WordPress is arguably the world’s largest and most popular content management system. It’s home to almost 30% of the websites on the Internet.
WordPress is popular for a number of reasons, not least of which is the fact that it’s quite easy to use and navigate. It also has SEO integration (to some extent) because it’s provided as part of the package right from the start.
But you can always add to the SEO strategies provided by the platform and we’ve written this article to help you do just that and to kickstart your 2019 with a bang!
Use Your Keywords in the Title and Header Tags
We all know that the most important rule when it comes to keywords is to integrate them naturally throughout the articles. This includes incorporating various keywords that are relevant to your topic instead of relying on the same keyword.
However, the positioning of your main keyword phrase is of the utmost importance. Naturally, this keyword phrase should be in the title tag as this will enable it to be featured in the URL. If you can, try to use this keyword in the first paragraph and in your headings as well.
Upload an XML Sitemap
XML sitemaps come highly recommended to keep your posts and pages neatly organised. This makes it easier to find new content whenever you post it and your overall system will become more efficient.
Luckily, you don’t have to be a computer expert to generate XML sitemaps. WordPress provides various plugins to serve this purpose and they all work automatically which means very little effort is required on your part. These plugins are so efficient that they’ll notify Google immediately when you add new content, thus simultaneously updating your sitemap.
The only thing you need to be aware of when it comes to sitemaps is that it’s easy to confuse them with your robots.txt.
Set Your Website Up with Google Search Console
Make sure to set up Google Search Console so you can get automatic SEO notifications and warnings for your website. You might be familiar with Search Console as Google Webmaster, which is the former name of this incredibly useful tool.
You’ll get notifications from Google whenever the search engine is having difficulty with indexing your content or accessing and crawling your site. Search Console is also where you’ll be notified of any penalties that your account is facing.
Other valuable information that you’ll access through the Search Console include the best keywords and links that work for your site so you know what to keep or remove for the best results.
Focus on the Right Content Length
There’s been a lot of debate lately on what the best length is for content. Some say that long-form articles are more effective while others favour short-form content.
Clearly, there’s no one size fits all when it comes to content size, and rankings depend on much more than that.
For the best results, try to focus on the quality of your content rather than the quantity. At this point, you should know what type of information your customers want and need. So focus on providing value instead of worrying about article length. The last thing you need is to churn out spun content with tons of “filler” words just to make the word count. That’ll chase away readers and damage your traffic.
Switch Your Website to HTTPS
Google announced last year that it would be prioritising websites that have HTTPS before the web address as that ensures security and reliability. This is especially important for websites that require visitors to provide personal information through opt-in boxes, contact forms and payment fields.
The best way to achieve this is by using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to fully encrypt all the information that goes through your website.
Google will even go as far as to place a “Not Secure” warning next to your website if its address is not preceded by HTTPS. This warning will show up every time someone visits a page that has a text input field.
We know that switching to HTTPS might be difficult for some people and if that sounds like you then you might want to contact us for help.
Optimise Your WordPress Website for Speed
Improving the speed at which your website pages load can go a long way to improve not only your ranking but your traffic as well.
To find out what your site speed is, simply use the PageSpeed Insights tool provided by Google. If your website pages are slow to load, then you’ll notice decreasing page visits, whereas fast loading pages can significantly increase traffic and engagement.
The best part about PageSpeed Insights is that it will provide you with solutions that you can readily apply to solve the problem of slow loading pages. Sometimes it’s something as simple as changing the image resolution or adding a plugin that will improve your site’s speed and clean-up problems.
You Will Still Need to Build Links in 2019
Link building is still a very relevant strategy for 2019. This includes both external and internal links which will help increase the number of visitors to various pages on your website, while lowering the bounce rate, increasing the time spent on each page, and views per page.
Link building won’t directly contribute to your rankings but it will help with user engagement and provide a significant boost to your website’s performance.
A successful SEO strategy in 2019 involves taking care of both the technical and tactical aspects of your website. You need to create outstanding content that connects and converts, while also focusing on link building, SSL optimisation and keyword research. If you are building a new website for your business, please check out our tips in this article.
You want your content and your website to attract quality leads and to get on that coveted top stop of the search engine results. If you’re already enjoying these results, then you should definitely continue with your current strategy because it’s working.
Otherwise, make sure to apply each of the tips mentioned above to make sure that your website is SEO ready this year.