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Shajith Ali
Shajith Ali

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How to optimize SEO on WordPress?

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WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS) . It allows you to structure, manage and publish websites even if you don't know HTML.

SEO is a term used to describe the practice and methods of optimizing a website for better representation in search results…

Optimizing a WordPress site for natural referencing consists of improving all the components of the CMS in order to apply good SEO practices (technique, site structure, internal linking, content optimization, etc.)

If you have a website created using the WordPress CMS (WP) and you want to improve its visibility on Google , the terms of SEO or SEO should not be unknown to you. It is a set of techniques aimed at making your website more visible in Google search engine results. The optimization of a wordpress site is a specific operation of SEO , because the CMS is not basic thought for referencing.

Referencing your site first on Google is extremely beneficial for increasing your sales and your visibility. But how to be well positioned on Google? How to work on your SEO in depth on a WordPress site? What are the tricks to put in place to face the competition? So here are some tips on the optimization work and steps to perform on your WP site.

What are the benefits of SEO for my WordPress site?

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The notion of natural referencing may seem abstract or unknown to you. And yet, SEO has advantages for your business and your site or blog developed under WordPress. Whatever your field of activity, whether you have an online store or a service company, you need an imposing and differentiating digital presence.

A digital presence

Working SEO of a WordPress site allows you to increase its online visibility. By optimizing SEO criteria, your position on search engines will improve. The site will be presented, on Google, as a reliable source of information in the eyes of Internet users. When you own a site and create content, it must be on the top positions of Google to be visible.

No one makes it to page 2 or more. And again, there are Internet users who only click on the first 5 results. Today, the end of the first page is not even sufficient.

In addition, consumers consider the top ranking sites to be trusted sources. Before having this position, Google analyzed the site and its content. First-page sites therefore automatically, and almost unconsciously, have credibility and expertise. You gain the trust of users, you increase your sales and visits to your site. These aspects increase your visibility. The world attracts the world.

Relevant content targeting

Thanks to the content that you will create on your WordPress site and the keywords used, your site will be positioned in relation to a specific theme or area of ​​activity. These positionings on specific queries allow you to target an audience that is really interested in your content.

The traffic is therefore qualified to help you win new customers and to increase the conversion rate of your e-commerce site or services.

Be presented as an expert

Thanks to a good ranking on Google , your company will be perceived as truly qualified in your field of activity. You gain the trust of Internet users and will also develop consumer loyalty. If your site helps and inspires them, they will want to come back. Every week or every month, you will have an appointment with prospects. Moreover, in case of doubts or questions, your site becomes a reference.

These three benefits of SEO optimization prove to you the power and impact of SEO on the success of your business. You become visible, a source of trust and advice, your sales increase, you challenge the competition and your brand image is strengthened. What more ?

How to optimize the SEO of a WordPress site?

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Before looking into this notion, it is necessary to emphasize that the precise criteria of referencing are kept secret. It is not in the interests of search engines to disclose them.

Nevertheless, thanks to the results displayed by the search engines, to the analysis of the sites in first positions, the elements acting in an important way on the SEO could be confirmed.

1. The choice of WordPress hosting

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Your WordPress site hosting is the server where all your site data is stored. It's like your site's mailing address. It is essential to make the right choice in order to have infallible support and guarantee the speed of display and loading of your content.

Indeed, the speed of a website is a criterion taken into account by Google for referencing. This criterion is measured in seconds. In 2-3 seconds, your page must display to be considered fast. If it takes longer, Google does not consider your page or site to be fast enough and may penalize its ranking. Moreover, it is a criterion to improve the user experience. If you go to a site that takes a long time to open, you will leave the page without coming back. This doesn't have to happen with your WordPress website.

In addition, thanks to suitable web hosting, it is possible to switch the site from http to https. This small extension makes all the difference since it allows the user to browse safely and generates trust among Internet users . For e-commerce sites, this is a mandatory step. To make an online payment, all the conditions in terms of security must be met.

Where to host your Wordpress site?

Many companies provide fast and suitable hosting for the WordPress CMS:

Depending on your needs and desires, you can contact them directly from their websites.

2. Buy your domain name

A few years ago, the purchase of the domain name was essential to have a good place on the search engines. Nowadays, it is a criterion that seems to have less impact. However, having your own name is essential in terms of credibility.

