Having an online presence is now a requirement for any business regardless of whether they sell products and services online or not. But having a presence is not what determines their success. In order to rank on google, business owners must optimise their website for traffic. Most websites worldwide are built with WordPress as it is the most customisable and SEO Friendly. In this article we will take a look at how you can optimise your wordpress website for better ranking in Google’s search results.
SEO for wordpress
If you want to rank on Google, you need to start thinking On-Page optimisation. Google ranks websites based on multiple factors and Core Web Vitals is one of them. This means that you must start looking at your On-page SEO continuously to keep sending good signals to Google Brain.
Before you jump onto your WordPress backend and start fiddling around, you need to have a plan and a SEO plugin which will be very useful in providing insights aligned with basic SEO guidelines as well as some technical advantages which we will see below in this article.
On-Page SEO checklist to rank on Google
There are a few different tasks you must accomplish to optimise your website for traffic. We will have a look at the items listed below:
- Compress images for wordpress
- Image Alt-text
- Seo plugin in wordpress backend
- Products descriptions
- Content writing for websites
- What is SEO for blogs?
- Cache and CDN plugin for WordPress
- Checking your Core Web Vitals
- Page and posts slugs
- Page and posts snippets
- Enabling rich content (schema for SEO)
- Check your sitemap settings
- Mobile SEO
- Pagespeed insights
- Internal links for SEO
Compress images for WordPress
When creating your content, you are often tempted to directly upload your high quality images to your media library and display them on your website. These crisp and beautiful images often weigh a lot and can become a primary cause of long page loading times.
A free online resource you can use to compress your images without compromising on quality is TinyPNG or TinyJPG. The free version allows you to simultaneously compress up to 20 photos for a maximum size of 5mb per photo. To make sure that your images are under 5mb, I would advise to use the JPEG format and resize your photos before uploading.
You don’t need a 1000×1000 pixels image for a logo for example. In most cases logo files are from 150 pixels up to 500 pixels wide.
Even images can rank on Google. Have you done a Google search before and looked up the image results? These images appear in the search results because they contain the keyword you have queried in their Alt-Text.
Before using an image on your website or in your blog post, you need to insert the Alt-text . You can do this by opening your media library and inserting the desired keyword in the Alt-text field.
Seo plugin in wordpress backend
Having a SEO plugin is extremely useful especially if you find it difficult to keep up with all the regular Google algorithm updates. Plugin creators will usually update their plugins to keep them updated with the latests Google updates to give the best recommendations to their users.
Our favourite is RankMath Pro. RankMath offers a lot of options for free while other SEO plugins require you to get a PRO version to access the best functionalities. Of course, we purchased the PRO version of RankMath as it is relatively cheap considering the tremendous help it provides for our SEO campaigns.
The PRO version of RankMath allows us to have analytics for our keywords and our ranking directly in our WordPress dashboard. There are a lot of advantages of the PRO plugin but the best feature is definitely the support for the structured data, which adds Schema code in your website, resulting in rich search results, better CTR and more traffic.
If you have a WooCommerce store and want your products to also rank on Google then you are going to need to start writing product descriptions which are optimised with the relevant keywords.
A good practice for your product descriptions to work towards optimising your website for traffic is to write original content. Content will always be king. Avoid copy pasting manufacturers descriptions in your products descriptions; This is the best way to shoot a bullet in your own leg.
Write a compelling copy with buyer intent and keywords in mind. Think of information your clients would want to have about the products. Create a bullet point list for certain characteristics to make it easy to scan through. A good length for your copy would be anywhere between 500-650 words to make sure Google does not flag your product page as “Thin content”.
Content writing for websites
Each page of your WordPress website can be optimised with specific keywords. Usually, landing pages and contact pages do not have a lot pf content by default. However, you can be creative and use some keywords to try and rank these pages.
The most important pages to optimise with proper content writing is your services page/s. You need to research at least 4-5 keywords for each services page including 1 focus keyword. These are the keywords you want to rank for. For example, if you have a cleaning company, you could use the focus keyword “cleaning company in mycityname” and other keywords like “office cleaning”, “residential cleaning”, “deep cleaning” and “carpet cleaning”.
You can enter your keywords directly into RankMath (a plugin for SEO for WordPress) while editing your content and the plugin will give you clear guidelines on how to direct your content writing for the best results.
What is SEO for blogs?
