wordpress seo tips

WordPress SEO Tips 101. So every business needs a blog, as they serve two very important purposes – keeping customers informed while also attracting organic traffic from search engines. While there are several CMS options available, WordPress is among one of the most popular blogging and content platforms. Not only is it fairly easy to use from a blogging and publishing standpoint, but it’s also the most SEO-friendly option.

Many businesses will install WordPress, load up some blog content, press the ‘Publish’ button and expect traffic to come pouring in. That’s not how it works. While WordPress is a great starting point, there are several best practices and optimization tips you need to implement in order to show up in the search results and attract clicks.

Sometimes I forget how even the most basic SEO tips might sound completely foreign to someone who has never attempted to blog or looked into how to properly structure a blog for the best SEO results.

While the tips I’m going to go over are geared more towards beginners and SEO noobs, these are fundamental SEO tips that many often overlook.

So, whether you are new at SEO or have been publishing content for a while, be sure to take advantage of the ten WordPress SEO tips below.


1. Make Sure Your Blog is Indexed

Over the years I have seen many blogs that were not receiving any traffic from Google. They were publishing great pieces of content and understood the basics of on-page optimization, so why wasn’t there any traffic hitting their posts?

They had their blogs blocked from being indexed in the search results. There is a setting under “search engine visibility” that needs to be set to allow the search engines to index the posts. This allows Google and other search engines to crawl and access your blog content. This results in it becoming indexed in the search results, where it can then be discovered by users and drive traffic back to your blog.

An easy way to see if your blog content is being indexed is to perform the following search command: “site:www.yoursite.com” – this will return all of the content on your website that is indexed. If not blog posts are returned you will need to check your index settings.


2. Determine If a WWW or Non-WWW Domain Setting is Best

In the WordPress settings, it allows you to set your domain settings, referring to whether or not you want to use the www version or the non-www version. While someone will get to your blog using either option due to a redirect in place, it matters for SEO.

If you are starting fresh, select the www version of your domain, including the HTTPS. So, it would look something like this:

  • https://www.yoursite.com

The other opinion would look like this:

  • https://yoursite.com

If you are just starting out make sure that any link you build follows the same format, including the www. Google indexes content and assigns authority based on the link format. If you have a mix of non and www links it will not be as effective as if all were the same.

If your blog is old, jump into your Google Search Console and see what domain variation has the most pages indexed – that will be the best one to select as it will have the most authority allocated to it.



3. Enable SEO-Friendly Permalinks

Google crawls many different parts of a webpage to determine what the content is about, what search terms and phrases should trigger it, and in what position it should be displayed for those keywords and searches.

Its algorithm is advanced and one of the components of a webpage that is considered is the URL for that page. Out of the box, WordPress will usually create a date-related URL and then tag your page title at the end.

So, for a blog published on February 10, 2022, the URL would be something like:

  • www.yoursite.com/2022/02/10/your-page-title/

While there is technically nothing wrong with this – as it will render the content just fine – you aren’t helping Google understand what the page is about. Set up your permalinks to inherit the “Post Name” setting. With this enabled the same post example from above would simply be:

  • www.yoursite.com/your-page-title/

It looks better visually, and it also helps Google better understand your content, and at scale across hundreds of blog posts, your traffic numbers will increase.


4. Block Blog Spam

Blog comment spam is a major problem these days. Back in the day, auto commenting software was popular as a way to build links. Yes, blog comment links worked like a charm in the wild west days.

Today, blog spam is a bigger problem, but it’s not done by SEOs. A lot of spammy websites, from coupon sites to diet pill offers, will spam comments hoping that people will click their links and visit their website. They are trying to generate sales – not improve their SEO.

While an e-commerce site might want to encourage comments from its audience, a blog that is trying to push traffic to an offer quickly might not want comments present as they will just distract from its conversion goal.

One wodpress seo tip I´ll give you is this. You should first determine if comments and conversations in the comment section are beneficial to your business. If they are not, simply turn them off and you will not have to worry about comment spam. If you do want to enable comments on your WordPress blog be sure to set them to manual approval. This is more work, but it will keep your posts free from spam and potentially malicious links.


5. Use a Minimalistic Blog Theme Build for Performance

Building quality links is a large investment in your online marketing, so in order to get the most bang for your buck, you need to start with a healthy website from a technical standpoint. Building links to a website that loads slowly is not going to get you the best results.

Spend the time to make sure your entire website (all pages) loads in under 2 seconds. Google has its PageSpeed Insights testing tool that will give your a score for both your desktop and mobile website versions. You will also be provided a list of suggestions to improve its performance.

One of the biggest draws to WordPress is its large library of themes, some that are free to use, and while they may look nice, they are often clunky and not optimized for performance. Because these themes are often very customizable it creates a lot of script and code, which just causes a lot of lag when loading pages.

