If you’re using WordPress, there are some easy, inexpensive ways to search engine optimize (SEO) your website. Many of the plug-ins are either free or inexpensive, so it only makes sense to take advantage of them to get the best return on investment.
1. Start with a speed test of your website
Google simply adores websites that load quickly, run fast, and will give them a competitive edge in rankings over websites that are slower. One of the quickest and easiest to ways to get results from is Pingdom’s Test Page.
Pingdom is a free, testing tool that displays a great deal of information about a site’s speed performance. The tool also provides visuals of the length of time required for each site element to load.
2. So now that you know your website speed, what can you do to improve it?
There are free WordPress plug-ins that will empty your website cache periodically, thus speeding up load times. The two most popular are WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache. If you’ve got the money to spend, WP Rocket might be your best choice of all.
3. Optimize Images
Image files that are too large are one of the biggest offenders when it comes to slow web page loading times.
Fortunately, there are plug-ins that can help you automate and manage your image files better:
The first line of defense should be optimizing your images within a graphic editor, prior to uploading to WordPress, but for those who do not have an editor (or are simply too lazy to bother…sorry), Imsanity automatically resizes huge image uploads. A plug-in called Kraken will optimize your file sizes, but you are limited to 50MB within the trial offering. This is a great tool though and should you choose to sign up for the Pro plan. It’s still a great deal.
4. Content is king, so treat it accordingly
Make your website pages and posts a pleasure to read:
Pictures are nice and videos are fun but Google loves content which is primarily text. Make sure to spell words correctly and check your grammar. After the Deadline is a plug-in that uses artificial intelligence to check spelling, style, and grammar in WordPress.
5. Be careful with keywords
Make sure to stick to your topic with a concentration on the SEO keyword you hope to target. The Yoast SEO plug-in helps to keep you on track and on topic with your keywords. There is a free version of the plug-in and it’s a must for any serious SEO minded website owner.
6. Use the proper headers and sub-headers for your pages
Yes, headline tags really do make a difference:
The page title should start and close with a H1 tag. The H2 tag can be used for sub-topics, etc. The H3 tag can also be used sparingly as well. The H1 will stress the importance of a given page topic to Google for indexing so do not use more that one H1 tag per page or post. Try to be a bit stingy about H2 tags but as you go down the hierarchy into H3’s and H4’s, you can use them a bit more liberally, in order of importance, but do not overuse them.
7. Find and use “longtail keywords”
A “longtail” keyword is a derivative phrase that is less common than one very popular keyword:
It’s common sense that the most popular keywords such as “life insurance”, etc. are almost impossible to get a page 1 ranking in Google. Instead, do some research into lesser used keywords such as “life insurance for carpenters” or something along those lines. Using software such as Google Keyword Planner, you can get an idea of how many searches are performed each month for different keyword variations.
8. Get Social
Yes, Google does take social activity into account so it is beneficial to you to add social sharing icons, etc. to your website. SumoMe has some wonderful free tools for adding social sharing, visitor opt-ins, etc. that you should certainly take advantage of.
If you’re not using Twitter and Facebook, you’re missing out on some huge opportunities for free or inexpensive promotions for your business.
One of the biggest complaints by business owners is that they don’t have time to learn or manage social media:
If you want to get started with Twitter quickly and learn ways to automate the process, we have a Twitter Marketing Guide that you need to see.
9. Schedule time for e-mail newsletters and social media posts
E-mail newsletters have been the best, most effective way to reach your audience since the early days of the web…
If you don’t have an e-mail sign up option on your website, MailChimp offers a free program to get you started. Aweber is a premier solution with even more options. Plan on sending out an e-mail broadcast weekly or monthly, if possible.
Stay current in social media by posting every week day:
If that’s too tedious for you, take advantage of HootSuite which will allow you to schedule posts in advance, at optimum times.
I hope these 9 Do it Yourself WordPress SEO Tips help you get started with better rankings and drive traffic to your website. Despite all the tools that are available to make the job easier, SEO can be time consuming.
It’s best to schedule some time for search engine optimization as well as WordPress maintenance. For those who want all the benefits without having to do all of the above contact us today, and we’ll put together a plan that fits your needs.
Note: A couple of the links included above are affiliate links for products that I own personally and fully endorse.