Search engine optimization has been around for decades, but there are still a lot of people who don’t know how to optimize their websites. If you’re in this group, then take my word for it: WordPress SEO is easy to understand once you know what the basics are. In this article I’ll walk you through 10 tips that will help improve your rankings on search engines like Google and Bing by providing good content and structuring your site so that it’s easy for users to find what they need when they want it.
Use the Yoast SEO plugin to improve WordPress SEO
Yoast SEO is a free WordPress plugin that has a ton of features to help you optimize your content. It can help you write better meta descriptions and titles, find duplicate content, find broken links (which can be fixed by updating or moving them), and even look for internal linking opportunities.
Yoast SEO also has an inbuilt feature called “Sitemap” which creates a sitemap for your site that Google uses to determine the quality of websites in its search results pages (SERPs). The Yoast plugin will automatically generate this sitemap for any new blog posts or pages on your website—no more typing in those long URLs!
Use H1 and H2 Heading Tags to Structure Your Content
You’re already familiar with the importance of headings, but did you know that they can also be a great way to structure your content?
- Use H1 tags to introduce your content. These are used at the top of each page and are typically used for main topics or important information in your post.
- Use H2 tags for breaking up long pages into smaller chunks of text. If you have an article that’s longer than usual, use this heading level as an opportunity to break it up into smaller sections so readers don’t get lost while scrolling through paragraphs full of text!
- Use headings 3-5 levels deep (H3-H5) as sub headlines throughout each section within an article or blog post—this will help identify where you’re going next based on how much time has passed since starting out reading about something new!
Tag Your Images Appropriately
Tag your images appropriately. Your alt text should be 100 characters or less, and it should describe the image and not the keyword. For example, if you have an image of a running shoe on the front page of your website, then use “shoe” as your alt text instead of “running.”
Make sure that each image has its own unique title tag (or meta description). This will help Google understand what each image is about so they can rank them properly in search results.
Write Descriptive URLs
The first step in SEO is to make sure your URLs are descriptive.
For example, if you have a blog about WordPress themes, the best URL might be [your-blog-name].wordpress.com (or similar). But if you’re writing an article about how to optimize your site for search engines and keywords, then it would be better to use something like [how-to-optimize-your-website].
To ensure that search engines pick up on this information and index it properly, avoid using special characters like underscores or dashes at the end of your URLs. Instead use hyphens between words—for example “howtovideooptimizeyourwebsite” instead of just “video”.
Add alt text to all images & optimize for specific keywords
Alt text is a text alternative for images. It’s used by screen readers and search engines to determine if an image is relevant to the content, so it should be descriptive, not just a description of your image.
For example: “This is an illustration of a person using their smartphone.” The keyword here would be “smartphone.”
If you have an image with alt text but no title or other metadata (like tags), then Google will use your alt text in its ranking algorithm—so make sure to add this information!
Enable breadcrumbs in Yoast (in the internal linking tab) and use only 1 keyword per URL
Breadcrumbs are a navigation tool that helps visitors understand where they are on your site. They use hierarchical subcategories to show the path a visitor should take to reach another part of your site.
You can use breadcrumbs in Yoast (in the internal linking tab) and only one keyword per URL. This will help search engines understand what type of content you have on each page, which will help them discover more relevant content for their users.
Breadcrumb hierarchy should be consistent across all pages of your site so users can easily navigate from one page to another without having any trouble finding their way around:
Review your existing content for opportunities to add internal links
Internal links are the bread and butter of SEO, as they tell Google that you have relevant content. They’re also important for user experience: if your site doesn’t have enough internal links, users may get lost trying to find their way around.
To check your existing content for opportunities to add internal links, use the [WordPress SEO Checklist] as a guide. If you want more information on how this process works in detail, read our article “How To Create Internal Links In WordPress.”
Enable social sharing within your posts
Social sharing is a great way to spread the word about your content. It’s more effective than Google AdWords, Bing Ads, or any other advertising.
Social sharing has two main benefits:
- It helps people find out about your site and what you have to offer
- It increases traffic to your website
Create & update sitemaps so Google knows about all of your pages
One of the most important aspects of SEO is creating and updating sitemaps. A sitemap is a list of all your posts, pages, and images that can be used by Google when they index your site. This allows them to see exactly what content you have on each page so they know where it belongs within their search results.
Creating & Updating a Sitemap
To create a WordPress sitemap for your blog: Go to Settings > Reading > Sitemaps and hit “Add New” in the left-hand side menu dropdown menu (you may need to scroll down). In this section will be fields for URL, Title/Keywords/Description etc., which we’ll go over later in this guide but for now just leave them as default values unless otherwise specified by someone else who has access over here!
Taking these steps can help improve your search rankings.
While using Yoast SEO plugin to improve your rankings is a good start, there are other things you can do too.
- Use H1 and H2 heading tags correctly. Use an alt text for images (this will help Google know what the image is about). You should also check that you’re not using too many subheads on a page, which can confuse users and cause them to lose interest in reading it.
- Check for broken links across your site using Moz Local Search’s Detailed Analysis tool or Ahrefs Site Explorer plugin.*
I’m sure these tips will make a difference for your website, but if it doesn’t then don’t worry! There are many other ways to improve your search engine rankings.