You can get a site setup in minutes using WordPress’s infamous 3-minute installation and then the world is your oyster. You’ll then be able to start getting your content ranked on Google.
But making a WordPress site fit for google requires a little something extra. SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of making your pages/posts and site content relevant to search engines.
SEO for beginners: 5 Tips for Better Google Rankings
You’re battling against millions of others for the top positions, which is where all the traffic comes from. So how do you do it? Well, let’s look at some key ranking factors that we can improve when making our WordPress pages.
These ranking factors affect all sites, so if you don’t have a WordPress site, you can still attempt to apply them to your own custom site.
You may be forgiven for thinking that Pagespeed doesn’t really matter anymore. Most people in the world have high-speed connections that can download any webpage within seconds.
Google even has their own Pagespeed tool which will check your website for ways in which you can optimise it.
It is quite clear that google favors sites which load lightning fast compared to those that are sluggish.
So, what are some ways in which you can improve Pagespeed?
Embedded from A/B testing software
- Don’t fill your page with lots of unoptimized images. Huge screenshots, sliders, and other downloadables will just bog your site down.
There are tools on the internet that can optimize images size so they download lightning fast. Use thumbnails where possible too.
- Use WordPress caching plugins. Plugins such as WP Super Cache are the most popular in the WordPress community and for good reason. They store a pre-rendered version of your page so that it can serve it very quickly to your users. The plugin is free too!
- Choose a good webhost. Having your webhost’s data center in another part of the world away from your users can cause latency. Also, using shared hosting can also bog down your network if too many sites are on it.
2. SEO Friendly Header Titles
When ranking on Google, you want to make sure your target keywords are in the header tags of your page. For most WordPress Themes, this usually means adding them to the page title and they automatically get included in your page.
But some themes don’t follow best SEO practices so make sure your target keywords are going in header tags. You can read this post to learn How To Write SEO Friendly Blog Posts Titles.
You can check your own header tags simply by viewing the page source of your WordPress pages. To change them is a different matter.
You might have to dive into the Theme’s core files to change how they display tags. Or you might get lucky and the option might be in the theme’s options panel.
Always write Catchy Headlines and blog post titles to entice readers to read your blog post. You can find 180 Examples Of Catchy Headlines in our previous article.
3. Keyword Density
When making a post, you’ll want to include your keywords in your content. But you need to do this tactfully.
You don’t want to make your post unreadable to your average user because this will just drive them away (which is also bad for SEO- Google analyses how much time users spend on your page!).
But you do want to make sure Google knows what your page is about.
Sprinkling in variations of your keyword is a good idea. This can help your site get ranked for long-tail keywords, which can give you a nice little boost of traffic.
Just make sure your keywords are related to your content. Adding in random keywords such as “insurance claims” in a post about Video Games will look unnatural to Google and they can sometimes impose penalties on sites that do it too much.
Always write an effective meta description for each blog post. You can use SEO plugins such s Yoast SEO to easily write Meta Description in WordPress. Use your keyword in meta description.
Most sites won’t have to worry about this. But Google can give your site a penalty if it thinks you are doing something shady.
A penalty is where your site will be deranked in Google SERPs for a specified amount of time. These are usually applied manually by the Google Search staff. To get them lifted requires a whole lot of work and effort.
So when making your page, don’t do anything shady. Don’t link to a million sites; don’t keyword stuff your articles trying to rank for every keyword term possible; don’t copy other’s content or duplicate content around your site.
To remove a Penalty, you’ll need to undo the issues that caused the Penalty in the first place or you’ll have to get in contact with Google. This process can take a long time, with some sites having penalties in place for years.
Claire Broadley has written an in-depth post: 50 Reasons Your Website Deserves to Be Penalized By Google at kissmetrics blog. You should read her post to learn more about this topic.
5. Social Media Sharing
Sharing your pages and posts on Social Media is a great way to boost traffic. Not only that, but it’s becoming more and more apparent that search engines are looking at social signals (such as how many likes or retweets a post has).
A good way to get lots of shares is to add Social Media Sharing icons to the bottom of your posts. There are so many free and Best Social Sharing WordPress Plugins available.
You can find WordPress plugins which do this automatically for you. You can also link your WordPress site up to your own social media accounts to post automatically. I believe JetPack Plugin has this ability.
Hopefully you’ve found some good tips on improving your WordPress site’s SEO. The more better practices you apply to your content, the higher you can rank on Google. There are of course other factors, but the ones above are very much in your control.
That’s all for this article, Do you like this SEO for beginners guide. If you have anything to add, don’t hesitate to add your comments below.