WordPress websites are an excellent choice for small businesses and big corporations alike because of it’s exceptional search engine optimization qualities.
If you want to get your website up in the search engines, there are few WordPress SEO tactics that can speed up the process:
Make sure you haven’t blocked Google from indexing your website
Before you roll your eyes in disbelief, let me tell you that it has happened more than once to many experienced WordPress developers: you start working on the design, adding the content and setting up the website etc.
And, with all this work to be done, many webmasters forget to re-enable the Search Engine Visibility option in the SETTINGS > READING.
I usually leave this option deselected, so that the website can be crawled by the search engines and, before the official launch, I verify it once again.
So, the first SEO task is to see if you don’t block the search engines either from the settings or the robots.txt file.
Develop a custom WordPress theme that is responsive and fast-loading
In the past years Google has started a true revolution against the websites that don’t display properly on mobile devices and load slowly.
Since more than 70% of your website visitors come from mobile phones and tablets, not having a responsive (mobile-friendly website) is really bad for business, since it will keep these visitors from properly viewing your information and contacting you.
Slow loading websites are also penalized, so make sure your WordPress website loads as fast as possible to avoid being penalized by Google.
Use a Cache Plugin
For load speeding purposes you should also rely on a cache plugin.
What this does is to keep an ‘image’ of your website to show to visitors, when they load the same page. Instead of interrogating the database every time someone lands on your website, this plugin keeps the page as it load and serves it to all other visitors, thus speeding up your website.
Of course, every time you make design edits or update your content, you’ll need to clear the cache, meaning the plugin will delete these ‘images’ and recreate new ones based on the updated version.
WordPress database cleanup and optimization
This can be done in 2 ways: you either access the database directly, in PhpMyAdmin and select optimize / repair, or via an optimization plugin.
For most website owners, if they lack development skills, it’s better to stay away from the database and rely on an easy to use optimization plugin.
Use plugins only when needed and delete the inactive ones
Keeping many plugins and forgetting to upgrade them, when new versions are released, is bad for SEO, for your website loading speed and also for security.
There are tens of thousands of plugins in the WordPress repository covering all kinds of features and needs. From security, to social media sharing, related posts, appointments, contact forms and even shopping plugins, you’ll find everything.
Just because there are so many exceptional plugins and countless options to choose from, it doesn’t matter you should go on a plugin installation spree.
Keep them to a minimum and also make sure you always keep them up to date.
It’s the same for your WordPress installation itself, by updating promptly, when new versions are released, you can keep your website secure.
Use a SEO plugin to boost your rankings even more
Right now there are 2 leading SEO plugins in the WordPress repository: YOAST SEO and ALL IN ONE SEO PACK.
I cannot recommend one specifically, because I have worked with both of them in the past and they are doing an exceptional work. Both plugins have years in development, which means they are stable and the development teams are efficient and experienced.
Right now on some of my websites I use YOAST, while on others I use ALL IN ONE SEO PACK.
So, my advice is to choose one of them and see how it serves your SEO purposes.
Add your website to the Google Search Console
Most important search engines have their own search insights that can help you rank better. Google has the search console, Bing has one etc.
It’s a good idea to set your Google Analytics data for your website (detailed traffic statistics) and also enter the website in the Google Console. After few days you’ll get detailed insights about who where your visitors come from and which keywords you start to rank for.
Write with the search engines in mind, but for your visitors
A lot of SEO beginners are stuffing their articles with a lot of keywords, trying to get as many as possible in the content. Google consider this to be keyword stuffing and your website will get penalized.
Always write for your end user, for your target client.
If the people who visit your website cannot read and understand the content, it’s useless and it will not rank well. Write so that people can enjoy your information, while also mentioning few of your main keywords.
Write a blog
Most of my clients cringe when they hear about writing a blog, because it’s a tedious work and many don’t like to write themselves. The idea of having to create at least a weekly article doesn’t appeal to them.
Your specialized blog is one of the best tools you have for your onsite SEO, it’s where you can provide your visitors with exceptional information and advice and also use your many keywords without being penalized for spam.
People love to read interesting articles, and many also share them, so a good blog in your niche will get you free traffic from the social media outlets (people who freely share your information) and also boost your SEO.
Keep a consistent flow of articles and, after few weeks, you’ll start seeing some exceptional results.
Set up your Google My Business account
In the past years local citations and Google My Business mentions are getting great SEO results. Make sure you correctly set up your Google My Business data and also try to enter your business into Yelp, Better Business Bureau and other citation websites that you would want to use.
Make sure the business information (NAP – name, address, phone number) is the SAME on all these outlets, it’s important if you’d want to rank well.
These are just few of the WordPress SEO tactics you should have in mind, in order to boost your website performance and speed.