Just like with pages, blogs articles writing follow the same principle. Blogs are still among the best ways to rank on google. If you want to up your SEO game for your blogs, then make sure you do your keyword research and include these as well as multiple synonyms and related keywords in your content.
A tip for the best sustainable results: keep optimising your articles. If you have updates, add to your article. Google likes thorough articles which go into detail. Keep researching keywords related to your blog and as you find new ones find ways to insert these in your blog while keeping your copy natural.
Cache and CDN plugin for WordPress
If you test your website on GTmetrix, you will see that one of the pre-requisites for a good score is to have a CDN setup. A CDN is a content delivery network and usually a CDN plugin will also offer cache options.
We have been using nitropack and it has given us amazing results so far. Nitropack optimises your WordPress pages, caches them and also provides a CDN service. Your website will be lightning fast through all major parts of the world.
Checking your Core Web Vitals
A major ranking factor on Google is the core web vitals. The core web vitals which are representative of your website performance based on 3 measurements: Largest contentful paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
Largest contentful paint (LCP)
This is the time that the larget element on the page takes to load. Generally, this will be a video or an image. Your LCP should be below 2.5 seconds to be considered good.
First Input Delay (FID)
This is the measurement of how interactive your content is. This is measured by calculating the time it takes from the moment a website visitor clicks on any button or link or any other element until the browser responds to that interaction. A good range for FID would be under 100ms.
Cumulative layout shifts (CLS)
This metric is linked to user experience. It provides a score based on the shifting elements on your website, such as popups or slideshows. Having a Popup appear on top of another clickable element a a certain time might cause a user to click on it by accident. This type of element shift contributes to potential bas user experience.
A good CLS score is 0 and the more shifting elements you have the greater your score.
Page and posts slugs
As you create your new pages and new posts, make sure that you are using page slugs which are relevant. A good practice is to head to settings>permalinks and make sure you choose “post name”.
This way, your pages and posts will automatically take on the title you give to it. You can also edit the slug to something different if you wish to. =This option is available on the “quick edit” option under each post and page on the Post tab and the Pages tab.
Page and posts snippets
When you are done writing your copy, you need to make sure that your audience see the most relevant information about your pages when they rank on Google. To do this, you will need to write a summary of your page with your keywords in the snippet on the RankMath tab.
Enabling rich content (schema for SEO)
RankMath also provides the possibility of creating rich content for Google. Rich content can get your content rank ‘0’ meaning your result appears before the page or post which is ranked #1. Google will extract the data from your post/page and display it at the top.
To enable rich content and optimise your website for traffic, you need to apply the right schema markup. This can easily be done in RankMath plugin.
Check your sitemap settings
Having optimised your pages is great. Now you also want Google to crawl them and eventually rank them and what Google needs for this is a sitemap. Make sure you are including all your relevant content in your sitemaps and excluding the pages which are irrelevant and could get you penalised because of thin content. An example of such pages would be cart pages, shop archive pages, ‘my account’ pages.
It is very easy to mark a page “Noindex”. Head over to the page on the pages tab, click on “quick edit” and tick the checkbox “noindex”.
SEO for WordPress has taken a totally new direction since most website visitors now use mobile phones for browsing. To make sure your website will rank on Google, it needs to be mobile friendly.
We use Elementor Pro which is the best tool when it comes to WordPress customisation. With Elementor Pro, you will be able to customise your mobile website version seamlessly and it also integrates RankMath directly in the page builder which makes it extremely easy to work on your SEO as you design your website and insert your content.
If you have followed all the above suggestions, you should have a website which performs well. One way for you to verify your score is to try Google Pagespeed insights. Head to the page, paste your URL and hit ENTER.
You will get a detailed view of how your website is performing according to Google’s calculations and you will also see which elements you can look into to improve your score.
Internal links for SEO
The last thing you need to work on your SEO for WordPress is to make sure you create internal links for your content. Choose your pillar content carefully. This will usually be your services page and be very long and detailed content. You need to show your audience and Google that you are an expert in your field.
Then, create multiple blog articles to break down your services or even about related articles. You will then be able to interlink these blogs as well as link some of the directly to the services pages (pillar content).
this will show search engines the correlation between all your pages and you will have a better chance to rank on Google.
Optimising your website is key for your business online success. If you need help, our team is available for a free call.
Get in touch! We can help!