30 WordPress SEO Tricks To Improve Search Engine Rankings

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If you want to get a good position in the search engine rankings, then you need to take your SEO seriously. Fortunately, using  WordPress  gives you an edge, as this CMS took care of the basic SEO customization from the outset. This is one of the many other reasons why people use WordPress the most.

However, there are still a number of things you can do to take your WordPress SEO to the next level. To make it easier for you, we have created this guide. Below we have compiled 30 of the best tricks and tips to drive traffic to your website.

1. Install WordPress SEO plugins

2. Do Keyword Research

3. Turn on the visibility of your site for search engines

4. Set up your permalink structure

5. Add your site to Google Search Console

6. Integrate Google Analytics

7. Submit your sitemap to Google

8. Optimize your site for mobile devices

9. Speed ​​up your site

Get a base number

Update your host

Use CDN

Use a caching plugin

Optimize your media

10. Fix broken links

11. Choose keywords for each page

12. Create high quality content

13. Create longer content

14. Create Evergreen content

15. Link to quality resources

Create a hyperlink

Change link parameters

16. Link content

17. Optimize the titles of your posts and pages

18. Improve heading tags

19.Use shorter URL links

20. Optimize your meta descriptions

21. Include Schema Markup

22. Make Google SERP improvements

23. Optimize your images for search engines

Image title text

Alternative text

File name

24. Set No-Follow for any affiliate links

25. Configure HTTPS on your site

26. Build good quality backlinks

27. Do an SEO audit

28. Monitor your backlink profile

29. Force Google to index your site

30. Target Long-Tail Keywords

Further reading

Final word

1. Install WordPress SEO plugins

WordPress already has some solid SEO features built in. But you can take it to the next level by using dedicated SEO plugins. The best SEO plugin on the market is Yoast SEO and this is what we use at Hostinger.

With this plugin, you can perfectly optimize every page and publish your chosen keyword. It also has built-in analysis based on the latest algorithm updates. You can even create an XML sitemap and add schema markup to your site.

To install Yoast, go to your WordPress admin console in the Plugins section  ›Add new . In the search bar, enter ” Yoast SEO”  and click Install  on a plugin that looks like below.

Installing the yoast seo plugin

Then click on the Activate button when it appears. The plugin is now running on your site and you can go to its settings from the left menu by clicking on the SEO icon. You can also check out our more detailed how to use Yoast SEO plugin for more in-depth knowledge.

2. Do Keyword Research

Keyword searches can have a huge impact on your WordPress SEO strategy. Keyword research allows you to:

  • Create content relevant to your visitors.
  • Form a better understanding of market needs.
  • Track the success of everything you write about.
  • Generate valuable traffic for your website.

There are many tools out there to help you find your keywords. Some of the most famous is:  KWFinder ,  SEMRush’s  and even  Google Keyword Planner.

The basic principles are as follows:

Create a list of targeted keywords related to your topic.

Enter them into your keyword search tool to find the ones that get decent traffic and have the least competition.

Research your competitors by launching similar sites with keyword research tools to see which keywords are driving them the most traffic.

See which of these keywords have low enough competition for you to compete.

For further learning on keyword research, check out these posts:

  • How to do a keyword search (eng)
  • Search keywords for SEO  (English)

Now with your keyword list, it’s time to start composing your content and optimizing it with the tips on our list!

3. Turn on the visibility of your site for search engines

WordPress has a built-in setting that will  hide your site from search engines .

It can be useful to you when you are just creating your site, it will prohibit ranking it for this time. If you’ve applied a few tips from our list but haven’t seen an improvement in your site’s rankings, this setting may be the reason.

To see if it is enabled or not, go to  Settings ›Reading  from your WordPress dashboard. Scroll down and you will see the Search Engine Visibility section .

Setting up WordPress visibility for search engines

Make sure the setting is unchecked. Then click on Save Changes .

4. Set up your permalink structure

When you first install WordPress your site page and posts will have a strange URL structure. This default structure is not good for your SEO.

A more correct and most search engine friendly URL structure is the Post Name setting . By switching to this setting, you can include the title of your post or page, and even a keyword in the link. To change this setting, go to the Settings ›Permalink settings menu  .

Permalink settings in WordPress

In the General Settings section ,  select the Record Name option .

If you make these changes later, you will have to redirect the old URL links. You can do this with the Change Permalink Helper plugin  . Just enter your older URLs and they will be redirected to your updated URLs.

5. Add your site to Google Search Console

Using Google Search Console, you can see how your site is currently positioned in search engines and if there are any errors on the site.

To add your site to Google Search Console, first  go to this page  and sign in to your Google account. Next, click on the Add resource button  and enter the URL of your site.

