To improve your WordPress site’s search engine rankings, here are ten tips with recommended plugins.
#Take Advantage of SEO Plugins
Plugins are a huge plus to using WordPress. You can access many useful SEO plugins which offer tons of features like content and page analysis, meta tags, Google accelerated mobile pages (AMP) support, XML sitemap, Google analytics integration and many more.
Best WordPress Site Optimization Plugins:
- Yoast SEO plugin, it’s free and covers almost all your SEO requirements from page analysis to technical WordPress SEO. There is also a premium version ($89/year) available which offers extensions for news SEO, video SEO, local SEO, and WooCommerce SEO.
Also Read:- Secrets of WordPress SEO: Optimizing a Post or Page through SEO Yoast
- All in One SEO Pack, is the second most popular WordPress SEO plugin after Yoast. It has a complete backend suite which includes: XML sitemap support, Google Analytics integration, canonical URL support, and WooCommerce integration (free). Their pro version starts from $136 and offers features like video SEO, advanced support for WooCommerce, etc.
Also Read:- Installation of All In One SEO Pack Plugin
- The SEO Framework, is a free plugin to automatically optimize your pages. They have four subscription plans- free (includes incognito, origin & AMP), essentials $49 (includes focus, articles & honeypot), premium $99 (includes local SEO, monitor & focus) and enterprise $299.
- SEOPress, is a free white label plugin. No advertising, no footprints! Premium version is for $39/year and unlimited sites. Pro version supports WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads optimizations, and local business SEO.
- Broken Link Checker, a free plugin to find and fix broken links and missing images in your posts, pages, and comments. This plugin uses a high bandwidth, so make sure to deactivate the plugin when you are done.
- Rank Math, another free plugin to increase traffic on your WordPress site. It provides integration with Google Search Console so that you can manage your whole site from the WordPress admin panel.
- Analytify, displays Google Analytics metrics directly in your WordPress dashboard. It provides features like Page Level Analytics, Social Media Stats, Enhanced eCommerce Tracking, Automated Email Reports. It’s a great plugin to analyze and optimize your content. It starts at $39.
- Really Simple SSL, automatically configures your website to run over HTTPS. However, you’ll have to buy an SSL. Premium version is available for $26.
#Create an XML sitemap
A sitemap provides a hierarchical listing of all the pages, posts and other content on your website. You may have essential pages with no internal links, making it tough for indexing. If you create an XML sitemap, you can tell bots about your website’s entire structure, ensuring complete, reliable indexing.
Top WordPress XML Sitemap Plugins
- All in One SEO Pack, offers sitemap submission to Google and Bing.
- XML Sitemap & Google News, offers sitemap submission to Google, Bing & Yahoo. It supports Multisite installations also.
- Google XML Sitemaps, supports Google, Bing, Yahoo, and ASK.com. It’s free and straightforward, no coding required. It’s also available in multi- languages.
- Simple Wp Sitemap, generates both an XML and an HTML sitemap.
- Simple Sitemap, generates HTML sitemap. For advanced users, a premium version is available with a starting of $39.
- Google Sitemap by BestWebSoft, offers integration with Google Webmaster Tools account to add a sitemap. It also adds sitemap file in robots.txt automatically.
- Yoast SEO, generates an XML sitemap for your website automatically.
#Don’t Index Duplicate Content
If you have similar or duplicate content, it can hurt your SEO. You’ll have to prevent duplicate pages from being indexed by using the code in the <head> section of your website, or a plugin like Yoast.
#Make SEO-friendly Permalinks
When you’re setting your slug, keep it short, include keywords, and make it enticing. You can customize your permalink from wp-admin> Settings> Permalinks. We recommend using the ‘Post name’ permalink setting.
Plugins to create Custom Permalinks
- Permalink Manager Lite, generates custom permalinks for posts, pages, custom post types. Pro version (starts from $39) also supports categories, tags, custom taxonomies and WooCommerce shops.
- Custom Post Type Permalinks, allows you to edit the permalink structure of custom post type.
- Custom Permalinks, assigns custom permalinks for individual posts, pages, tags, or categories.
Image search makes up a considerable portion of Google’s traffic, so make sure to pay attention to your website’s images. It’s recommended to use image title, description, alt attributes, and to specify image dimensions. All this information helps search engine bots determine what your page is about, helping to boost rankings. Also, try to combine images into CSS sprites and avoid using URL redirects.
Best WordPress Image Compression Plugins
- Imagify, optimizes your images with several optimization levels. It’s compatible with WooCommerce and NextGen Gallery.
