WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) in the world. A large part of the appeal lies in its user-friendliness and modular design. However, you may also have heard that it’s SEO-friendly.
While there’s no denying that developers have put thought into SEO, the fact remains that its focus is mainly on content management features. That means you need to be prepared to put in a lot more work to ensure a solid SEO strategy.
What is WordPress SEO?
SEO features that are native to WordPress go as far as offering a few features that you can tweak. For example, flexible permalinks that allow the creation of SEO-friendly URLs for posts and pages. Besides this, SEO will rely on some external factors.
One example is the theme that you choose for your WordPress site. Not all themes are equal, and those that are well-coded, fast, and responsive on various display formats are better for SEO.
Finally, we get to the big one – its ability to use third-party plugins that can help you enhance SEO. These options combine to make WordPress one of the most formidable choices when you want to build a website that’s well optimized for search quickly.
Whether you’re building your content or outsourcing this essential part of your WordPress website, SEO optimization is a must before any content is published. Omitting content optimization can result in expensive content going to waste.
8 Actionable WordPress Tips for Content Optimization
There is a lot of ground to cover for WordPress SEO, and today, we’re going to share some of the ways you can improve your content to improve your search rankings. Before you dive in, though, remember that optimizing content for search isn’t the same as creating content that sells.
When it comes to improving SEO for WordPress content, the golden rule is to have a strong inclination towards better content quality.
1. Use Clear Titles and Subheads
Search engines have to scan and index a massive number of web pages regularly. Because of this, well-structured content can help them understand and rank your content more accurately. We may see content from a topical standpoint, but search engines rely on titles and headings.
For example, compare the two following headings;
“What Comes Next?”
“What to Do After Opening the Front Panel?”
While the first heading may do well for humans reading the article, it doesn’t assess well in search algorithms. There is little context, and articles using headings like this may lose out compared to those using headings like the second one.
2. Describe Each Content Page with Meta Description Tags
Caption: Search results include descriptions of the page content, which is from your Meta tag.
If you conduct a search and observe the results, you will notice that each comes with a brief text. That text comes from the meta description tag of the content page. While it has minimal impact on SEO, Meta tags help improve your chances of getting a click on the search result.
Meta description tags are embedded in the HTML code for each page. To make your life easier, use a plugin that will allow you to provide a simple text description as the Meta directly. Many SEO plugins like Yoast have this feature included.
Keep your Meta description within 140 to 160 characters long. Meta descriptions that run too long will be truncated and not look as nice in search results.
3. Attribute Rich Elements Properly
Caption: Remember to complete images by filling out image attributes.
Rich elements such as Images add to the “weight” of a page and affect loading speed. However, make sure you don’t overoptimize for speed by neglecting to add these crucial elements to your content. They help improve SEO by increasing user engagement and improving readability.
Do note, though, that images need proper formatting to maximize value. Using an image to improve content quality isn’t as simple as uploading something that looks pretty. One good way to use images is to help visually clarifies what may be complex to describe in words.
Images must also;
- Be well-optimized to reduce the impact on page load speed
- Have image name, title, and alt text attributes
4. Use a WordPress SEO Plugin
While the over-usage of plugins is generally frowned upon, SEO plugins can offer a lot of value. This value is especially apparent for WordPress website owners that have little SEO experience. The plugins can act as a temporary “quick fix” while you learn on the go.
WordPress SEO plugins vary in capability, but most top brands offer a pretty comprehensive set of features. Yoast, one of the most famous names in the WordPress SEO plugin space, is an excellent example of this.
Generally, SEO plugins provide convenient fields you can complete for each post you create. It uses this information to embed the necessary codes within the post, making the SEO process more user-friendly.
Some of the things they can make more convenient include;
- Add Meta titles and descriptions
- Analyze content for readability
- Internal link management
- Better taxonomy control
And more. However, some of the plugins may have security issues like PWA, just make sure you are using the updated version of WordPress plugins to secure yourself.
5. Implement Schemas for Your Posts
Caption: Schemas help Google get the exact information it needs to fill various knowledge areas.
Schema makeup is code that helps search engines better assess your content. It’s a way of structuring information to present it to search engines in a very systematic and clear-cut manner.
Let’s take a widespread element as an example, a post with a product review. For this particular schema, you need to provide information like brand, category, color, dimensions, and more. All this helps very clearly define various web pages for search engines.
There are many ways you can make use of schemas with your WordPress content. For example, the Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg plugin offers various schemas, such as How-to and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
Some dedicated plugins can also help you implement specific ones like product review schemas.
6. Assess the Competition
Building fantastic content isn’t just about doing what you know best. The Internet is an entirely connected digital space, and search engines need to weigh the merits of content on different websites. Just because you’ve chosen a popular topic to expand on doesn’t mean you’re the best at it.
If you find yourself struggling to rank for certain topics, it may be that your competition is simply doing it much better. One way of improving the SEO potential for your content is to ensure that you do a comprehensive competitor analysis for content.
The process for this can vary depending on your preference. It could be as simple as giving the once-over for top blogs or websites in the same space. A more comprehensive review could include a complete technical assessment to see what makes those sites tick.
Tools can help with competitor analysis in various ways;
- The Bitcatcha performance test tool
- Comprehensive SEO tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush
- Content-focused SEO tools like Buzzsumo
7. Mind Your Language
For smaller website operations, owners produce their content themselves to try and keep costs more manageable. While this is an excellent start, there are essential pitfalls to avoid when doing so.
For the untrained, we often write the way we speak, which isn’t ideal. Written content should be worded and structured in specific ways. However, even that is slightly more advanced in nature. The pitfalls referred to can be as basic as language elements; spelling, grammar, punctuation, and related areas.
While it isn’t possible to increase the quality of your language overnight, again, some tools can help immensely.
- Grammar checkers like Grammarly can help oversee your language quality
- The Hemingway App can help improve content readability
- Plugins like Yoast also offer language improvement suggestions
8. Have Clear Objectives in Mind
Each post and page on your blog should have a clear purpose. While it may seem that many top blogs simply have massive amounts of content, most of the time, these are well-structured within sales funnels.
Our objective is often to make a sale (or the logical equivalent of one). That means the sales funnel applies directly to our content models. To understand how this works, you need to have some familiarity with the mindset of consumers.
The way that they search for things can be a strong implication of their intent. Each search type will be for a specific purpose, such as informational, transactional, or commercial. Once you understand the intent, you can construct your content funnel to lead them from one intent to another.
An example of this would be someone who’s searching for information about WiFi routers. Once they land at your informational page, it should have the correct flow to lead them to possible choices, from which you can then make a sale.
The list of areas you can focus on for content optimization is long and distinguished. The result can often be an overwhelming experience for new WordPress site owners. Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to do everything; it can be a gradual improvement.
Take the time to experiment, making minor adjustments to formats as you go. Then, observe results to see what works best for you. Remember that search algorithms also evolve, so what works today may fail tomorrow. It’s an ongoing challenge that even the best SEO gurus have to face.