Adding a site to Google Search Console

Click Add  and you will be taken to a page where you will need to verify your ownership of the site. There are several ways to verify, but the easiest is Alternate Methods , then select HTML Tag .

How to verify website owner in Google Search Console

Copy this code and go to your WordPress dashboard. Use a plugin to add this code to your header. Go to  Plugins ›Add New , find Insert Headers and Footers .

Activate the Insert Headers and Footers plugin

Install and activate the plugin as shown in the picture above. Next, open the plugin page  Settings ›Insert Headers and Footers .

Insert code plugin insert headers footers

Now paste the code into the box called  Header , click Save . Finally, return to Google Webmaster Tools and click the Check button  .

6. Integrate Google Analytics

Another Google tool you’ll want to include in your arsenal is Google Analytics. This tool will show you how well your SEO strategy is performing by in-depth analysis of traffic to your site.

To create your account, go to the  Google Analytics homepage  and create one. Next, you need to position your tracking code. It can be found in the  Tracking Info ›Tracking Code . Then copy the code that looks like the following:

Analytics tracking code in Google Analytics

Depending on your theme, you may have the option to add the Google Analytics tracking code directly. If this is not possible, then you can use a plugin like  Insert Headers and Footers that we used above.

Open the plugin and go to the header section, paste in the tracking code. It’s all! Now you can see your site statistics. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on  how to add a Google Analytics Tracking ID in WordPress .

7. Submit your sitemap to Google

Sitemaps are used by search engines to better index the site. Your site will be indexed without a sitemap, but creating it allows you to send data that should be indexed by search bots in your opinion.

You can be sure that pages that you think will not rank your site will not be indexed, as well as more attention will be paid to valuable pages. If you are using the Yoast SEO plugin, then you can easily create and publish a sitemap.

Go to  SEO ›General› Features . Scroll down to XML Sitemaps .

Include sitemap

Click on the link called See XML sitemap  and this will open your sitemap.

We will now publish it for Google. Go to your Google Search Console and click Sitemaps .

Publish sitemap

In the right corner, you will see the Add / Test Sitemap option . Click on this section and paste the link to the sitemap there and then click Submit . Now Google search bots will visit the sitemap regularly, which will significantly speed up the indexing process.

8. Optimize your site for mobile devices

Google recently announced that they have  begun their tests of indexing primarily mobile content . This means they start using the performance and functionality metrics of your mobile pages to rank. So if you’re using a non-responsive theme, it’s time to fix it.

But besides using a responsive theme, check out how your site works on mobile platforms. To do this, open  the Google mobile-friendliness test from Google  and enter your website address.

Google mobile-friendliness test

This will give you an understanding of how the mobile version of your site works and some tips on how to improve it.

9. Speed ​​up your site

Site speed has always been important. Slow website loading will negatively affect your rankings and user experience. Page speed is already a ranking factor .

Fortunately, fixing a slow loading site isn’t difficult. The steps below will get you started:

Get a base number

First, you need to understand how your site actually works. Open a tool called GTMetrix  and launch your site through that tool. This will give you a breakdown of your current performance metrics so you can see exactly what you need to improve.

Update your host

Sometimes misconfiguration from the server side can cause slowness. This is why choosing the right web hosting environment is important. To improve the performance of your WordPress site, we recommend using a WordPress hosting package specially made to customize your site.

Use CDN

A CDN will help speed up your site by storing versions of your site on servers around the world. This way, when a visitor visits your site, they get the version that is closest to their physical location. For a secure free solution, you can integrate your site with a CDN like Cloudflare  .

Use a caching plugin

The caching plugin will generate static HTML files instead of PHP files that are usually required to run WordPress. This will minimize the number of requests between the server and your user’s browser, which will slow down the download speed.

Some of the more common WordPress caching plugins include W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache .

Optimize your media

  • If you upload images to your site, they need to be optimized correctly.
  • To optimize your images, do the following:
  • Reduce file size by launching images with a tool like TinyPNG.
  • Resize your images before uploading.
  • Install an image optimization plugin like WP Smush.

10. Fix broken links

Having a lot of broken links isn’t good for your readers or your rankings. They also make it difficult for Google bots to crawl your site.

The easiest way to check your site for broken links is to open the Google Search Console and click on Crawl Errors .

Open Google Search Console.

Then open each error and it will show you where the broken link is so you can fix it.

11. Choose keywords for each page

Although the way you optimize keywords has changed, they still play an important role in SEO. Whenever you write a post on your site, you must have a keyword for that particular post.

Here are some guidelines for optimizing your chosen keyword:

  • Don’t randomly insert a keyword into your post, only include it when it’s natural.
  • Include your keyword in the first paragraph of your post, if possible.
  • Use your targeted keyword in your title and subheadings.
  • Add your targeted keyword to your URL and meta description.
  • Yoast SEO makes it easy to implement the tips above.

