6 Hacks For Nailing Your WordPress SEO
WordPress powers 32% of the internet, but SEO underwrites 100% of it. Having a well-optimized website is the difference between being on page one of Google, and being nowhere. These six hacks will help you nail your WordPress SEO strategy and get you ranking in no time.
Recommended Read: SEO Friendly Blog Writing Tips for Beginners
Activate you Breadcrumbs
A breadcrumb trail lets you guide people back to a source. In SEO, the principle is the same — breadcrumbs help users and search engines piece your site and its content back together.
The SEO benefits of using breadcrumbs are:
- They make it easier to guide users through your website
- They direct keywords to relevant pages
- They strengthen the internal linking structure of your website
Some premium WordPress themes have a built-in function for breadcrumbs. Check your theme and see if breadcrumbs are supported. If not you can use your Yoast plugin – this article explains how to do it.
There are three main types of breadcrumb:
- Hierarchical breadcrumbs: these explain where you are on a website and how far away from the homepage you are
- Attribute-driven breadcrumbs: these most commonly relate to product attributes on ecommerce websites
- Historical breadcrumbs: these are a historical record. They list where you have been on a website
To find out more about the SEO benefit of breadcrumbs, watch the video underneath:
Use the Skyscraper Technique
Links are one of the most important parts of SEO. They improve the authority of your website and drive more traffic to it. One of the best hacks to get the most from links is to use the skyscraper technique. Why? Because it lets you profit from other high ranking content.
It’s simple to use the skyscraper technique; all you need to do is follow these steps:
- Find a piece of content that’s gained lots of links. If you’re not sure how to do this, I recommend using Ahrefs. It’s a great SEO tool that lets you see the link profile of any piece of content
- Improve on the original by adding something new. This could be thickening out the current content, or adding a fresh idea, data, opinion etc.
- Promote your asset. Running it through the same sites as your source content is one method. However, a great hack is to use forums (such as Reddit). Doing this puts it in front of engaged readers who like talking about their passions. Win-win.
Using this strategy is a quick and dirty way of boosting the SEO standing of your WordPress site. With a few tools and a little will, you can steal the best bits from your peers.
Install the Yoast Plugin
Plugins are one of the great pulls of WordPress. With countless developers working across the globe, there’s a plugin for everything. The easiest and best hack for nailing your WordPress SEO is to install the Yoast plugin.
Yoast has a host of great features:
- Readability check
- Google preview of your pages
- Keyword optimization
- Ability to set canonical tags
One of the best features is a bi-weekly update to match the latest Google algorithm. This is key because your website can be negatively impacted by Google updates. Why? Because Google may decide what was once good SEO practice no longer flies.
The premium version of Yoast has even more:
- Suggestions for internal links
- Ability to CSV export your keywords
- Keyword and phrase matcher
Adding this plugin to your WordPress site means you can review and improve your SEO. This makes Yoast a hack for today, tomorrow, and long into the future. For more information on how add and use Yoast, check out the video below:
Add Alt Text to All of Your Images
WordPress can’t do everything for you but it does make almost anything brutally simple for you. Each time you add an image to your WordPress website you can add alt-text. You don’t have to go anywhere to find it, it’s right in front of you – see below:
This isn’t a vanity thing to make George happy. It’s a way of giving Google more information about your images. This is important because Google can’t read images. By adding alt-text to them you can rank for your keywords. By not adding alt-text you miss a chance to optimize your images for SEO.
Make Sure You’re using an SEO Friendly Theme
WordPress has a vast array of free themes. Many of these are nice visually and this matters to your site visitors. However, few of them are good for SEO and using them may be an anchor for your rankings. Why? Because they may not be as fast, secure, or responsive as Google likes.
A simple way to get around this is to use a premium WordPress theme. These are designed to tick the SEO boxes Google places upon themes. Along with the point I mentioned above, this includes:
- Clean content ordering
- Simple site navigation
- Proper semantic markup
- Use of HTML5
- Working across all browsers
A top hack for finding a good theme is to look at the reviews. UGC is as reliable as recommendations from your friends and family, so value positive/negative comments highly.
Make Your Site a Plugin Baby, not Plugin Crazy
I said before that the plugins on WordPress rock, and they do. But tread carefully. While you might be tempted be to add every useful one you see, don’t. Fattening your website with plugins will slow it’s speed to a crawl. This will dilute your website’s SEO.
Google has stressed that their algorithm takes site speed into account when ranking a page. The reason for this is people will wait just seconds for a page to load. Google exists to give the best search results and as it’s users value speed, your plugin crazy site will be penalized.
Getting to the top of Google’s rankings is a difficult and ongoing process. Make your life as easy as possible by putting these six SEO hacks into practice.
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