Having your domain name allows you to go from www.1234.wordpress.com to www.1234.com .

To boost your SEO , make a strategic choice. Choose an easy-to-remember name. This way, consumers will be able to type your name directly into the search bar. This branding practice gives Google the indication that you are a sought after and therefore trustworthy site. Over time, your domain name can even become an influential keyword and brand in its own right.

3. The choice of the WordPress theme

When you create a website with the WordPress CMS , the goal is for it to be aesthetic and attractive. Representing the showcase of your work, it is normal for it to be in your image. Many WordPress designs are available. However, whether free or paid, pay attention to the lines of codes. Some, useless, can impact the speed of your site. Don't worry, the modifications generally concern only very few elements.

Also, don't choose a cluttered design where navigation can be difficult. You need to ensure the user experience so that they want to stay on your site. We need to make their life easier. The longer you browse, the lower your bounce rate. This criterion is taken into account for referencing.

Do you now understand the importance of the choice of design? It's not just about the visual.

4. Bet on SEO plugins

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One of the strengths of the CMS is the use of good WordPress SEO plugins to customize it . To improve the SEO of a website, the best known is the Yoast SEO extension . Thanks to Yoast, it is possible to respect the basics of natural referencing via the various settings.

However, other possible plugins are available to you. Yoast is the best known, but other plugins are favored by SEOs.

You have for example:

Be sure to use them sparingly though. Although they can be beneficial to you, plugins weigh down your site. We must not forget that we are aiming to have a fast site. So make a choice on what you want to use essential and select the fastest plugins.

5. Customize URLs (permalinks)

To ensure that the content created is well indexed within Google algorithms, do not hesitate to personalize the URLs, also called permalinks, to make them more readable. Remove special characters and numbers.

To give you an example: www.1234.com/%porloe1234/lumi_%+ is not an optimized URL.

The URL should be simple. If you are afraid of forgetting this aspect, WordPress allows you to activate an option in the settings to determine the permanent design of your URLs.

6. The importance of having a menu

Establishing a menu gives structure to your site. In this way, Google manages to list your content by categories and better understands the topics covered for each part. This implementation makes it possible to have a funnel architecture appreciated by Google and facilitating the navigation of Internet users.

Along the same lines, use WordPress tags sparingly. They make it easier to navigate on your site. Users can go directly to the topics that interest them.

7. Presentation of your content

When creating content, you need to have a logical approach . It has to be coherent and structured. To do this, you must make a plan with a title and subtitles. In HTML they are also known as H1, H2, H3, H4, Hn…

This presentation takes care of your content, but also gives a common thread to what you present, both for the Internet user and the Google robots.

The icing on the cake: betting on the presentation of your content makes it easier for Internet users to read. They can get to the part they are interested in easily.

8. Keyword Audit

How do Google robots identify the subject of your website and your content? Quite simply through the use of keywords and semantics. It is therefore important to create a semantic bubble, that is to use words belonging to the same theme. For example, if your article is about gardening, use words around this subject like “gardening tips” “garden” “maintenance” “garden tools” “flowers” ​​“wood” “earth”.

The use of these words proves to Google that you are talking about gardening, but above all that there are all the elements related to this theme (therefore complete and qualitative content).

Be careful, in order not to impact the referencing of your site, avoid using the same word excessively in your content. For example, if for an article you have defined the keyword “chaise longue”, also use variations. Find other related words like “garden chair” or “tan chair”.

How to find the relevant keywords for your site?

  • Use Google Keyword Planner to find trends and statistics on keyword searches.
  • Consult Google Trends to find out which are the most searched words.
  • Brainstorm strong industry keywords.
  • Analyze the terms used by your competitors.
  • Search for words based on a theme using the UberSuggest tool.
  • See what Google puts forward: when you search on the search engine, you always have suggestions at the bottom. The results highlighted under the name of “related searches” are keywords.

9. Place internal links on your pages

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Example of internal meshing via the Cocon.se tool

Improving the referencing and indexing of a WordPress site goes through the practice of internal linking .

Internal linking consists of putting links to other pages on your site directly in your content. They allow you to extend the time spent on your articles. For example, a person clicks to discover “all the advantages of having a wordpress blog within your online store”. If you include a link to “Having an e-commerce that converts: increase your sales”, there is a very good chance that the user will discover this article.

