35 Essential WordPress SEO Tips 2018 Edition
February 14, 2018
WordPress is arguably the best blogging platform in existence, and it provides us with a lot of wordpress SEO tools that many of you may not know about.
Of course, there are an abundance of other practices in your structure and content that will also lend to a more optimized website, but we’ll get to all of that in due time.
1) Pay attention how you structure your URL: as you create phenomenal posts, remember that WordPress allows you to tailor the structure of your permalinks (or URL) under the settings > Permalinks. You can utilize a custom structure (my recommendation) or pick something different.
2) Install the Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin: Of all the plugins out there, this is the one you need for your blog. This will help you keep track of your optimization and allow you to tailor other features of your blog without the need for multiple plugins. Yoast will keep your website clean and on track.
4) Optimize Images: This is relatively easy and comes included with WordPress. When you’re uploading and inserting an image on your blog, there are fields to provide an alternate text, caption, and description.
5) Content is for People First: Some bloggers get all caught up in throwing as many keywords into a post as possible, and while having your primary and LSI keywords present is certainly needed to help people understand what you’re talking about, ultimately the usefulness of your content will decide how well it performs in search engine results.
6) Generate More Brand Mentions: Having your posts linked on other blogs is an important step in building a strong organically-focused blog.
Essentially, they are 3rd party recommendations that scream “What you’re doing is awesome”. That being said, you don’t need links from sites that aren’t in your niche or don’t relate to your topic.
Remember, your goal is ultimately about judging the usefulness of your site for users.
7) PageRank isn’t as Important as You Might Think: The way pages are viewed and ranked by search engines is part of a huge machine like algorithm. It’s been widely noted that using page rank as a ranking factor is no longer recognized.
8) Ensure your Title Tag Contains the Most Important Words: The title tag, which displays on Google and other search engines, shouldn’t just be the company name or the name of your blog. Each title tag should accurately describe what will be on that given page.
Practicing this will better improve your SEO and proudly display the content of the post.
9) Make Your Hyperlinks Keyword Phrases: This is a simple tip, but an important one. If you’re linking to an article about common mistakes bloggers make, don’t just say “click here”, use the phrase so readers know what they’re clicking on.
10) Long-Tail Keyword Phrases Beat Lonely Ones: You can pick and choose keywords like you’re the king or queen of the apple bobbing contest, but the real way to utilize these keywords is by placing them in phrases that are relevant to your topic.
If you’re talking about cooking dessert dishes, then expand on that like so: “Our detailed recipes will help you craft the finest dessert dishes.”
11) From the Beginning, Your Design Should be SEO Focused: Your blogs design, whether it’s done by you or by a web designer, needs to be focused on organic search traffic.
12) Get your Site Indexed: Using a tool like Google Search Console will help you establish a clear connection between your website’s content and the Google search engine.
Navigate to Search Console and submit an XML sitemap to make sure your content is indexed as quickly as possible. You can easily create an XML sitemap with the Yoast plugin I touched on earlier.
13) Structure Your Site With Simplicity: A complicated and disorganized blog isn’t going to get a lot of readers or backlinks.
Don’t go crazy with folders and subfolders. Keep things organized and if people want to look at older posts, make sure that’s easy to do as well.
14) Always, Always Reciprocate: Not only is it common courtesy to link & reference other sites that have furthered the topic conversation you’re writing about, but doing so will help build your popularity and improve your authority (so long as they’re quality trusted sites that are applicable to the same topic) in your particular niche.
15) Content Needs to be Unique and of High Quality: You can write about the psychological profile of the common household cat all you want, but if the content isn’t of high quality (meaning no keyword stuffing, or a litany of grammar and punctuation issues) then you’re not going to see the results you want.
Creating content that does both of these things will be infinitely more noticeable to Google.
16) Choose a Single Main Keyword Phrase: Don’t try to create a single post that addresses multiple keyword phrases. Find one that most represents your content and use it sparingly in the post.
Branch off of that keyword with secondary keywords and relevant topics to further expand on the subject matter.
17) Your SEO Must Lead to a Strong CTA (Call to Action): Much like dousing logs in lighter fluid, it’s all for naught if you don’t light a match to ignite the flames. At the end of your posts, you should always leave the reader with something to do.
It could be a sign up for your newsletter, or an invitation to comment. It could also be an opportunity to purchase your products or services. Make sure this is present, and that it’s clear and concise.
18) Never Stop Researching: Anything involving SEO is only a present solution or tactic.
The landscape of this is always changing. With new updates to Google and Yahoo, the methods by which pages are displayed and ranked is always changing. Staying current on these trends and algorithms is the best way to stay ahead of the curve.
19) The Text Around Your Images Matters: As mentioned earlier, the caption, description and ALT-Text attached to your images helps them rank well in search engines.
What you’re saying when the image appears (the text around it) also matters. SEO is relying more on how things connect and less on specific keywords, so remember to make everything fit together.