When you are looking for WordPress plugins that should help you with SEO (making your website easier to find in Google), many plugins are available. Sometimes it is good to use a plugin, but sometimes it is better not to…
There are tens of thousands of plugins you can install to make your WordPress website function better. This is especially true when you are looking for plugins that should help you with SEO.
And they are all good.
So, here are our top 10 ways to make your website SEO friendly and optimized if you are running a WordPress-powered blog.
Backlinks are important. However, only exchange links with websites relevant to your site or target audience.
It’s not about quantity but about quality. The era of “who has got the most backlinks” is long gone. There was a time when many websites offered so-called backlink packages, selling in bulk. After all, if 1000’s of websites point to your website, your website must be so important, right?!
Search engines like Google no longer look at the number of backlinks but at the backlinks’ quality and relevance. Suppose there are 1,000 Chinese or Australian websites pointing to you that also write about another topic. In that case, that is suspicious and will backfire.
WordPress plugin tip: our tip for backlinks is not to use plugins. Do not use paid services either. These do more harm than good.
Ensure that “friend’s” websites (preferably with the highest possible page rank) refer to your niche, websites that discuss the same topics. Of course, your internal link building must be well structured too. By linking to relevant pages within your blog posts, you show search engines which articles you find relevant and, therefore, important for visitors.
Use good SEO optimized names for your media/images. Always add an ALT and TITLE tag.
It may sound stupid, but come up with creative and good names for your images. Content is, of course, essential, but don’t forget the quality and power of well-used images. Make sure to replace the default image names, for example, “DSC12345.jpg”, with what the image actually shows. Another example, “Grand-Prix-Vienna.jpg” if it is a picture of the Grand Prix in Vienna. Don’t forget to adjust the ALT and TITLE tags as well.
Make use of short and powerful permalinks/titles.
Make sure your URL is logically structured and describes what your page or post is about in four or five words. This says nothing about the actual subject. The first 4 keywords of your URL are the most vital.
WordPress plugin tip: Head to Settings> Permalinks, here you can see and adjust your WordPress Permalinks structure. You would do well to choose the structure “/ post-name /” or “/ category / post-name /”. For the first build, you have to change the default setting to /% postname% /. For the second structure, you have to adjust the setting to /% category% /% postname% /.
Use a sitemap and add an XML format for Google analytics + Webmaster Tools.
Are you skilled enough to create a Sitemap in XML format? This is a fairly easy job with the WordPress “Google XML Sitemaps” plugin. By doing this, you make Google’s life a lot easier to inventory your website. This is a lot faster, and this, of course, also works to your own advantage.
WordPress plugin/tip: The most used plugin is that of Yoast: the Yoast SEO plugin. However, we find it more interesting to use the “Google Sitemap Generator” plugin to create automated Sitemaps. After installing the plugin, head to Options > Google sitemap and click “Build sitemap manually.”
Congratulations! You have created a Sitemap for your WordPress blog where all new pages or posts are automatically added.
Extra tip: Don’t forget to upload your Sitemap to Googe’s Search Console after installation and configuration.
Link all your posts and pages to social networks, in doses!
Like it or not, being visible or present on social media is actually a must. Make sure you are there, even if you don’t do much with it. Have you created a new post? Or an old page updated (don’t forget to give it a new date!)
WordPress plugin/tip: Hundreds of plugins can be found alone for automatically placing Facebook or Twitter messages. But almost all of these are manufactured for the English language, or the result resembles robot language. It is better to create Twitter or Facebook yourself so that you will have full control over it. Also, don’t forget to include a link to your blog or page.
By the way, try not only to do this to your own website but also to other relevant websites. The search engines are more likely to see your “social page” as an important and independent page.
Do not use Adobe Flash.
The awesome thing about WordPress is that there are thousands and thousands of templates available that can give your website a completely different look in an instant. Unfortunately, there are still templates that use (Adobe) Flash. Suppose valuable segments of your website are built with Adobe Flash. In that case, it is not or, to a very large extent, not visible to search engines. This segment is not displayed on iPhones and iPads, either.
