WordPress SEO: Improving Search Engine Rankings

December 19, 2023 by Lucija

If you have a website, there’s a good chance that it runs on WordPress. One source estimates that over 810 million websites use WordPress, representing 43% of all websites online.

This website builder and content management system is popular because it’s flexible and easy to use. However, with a lot of websites running on WordPress, it can be hard to stand out or, in this case, rank highly on a search engine such as Google.

That’s why optimizing your website for search engines is important, especially if you run an e-commerce business or blog that needs online visibility.  There are a couple of tweaks that you make to allow your audience to find your website easily on search engines.

In this article, we’ll cover the most important search engine optimization techniques for your website to boost its online visibility.

Research Your Keywords

People use search engines to find content online while satisfying their search queries. This is how many people come across different websites online.

But for them to find your website, you’ll have to align it to the keywords they use when searching for a query related to your website’s offerings. This is why keyword research is vital to helping you nail the right terms for your content.

Targeting the right keywords increases your chances of ranking higher on a search engine. There are two main types of keywords that you should aim for :

  • Short-tail keywords: These are keywords with less than three words. They gather a high search volume and are a great source of organic traffic.
  • Long-tail keywords: These are keywords that are longer than three words. They typically attract less organic traffic but have less competition (meaning increased chances of ranking on search results).

As a new website, consider long-tail keywords, as they can help you become a higher search authority website fast. But once your site is up and running, consider short-tail keywords.

Utilize SEO Plugins

WordPress plugins are tools that offer enhanced website functionality. In this case, an SEO WordPress plugin will help you optimize your website for SEO. This means that installing them will help you rank higher on search results.

SEO plugins will help you with different aspects of SEO, including on-page analysis, schema markup, and a sitemap generator, just to mention a few. But before you settle for a plugin, consider other features the plugin offers, such as the price and ease of use.

But as a rule of thumb, you typically want to install only one WordPress SEO plugin to avoid plugin conflict and heavy website load. The most popular SEO plugins are YoastSEO and All-in-One SEO.

SEO

Add Your Website Sitemap to Search Engines

A website sitemap is a structured list or diagram of all the pages, posts, and content on your website. It serves as a blueprint for your site’s overall structure, organization, and content. This makes navigating and understanding the site’s structure easier for search engines and visitors.

There are two types of WordPress sitemaps, namely XML and HTML. To improve your site’s search rankings, you should submit the XML sitemap to the search engines. This shows your pages, their importance, and their relationship with each other.

Install an SSL Certificate

Installing an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is essential to optimizing a WordPress website for SEO.  Google considers SSL as a ranking factor, so websites with SSL tend to rank higher in search results.

But how does SSL affect SEO?

SSL certificates encrypt the data between a user’s browser and your website’s server. This encryption helps protect sensitive information, such as login credentials and personal data, from potential hackers.

Google takes website security seriously and prioritizes websites with SSL security over those without. Fortunately, many hosting providers offer free SSL certificates, but it’s best to first consult with them.

Speaking of security, Google prioritizes websites with secure credentials. Another great tool that delivers security and inspires user confidence is a VPN. Some of the best VPNs, like NordVPN and ExpressVPN, encrypt your online connection and enhance your online privacy, making it harder for hackers to hack your user accounts.

Post New Content Regularly

Search engines like Google favor websites that regularly publish new, high-quality content. Uploading fresh content confirms that your website is relevant with up-to-date information.

When you consistently add new content, search engines are more likely to crawl your site more frequently. And besides, doing this allows engagement rates to go up while keeping bouncing rates low, which is precisely what you want for conversions.

Interactive Content

In Conclusion

We’ve covered a couple of essential practices that you should start with, including installing the latest SEO plugins and researching for keywords. Adding your website sitemap to search engines, posting relevant content regularly, and installing SSL certificates can also increase your chances of ranking highly on search engine results pages.

But as the saying goes, ‘There’s always more to be done.’ There are plenty of things that you could do to optimize your WordPress site for SEO and make it easier for your targeted audience to find you.

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