WordPress SEO Tips to Boost Your Search Rankings

WordPress SEO Tips to Boost Your Search Rankings

July 8, 2019 0 By david

In fact, with the 5 quick WordPress SEO tips you’re about to learn, you’ll see improved rankings in just a few weeks…

And you can do most of them in less than 10 minutes.

Sound exciting? Good! Let’s dive right in.

Before I get into the details, I wanted to give you a quick overview of everything we’re going to cover:

  1. Improve your site speed
  2. Optimize for mobile
  3. Delete thin content
  4. Ensure all your images have alt text
  5. Review your site structure and internal linking

Note: This post assumes you already have a basic understanding of SEO and are already applying SEO best practices, like keyword research and on-page optimization. If you’re not, learn those first!

On to your WordPress SEO tips!

1. Improve your WordPress site speed

Site speed is important for a lot of reasons. People will tend to leave if a site takes longer than 3 seconds to load, for one.

But it’s also important to Google.

Contrary to popular belief, Google doesn’t reward fast sites – they penalize slow ones. So if your site is slow, speeding it up can remove the penalty and improve your rankings.

You can check your site speed using a tool like Pingdom. However, it’s more accurate to check your speed in Google Analytics, if you have it set up.

(If not, definitely set it up – it’s really easy and gives you a lot of awesome data on your site.)

To find your site speed in Google Analytics go to Behavior → Site Speed → Overview.

WordPress SEO Tips: Improve Page Load Speed

You’ll probably see a high number here – don’t freak out. This isn’t the time it takes for the above the fold content to load (which is what most of your visitors care about), but rather how long it takes for everything on the page to load, including backend code.

Now, here are two quick tips to improve your WordPress site speed in less than 10 minutes:

  1. Install and set up one of the popular caching plugin.
  2. Compress and reupload any huge image files on your site.
  3. Get a better hosting provider (we recommend SiteGround).

Now, #2 could take a long time to do if you have a lot of images. But it’s one of the best and easiest ways to speed up your site for better search rankings.

Once you take these steps, check your site speed again on Pingdom – you should see a significant increase! If not, you may need to hire a developer to help with the more complex speed issues (or try these steps).

2. Optimize your WordPress site for mobile

Mobile has long overtaken desktop in the number of users browsing online. And it’s only going to continue increasing as phones get better and voice search improves.

Google knows that. And they reward mobile-friendly sites with better rankings.

It makes sense – Google’s goal is to provide the absolute best experience for the end user. Obviously, viewing a mobile site on a mobile device is going to provide the best experience.

Here’s an example on one of my sites (ignore the orange in the left screenshot – I had blue light blocking turned on at the time):

Mobile friendly example

See how the image was centered so the text didn’t get forced left align? Makes it so much easier to read (and way less ugly)!

So how do you make your site mobile friendly?

The easiest way is to choose a mobile friendly WordPress theme. But if you don’t want to change themes, you can read this guide to mobile-optimizing your website.

3. Delete and redirect thin content

Thin content is any page on your site that’s under 300 words long and doesn’t provide clear value to the reader.

The reason we want to delete thin content is that it doesn’t provide any benefit. If you think of your site as a farm, and Google’s “SEO juice” as your farm’s water, you want the water going to the right places.

If you have a lot of dead weight pages, you’re basically watering dead plants. Instead, uproot those plants and keep your water going to the plants already performing well, so they can perform even better.

Rather than trying to explain how to find thin content and what to do with it, I’ll just point you to this guide by Lee Wilson and continue with my WordPress SEO tips.

Word of Warning: It can be difficult to determine whether content is “thin” or not if your site is an e-commerce, since many product pages will be under this word count. So be careful!

4. Ensure all your images have alt text

Did you know that Google image search accounts for 10.1% of all Google’s search traffic?

Adding alt text to images is a super easy and simple way to take advantage of some of that traffic.

Plus, Google uses alt text to determine the topic of a page, so it can even help your search rankings on non-image search.

To find all the images on your site lacking alt text, you can use a tool like Screaming Frog. The free version won’t show you all of them, but it will show you a good chunk.

5. Review your site structure and internal linking

Your site’s navigation is hugely important to SEO. Google gives the highest ranking authority to those pages in your navigation, since they are linked to from essentially every page on your site.

Remember the farming analogy? Adding internal links to important pages is like adding another stream of water to that crop. The more internal links, the more water it gets.

Make sure your navigation is clean, and don’t link to more than 5-15 of your absolute most important pages.

If you aren’t sure which pages are your most important, just look at your analytics to see which pages get the most traffic. (Or you could just do a gut check – you know which pages you put the most effort into.)