Whenever you write a message, enter your target keyword into the tool. You will get an analysis of how well this post is optimized for your chosen keyword.

Analysis of text optimization.

You will be given tips to improve your keyword optimization and increase your search engine ranking chances.

12. Create high quality content

  • Google loves quality content. Look at the top 10 results for any given keyword, and you will find that the content meets two requirements:
  • The content is usually longer and has high standards.
  • The content suits the search purpose.

Long, well-written content is great. But you may not know what a search term is. Basically, the purpose of the search is the intent behind the key phrase.

When you create any kind of content, you should study what is currently ranking and try to understand why it is ranking. Sometimes content will only rank because of the domain. But if each site has the same amount of influence, then the content itself will be the differentiating factor.

To better understand your keyword and what visitors are looking for, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are they looking for information or content about a product?
  • Are they looking for something in-depth? Or short?
  • Why are the current pages ranking?
  • What’s the best content style for a keyword?

With a better understanding of the keyword, well-ranked pages, and what the potential visitor wants, you’ll be ready to create a piece of epic content.

13. Create longer content

Longer content tends to rank higher on search engines. Recent research by Buzzsumo and Moz has  shown that longer content gets more social links and more backlinks overall, which means higher rankings.

Another study found that most of the content that ranks on the first page of Google is over 2,000 words in length. This does not mean that every post on your site should be that long, but it should be what you are aiming for.

But this does not mean that you have to fill your content with unnecessary words to fill in more text.

Instead, you should focus on the target of the keyword  . That is, for whatever reason the user searches for that keyword in the first place. Then answer your query for that keyword in the most thorough and useful way, which in some cases may require you to write less text.

14. Create Evergreen content

Evergreen content can be a powerful traffic driver. This style of content will always be relevant, as it does not depend on the time of submission of information.

Compare, for example, ” The Ultimate Guide to SEO ” or something like ” What You Need to Know About the Latest Google Update. “

The former will be relevant for a long time, while the latter will rely on time-based information. This does not mean that you publish your evergreen content once and forget about it forever. Instead, you update your content regularly to reflect the latest and most relevant aspects of your industry or topic.

Evergreen content is valuable because it does not lose its relevance. This means you can continually share, promote, and collect backlinks to this content. This style of content will tend to hold the top positions for years.

Even if it takes more time and effort to create evergreen content, the results will pay off for years to come .

15. Link to quality resources

Linking to high quality sources won’t hurt your SEO, in fact, it can actually help. When you link to high quality official sources, you are telling Google that the linked content is similar to yours. In addition, it empowers users by providing readers with more information on a topic.

Don’t let your site become a dead end on the internet, sharing a link is good. Link to useful sources regularly as this will help increase your own credibility and credibility.

You know linking is important, but you also want to do it right. To avoid sending readers away from your site, it is recommended that you open all external links in a new window. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Create a hyperlink
  • To create a hyperlink, select the text and click the hyperlink button:
  • How to create a hyperlink.
  • Then click on the gear icon to open your link options.
  • Change link parameters
  • A text box appears, and then select the box that says Open in a new tab .
  • Set up link navigation.

Now when a user clicks on a link, it opens in a new tab instead of being redirected from your site.

16. Link content

Whenever you get a chance, you should link to older content that you have posted. Regular internal links can bring you the following benefits:

Make it easier for Google bots to crawl your site and access deeper pages and posts

Sending link mass to other blog posts and pages that may not attract links on their own

Helping Google understand the context of your page content by using hyperlinks

Keep visitors on your site longer so they visit more pages, thereby lowering bounce rates and increasing time on site.

WordPress makes it easy to link your content together.

Whenever you are writing a message, simply select a piece of text and click the hyperlink button. Then select the gear icon from the link options.

How to set up a hyperlink.

In the pop-up window, you will see a list of previous messages that you wrote. Just pick the most relevant piece of content from the list.

Select relevant content from the list or enter a search term.

17. Optimize the titles of your posts and pages

Your title tag is your most important tag. It tells Google what your page is about and affects whether readers will click through to your site. If you are unsure which tag is your title tag, this is the title of your post or page.

Follow these guidelines for optimizing your title tag:

  • Include your target keyword as early as possible in your headline.
  • Create a title tag between 60 and 70 characters.
  • Create an enticing title that will entice people to follow the link.
  • Changing your title tag to something well optimized and clickable is pretty easy. Especially if you are using the Yoast SEO plugin.
  • To change the title tag, open one of your posts and scroll down. You will see a section titled ” Edit Snippet “.

Snippet setup.

This is where you can customize your SEO title and optimize it for rankings.

