While WordPress websites share many of the same characteristics as other websites regarding SEO, WordPress websites require a few tweaks to rank well against other domains and other WordPress sites. Here are four essential SEO tips for WordPress websites with actionable advice on how to do each.
Encourage Social Media Sharing
The beauty of WordPress is that it has social media sharing buttons built into the CMS. What content creators often forget is to then promote the content across as many platforms as possible. Automatically sharing your new blog post on Facebook or LinkedIn is only the start. Sharing it on multiple other platforms is a necessity to rank well when search engines use social media shares as one of the top three ranking signals.
Another way to improve this social media sharing signalling is to use a call to action at the end of the content asking readers to like and share.
Work on High Authority Backlinks
The authority of a domain is essentially weight given to the reputation of the website for quality and legitimacy. Domain authority is usually on a scale of 1-100. There are various metrics such as Page Authority, Moz Rank, Moz Trust you can check (sometimes via WordPress plugins).
SEO marketing companies like Click Intelligence can give you an idea of what your page’s authority or trust score is and explain how to improve it.
How do you get high authority backlinks? Guest posting on high authority domains is one good option, as is doing interviews on various Podcasts and YouTube channels in return for links to your page.
Perform a backlink analysis: contact an SEO marketing expert if you don’t know how to do this. If you have many backlinks that are hurting you, you may need to try and delete them. It could be as simple as adding a signature line referencing the company when your employees comment in online forums and telling marketing that the intern shouldn’t be spamming your links in comments sections.
Build Internal References that Matter
Search engines are giving more weight to brands with a consistent image, over keyword density in content. This requires referencing your brand or company name in your content and on your social media accounts. Small steps like referencing the brand in the social media account name and periodically in titles of posted content can help.
Don’t forget internal links to your content from both social media profiles for your company or personal accounts and links between your pieces of content. Another way to improve your weight with search engines is putting a sitemap on site, something done easily, with the Yoast SEO plugin.
Once you submit the sitemap, search engines will rank your site better compared to those that lack this. And the internal sitemap helps people find what they want on your site instead of bouncing away.
Update the sitemap to avoid dead internal links and to include new content. Have internal cross-links on pages that generate many visitors but aren’t likely what people want when they arrive, such as the popular page for your last product release with a clear referral path to the information on the latest product. An SEO firm can give you advice on how to alter the content of the pages you have in order to rank better for the search terms visitors are using.
Improve the Load Time of the Site
Website design affects the SEO of your website. The faster it loads, the less likely users are to bounce away (hurting SEO) and the higher search engines will rank it. You can improve this on a WordPress site by using LazyLoad for your images, auto-resizing them via WP Smush or EWWW image optimizer and installing a caching plugin.
If you are going to use a lot of plugins on your website, combine files to reduce the number of HTTP requests generated to run the plugins. You’ll improve page load speed.
Improve the domain authority of your site by cultivating backlinks only from high domain authority sites. Do everything possible to reduce the load time of your site, though reducing the number of WordPress plugins, images or caching of the site depends on your situation.
Actively build the social media sharing of your links and improve the linking on your site itself. If you apply the following steps, you should be able to significantly improve how your WordPress site performs with search engines.