Nowadays, it’s easy to create professional-looking websites even without the help of professional coders.
Thanks to content management systems like WordPress, anyone can easily build sites from basically nothing. Just look at the websites of small businesses, freelancers, or even real estate listings — those fully-functional websites feature neat layouts and interactive designs.
Despite WordPress’ features, however, the platform in and of itself can’t and won’t be able to build a money-making site for you.
It’s up to you to do your SEO properly so your site can rank on the SERPs, get truckloads of web traffic, and more sales.
(Yep, you’ll be flying solo in this scenario.)
Do you worry that you won’t be able to optimize your site to rank high in the SERPs?
If you answered with a “yes,” then I’ve got good news for you. I’m going to share with you a 3-item checklist for your site’s SEO.
Note: There are a plethora of things that you need to consider when optimizing your site for the search engines. Link building is one of them. While we won’t be covering link building in this post, I promise you that the tips I’ll share are “deadly” enough to make an impact on your site’s SEO.
Let’s get started.
1. Optimize Loading Speed
First up, you need to optimize your website’s speed to ensure a smooth experience for your users. This will also boost the “crawl rate” of search engine bots, which can impact your search engine rankings as a result.
Additionally, a faster site will also improve other engagement metrics like bounce rate, session duration, and traffic — giving your website more opportunities to convert visitors into subscribers or even paying customers.
The time to the first byte (TTFB) matters to website visitors, too. In fact, if a webpage doesn’t load after a couple of seconds, their instinct is to ditch it without looking back.
According to research, a person’s attention span has dropped from about 12 seconds to 8 seconds at the dawn of the mobile revolution.
To start improving your website’s loading speed, you can start by using tools like GTmetrix.
All you need is to enter your website URL to reveal the cause of load time issues.
Here are some of the common optimizations you need to pay attention to:
- Eliminate font loaders, ads, and other external scripts
- Decrease the number of redirects
- Modify poorly coded plugins by eliminating spaces, commas, code comments, and unnecessary formatting
- Enable compression for image files
- Properly configure your web hosting server
- Use content delivery networks
After activating the plugin, go to the “Settings” section and head to the “Caching” tab. From there, select “Caching On” as recommended.
2. Use Focus Keywords
Next up is to research a set of focus keywords that will help you draw in the right audience. These pertain to search terms that you want your webpage to rank for.
Although choosing focus keywords is not always easy, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to pull it off.
To start, come up with a search term or phrase that you know an audience will use. You can then refine it into long-tail keyword suggestions through tools like Ubersuggest and AdWords Keyword Planner.
Remember, of all the searches conducted online, long-tail keywords account for 70%.
Long-tail keywords are also usually less competitive since they target a narrower audience.
They may not always get as much traffic as broader terms, but the traffic you can get is usually the better kind: traffic from the more committed bunch.
Take note that when a visitor is in the mood to take action, they won’t bother with general keywords. Rather, they’ll use longer, more specific search terms in hopes of getting more specific results.
For instance, they’ll definitely go beyond “web development” as a keyword if they’re in need of a web developer. Instead, they’ll most likely use something akin to “web developer near me” or “affordable web development service for hire” — both of which are long-tail keyword variations of “web development.”
After you identify your focus keywords, you can use Yoast SEO to help keyword-optimize your content. Simply enter your focus keyword into the plugin and wait for it to provide the steps you need to take:
Yoast SEO shows a detailed analysis of your web copy with regard to your focus keyword. It also indicates whether a particular detail is “good”, “ok”, or “needs improvement” with the colors green, orange, and red:
3. Create Excellent Content (And Post Regularly)
Lastly, don’t undermine the power of excellent content. Content, after all, is king.
To get the ball rolling, here are some of the golden rules you need to remember when creating content:
- Provide factual information and back it up with reliable sources
- Craft strong, eye-catching headlines
- Originality matters
- Communicate more effectively by adding visual content
- Many people are suckers for stories — use them to pluck their emotional strings
- Be sure your content is 100% grammatically sound
- Provide actionable insights with actual steps they can follow
Whichever tactic you go with, be sure you personalize it to match your brand’s unique voice.
Remember, 80% of marketers believe that personalized content is more effective than generic, branded copy.
Marketers can also say whatever they want, but when it comes to content length, longer posts evidently trump shorter articles.
How long should you go? Data from SerpIQ reveals that the top three results in search engines have at least 2,400 words:
Keep in mind that long-form content are a hit because they are more thorough and deliver more value to the online audience.
Just remember that it shouldn’t come at the expense of your content’s quality. Avoid fluff at all costs and make sure every line reinforces the key takeaways you want readers to get.
And, of course, you need to keep the excellent content coming. Regular updates to your website are imperative if you want to steadily build a reader base
While anyone can build a website, not everyone can keep up with the responsibilities of owning one. You don’t just create a couple of posts — regardless of their quality — and expect droves of visitors to come and convert for the rest of your website’s lifetime.
What you need is a content strategy that populates your website with more posts at a sustainable pace.
It doesn’t matter if you can churn out 1 or 2 per week. What’s important is that you always have something new and valuable for your readers — both new and old.
What are some of the best strategies you use to optimize your WordPress sites for SEO to get better profits?