WordPress Plugins And SEO Tips
September 2017 | By Farzana Irani, Web Consultant at iAdControl.com
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) available, and it's used to power millions of different types of websites. It has grown to be much more than just a simple blogging platform and is capable of powering a range of different functionality.
However, the default installation of WordPress isn't optimised for search engines. You will have to do some work to ensure that all pages are optimised. Here are a few plugins and tips to help improve your website's SEO ranking.
For SEO purposes, page titles and page file names allow search engines to understand the relevancy of your page with the initial part of the title having the most important keywords and phrases. The keywords should be made use of in the most natural and user-friendly manner.
The first thing you should do is to change your permalink settings. The default option creates a URL using the "Post ID."
Because the Post ID doesn't tell search engines what the page is about, it's much better to include keywords in the URL. Therefore, you should select the "Post name" option in the Settings > Permalinks menu in the WordPress interface.
You should also remove any stop words from your page file name URL, i.e. of, or, the, etc. This can be done either manually when creating a post or a page, or automatically by using a plugin. After removing the stop words and selecting Post name, you should be left with:
WordPress SEO Plugins
When publishing posts or pages, you cannot easily edit the meta tag information. Install a plugin such as Yoast SEO or All In One SEO to easily optimise the meta tags and various other useful SEO elements.
The title tag is important for SEO, and you should use your keywords for the title of your page or post. Most search engines no longer use the meta description as a way to rank websites. However, the meta description is used by most search engines to display a summary of your website in their search results. Therefore, it's important to write a description that will encourage potential visitors to click on the link to your website and for every page of your of your website.
The meta keywords tag, for instance, hasn't been used by search engines for many years. In some cases, using them can also lead to a penalty and do more harm than good.
Find out more about page title tags when it comes to SEO and website accessibility.
Website Speed Plugin
Page speed is an important factor for SEO because it's used directly as a ranking factor for search engines and can negatively affect visitor satisfaction. The slower the website, the higher the bounce rate. If your bounce rate is too high, it will also affect your SEO listings on Google.
One of the biggest things you can do to speed up your website is to install a caching plugin such as W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache. Both plugins will serve static HTML to your visitors, which will drastically improve page loading times.
There is also GZip Ninja Speed Compression plugin, which allows you to compress and GZip your website, in turn increasing your ranking.
Large images can slow down your website. Slow loading times will increase the bounce rate, which is also used to determine the rank of your website.
Ensure that you keep your file sizes as small as possible by saving images in the size you want them displayed on your website. Reducing images to web-friendly quality when saving, will ensure that file sizes are kept to a minimum.
You should also use combinations of your keywords in the file name and alt tags of your images. This helps both visitors and search engines to understand what your content is about. By using your keywords in the title and alt tags, your images will also show up in search results, which can also help to bring some traffic to your website. Alt tags can be easily updated in the Media Library by selecting individual images.
Duplicate content is bad for SEO, and WordPress is full of duplicate content that needs to be fixed. If you publish a post, a summary of that post will be published in a number of places, including author archives, category archives, date archives, and the homepage or blog listing page, which displays your latest posts.
Ensure that WordPress isn't duplicating your posts by using the excerpt for summaries of your posts instead of displaying a summary, which is taken directly from the beginning of your page or post. Use a plugin such as Yoast SEO to ensure that your archive pages are not indexed by search engines.
More to come, watch this space...