Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the practice of ensuring that your website receives more relevant traffic through the unpaid or organic search engine results. The internet has thousands of articles on SEO ranging from on-page and off-page optimization techniques, technical SEO, etc. Deciding which technique to follow can be overwhelming even for the experienced user. In this article, we will try to approach the SEO challenges faced by WordPress websites and some tips on effectively solving them.
Using an appropriate theme for your website
Most site owners do not take SEO into consideration while choosing a theme for their WordPress website. Usually, the factors taken into consideration are the design, popularity, attractiveness (customer-appeal), or similar factors which seem like definite aspects for success. However, a wrong theme can have an adverse impact on the SEO of your site.
So, what is the wrong theme?
A theme that is not synchronous with the nature of your website, not updated regularly, or has poorly written code can slow down the website. This can cause performance issues which can affect your SEO rankings. Therefore, ensure that you use an SEO-friendly theme for your website.
WordPress websites derive a lot of power from plugins. There are thousands of plugins to choose from – both free and premium. Most WP users tend to install multiple plugins including those which they rarely/never use, making the website heavier and resource-intensive while increasing its loading time. This impacts the user experience and the site’s ranking. Therefore, it is important to install only those plugins which are required by your site.
A sitemap is a list of pages on a website allowing users and search engines to navigate the site easily. Search engines use sitemaps to crawl and index websites allowing the content to be ranked. While a basic WordPress website does not offer many features, when you use any SEO plugin, you get the option of enabling sitemaps. However, merely creating a sitemap is not enough. You need to submit it to the Google Search Console so that the search engine can recognize your sitemap and rank the content.
Overdoing internal/external links
Most SEO experts will tell you to add links to your content – both internal (to other posts on your own website) and external (to posts on other websites). There are many themes which offer pre-set links to help site owners with this process. However, there are two primary issues that must be kept in mind:
- Putting too many links – which can distract the reader and make them leave your site. Under any circumstance resist the urge of inserting too many links.
- Irrelevant links – which can come across as spam to the user. The relevance of the links to the content is important.
Some other challenges and tips
- Wrong Schema, which can confuse Google and impact your visibility and rankings.
- If the images on your site are not named properly with adequate descriptions, then your site’s accessibility, functionality, and visibility can get affected.
- Permalinks must include the post name and category as it allows the users and search engines to understand what the link is about.
- Ensure that you don’t use the same H1 tags for multiple posts on your website. This can make search engines averse to your site.
- Try not to stuff your posts with unnecessary tags. Google identifies content with multiple common tags and flags them as duplicate content. This can impact the SEO of your site.
Regardless of the scale of your business, SEO can help you define your position in the online market and drive relevant traffic to your website. However, the technical aspects of your site must also be in sync with your SEO efforts for maximum results. This is where web hosting plays a crucial role. WordPress Hosting plans offer maximum uptimes, automatic updates of the plugins, themes, and WP-core, scalability of resources to manage traffic spikes and integrate CDN and caching servers for blazing fast page load speeds. All these factors contribute to a better site performance which helps you drive better results from your SEO efforts. Good Luck!