When selecting a WordPress these opt for a minimalistic theme that is optimized for SEO. Run it through Google’s speed test tool and make the suggested changes. Be sure your desktop and mobile versions load in less than 2 seconds. Keep following these wordpress seo tips and you´ll be flying.


6. Install Only Necessary Plugins

While there are WordPress plugins for almost anything you need in terms of features or functionality, it doesn’t mean you should add dozens of plugins. They cause your website to run slower and can contribute to slower than normal loading, giving users a poor experience and harming your SEO.

Some plugins that simply inject a line of code should be avoided as they just add bulk to your blog when you can have a developer install it directly in your theme files. A few must-use plugins include Yoast SEO and Smush. Using an SEO plugin helps you ensure your on-site optimization is correct and the image compressing plugin will greatly reduce your image files sizes automatically.



7. Generate an XML Sitemap

Any time you publish a new blog post you want the search engines to discover it quickly and include it within their results. An XML sitemap consists of two separate “maps” – one for your pages and one for posts.

Every time a new page or post is published it’s added to your XML Sitemap, letting the search engines know that there is new content on your website for them to crawl and index. Smaller websites will not be crawled often, but if you are constantly alerting the search engines that new content is published they will begin to visit and crawl your blog more often.

Tip: Use the built-in XML Sitemap generator located within the Yoast SEO plugin. It will handle everything for you – just simply toggle the setting on. I suggest just two sitemaps: one for posts and one for pages. There is no need for the others.


8. Understand How to Write SEO-Friendly Blog Titles

You are going to want to learn how to write click-worthy titles that accomplish two things. First, they need to be attention-grabbing to attract the click from the person performing the search and second, they need to help your web pages rank on top of the results for the keyword each page is targeting.

You want to include your keyword in the title, as close to the beginning as possible. This is good wordpress SEO tips, but you also need to do it in a way that isn’t spammy and also in a way that creates a title that will draw attention.

By including the keyword in the title the person performing the search is more likely to visually connect with your page because it uses the same term they used in their search. It’s just natural to be drawn to what was being searched for.

You need to get creative, so let me give you an example using the keyword “weight loss tips” and show you good and poor title examples.

Poor: “ Weight Loss Tips | Top Weight Loss Tips | Best Weight Loss Tips”

That example is what we used to see back in the day when titles were stuffed with keywords. Today that approach will get your website penalized.

Good: “OMG! These Weight Loss Tips Helped This Single Mom Drop 35 Lbs.”

Now, that example uses the keyword in the beginning, but naturally and it’s an attention-grabbing title that will stand out and draw clicks, even if it’s not in the top position.


9. Include Long-Tail Keyword Variants in Headings

Using heading (H2 and H3) in your blog posts helps to structure your content and makes your posts more visually appealing. It also allows your visitors to skim through your posts and still come away with the message or point you are trying to convey.

Google also puts slightly more weight on headings, as it uses them to help it understand what the page content is about. You don’t want to stuff headings with your exact-match target keyword, but it’s a great opportunity to include some long-tail keyword variations.

Sometimes it can be difficult to work in variants throughout the content naturally, but your headings give you a little more flexibility to craft them around these long-tail terms.

By targeting a few low competition long-tails throughout the headings on each post you can attract more organic traffic. While a few extra visitors might not sound like a lot, when you consider a few extra visits a day over hundreds if not thousands of pages on a website, you can see how this simple tip can provide excellent results.



10. Interlink Throughout Your Blog

Internally linking to relevant content helps to pass authority throughout your blog, thus helping to push up each page in the search results. This doesn’t happen overnight, but doing this throughout your SEO and link-building efforts will drive better results as your domain’s authority increases.

Every link you acquire that is do-follow and passes authority will contribute, as it’s spread across your blog via your internal linking. Not only is this strategy great for SEO, but it also keeps your visitors on your site longer as they click through to different pages and posts.

The longer they stay on your website, the higher the probability of them converting into a lead or sale. Also, the average visitor duration as well as the rate at which your visitors leave without viewing additional pages play a role in your ranking.


Final Thoughts

These fundamental WordPress SEO tips will help you create a strong foundation to build on if you are just starting your content marketing journey, as well as provide you a list of audit actions for all of your old content if you already have a blog.

It’s easy to get caught up in the newest hype and strategies, but the simple optimization fundamentals outlined above are the backbone of a strong blogging strategy. Not only does it provide you with a way to deliver news and information to your customers – present and future – but it also allows you to attract website traffic consisting of consumers searching for what your business offers.

Your blog can essentially become an employee that works around the clock, helping to attract warm leads and prospects 24/7. Once you experience the results first hand and see what SEO can do for your business, it will cause you to put more time and effort into your blogging strategy.

While the above wordpress seo tips are a great starting point, you might have more questions. If that is the case, drop them in the comments below and I will try to answer them for you. Blogging is how I first gained exposure for my agency, so I know very well how effective it can be.

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

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