Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a great strategy for website owners to drive traffic to their site. Not only that, but SEO is also often used to increase the website’s visibility and ranking on search engine results pages. Every business owner with a website should utilise and not take SEO lightly as it can work wonders for you and the products or services you’re offering.
In our previous articles (read about them here), we’ve talked a lot about what SEO is and why it is so crucial for business and website owners.
Here, we’re going to talk about what WordPress SEO is and some strategies that you can undertake for your website. Don’t worry; if you’re new to this, we’ve got your back! Let’s get back to the basics with these WordPress SEO strategies for beginners.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a popular and open-source content management system. It offers a way to structure, manage and publish websites, even if you’re new to this and don’t know HTML. It is said that WordPress runs 32%-35% of the entire Internet and powers many websites that you’ll likely browse every day.
WordPress is also always related to blogging as it started as a blogging platform in 2003, before turning into a powerful platform to run entire websites; and is one of the most SEO optimised website builders.
What is WordPress SEO?
It is essential to understand that WordPress is not a replacement for a solid SEO strategy; it is merely a tool for you to utilise.
Although WordPress saves you time and helps you adhere to the best practices without experience, we still need to put in the effort to rank our website on Google.
SEO can get technical pretty quickly, but WordPress offers accessibility to those who aren’t as experienced or to those who don’t feel as though they are specialised. With that said, WordPress SEO helps you in implementing growth-driving tactics on your platform or websites.
Now, we’ve covered briefly what WordPress and WordPress SEO are. We’re going to take a look at some of the strategies relating to WordPress SEO that is also ideal for beginners. Without further ado, let’v get straight into it!
WordPress SEO Strategy for Beginners
1. Website’s Visibility Settings
One important note to think about when setting up your site with SEO is to check your visibility settings. That is because WordPress offers a built-in option for you to hide your website from search engines. Website owners can utilise this feature if their website needs more work and is not ready to be published.
However, when everything is ready, website owners may forget to check off this option, thus making the website unavailable in the search engine. Hence, if your website is not appearing in the search results, ensure that you check its visibility settings.
Users can enable the visibility settings by logging into WordPress, and head to Settings, then Reading to check on the Search Engine Visibility. All you have to do is to make sure that the option box is unchecked.
2. Use SEO-Friendly URLs
Next, website owners need to ensure that their URLs or Permalinks are SEO-friendly. SEO-friendly URLs reveal the context of your content in the search engine and then to your users. The bottom line is to have a readable URL so that it is not only readable but also your visitors can expect what they can see on the page from the URL.
SEO-friendly URLs are one of the factors in increasing the possibility for your website to get higher rankings in search results.
Hence, website owners can produce SEO-friendly URLs by including some keywords in them. WordPress lets you create custom URLs through its settings at Settings > Permalinks > Post Name.
3. WWW vs Non-WWW in URLs
Business or website owners should also consider the use of URLs with either WWW or Non-WWW at the beginning of the web address.
Let’s say an example of a non-WWW URL starts with ‘HTTP’ in front of the web address. Website owners need to choose one of the two and stick to it.
You might be wondering which version should you choose for your website. For beginners or those who are creating new websites, it comes down to your preference between the two.
Also, WordPress lets you decide which website address to choose under their Settings > General on the WordPress dashboard; you can also add your preferred URL in both the WordPress Address and Site Address.
On-Page SEO Strategies:
1. Optimise Your Title
Optimising your title is important as the first thing your visitors will notice about your article is the title.
Website owners need to create a title that matches their content and trigger an emotional response so that customers are attracted to click on them. Specific keywords should also accompany the title.
Besides that, website owners should also focus on title tags. Title tags can be found in the head section of a web page to communicate your page title to your visitors. It can also boost SEO efforts which can help boost your overall rankings.
2. Add Meta Description
The meta description tells you a little about what the website or page content is about before you enter the website. In the search results page, the meta description is often seen under the title tags. Search users will be able to see your meta descriptions.
However, if you don’t specify your meta description, the search engines will take the first sentence of your page content; which may not be ideal or enticing to your users.
Although meta description does not influence search rankings, they are essential to provide a call of action to your visitors in the search results page. Also, another tip is to add in relevant keywords into the meta description as well.
3. Content Planning
Another SEO strategy to look into is how you plan around your content. We can all agree on how important good and engaging content is for one’s website. Engaging and informative content not only can convey your message better, but it can also attract visitors to stay on your page longer.
As part of your content planning, you may have to do keyword research to figure out what questions your readers may have or which keyword has high traffic volume.
That way, you can also understand your topic clearly before starting to draft your post. Then, your post will be relevant to what your readers are searching for. Your content building should also include keywords and readability as it is one of the key search engine ranking factors.
4. Add Categories and Tags
To help you organise your website content, you can add in categories and tags. It will be incredibly useful for your readers and the search engines to locate your content easily on the website. Categories and tags both have different functions.
For example, categories are used to organise content into major topics discussed on a blog.
However, tags are the topics discussed in an individual blog post. If you’re still confused, you can also think of it this way: a blog post that is published under the Music Category can have tags like guitar, piano, Jazz etc.
Therefore, don’t miss out on adding the proper categories and tags to your content before uploading them.
5. Optimise the Images
Images are vital to creating engaging and lively content. However, adding images to your post is not enough. Website owners must also add Alt Text to the pictures so that search engines can understand what these images are about. Alt Texts are only words describing the image.
Website owners can use Alt Texts to define their images by using relevant keywords. These images can be described in one or two words before uploading. When that is done, the image will now be integrated into your content with the additional keyword information for screen readers and search engines.
6. Internal Linking
Internal linking refers to the process of linking one page to another page on your WordPress site. It is a great way to build a contextual relationship between your old posts and your new posts. That way, you can still redirect your visitors to the older posts and generate some traffic from there.
Website owners should make use of interlinking as it invites many benefits such as passing “link juice” (value or equity) from one page to another for more exposure.
Also, it enables more page views and allows search engines to index your articles more effectively. To link one page to the next, all you have to do is insert a hyperlink. This function is easy to use and available almost at every platform.
Overall, WordPress is an easy-to-use, flexible and a great option when setting up a website and provides a good base for SEO. Although it may seem challenging to keep up with the changing SEO dynamics, the strategies listed in this article are some of the basic steps for beginners to get their SEO rolling.
We hope these tips will help secure your position in the top search results. While working on your site’s SEO, you can always get some extra help from creative agencies like Walk Production.
As a leading SEO company in Malaysia, Walk Production can help you tap into the digital market and reach a wider audience with their comprehensive SEO Services. If you’re curious to find out more, you are always welcomed to contact us for a free quotation.
We’re excited to see you on board with us!