WordPress SEO Checklist: 15 Tips to Improve WordPress Website Rankings

WordPress SEO Checklist: 15 Tips to Improve WordPress Website Rankings

WordPress is a popular CMS, and its popularity is increasing day by day. And the popularity is due to the ease of using it and the SEO friendliness. So, when you use WordPress, you can have an SEO friendly platform that helps you implement many SEO best practices.

So, let us go through 15 best SEO practices to rank your WordPress website higher in search engine results.

#1. Install an SEO-friendly WordPress Theme

It is not a good idea to install the first theme you see when you first install WordPress. By default, you will see the ‘Twenty Twenty’ theme. But, you are not constrained to use it because there are many better themes.

WordPress gives you thousands of free themes that are available on its dashboard. In addition, you can get many premium themes. All you need to do is, choose your theme carefully because many themes come with many scripts and plugins that you will not use. Moreover, such themes can slow down your website.

Before installing a theme, ensure that you run its demo through Google’s web.dev tool to get insights on potential performance and SEO issues.

#2.Install a Free WordPress SEO Plugin 

You have to install an SEO plugin before you start optimizing your website. You can use the following free SEO plugins:

#3. Check Search Engine Visibility Settings 

You should not fail to check the checkbox in WordPress that enables your website’s search engine visibility settings.

If you fail to do so, your website will not be search engine friendly as Google will not be able to index your pages. And if Google cannot index your pages, they cannot rank in search engine results.

#4. Set Preferred Domain 

Remember that Google looks at domain.com and www.domain.com separately. As such, you have to choose a preferred version for your website.

The involved method is simple. In the settings, you can do that by having the WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) to your preferred version.

However, the version does not matter if your website is new. But, if your pages are accessible at both URL versions, you should use the version with the most backlinks.

You have to plug them both into Ahrefs’ Batch Analysis tool to check their referring domains.

#5. Set Up Permalinks 

You can regard permalinks as the URL formats for your posts and pages. In this context, you should note the importance of the post name option. It is the most SEO-friendly because it helps:

  • Making apparent what the page is all about.
  • Keep URLs short to prevent them from truncating in the search results.

But, if you’re already using a different permalink structure, then changing it can result in broken pages.

#6. Require Manual Approval for Blog Comments 

Do not be influenced by the idea that spammy blog comments will not cause penalties or any negative SEO issues because they are ‘nofollowed’. But it is a wrong notion because they can cause some SEO issues.

However, WordPress provides a way out by mandating all blog comments to require manual approval.

#7. Ensure the Generation of a Sitemap 

Sitemaps play an essential role. Typically, they list the necessary posts and pages on the site to help search engines discover them. You can create a sitemap with the help of the Yoast SEO/ All in One SEO/ Rank Math tool. But, ensure that you turn the option on.

#8.Review Ranking Content 

The quality of your content is essential in your SEO campaign. Therefore, you should not undermine the quality. Instead, you should analyze your content to make sure that it will rank higher in search engine results. Moreover, you need to ensure that your content creates value for your target audience.

If you undermine the quality aspect of your content and create it blindly, such content will not work.

#9. Use SEMRUSH’s SEO Writing Assistant Tool for Creating Great Content 

Do not fail to install SEMRUSH’s SEO writing assistant before writing or optimizing your content across your site. The plugin will help you to write your content in an SEO-friendly way by giving recommendations based on your Google top 10 rivals for a given keyword.

#10. Craft Unique Optimized Title Tags & Meta Descriptions 

The page’s title tag indicates users and search engines about the page. And it is an important ranking factor. Notably, the title feeds the clickable page title on Google search results.

You can take the help of the Yoast tool to automatically set your page’s title tag using your page heading. But you can overwrite it to make improvements by implementing different keywords.

#11. Internally Link to Relevant Content

Internal linking within your content is essential as that help establish the relevancy between different pages, pass authority earned from external links, and help users efficiently navigate your site.

It is a simple affair to add internal links to other pages in WordPress. First, you have to highlight the text you want to link and click on the toolbar’s ‘link’ button. As a result, you can either paste a URL or search for pages within your site.

#12.Install a Cache Plugin to Improve Site Speed 

Although WordPress exhibits a strong performance, you can improve the site speed, which is also a vital ranking factor.

There are many technical ways of improving your site’s speed. And, one of the best ways is to use a caching plugin to cache your posts and pages as static files.

Users get the static files that do not get generated each time dynamically. Moreover, the files can significantly improve the site speed.

#13. Optimize Images 

Image optimization is another way to your site’s speed. However, images can slow down the site speed. On the other hand, if your website has several images and rich media, the page size can increase significantly.

You need to optimize images on your website to increase the speed. Using the Smush plugin, you can effectively optimize your WordPress site’s entire media library and all images you upload.

If you have a WordPress website, you need to optimize it for speed. In this context, delegating the task to an agency provides the best wooCommerce SEO services.

#14.Mark Up Your Pages With Schema 

Schema markup adds context to your content and data. And it helps you to improve SEO results. With schema markup, Google can understand your content, and due to the understanding, Google can present the content in different and valuable ways. As a result, the user experience improves significantly.

When you add context to your pages, you can rank your website higher and increase the likelihood of getting clicks when your page receives impressions.

Thankfully, since Yoast 11.0, a complete structured data graph is built for every post or page on your site, but there are instances where you will want to mark up specific blocks within WordPress.

#15. Improve Your Core Web Vitals 

The Core Web Vitals play a significant role in improving your SEO performance. You can regard the Core Web Vitals as a set of measurable performance indicators that tell how well a website functions from a user experience perspective.

The Google Search Console helps you determine how well your pages perform using the Core Web Vitals.

Google Search Console generates a report that grades pages as ‘Good’, ‘Needs Improvement’ or ‘Poor’. And, the report also gives results for mobile and desktop.

The Final Words

Optimizing your WordPress website needs specific skills. It can be a good idea to delegate the task to a trusted agency, such as TIS India, which is adept at optimizing WordPress websites.


By Subhash Chandra

Subhash Chandra is a social media enthusiast having in depth understanding of generating website traffic and optimizing conversion rates. He is an active contributor at famous SEO & social media websites – Business Community, social media today, comluv.com, examiner and yahoo voice . He shares his Digital Marketing experiences with novice search engine optimizers also on Google Plus.

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