It’s relatively safe to say that anyone with a website wants to rank higher on Google. Luckily for those of us who use WordPress, better visibility in search results is easy to achieve. There are many factors, of course, that determine what pages Google will rank highly for any given phrase, but with these WordPress SEO best practices, you’ll be another step closer to #1. Let us take a closer look at how to rank higher on Google with WordPress SEO?
Optimize your WordPress site for SEO
Whether you’re an individual blogger or an online business, you should be aware of the latest Google-confirmed best practices. They’re not going away, and Google, along with all the smaller search engines, will continue to shift their algorithm to maximize the relevance of every page on the web.
One of the easiest and best-known ways to get more traffic to your website is optimizing the areas of your site that Google wants to see as it ranks for specific search phrases. Even with the onset of voice-driven search, nearly all online search queries are based on a series of words. That could be a simple phrase like “doughnuts near me” or a long-tail question, such as “what are the best doughnut shops in my neighborhood?”
Knowing how Google ranks your site can give you an idea of what keywords and phrases you should try to rank for. For example, if you have a product page relevant to a specific topic but doesn’t come up on page one, you know that page needs to be optimized.
How To Rank Higher On Google With WordPress SEO – Checklist
Keyword Optimization Checklist:
- Identify the page that doesn’t rank for a relevant search.
- Use a keyword research tool to determine the words most often associated with that topic.
- Review the on-page copy and meta descriptions, and insert the highest-volume keywords into your page.
- Submit the page using Google Search Console for re-indexing.
- Check your page every few days, and look for ranking improvements.
- If the rankings do not improve, check your research, and optimize the page again.
You can also learn about competing sites and rank first, second, third, etc. Just go to Google, another preferred search engine, and search for your products and services. When a competitor’s page comes up before you, look at their website for clues on how you might create a better, more relevant page.
Create A Google My Business Listing
A well-proven way to get Google to rank your site more prominently is by registering an official business listing on Google.com. When you run a local business that sells products online, registering your Google My Business account is a no-brainer. However, if you’re like many web business owners, you may not realize that it’s a best practice to connect your Google My Business page to your website in some way.
For example, if you run a wholesale business, you can link your Google My Business account to your website’s sales page, allowing users to view the products available at your store. Take advantage of the visual building blocks within Google My Business by adding logos, photographs, and product descriptions right in your listing. Then be sure to direct visitors back to the top pages on your website.
Create A Google Search Console Account
Google Search Console is a powerful tool that can give you a complete understanding of what SEO is all about. After you sign up for a free Google Search Console account, you can follow easy instructions to access existing data about traffic to your website.
The Google Search Console dashboard allows you to identify issues, test your site, and monitor results on Google. It can Google analytics, multiple websites, and all of the pages in your account. You can even report errors you’ve made to Google Search Console and have them fixed within 24 hours. This is an excellent way to quickly identify and fix any issues you see on your website.
Once you’ve become comfortable with Google Search Console, connect to Bing Webmaster Tools, as well. While Bing remains much less influential, it’s growing and provides the primary results for other niche search engines, as well.
How To Rank Higher On Google With WordPress SEO – Post Regularly
When optimizing your WordPress site, you’ll want to ensure that each new news or blog post is optimized as well. This means not only building content to support your site’s goals but keeping a solid SEO foundation up to date. This helps your website rank higher in search results because if the page in question is updated, Google takes into account the update and automatically has your site rank higher.
As mentioned earlier, searching for your products or article topics online gives you important clues about how others are gaining success in your niche area. Search questions that your potential site visitors might also be searching. Look into the topics your competitors are writing about.
Once you get the hang of content research, look for articles on mainstream media sites that talk to your competitors, and see what they are writing about. Everything you see on page one of a Google search results page indicates how you can get better rankings for your site.
Optimize Your Title and Headlines
Experienced SEO specialists know that search engines such as Google use titles and headings to rank pages higher. When it comes to SEO, you need to use your titles and headlines to support what is on the page. To do this, it’s key to use targeted keywords throughout. You can improve the title and headline on your site by placing hyperlinks in your text, but make sure you have the right words and phrases.
Google knows that the correct phrases are the words and phrases that correlate with the content on the page. When you have a page discussing this year’s fashion trends, the page title and header tags need to focus on this topic. “The Hottest Fashion Trends for 2021” is a much more SEO-friendly headline than “Take a Look at This Year’s Trends” because the terms fashion and 2021 help Google (and real people) understand what the page is really about.
WordPress plugins designed to help with SEO can be handy in this area. Popular choices such as Yoast use AI to guide you through the steps of optimizing each post on the fly and automatically add new pages to your XML sitemap.
Optimize Your Images
This might not seem like a great way to improve rankings, but it’s one of the easiest and quickest ways to improve your search visibility. The reason is simple: Google wants to index your images, and image search is a great way to bring in site visitors in addition to regular web searches.
The key is to craft keywords into the image file names and ALT text related to the text content on the page. For example, if you’re running a local pet boutique and add a picture of the storefront to your website, you might want to use “pet boutique” in the image file name and ALT text. This lets Google know what appears in the photograph and gives you a new opportunity to show up in a relevant local search.
Include Links in Your Posts
Whether you’re writing a short blog post on your business’ website or a long-form article about a new infographic, it’s easy to create a relevant internal link. By linking to valuable articles and tutorials published on other websites, you prove to your site visitors that your content is authoritative and accurate. You can write about your opinions all day long, but if you can prove that another thought leader agrees with you, you gain trust from the person reading your page.
Just be sure that the page you link complements your original content rather than competes with it. You want to avoid the risk of sending a potential buyer to someone else’s site to make a purchase.
Optimize Your Social Media Presence
Posting on social media doesn’t directly impact search rankings, but it’s beneficial in an indirect way. By keeping your social channels up to date, you help build brand awareness, turning into branded search traffic later on. When you have a well-established brand, your site should always come up first.
If you’re a small business owner with a website, you’re competing with everyone.
Also, if you think you’re the only one in the world taking a crack at WordPress SEO, you’re wrong. Many smaller businesses have been marketing on their sites for years, which gives them a lot of breathing room. Posting on social media is a sort of shortcut to getting relevant traffic while your Google rankings move up.
Conclusion – How To Rank Higher On Google With WordPress SEO
WordPress SEO is a long, detailed, and wide-reaching activity. Use this short guide to get started, but remember to stay current on new best practices and techniques. The best thing about SEO is that it is a long-term investment. If executed properly, the work you do today has the potential to generate traffic and sales for years to come.