SEO or search engine optimization is a term used to described specific methods and practices which, when executed correctly, bring much-needed traffic to your WordPress website. However, bad SEO practices can significantly lower your website’s ranking in the search engine results page. Even worse, your website can get reprimanded by the search engines and be completely removed from the results. This leads to a loss in traffic, and more importantly, loss of potential revenue. That said, here are 6 helpful tips you can use to improve your website’s SEO and avoid being punished by the search engines.
1. Use responsive design
As the traffic coming from mobile devices has surpassed that coming from desktop users, Google has made it imperative to build a website which is either made mobile-first or optimized for mobile devices. This is where responsive design comes into play, as it allows you to create websites which can easily be accessed and viewed across a number of different devices. Having one website which covers numerous devices and screen sizes allows for better content management than having separate desktop and mobile versions of the website.
2. Create Unique Content
First and foremost, you need to create interesting and engaging content which explains the goals of your company, details the products and services you offer or provide potential customers with useful information. The content itself needs to be unique, as Google and other search engines look down on duplicate content and content taken from other websites. Focus on creating content which is relevant to the visitors and not made simply to please the search algorithm. Use of keywords which highlight the overall theme of your post is encouraged, however, stuffing the text with keywords can only have an adverse effect on your website’s ranking.
3. Use Proper Heading Tags
The average person might find the use of proper tags tedious and unimportant, but search engines absolutely love them. They range from H1 to H6 and each represents a particular part of the post. The H1 tag is reserved for post titles and it’s best to keep your H1s clean and informative. A good title needs to tell the visitors exactly what the content is about and interest them to actually read it, instead of simply skimming over it. Besides the H1 or title tag, you should use H2 for any additional headings and H3 through H6 for appropriate subheadings.
4. Optimize the Images
Page loading speeds are one of the top priorities when it comes to ranking high in the search engine results page. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to compress and resize all the images, which not only decreases their size but the size of the entire page. It is best to upload images which have already been optimized, however, there are tools available which automatically resize and optimize images before uploading them. Besides resizing, it’s important to add proper tags, as well as alt tags which should include any additional keywords for all your images in order to ensure the best-ranking position for your WordPress website.
5. Install a caching plugin
Having a caching plugin installed on your WordPress website is important for two reasons. First, they reduce the server load by having the search engines make a cached version of your website’s content. Second, they cache both static and dynamic content, allowing for faster loading times. This is important, as the website’s loading speed is one of the key factors which influence the website’s ranking position. The most popular caching plugin used on WordPress websites is the W3 Total Cache. It has an easy-to-use interface which is coupled with browser, database, and object caching to decrease the loading times of your WordPress website.
6. Try using a CDN
These are just some of the most valuable tips when it comes to the practice of optimizing a website for search engines. There are more techniques available on the internet, and some of them are easy enough to incorporate by the average website owner. On the other hand, some may require you to consult and hire a company which specializes in search engine optimization. Remember, SEO is can only help boost your website’s ranking position when executed properly. If not, you risk getting your website downgraded and even completely removed from the results, so be careful.