WordPress plugin tip: Only use the possibilities within WordPress, not because of WordPress itself but because of the fact that search engines find this “more fun.” Besides, Flash is not shown on Apple devices in particular, so you will miss a large audience. When parts of a template use HTML 5, give preference to this.
Use so-called “Breadcrumbs” to show your visitor the way.
Breadcrumbs or “breadcrumbs” are often shown on the website as “Blog> Subject> Post Name.” This is an important part of any SEO strategy. This is because it allows your website to display the content hierarchically.
WordPress plugin/tip: Using a breadcrumb, you can quickly indicate to the visitor where he is. When that visitor lands on a page with a particular topic, he or she can easily jump to a higher level topic by clicking on it. This is actually included as standard in every good WordPress template. If not, there are some good and free plugins available.
We can recommend the Yoast SEO plugin for this. Unfortunately, a little technical knowledge is needed because, for most plugins, a piece of code will have to be pasted on the page (page.php) or single page (single.php) before it becomes visible to every visitor.
Use keywords/keywords selectively but above all; strategic. The story has to be right.
Choosing and using the right words should play an important role in any SEO quest you take. Don’t forget, not only is a scientific approach not enough, but it must also be ‘natural.’
Many experts state that the subject should be about 5 to 7% of the total. Luckily, there are various online tools available to make your life easier in this area;
- Wordtracker Keyword tool
- Google’s free Keyword Tool for AdWords
- Google Suggest.
WordPress plugin tip: Make sure you are using the most vital keywords throughout your website. Of course, in the content and in the page title, in the Headers, as ALT text with images (see tip no. 2). Search engines search your entire website. All steps are very important, but using the correct keywords in the Headers such as h3, h2, and h1 is perhaps the most important.
Choose an SEO optimized and mobile-friendly template + install an SEO Plugin.
Briefly mentioned in tip 6; the WordPress theme. WordPress has over 100,000 different templates. But not every theme is SEO optimized and responsive. Although the latter, in particular, is strongly on the rise to become a standard, we still advise you to check this in advance. Well-functioning templates that also load quickly are vital to distinguish yourself from your competitors and be well found in search engines.
WordPress plugin/tip: Useful WordPress plugins are “wp SEO,” “All in One SEO Pack,” and also “SEO by Yoast.” The latter, in particular, is unbelievably strong. With over 4.5 million downloads, it is one of the most widely used SEO tools in the world. Fun fact, this plugin is from Dutch brokerage, is often updated, and is one of the most up-to-date plugins at the moment.
Good, relevant, unique content is still king.
A good SEO plugin will certainly help in making your WordPress blog easier to find in SE. However, don’t forget that content is ultimately the most important factor in the whole picture. Concentrate your efforts on writing good blog posts and use your own writing style so that your visitors will appreciate you. Put the interest of your visitors first, the importance of being found well in search engines. But of course, do not lose sight of the importance of Google.
WordPress plugin tip: There are many advanced plugins available. After specifying a subject, text (content) can be automatically generated from Twitter, Facebook, and website data are chosen by the plugin itself. Sometimes, these plugins give a “weird” result, but the text is usually not correct. The ultimate tip to achieving good content is to invest time and attention in this.
Don’t write a blog post for the sake of having an article, but research it. Hatch parts of the text, highlight some parts in a thicker printed font or use special lighting techniques such as quotes or parts of the larger font’s content. Not only it shows the visitor what important information or pieces are within your text, but search engines also appreciate this.
Start with some tips that you think will help or appeal to your target audience the most. Are your visitors currently dropping out quickly? Or do they only view 1 or 2 pages? Make sure you highlight your text and use hyperlinks to relevant articles that really matter. Provide images that the user likes to see, or that makes the page unique.
As soon as you see that visitors stay longer, give comments or contact you, you will see that more visitors come to your website. Follow our tips, and you will see that search engines rank you higher in the search results, so you can expect even more visitors. Search engines sometimes also play with the results, making websites appear higher and sometimes lower.
This is to see how visitors react to your website. Search engines can now very accurately see how many pages are visited after being redirected. If there are more than 3, your website will be labeled as valuable, and you will gradually progress further.
Do you have questions about making your website findable? Then I’d be happy to answer them below in the comment section.