SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This means the technical and content-related adjustment of a website to the requirements that search engines such as Google make in order to decide on the ranking of the page in the search results.
WordPress SEO describes search engine optimization that is specially tailored to CMS WordPress. The goal of any SEO agency is to get your site in the first place on Google (and other major search engines) for searches for keywords and topics that are relevant to you.
How to Optimize WordPress for SEO?
To optimize a WordPress site you need a bit of know-how and the right plugins. WordPress itself gives you the opportunity to set the course for optimization via the basic settings - XML sitemaps, rich snippets, compressed image files, linked pages, content, alt text, and more. Yoast SEO and other plugins allow you to go beyond the basic settings of WP and perform many other important optimization steps.
WordPress SEO: What you need
1. The right theme - The basis for your WordPress site
When choosing your WordPress theme, you can make sure that you choose an SEO-friendly variant. It doesn’t matter whether you develop it yourself, have it developed or buy it ready-made – your WordPress theme should basically meet the following requirements:
How to Find the Right Theme for WordPress SEO?
- The right features: superfluous features quickly become ballast for your site. Check exactly which features you really need.
- Short loading time: The theme is responsible for how quickly your page can be loaded. The shortest possible loading time is an important ranking factor and must therefore be observed for your WordPress SEO.
- Responsive design: In 2018, Google switched to the "Mobile First Index". This means that the mobile site is now the basis for Google's indexing. So if you don’t have a responsive design today, you will feel it in the form of a ranking loss! So make sure that your page is optimally displayed on every device and that everything is displayed correctly.
- Compact, useful code: This is a factor that cannot be judged directly. So it's worth asking professionals or checking online reviews.
- Support & Development: The team behind a WP theme should be available to you if you have any questions or problems. Continuous further development also guarantees that your theme is always technically up to date.
2. Crawlers & Indexing – How can Google see your WordPress site
In order for Google to see and understand your site, it should be crawlable so that it can easily be indexed. You can do this via the basic settings of WordPress. Via the menu item "Settings -> Reading" you can deactivate the item "Prevent search engines from indexing this website", ie. do not tick. Your page is already visible.
Crawlers and indexing
Pages that you do not want Google to consider when examining your site must be set to Noindex. This is possible with the Yoast SEO plugin. You shouldn't index all pages so that Google can focus on the essentials. To do this, you can simply "hide" pages, articles, and posts that should not be found via Google search for various reasons. This is advisable, for example, when it comes to the category, author, or tag pages.
3. A clean page structure - the basic structure of your website
Search engines not only want to find and index your page, they also want to understand it. A clean structure is important for this in which several aspects play a role:
- URL structure or breadcrumbs URLs serve both Google and your visitors for orientation and understanding of your site. That’s why you should pay attention to a clear URL structure and, if necessary, customize it yourself using the WordPress settings under “Permalinks”.
- SEO-friendly URL is necessary because it is easy to read (ie contains no cryptic characters) and you can see exactly where the page is located within the website. Such a structure also allows the use of breadcrumbs. This is what secondary navigation is called, which depicts the page structure. Informative terms such as breadcrumbs are lined up in order to show the user the way.
- Information architecture, siloing & internal links. In the context of WordPress SEO, the so-called information structure is also important. This is about showing Google through the structure of your page which content is particularly important and at the same time making it as easy as possible for the user to get there.
4. Load time – Page speed is an important ranking factor for WordPress SEO
As part of WordPress SEO, you should definitely optimize your loading time, because the so-called page speed is a direct ranking factor for Google. According to Google, the probability that users will say goodbye to your site is 32% after 3 seconds and 90% after 5 seconds. Reason enough to ensure the necessary acceleration and to avoid a high bounce rate.
What is important for a short loading time of your WP page?
- A good WordPress hoster
- A suitable theme
- Not too many plugins (limit yourself to the most important ones)
- Optimized image files and media. Above all, pictures should not be too big.
5. Security - SSL encryption & backups
A page without SSL encryption is not only considered insecure by Google, but also by attentive users. SSL is therefore indispensable for successful WordPress SEO. In order to secure your site in general, regular backups are also essential.
6. Content – â€‹â€‹texts, images, and more
Search engines like Google not only make technical demands on your WordPress site. Your content - i.e. texts, images, embedded videos, and other media - is also subjected to a thorough check. Therefore, you should also pay attention to a few important points here. Relevant and optimized text in search engine optimization is about making your website attractive to visitors and Google. Your texts play a major role in this because they provide readers and search engines with important information and answers to their questions. WordPress SEO, therefore, also includes the optimization of texts.
Conclusion: The Importance of SEO-Friendly WordPress Sites
WordPress is a popular and powerful blog publishing platform that is used by many people to create their own blogs. WordPress is easy to use and can be used by anyone without any coding skills. WordPress has a huge number of templates that you can use with any type of content and it's really only limited by your imagination. With the right tools and plugins, it is possible to optimize your WordPress site so that it becomes SEO-friendly, making it easier for your website to be indexed on major search engines.