WordPress SEO Gets Easier With These Easy Tips
I’ve worked in WordPress SEO for 5 years now and have so much to say about it. I love it for some things and hate it for others (like outsourcing WordPress jobs is hella expensive). All in all, it’s a great CMS framework that has literally everything you need to get started online.
Building a website is the easy part, the hard part comes when Google and Yahoo come into the conversation. How will you use the content you have to push your product or service? Which plugins are you using on your website to help with this? Are you setting up your WordPress dashboard correctly?
These are all things professional SEO people think about, especially the ones using WordPress. Here are 5 SEO secrets that will rank your website to the top of search engine result pages:
Install Yoast SEO to Your WordPress SEO Site
Over the years, I’ve tried so many SEO plugins that it’s not funny. I know a thing or two about the ease of use and effectiveness of most of the SEO plugins out there, but to be perfectly honest, there are only two that have done it right. You may be tempted to download one of the WordPress Most Popular plugins, or you can do the smart thing and install Yoast SEO. Go through the initial walk-through, set your keywords in, and get to writing. The cool thing about Yoast is that it works off the green, yellow and red light system so you can quickly identify what is wrong with your on-site SEO and gives you deep insights on how to improve it.
Install a Caching Plugin
Your website collects an unbelievable amount of cache every time you update, add or change a page, or simply browsing on your website. Keep your website’s cache in check by clearing all that garbage, and speed it up by at least 1ms. My favorite caching plugin is WP Super Cache because it has a “delete cache” button on the top navigation bar. You can also set the account up to where it automatically clears your site of any leftover cache after every post you publish. When you press “delete cache”, it takes you back to the dashboard, so you can start anew. Its like picking your nose and finally being able to breathe again.
Change Those Permalinks to “Post name”
WordPress > Settings > Permalinks. Click on “Post name” and hit save. It’s a thing a lot of developers forget to do when it should be one of the first things they should do before starting their design. Permalinks are what is after the dot com, so anything after that forward slash is a permalink. Without it, Google will have a hard time identifying what your web-page is about. Your post could be about cooking salmon, but it shows up in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) under “pizza near me.” Avoid that mess from the beginning and get your permalink situation straightened out. It’s a 10 second endeavor.
Optimize Those Images
Every designer should be using a photo manipulation software like Adobe Photoshop. When you finish creating or editing an image in Photoshop (CS6 in this case), go to File > Save for Web to save it in the most optimized format. This means that Photoshop will get rid of any unnecessary information from within the image and compress it to the smallest size needed to view the image with minimal loss of quality. This is important to your website’s load time and overall health. Before uploading your images to WordPress, download the plugin WP Smush and go through the setup. This plugin saves lives. It will take images that are 3000x3000px and make them load as 1000x1000px images, without loss of quality. That is a lot of memory saved.
Upload Your XML Sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools
We’re going in a little deeper. The XML Sitemap page on your site that ties all the pages together to let search engines that all your webpages are working under one name. You can choose not to upload your XML, but that will slow your rise in the online word by a thousand. There is good news though, there is a XML generator within Yoast SEO, or you can just install a XML plugin. Just make sure to turn off the feature in Yoast.
Choose Longtail Keywords For Your WordPress SEO
Finding the right keywords is the hardest part of any SEO job (besides writing an insane amount of articles). Longtail keywords, opposed to short-tail, are keywords with three or more words. For example, “cats” is a short-tail keyword. If you wanted to make it a longtail keyword, you would simply add a couple of more words to that, for example, “cats for sale in tampa.” Aim to collect as many longtail keywords as possible and implement them strategically on your website.
That’s all for now folks, you are now a 20% professional in SEO. Remember, content is everything. By content, I mean more words and more images. Make sure that content is easily understandable and those images are properly optimized for the best results.