Basic Guide to WordPress Search Engine Optimization
There are multiple SEO methods to use in order to boost your website popularity, revenue, and traffic. One of the most important thing to do regarding search engine optimization is to analyze your competitors’ websites. Another important SEO element is to know how to boost your WordPress website which has specific tools and specific processes regarding SEO.
Getting Started with SEO
Research and reports are a great part of a good SEO campaign. You always need first to research before starting with SEO. An important research is regarding your competitors. In this case, you need to search after what type of content and what content your competitors created. There are a few steps to follow when you want to analyze your competitors:
Identifying the content type
Identify the type of content is the first action you need to do. You should search for short Twitter messages, long Facebook posts, directory entries, guides, reviews, previews, introductions, blogs, testimonials, portfolios and so on.
You can use modern SEO tools like BuzzSumo and Ahrefs in order to find these types of content easier and faster. Ahrefs is used to check backlinks and to create reports about them. There are 3 plans with prices starting from $99 to $179 and $399, depending on the plan you want to buy. You need to renewal your subscription monthly and you can create multiple campaigns and track hundreds of keywords.
With BuzzSumo, you can analyze a topic or a competitor. You can either subscribe monthly with prices starting from $99 to $299 and $999 or yearly from $79 to $239 and $999 per month having a 20% discount in this case. BuzzSumo offers you access to 1 or more users, depending on the plan, 10 or more alerts, 10 or more trending feeds, unrestricted searches, language and country filters, exportable data, outreach lists, content analysis and domain reports together with Facebook analyzer, top author reports, advanced trending, audience builder and top author reports.
You can even get Webinar training session. You can use these two tools to find people which write about the same things you write and maybe you can work with them to boost your and their website and revenues.
Sorting the content types
The second step is to sort the types of content you found in order to better analyze them. For this, you can use AccuRanker with prices starting from $29.95 to $99.95 monthly.
You can check multiple keywords, unlimited domains, 3 or more competitors and almost 3 users can access the dashboard depending on the plan.
AccuRanker says that content can be sorted in three categories: Hero – articles well written which are created for a bigger audience such as infographics or other interactive content, Hub – these are materials well-done, like guides or “how to” which are promoted before they are even finished and Hygiene – are materials created constantly dedicated to specific peoples.
Now you can have an idea what your competitor wants to do and how he approaches its public. You can even see how he interacts with them. In this major step, you should also sort content created by competitors in content which attracts people and in content with does not attract people. In this case, you can even learn something useful and you can avoid the content type which does not attract people.
Next, you can sort the content which does not attract people in two different categories: first, the content which is not interesting and second, and the content which failed to attract people because marketing was not properly used.
The third step is to analyze your reports. Once you sorted out all the competitor’s content, you can use BuzzSumo, Ahrefs, AccuRanker and SEO Monitor to discover anything that is new on the internet regarding content. Also, you can find types of content, keywords, ranks, articles and so on.
Final step: Finding interesting niche or areas
Now, that you sorted and analyzed all your reports, you should find a new and interesting niche or areas that are not saturated with content. Once you find those, you should start creating content for that areas and niches increasing your content and you website’s quality.
WordPress Search Engine Optimization
There are several WordPress SEO tips and tricks specific just for WP Content Management System such as:
Proper WordPress settings
Use the WordPress settings properly. You need search engines to find your content because in WordPress it sends an automatic ping after each posted article and Google bots and other ones can easily index your website
Clean themes and plugins
Use themes and plugins only from trusted sources. There are many free themes you can find on the web, but some of them might contain malicious code, or hidden backlinks, that can cause problems for your website’s SEO. Google can penalize your site for hiding content or links.
Specific SEO plugins
Use specific SEO plugins which partially or fully automated processes and optimizations. Yoast or All In One SEO pack are great plugins to properly optimize each and every page of your website.
Create unique descriptions for each page in order to attract people to click your website when they search in Google. For this process, you can use the plugin WordPress SEO by Yoast.
Add Sitemap to Your Website
Write in robots.txt a code where you identify the sitemap of your WordPress website and stop search engine bots to index pages that are not public.
Use Google Webmaster Tools in order to create a proper Sitemap XML. You can also use XML Sitemap WordPress plugin to make the indexing process work faster.
Use Proper Headings
Many WordPress themes come with bad SEO, because the designers or developers who create them, do not care about search engines. Many times they use inappropriate headings for page titles. So instead the <h2> tags made you should use <h1>. Edit the single.php file in order to use <h1> which are limited for only one on a page.
Optimize your images by following a couple of steps:
- do not upload large images because the web page will slowly load;
- create and write the ALT attribute for each page;
- use an suggestive ALT attribute;
- use SEO Friendly Images to create ALT attributes automatically;
- for each image write the height and width attribute which lets browsers to load the rest of the content before downloading the images;
- write a proper name to your images
External and internal links
Use external links by making link exchanges, banner exchanges, guest posts, directory entries and so on. Use internal links offering the homepage’s page rank to another page of your website.
Cache Your Website
Optimize your loading speed caching your website with W3 Total Cache plugin. Certainly you can use other caching plugins, however from my experience this works the best.
Now you should have all the basic information to optimize your WordPress site for Google and other search engines. Please note, that even with the best on-site optimization, it can go wrong if choosing a terrible host. I highly recommend reading my hosting reviews and find a good hosting provider that fits your budget and website needs.