- EWWW Image Optimizer, increases your page speed by automatically optimizing your images as you upload them to the site.
- Smush Image Compression and Optimization, resizes and optimizes all your images, without crushing quality.
- Compress JPEG & PNG Images, the best compressor plugin for animated PNGs. It’s compatible with WP Retina 2x, WP Offload S3, WooCommerce, WPML, and multisite setup.
- ShortPixel Image Optimizer, compresses JPG, PNG, GIF images, and PDF documents. It’s compatible with WP Retina 2x, WPML, all major hosting providers, WooCommerce, and WP offload S3.
- Optimole, is a cloud-based image optimizer. It provides free access to AWS CloudFront CDN.
#Use SEO Friendly Themes
Page loading time and clean code are critical to page rankings. Some themes have bloated coding and load slower, which can lead to a slow loading website and can increase your bounce rate. An SEO optimized theme is based on clean code and followed all the latest SEO best practices.
Some tools to test your website’s speed:
Best WordPress Performance Plugins
- WP Rocket, is a caching plugin to speed up your website. The user interface is simple, and it’s easy to set up. It offers features like page caching, GZIP compression, lazy loading for photos/videos/iframes, database optimization, integration with CDNs, multisite compatibility, multilingual compatibility, and many more. It costs $49/year.
- WP Fastest Cache, speeds up your website and improves its performance. Though it’s in beta, WP Fastest Cache also supports Multisite.
- AMP For WP, makes your website faster for mobile visitors.
- CDN Enabler, helps you quickly and easily integrate a CDN in WordPress. It works seamlessly with all CDN providers.
- GTmetrix for WordPress, keeps track of load time and page speed and allows you to set email alerts.
- WP Smush.it, is an image compression plugin for WordPress. It automatically optimizes and resizes every image on your WordPress site.
#Use Natural Anchor Text
Anchor text is the text that you hyperlink away from your page. It helps bots determine what your page is about. Means, when you have ‘click here’, it won’t improve your SEO. So make sure that you have ‘original text’ that you hyperlink.
Plugin to add anchor links in WordPress
- TinyMCE Advanced, adds extra functionality to the editor with quick shortcut buttons. It’s a free plugin.
#Make Sure You Have Responsive Design
Responsive themes scale to any resolution or mobile device. Google is mobile first, and they reward websites that work flawlessly on mobile devices.
Google tool to test whether a page on your site is mobile-friendly: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
Best WordPress Mobile Plugins Options
- WPTouch, makes WordPress website mobile friendly. It enables a mobile-friendly version of your website with Google Mobile test certification. Pro version starts from $79.
- AMP for WP, instantly turns your current WordPress site into a mobile website.
#Don’t Forget Social Media Buttons
Social Media is the key to driving traffic to your site, which eventually helps in improving page rankings. Content sharing can drive massive traffic to your website from different sources. WordPress comes with options for social media buttons, or you can use plugins to add social media buttons to your content.
Best WordPress Social Media Plugins
- Shared Counts, supports Facebook, Pinterest, Yummly, Twitter, email sharing, and LinkedIn. There are multiple button styles available. This plugin does not store any user data.
- Sassy Social Share, supports Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Tumblr, Pinterest, Reddit, and over 100 more social sharing and bookmarking services. This plugin works only on an online website (not on a local server). It’s also GDPR Compliant.
- AddtoAny, supports Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and over 100 more sharing sites & apps. It also offers Google Analytics integration.
- Simple Social Icons, is a popular plugin. It supports Facebook, Github, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube, and many more.
- Social Snap, supports all major social networks & apps. You can customize social media buttons to match your site’s design. It gives an option to add a custom image, custom title, and custom description to your posts for social media sharing. Pro version starts from $39.
#Set Irrelevant Links to ‘Nofollow’
If you have outbound links on your page like advertisements, sponsored links, affiliate or paid links, less trustworthy links, set them to ‘nofollow.’ That way, bots won’t get confused about your page’s topic. You can use plugins to do this, or throw in the code rel=’nofollow’ in the HTML editor. The rel=” nofollow” tag tells the search engine bots not to count the link.
Popular plugins to add nofollow links in WordPress
- WP External Links, is a free plugin that you can use to manage (follow or nofollow) both your external and internal links.
- Rank Math, provides advanced link options like Nofollow all external image links and Nofollow all external links, to save your page authority.
Using above-mentioned resources, you can optimize your WordPress site to perform better in search engine result pages or you can avail our WordPress SEO Services to optimize your site for better search engine performance.