The sole purpose of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is to make your website rank higher in search rankings. In the past decade a lot has changed, those orthodox SEO techniques do not work anymore. In fact, the tricks everyone used five years ago is now penalized. Google has brought so many changes to its search ranking algorithm that all those black-hat techniques such as back linking, spamming, on-page and off page SEO have been penalized. Some people even saw their precious money making websites getting banned from Google because they used such techniques.
Ever since Google’s Panda update to its search engine algorithm there is no definitive SEO technique. SEO is now a combination of Social Media Marketing, quality content, and some white-hat SEO techniques. The easiest way to start a website is by using a Content Management System such as WoodPress. It is one of the most popular CMS being used by bloggers these days and there are plenty of SEO plugins available for it as well.
If you are starting your own WordPress website then you might want to look at the following SEO techniques you should use.
Install SEO optimized themes and plugins
Most websites were penalized in the latest update by Google because they were not mobile responsive. 70% of the traffic is now generated from smartphones and if your website is not mobile responsive then users will find it hard to navigate. Luckily, 95% of the authors of WP themes have made their themes responsive so it is highly unlikely that you will come across a non-responsive theme in this age.
The second most important thing in a theme is coding. The coding should be spot on and free from any errors. Since many themes are paid, so a clean theme reflects that the developer spent extra time making sure that the code is near perfect. There are chances that you will find a free version of a theme you like on other websites but do not use them because those are mainly copies and have dozens of coding errors. Spend a small amount and buy the original theme from an authentic website.
Google bots look at your site speed so you have to optimize it to be quick in loading pages. The theme without any content or plugins can load quite fast but with high-quality uncompressed pictures, plenty of plugins and other things can significantly affect your site’s speed.
A permalink is a unique URL given to your website after the domain. WordPress assigns it by default but never use it. Those permalinks are sometimes long and difficult to read because they contain numbers and symbols. It is recommended to change the permalink into something custom which is easy to understand. The URL should be about the post, not numbers, if you cannot understand the purpose of the post through the link neither will Google bot. Changing the permalink is easy but take precautions if you are doing for an already established website because it can result in broken links.
On-page SEO techniques for WordPress
SEO relies on good quality content, it does not matter how much time you spend on SEO if the content is not good enough then your website will just not get ranked. Many bloggers complain that they meet the 300-1000-word limit and keyword density etc. rules of SEO but most of their content is plagiarized thus resulting in bad rankings.
Writing good quality content is compulsory and having the right keyword density is also crucial. The second most important thing is images. You should have at least 2-3 images in your blog post with correct alt tags. Google bots search for alt tags in your images so you should add the keyword in the alt tag in order for Google to recognize it. Good quality, unique and shareable content along with relevant images as well as proper alt tags will get your posts ranked on Google. The title is very important as well so make sure it’s catchy and lures readers in to read the content.
The new ways to make your content unique and shareable is to add infographics, podcasts, and videos. Readers read less content and watch more videos in this modern age so this is always a plus point. There is a proper SEO optimized format that you have to follow in your content. It is best that you should install SEO by Yoast plugin which will guide you to add proper tags, descriptions, and headings. The format includes:
• Good title with keyword
• A small 2-3 line paragraph with at least one keyword
• H2 or H3 headings in your post
• At least 4.5% keyword density in your post
• Relevant images with alt tags
• Meta description
• URL with keyword
• Link to an external website
• Min 300 words
• Do not post big images, stay within your theme’s limit
You can use a plugin to optimize your images for WordPress by compressing them without losing size or quality. External links to high authority websites are very important because you get into Google’s good books. Make sure the site you link to provide high-quality content and has a good ranking on Google. PR 5 and above sites are recommended. Lastly, try to get as many links to your website as possible but do not spam your links. Create good content and you will automatically get backlinks to your site.
Do not stuff your blog post with the keyword. The keyword itself should be something that people will actually search for not a generic word. For example: “Samsung Galaxy S6 specifications”. Use them naturally on your post instead of creating sentences around your keyword. You should not have more than 4.5% keyword density in your post so use it wisely.
Lastly, use short sentences and easy vocabulary so it is easier for people to read. English should be good but refrain from using a difficult vocabulary in your post. This will help readers to understand your blog post and decrease the bounce rate of your blog.
Using all these off-page and on-page SEO techniques, your posts will definitely get ranked on search engines. It takes some time for new websites to get ranked but as your domain authority increases posts will be ranked higher and quickly.