WordPress has come a long way to become the leading content management system for writers and bloggers of all levels, providing specific features and options to make the process of writing as seamless as possible. Writing of course, is just one part of the process. If you want to attract readers to your content, you will need to start employing marketing techniques, and one most commonly known marketing technique is search engine optimization and marketing.
With SEO (Search Engine Optimization) you can strive to build organic traffic, based on the insightfulness and usefulness of your content. Though SEO is much more than just good content. Content titles, content length, meta descriptions, permalink parameters, link structure, sites who can vouch for your content (backlinks) are all important factors when it comes to SEO.
Out of the box, WordPress complies to some very basic SEO standards, but to be able to dig deeper and achieve good results, you'll need to follow some tips on how to better optimize your WordPress website / blog for optimal search engine performance. This is what you will be learning in this post today; common and basic SEO tips for beginners to achieve better rankings in search engines.
Produce High-Quality Content
The most important aspect in order to achieve good rankings in search engines is your website content itself. “Content is King”, it always has been and it will always be. That means before you start digging into advanced SEO strategies, you need to ensure that you produce high-quality, unique and helpful content for your visitors. SEO can only be as effective as your content, and if your content isn't competitive, you usually will have a hard time trying to rank well in search engines.
Another thing to consider when thinking about content is that backlinks (links from other sites that are pointing to your content) still are one of the most important criteria for good rankings in search engines. With that in mind, it's many times more likely that people will link to your valuable and unique content, than content that isn't really worth the backlink because it doesn't provide value to the readers. Google also becomes better and better in evaluating if content is valuable or not.
SEO Optimized WordPress Themes
Nowadays, WordPress theme developers are keen on implementing SEO optimization like optimized HTML markup, semantics and clean code in their WordPress themes, to help you save time and money. Premium WordPress themes by MH Themes are following this trend as well, and customers benefit from awesome WordPress themes that are optimized for the latest SEO standards where possible – giving you peace of mind over the way search engines will see your content.
Install Popular SEO Plugins
WordPress webmasters / bloggers can make use of helpful SEO plugins, that are specifically built to extend the functionality of your WordPress website with features that can improve your rankings in search engines, especially on the long run. We have published another article that covers the most popular WordPress plugins for SEO. We highly recommend that you install one of the popular SEO plugins to optimize your WordPress website or blog for search engines.
Social Media Marketing
Running a successful website / blog – these days – is almost not possible without a social media presence. Work on a strategy to build and grow your social media activity in order to increase your social reach and traffic. Luckily there are plenty of WordPress plugins for social media that can help you manage your social activities. The more visibility you can establish on social media, the easier it will be for search engines to find and rank your content; although it's still debatable whether social media has that big of an effect on rankings. Chances are that it does, but don't neglect your website.
Optimize Your Site for Speed
Google has dedicated itself to make the web faster and encourages webmasters to optimize their websites for performance. Improving the loading time of your website will not only make your users happy, it will also affect your rankings in search engines. Especially since page speed is an official and well-known Google ranking criteria, which is getting more and more important.
Luckily, there are plenty of tools and plugins available that can help you measure the performance of your WordPress website in order to find ways to make it load faster. One aspect that people often tend to neglect are optimized images. If you're running a website with images that are not optimized for the web – either in size or quality – this may already heavily slow-down your website.
You can use plugins for image optimization to prevent this as much as possible, but selecting and uploading suitable images is the most important part, to begin with. The same goes for installing a reliable WordPress caching plugin. Making use of caching solutions on your website is crucial in order to achieve good performance, which can be taken further by opting for a CDN.
Website Analysis: Understand Your Users
The best way to understand your website and visitors is by using reliable tools for website analytics, such as Google Analytics. Tracking tools can help you understand where your visitors are coming from (and then tap into that traffic source for more), what they are looking for, understand which pages are performing the most (and then create similar content to that), as well as gain insights into the demographic usage of your site; at least as much as possible. This information is essential in order to optimize your website and cater the content to the needs of your target audience.
Conclusion: Optimize your website for search engines
As you've learned in this article, search engine optimization is not anymore just about adding a few meta tags to your website or stuffing some keywords into your content. Nowadays, SEO is a very broad field, starting from high-quality content all the way to an optimized website structure, fast loading times and an effective social media strategy. What are you doing in order to achieve good rankings in search engines? Have you tried the mentioned suggestions? Have we missed an important aspect of SEO in this article? Feel free to let us know in the comments.