Find in this article the best techniques to improve WordPress seo. In fact, WordPress has become over time more than just a blog engine: a full-fledged CMS that can also be set up as an e-commerce site!
12 steps to improve your WordPress SEO
1 – Keywords and long tail
Before optimizing the seo of WordPress, it is necessary to define the keywords on which one aims to improve the positioning of the site in the pages of results of Google.
Do not skip this step! The latest Google updates have radically transformed SEO into more global thinking, including working on the richness of semantic fields more than the brutal injection of keywords.
To simplify things, you have to reason with two types of keywords: the main ones and the long tail.
- The main keywords are those that you aim directly and have a high search volume. In general, if your referrer performs position statements, these are the keywords that he follows.
- The long tail is composed of often very long keywords (3 to 7 words or more) that have a marginal monthly search volume (less than 10 per month) and are therefore less predictable.
How to work with the long tail in seo with WordPress?
There are two axes:
- Work on many key keywords that cover all variants and synonyms
- Introduce as much content as possible so that Google can detect the long tail.
What will the long tail be used for? While each keyword variant has only a small amount of search traffic, the wide variety of the long tail makes it possible to increase the number of visitors who know what they want (their request being precise) and therefore convert better.
2 – The objectives? Relevance, precision, volume and semantic richness
To search for the best keyword phrases for better SEO of WordPress, you should give yourself the following goals:
- Relevance: Do not target keywords that are out of your business or even indirectly related.
- Precision: it is better to target a specific term than a too generic term. For example, “SEO WordPress” is more sensible than “SEO site”.
- Volume: understand that it is best to be positioned on a keyword that generates searches. On the other hand, it is better to favor the relevance than the volume.
- Semantic richness: work all the possible vocabulary around your keywords. For example: for “seo WordPress”, you should also consider working “SEO WordPress” and “improve the SEO of a WordPress site”. The attentive reader will see that I take advantage of these examples to place some of my words.
There are no small profits in SEO!
3 – The Google Adwords Keyword Generator
The Google Adwords keyword generator is a fantastic tool to the point that I use it almost every day. Originally it is used to prepare a campaign Google Adwords advertising keywords, but nothing prevents you to use it to optimize the SEO of your website in WordPress.
Good news: it’s 100% free, you just have to create a Google Adwords account.
Bad news: it is not precise and not very ergonomic. I gave you an example of research, the very one I implemented for the writing of this guide
4 – Analyze the keywords of content seen by Google
You will also be able to make the inventory of keywords indexed by Google on your site and possibly detect your strengths (the keywords on which you are very present) and those who are off topic (there are always).
To do this, go to the Google Search Console and go to the menu Search Traffic / Search Analysis.
5 – Optimize the title tag of WordPress pages
The title of a WordPress page or post is the one defined by the meta title tag (not to be confused with the h1 title). This is the most important of all tags for an SEO expert. The title of the home page must be particularly neat. For the record, the meta title of a web page (WordPress or other) is not visible in the content of the page.
It is visible in two places:
- In the browser: it gives the window its name.
- In search engine results pages: What interests us!
A good title will make you want to the surfer who does a search in Google to click on your result rather than another! In natural referencing, the title has a significant weight; you must position your keywords priority. Ideally integrate your keywords at the beginning of the title. Last point, the length of the title: it must not exceed fifty characters, otherwise Google truncates it. Small tip: do not put your mark in the title; it is of little use, unless you have a really strong mark, which will attract the click.
How to change the title tag of a page in WordPress?
The easiest way is to use the Yoast SEO plugin: WordPress SEO, which provides access to optimize the title of a page automatically or manually.
Make the effort to write your page titles by hand.
6 – Optimize the Meta tag description of WordPress pages
In the same vein as the title, you must heal your Meta description tag.
Unlike the title tag, the Meta description tag has no real weight in SEO. On the other hand to optimize its editorial is essential; it will be resumed if someone searches for your domain name. This is very common and the first text that will be seen by the user after the title in the Google results page will be this Meta description.
How to optimize the Meta tag description?
Here too, you have to use a plugin, Yoast WordPress SEO being the reference. This happens in the same place as for the title, click on the part where the Meta description is located to edit it. Maximum length: 156 characters.
