Search engines receive a great amount of traffic and they can be seen as the security guard who determines what traffic will enter and will not enter your website’s front door. In other words, you could generate a higher amount of website traffic from search engines… if you optimize your WordPress Website for search engines. By customizing your WordPress settings, building strategies, and creating content that fills the needs of your audience, you can optimize your site to wow search engines and earn a place in their rankings.
Below are 5 ways you can implement today to wow these powerful search engines with your WordPress Website.
1. Use This Permalink Structure for Your Pages and Posts
WordPress provides a variety of formats for your permalinks, which are the URLs of your site’s posts and pages. Some formats prominently display the keywords you’ve carefully included in your posts. For example, www.MyWordpressWebsite.com/Keyword-Inserted-Here.
But other formats don’t inform search engines what their keyword is. Use this URL as an example: www.YourWordPressSite.com/?=50
We suggest using the title of your posts in the permalinks. To do this, you need to modify your settings. First, when you’re at your WordPress dashboard, click “Settings”, and then “Permalinks”. Then, set up your site to use /%postname%/.
Note: It’s recommended to not to use dates in permalinks – or any post for that matter – because your readers are less likely to read old dated material. Also, if you already use a different permalink structure and want to switch to using post titles, be cautious that the change may cause existing backlinks to break. An easy solution is to create redirection rules for your links. You can do this with this with the Yoast Permalink Helper Tool.
WordPress users have an advantage: They have many high quality SEO plugins to choose from. WordPress plugins offer features such as the ability to conduct content analysis, optimize permalinks, ensure the functionality of backlinks and navigation controls, and much more. Our favorite plugins we encourage you to use are the Yoast SEO plugin, the All in One SEO Pack, and SEO Smart Links.
3. Write Captivating Content That Will Win Over Both Visitors and Search Engines
When ranking your site, search engines utilize an algorithm that takes in consideration over a 100 factors while judging the quality of your website’s content. Although these algorithms can be tweaked, there are constants you need to rely on to boost your website’s ranking.
Successful content is generally content that provides visitors something valuable. Whether it’s a product, service, a call-to-action, or just information, understanding your website’s visitors and offering content valuable to them is a great way to build up trust, as well as generating more leads. Consider your visitors’ needs and any pain points they face. Then, deliver content that provides knowledge your visitors will find valuable. If your website addresses the questions people turn to search engines for, search engine algorithms will notice and your website’s rank will improve.
Look at each piece of content you produce as a new opportunity to earn site traffic. But do keep in mind that the content must be worth their time. Also, experiment with various types of media (not just text.) WordPress makes it easy to incorporate video and images into posts, which are both great visual aids. Video and image content will also enhance your standing with search engines (especially videos, which help in building traffic and links from other platforms, like YouTube.)
(Recommended Reading: Double Your Website Conversions)
3. Know What Keywords Your Audience Searches For
It’s crucial to know what keywords your audience searches for when they visit a search engine. Knowing their language will help get you on their search engine results and this increases your chances for more traffic. Search engines know the top keywords people look for. They don’t keep it a secret; use this to your advantage and use a Keyword tool. We recommend Keyword Planner, a feature on Google AdWord. It provides the top keywords for specific topics.
Use these tools to help build a list of keywords to target. Then, incorporate these terms strategically into your post and page titles, permalinks, header tags, body content, meta-descriptions, WordPress categories, and tags. Executing a well thought keyword strategy makes your website more likely to have a higher ranking, and even the chance to be a top result on search engines.
5. Update Your Search Engine Visibility WordPress Settings
Search engines send out what they call spiders to “crawl” the World Wide Web and discover websites. They allow these spiders to evaluate both code and content. That is why your website needs to look good and be ready.
What You Need To Do:
- On your WordPress dashboard, go to “Settings”, then “Reading”.
- Take a look at the setting for Search Engine Visibility. There is a checkbox labeled “Discourage Search Engines from Indexing This Site” – be sure this is unchecked.
(Recommended Reading: Build A WordPress Website in 60 Minutes)
Have questions about optimizing your WordPress Website? Do not hesitate to ask and we will answer your question during our next Webcast Wednesday.
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