Improving your WordPress website SEO is a critical part of growing the traffic on your site, and should be a key part of your marketing strategy.
1. Make sure your site is mobile responsive.
For several years Google has been moving towards a mobile-first philosophy in their search rankings. That means your website should perform (relatively)the same on my iPhone as it does on the 27″ screen on my desk. Mobile responsiveness is now a Google ranking factor and one that you have to give some attention to when creating or updating your site.
Your website pages should be optimized to handle any size screen that your visitor brings to the party. It should show it smoothly and with some consistency from one screen size to the other. The design of your site should use style sheets, grids, and images that adjust and allow the user to have a great experience.
2. Use long-tail keywords strategically on your website.
As a small business, it seems to get more and more difficult to organically rank on the first page for keywords that are common to your industry. A search for “plumbers near me” shows a page one whose top three organic entries were all large national referral services like Angie’s List. The first “real plumber,” that’s one with a wrench and tools, operating locally, does not show up until the 5th listing.
That means you have to find another way to get in front of the customer looking for a plumber. Use tools such as Google’s keyword planner to develop a list of keywords and long-tail keywords that apply to your business and industry. Google now requires that you set up a Google Ads account to use the free planner. However, it still provides you with an excellent baseline of information.
Learn to use long-tail keywords in your website copy, posts, and paid online advertising. So, instead of “plumber” as the main keyword in your copy or paid ad, it may be “expert plumber in Laurel, Maryland.” Long-tail keywords will generally be less competitive than the main keyword and gives you a better opportunity to rank in a local search.
3. Create and post fresh, high-quality content consistently.
I concede it’s hard to do if you do not have someone internally dedicated to the task or an external source that you are willing to pay. But, there is no question about this one; it matters a great deal to Google in their ranking algorithm. The search bots are looking for regular, fresh, high-quality content on your website, and if you want to move up the charts, you have to accommodate them.
It should be new information to your readers, unique to their perspective if possible, and it’s information that visitors to your website would like to know. Even then, it will still take some time for Google, and it’s indexing army to realize that you have something to say and that what you have to say maybe worth sharing with the world.
4. Improve SEO On Your Website Pages
Optimize the individual pages on your site to take advantage of the search engines ranking preferences. The title tag should reflect the content of the page and include keywords. Be sure that the page URL’s are not only machine-readable, but they make sense to the humans that will be searching.
Use keywords frequently but watch the overuse that becomes a Google no-no – keyword stuffing. You could pay the penalty in your ranking instead of seeing an improvement.
5. Create Internal Links
Here is where you link pages on your site to each other. It’s essential to improving your SEO. Internal links will be picked up by Google and your visitors, and increase the chances that the visitor will stay on your site. It will also support your intention to improve your ranking since it allows Google to index pages more efficiently and effectively.
6. Improve Site Page Speed
This is an ongoing challenge, but one worth taking on. Websites that load quickly are important to the search bots that index your website and tell the world what you do. Google believes faster sites are better for the search consumer and, therefore, better for your business.
When sites load slowly, visitors don’t wait around to find out why.
Do a site audit using tools like Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest. It’s billed as being primarily a keyword search tool. Still, it provides a wealth of information that you can gain just by plugging in your site URL and waiting a few minutes for it to crawl the data.
7. Optimize your site elements.
Get rid of plugins you don’t need. Compress images and reduce the weight and speed penalty they add to your site. Of course, getting to page one on Google will take a lot more than the six tips above. However, it won’t hurt to start with some basic tweaks like these to start moving up the search ranks.