Use numbers (percent, numbers, etc.) and special characters. For these, Google truncates them sometimes if they are put at the beginning of the Meta description. Test the indexed page once (search for your site) and modify it if necessary. To ensure the first time, I often put in the middle. You can easily find special characters at the following address: http://www.copypastecharacter.com/ Last but not least: Each Meta tag description must be different from one page to the next. Google reports duplicate tags in Google Search Console.
7 – Optimize the h1 title of a WordPress page
The title h1 of a WordPress page or post must be unique: it must appear only once on a page. Check it by displaying the code of the page online and search for “h1” if you have multiple occurrences, this is incorrect.
Some WordPress themes use for ease titles h1, h2, etc., as tools to style content (I saw h1 on logos …). If you are in this case, modify the theme, h1 duplicates are penalizing SEO WordPress. Then, put in a few key words, without excess. Keep in mind that this title will be read by your visitor, so you have to make it a commercially attractive editorial.
Last tip: the title should only be a few words; it’s not a complete paragraph!
8 – Format the permalinks under WordPress
The permalinks are the rewritten urls of the pages or posts of WordPress. Access: Settings / Permalinks This SEO optimization of WordPress is also used to make your visitors’ lives easier.
How to choose the right formatting of rewritten url?
I advise the shortest urls possible, without subdirectory. In general, such a site has only a few pages and the management of permalinks remains simple. Just remember that two different pages cannot have the same permalink.
You could use categories and subcategories, which make sense in a tree. What I do not like in this approach is the fact that if you change a category product, its direct url will be impacted. Similarly, products in multiple categories cause duplicate content.
Do you change the permalink of a category?
All posts urls are impacted. Even managing things with 301 redirects, you will arrive at stunts of 301, penalizing for the SEO of your WordPress site.
9 – Enter Alt tags for images
Optimizing alt tags is as old as SEO itself. This remains valid, but only for essential images (those that are part of the useful content of the page). Try to put a few key words, or even the wrong forms spelling (I think accents), without abusing. Except special cases alt tags are not visible, hence this tolerance. Vary them and play again the map of the semantic field. The weight of tags being less than the title or the h1 in SEO, you can use them to target lower priority keywords.
10 – Specify the permalinks of pages or articles
The previous settings made, you will have to optimize the url of your pages directly on the page where you edit it. Be careful, once a page or an article published, you must not change the url without redirecting the old to the new in 301.
Why not change the url of an old page?
You will suffer two negative consequences:
- The old url will be in 404, which is not good for the seo of WordPress.
- The backlinks pointing to this page will lose their weight … A good backlink can be very complicated to obtain, this loss is colossal! And if I REALLY need to change the url? Use the WordPress plugin: “SEO redirects“, which will allow you to specify which URL should be redirected and where it should be. Unlike Yoast WordPress SEO, this is page-by-page; this plugin can work on urls in 404 and even on generic rules. The free version is largely sufficient.
11 – Legging images with WordPress
In the same vein as alt tags, image captions are a source of optimization for both visitor comfort and natural referencing. The captions add a text under the image (it depends on the theme, but it is generally supported). This text is visible so you must use correct keywords … Here again, book this optimization images that deserve a legend! Do it correctly, you will add quality to the reading of your page. A visitor in a hurry will not read a block of text, but he will read the captions of the images.
12 – Integrating multimedia content
This is not a surprise for anyone but the web is not just text.
Never forget that Google is primarily trying to judge the quality of a content to know if it should reference. Providing anything other than indigestible text blocks will send Google a quality signal, which will improve your SEO WordPress.
Here are some simple ideas to improve your content:
- put pictures!
- integrate videos, it is likely that YouTube offers videos that will enrich your subject
- give your content in PDF format
- insert other files (sounds, presentations from SlideShare, etc.)
- summarize as tables (benefits / disadvantages, for example)
- Structure lists
- display quotes
- give simple numbers but with animations
- locate an address with Google Maps
Keep in mind that not all pages should receive such attention. Improve the SEO of your WordPress site by working primarily on the pages with information content.
In WordPress, the integration of multimedia content remains comfortable: use the “Add a media” button above the editing window of your post or WordPress page.
For my part I use a plugin that adds in this same place a toolbar (a little redundant with the WordPress menu): TinyMCE Advanced. It’s not vital, just more comfortable.