19.5 million websites across the entire World Wide Web run on the content management system – or CMS – WordPress. It’s a lot of competition to face after you’ve built your website using the CMS. As if that isn’t enough, some of those WordPress-powered websites want to land a coveted spot in a search engine’s first page of search results for them to gain the visitor traffic they need. So how can you make your WordPress site stand out, especially given that 75 percent of Internet users never venture beyond search results page number one at all? Here are some simple SEO – search engine optimization – strategies for you to consider:
Simple SEO Strategies
Use an SEO-friendly WordPress theme for your website.
It may be tempting at first to use a WordPress theme for your website that’s aesthetically pleasing. Unfortunately, some who designed WordPress themes like that might not have considered SEO at all.
So aside from choosing an eye candy WordPress theme for your website, you should make sure as well that whoever created it had considered SEO as well. An easy way of knowing if a WordPress theme is SEO-friendly without going through its source code is if its loading time isn’t too slow. If it is, you may need to use a fast-loading WordPress theme for it.
Make each of your WordPress website’s permalinks readable.
Every post in your WordPress website has a permalink of their own that visitors can see in the address bar of their Web browser. However, some of your website’s permalinks might contain strings of letters, numbers, and special characters which aren’t exactly useful at all if you want visitors, as well as search engines, to instantly recall what a specific piece of content on your website is.
Thankfully, WordPress supports customization of permalinks such that the name of a particular post on your website is in its URL. You can choose Post Name or any of the other permalink customization options that let you include the month and year or even the entire date when you published a piece of content as part of its readable URL.
Install SEO plugins on your WordPress website.
Your WordPress website may already contain a navigation bar that visitors can go to if they want to find a specific post you made several months back. However, you’ll also want a search engine to display any of your WordPress website’s relevant entries after a user has entered specific keywords there. For a search engine to do that, it has to index your site.
It’s best to think of your site’s navigation bar as more like a book’s table of contents which isn’t exactly that useful for a search engine. If you’ve had to consult a book’s index section before to look for a page containing a particular word (or set of words), that’s precisely how search engines would index your website. The WordPress equivalent of a book’s index section is a sitemap wherein every page and content on your site is laid out in a tree-like hierarchical order.
To create a sitemap for your WordPress website, you’ll need to install an SEO plugin in it. The said app would instantly generate an XML – or Extensible Markup Language – sitemap and add it to your website. But aside from that, installing an SEO plugin on your WordPress website would also take care of all other technical aspects of search engine optimization so that you don’t have to do them all manually which can consume too much of your time.
Include social media sharing buttons in every post.
When visitors read a post on your WordPress website, they don’t just finish it and then move on with their day-to-day routine. If they find it interesting enough, they’ll find ways to share it on their social media account (or accounts if they maintain more than one) for their online friends and contacts to see as well. While your website’s visitors can copy the permalink of your post that they found interesting, not every social media platform offers a corresponding paste function (Instagram being one notable example).
So instead of making it difficult for your website’s visitors to share its content, you should add social media sharing buttons in every post you’ve published there. You can choose which social media platforms deserve a share button on your website – though you’ll want the leading ones to be there by default.
With millions of websites using WordPress, it’s already a struggle to stand out after having created your site using the said CMS setup. Add to that having to jockey for a place in a search engine’s first page of search results. Thankfully, the above-listed simple SEO strategies can make your WordPress site land a spot in a search engine’s top ten results and attract the visitor traffic it needs to stay alive as long as you faithfully apply them. But if you find it difficult to do any of those tactics yourself, there’s no shame at all in hiring a digital marketing agency such as SearchUp or some other to revamp your WordPress-powered website until it becomes SEO-friendly. How did you go with your WordPress SEO?