Internal linking also allows Google to browse the site and establish consistent relationships between content. It also facilitates the indexing work of Google's robots.

Also, practice external meshing . Whenever you can, use external links to reliable and relevant resources that will boost the quality of your content. This can be to talk about the products you use, but also your Instagram or Facebook page.

The indexing of the site by Google will also be facilitated if all the content is intelligently linked together.

10. Responsive content

The word responsive means having content that adapts to mobile versions . With the rise in the use of smartphones and tablets to view websites, it is imperative that your WordPress site adapts to the dimensions of different devices. Features also need to be optimized. For example, if you have a “newsletter” or “download a catalog” insert, these actions must be possible from a mobile phone or tablet.

This practice is all the more important since the changes made to the Google algorithm. To adapt to market consumption habits, the search engine highlights mobile content. The priority these days is to have readable content on all media. It is therefore a fundamental aspect for your SEO.

If this is not the case, it is necessary to improve your visibility and user experience by redesigning and migrating your website in order to make it perfectly consultable on all media.

11. Prioritize quantity, while maintaining quality

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To earn the trust of Google , your site must present quality, unique and developed content. The minimum to achieve an SEO analysis from Google robots is 300 words. However, the longer the article, the more complete Google considers it.

When creating your content, make sure to go around the question and answer all the questions of Internet users. Even if you put more time into the creation, it is essential for your success. Otherwise, you will create many articles of lower quality and less acclaimed for Internet users and Google. You lose time and potential online visibility.

12. Create an appointment with users

Google highlights fresh , updated content that answers current questions. You need to create content regularly. This weekly or monthly meeting gives Google a sign of freshness and gives Internet users new content to come back and discover.

In order to keep pace, do not hesitate within your company to imagine a marketing strategy with an editorial schedule. What can you talk about? What questions do your customers or potential customers have? What are prospects reading? What content is popular with your competitors? When are you going to publish?

13. Ensure the speed of your WordPress site and its plugins

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Already discussed above, speed is an SEO criterion . It is therefore necessary to be careful not to weigh down your website. Our first tip is to avoid downloading WordPress plugins that you don't use. Extensions like W3 Total Cache can improve display speed.

Additionally, the heaviest content built into WordPress are images and videos. Feel free to compress them. The Smush Plugin is ideal for compressing an image file.

Tools allow you to test the speed of the website and obtain advice on how to improve its performance.

14. Use Google Images

To gain visibility, don't overlook the impact of SEO on Google Images . This section of Google generates good traffic daily. To be present, you must follow several steps:

  • Rename the image on your computer.
  • Upload the visual to WordPress.
  • Assign optimized names by filling the field with “Alt txt” tags and optimized captions.

If you do not know what name to give, bet on the keywords. The name can be a succession of words, it does not need to be a sentence.

15. Create viral content

When your site attracts traffic, Google deems your content worthwhile. Visits from Internet users give you credibility since it means that your articles help consumers. You become essential. Motivate prospects to share your site with the incorporation of social media sharing plugins. You just need to integrate these specific buttons to facilitate the sharing of publications on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.

Publications can also be sent via plugins to your Google My Business file to improve SEO relevance and visibility.

In addition, filling in the meta description of your content can help you. This category does not have a real impact on your SEO. This only allows you to fill in the content that is on your site to motivate users to click. Beyond the title, it gives general information about your speech and can increase click-through rates.

Embedding videos in blog posts is a great way to keep visitors on the site. Integrated into appropriate textual and semantic contexts, video content can see its referencing on Youtube and Google progress.

16. Create inbound links

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Popularity is one of the pillars of natural referencing and remains one of the essential steps . The more quality links your WordPress site receives from other sites, the more popular it will be in the eyes of Google. You need to be active on this and drive backlink acquisition in any viable way possible.

17. Analyze your site data

Analysis is probably the most difficult task . It is necessary to know how to question yourself to identify the elements harmful to your SEO. Thanks to this assessment, you can act and remedy the problems with adapted and viable solutions.

Please note that the changes made will not be visible immediately. You have to be rigorous and patient to observe the evolution of a site. Thanks to all these techniques, your WordPress site will gain visibility on search engines. You will thus become a reliable source and an expert in your field of activity.

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