Optimizing your WordPress blog can help improve its ranking in SERPs. It can help to convert leads to sales and give your site exposure in the webspace. Also, a web page that is optimized can stay for a longer time in search results.
Blog SEO is important as it gets more organic traffic to your site. Optimization is not only about creating a beautiful and stunning-looking website. It’s also about how you optimize your keywords for ranking and use file names and alt tags.
An SEO-friendly WordPress blog has a higher chance of appearing on the first few pages of search results. WordPress offers many SEO plugins and tools that can help you, but there are other SEO hacks you can use for your blog.
Ways to Set Best SEO Hacks for WordPress Blogs
1. Update your WordPress Theme and Add an XML Sitemap
Are you aware that most free SEO themes are not SEO-friendly? If you’re using one for your website, then it may hurt your ranking factor. WP premium themes are SEO optimized, fast, responsive, and SEO compatible.
One thing that you need to consider while investing in a WordPress premium theme is flexibility. If your theme won’t update with every new change, then it may become hostile down the line.
Look for a theme that is developed using the latest coding standards and best features. Premium themes can be expensive, but you’ll surely be able to optimize these themes in a better way compared to free WordPress themes.
Adding an XML sitemap to your blog is an important part of optimization. Use the sitemap function within the SEO tool to create a sitemap. Once you create the sitemap, submit it in the Google Search Console.
Inside the WP dashboard, click the ‘SEO option’ and then click on the XML sitemaps. Make sure that the sitemap is enabled and click on the ‘XML link’.
Highlight and copy your blog URL in the address bar. You can do this inside Google Search Console where you need to click on the ‘site maps’ under the ‘crawl’ heading. Now, click on add sitemap on the top of the screen.
2. Add a Meta Description to your Blog
The best part about the Meta description is; it can be added to any page of your blog. It provides a specific description of your content for search engines and crawlers. Meta descriptions still play an important role in on page SEO optimization.
If you write a good Meta description, then it can explain a lot more about the article. Social media websites like Facebook and LinkedIn also use the description part when the content is posted on those platforms.
You need to mention your focus keyword when you write a description. It needs to have a character limit of up to 155 characters. If it is above that, it won’t serve any purpose.
To add the Meta description to your blog, scroll down to the AIO SEO meta box on the post edit screen. Write the description in the portion and submit it.
3. Use Permalink Structure and Enable Breadcrumbs
It is one of the most popular hacks of WP. If your URL only has a name or number, it may hurt SEO. The URL should contain the right structure and keywords.
The most commonly used WordPress permalink structure is Domain.com/Group/Post-name. Using a specific structure will make your URL more readable and visible. Change the structure by going to your dashboard area and then permalinks. Choose the post name options and save the changes made.
When you enable breadcrumbs, it’ll help your blog rank higher for many reasons. It includes a keyword, which increases the keyword count. Google considers breadcrumbs and displays them on the search result pages. If you’ve enabled it, Google will display the breadcrumb navigation instead of using your site URL.
This also gives your visitors a view of how your site is organized. Search engines can find web pages that are linked to other web pages as they are indexed. Breadcrumbs help search engines like Google to crawl your WordPress blog and make it more SEO-friendly.
Most premium WordPress themes include an option of breadcrumbs. You’ll also be able to add breadcrumb navigation to your blog by using a plugin.
4. Make your Blog Posts Comprehensive and Use Featured Snippets
Your blog posts must be comprehensive, as search engines love content with detail. You need to research LSI keywords as a part of your content planning. The keywords will give you a fair idea of the user’s interest and search.
By using the right keywords in your post, you’ll be able to make it more readable and useful. You need to include headings and subheadings in those keywords. Type your desired keyword related to content and switch over to image search.
You’ll find the topic bubbles that use a variety of keywords. Include these keywords while creating content for your blog.
Featured snippets are small summaries that you use when you search for something in a search engine. Google tries to answer users’ questions as quickly as possible. And that’s the reason it has introduced an answer box featured result, which is known as featured snippets.
You must optimize your WordPress blog for featured snippets if you want to rank higher. Google generates custom snippets from the content of the article.
Answer boxes secure more than 32% of CTR, which makes this an important part of SEO strategy. You need to optimize for featured snippets using – Paragraphs, Tables, Lists, and videos. It depends on the content you need to create for your blog.
5. Make your WordPress Blog Load Faster
Google algorithm takes into account the loading factor and time taken. As Google is trying to improve the UX, it considers sites that load faster. If your site loads faster, it will also help you to rank better in search results.
To make your WordPress site load faster, you need to compress the images of your site using a compressor plugin. Use a minifying tool to compress the codes of the website. With the help of the caching plugin, you’ll be able to deliver static pages.
As WordPress is a PHP-based CMS platform, it has to load all the information from the database every time a visitor clicks on the link. Use a caching plugin that stores the static version of your web page so that when the system receives a request, it loads the page quickly.
It is important to test the speed of your website using Google Page Speed. A complete site audit will help you to know about the issues of the site. Fix those issues to improve the loading time.
You must optimize the older blog posts or update them from time to time. After you publish your posts, promote them through social media platforms to increase user engagement. You can automate this task using different plugins.
After publishing, add relevant links to your blog as it gives your articles link juice that allows the users to discover it quickly.
You need to track the search engines and change your SEO strategies according to updates. Follow the above hacks and make your site more relevant on the pages of SERP.
Nirav Dave is the CTO & Co-Founder at Capsicum Mediaworks, a Web Design Company in Mumbai, India that specializes in all things Web Design & WordPress. He Worships WordPress and Loves to read anything and everything about this exceptional CMS. You may also follow him on Twitter | Facebook.