18. Improve heading tags

Your title tags will give crawler crawlers an idea of ​​what your content is about. Using these tags in your content will make it more readable and search engine optimized.

Typically, you should have one H1 tag for each post and a hierarchy of H2 , H3 , H4 , etc. below it.

Your H1 tag will also be the title of your post, so you’ll definitely want to include your target keyword in it. For the rest of the heading tags, use the target keyword variation if possible. However, don’t fill your headlines with keywords if they don’t make sense for your message.

In the WordPress editor, you can easily add title tags via the dropdown menu.

Dropdown menu in WordPress editor.

19.Use shorter URL links

When it comes to your URLs, the shorter the better. Do your best to shorten your URLs so they don’t display multiple categories or directories. Try to include only the target keyword and get rid of everything else.

A long URL will not break your rankings. But it can make your link look like a spam link and lower your CTR. Changing your permalinks will help you better control your URL structure.

  • Follow these guidelines when creating an SEO friendly URL:
  • Use a shorter URL whenever possible and cut out filler words.
  • Include your target keyword in your URL
  • Match your titles and URLs exactly
  • Make it human readable
  • Avoid multiple categories and folders whenever possible

With this in mind, you can easily edit your URLs from within WordPress itself. On the post creation page or page, simply click Edit  in the Permalink section right below the heading:

Edit the permalink.

20. Optimize your meta descriptions

Your meta description is a piece of text that appears below the title in search results. This gives searchers an idea of ​​what this page will be about.

This is what the meta description of your article will look like in search results.

Your meta description is not a direct ranking factor, but it will help improve your search engine click-through rates. A well-written and enticing meta description will make people click on your post instead of other search results.

The data is based on correlation  , but if you have a high CTR, Google will consider your page more relevant, which can improve your rankings.

To optimize your meta description for clicks, use the following tips:

Include your keyword in your description. Google will make this keyword bold, so your ad will stand out even more.

Think of your meta description as an ad. You persuade your reader to choose yours among others on the page.

21. Include Schema Markup

You may have already heard the phrase “Microscopic Schema ” and even seen it in action. Basically, it is additional code that helps search engines better deliver data to their search engines. By implementing Schema markup , you can make your search engine listings more attractive. This can lead to higher CTRs and more traffic to your website.

Your WordPress theme may already have Schema installed . To see if your site has micro-markup, run it through this tool . If you don’t have micro-markup installed, you can use the Schema plugin . It’s easy to customize and will automatically add Schema markup  to your site.

22. Make Google SERP improvements

You’ve probably seen the fields that appear at the top of Google search results. If not, they look like this:

Optimized for Google SERP.

This place is practically zero, so you will get more traffic and more clicks. But, if you already rank on the first page, then getting that place will give you extra space on the list of results.

There is no tried and true way to get this first place, but the following optimizations will increase the likelihood that you will get it:

Add Schema Markup  to Your Site

Answer the question implied in the keyword at the beginning of your post.

Format your answer as an ordered or unordered list.

23. Optimize your images for search engines

Using images in your content will provide a better reading experience. This will help your users to interact with your site, which will give positive site performance metrics. But besides adding images to your site, you can also optimize them to improve SEO.

There are three components to proper image optimization:

Image title text

Image header text is not crawled by search engines, but it can affect your user experience. When a user hovers over your image, a popup appears with the title text for your image.

To change the title text of an image, go to the post editor where you placed the image.

Hover your mouse over the image and click on the pencil icon, and the ” Edit ” option will appear .

An example of image optimization.

In the Advanced Settings menu , you can enter a name for the image.

Image title in advanced settings.

Alternative text

The alt text of your image will tell Google what your page is about. In the first image in your post, you must change the alt text to the focal keyword of the post. For other images, use keywords that are variations on your target keyword or describe the image.

To change the image and text, go to the visual editor and hover over the inserted image. Once again, click on the pencil icon, which will bring up the ” Edit ” option . The details of your image will appear in a pop-up window. Find the field titled ” Alternative Text ” and enter a keyword or related keyword in this field.

An example of alternative text.

File name

Your image filename can help improve the ranking of your image in Google Image Search, which can generate additional traffic for your site.

Most of the default image filenames are long and confusing, plus they are not relevant to the post. Before uploading an image to WordPress, you need to think about the purpose of the image and the keyword phrase you are targeting. Then include this keyword and other descriptive phrases in your image file name.

Also, if you use multiple words in the filename, make sure you use a hyphen in between, as Google will read those hyphens as a space.

24. Set No-Follow for any affiliate links

Many sites use affiliate links to generate income. These links are used to track commissions when you recommend a product, service, or course.

But using too many of these links is frowned upon by Google. If you are using affiliate links, you can mask them by making sure they are not being tracked using a plugin called Pretty Links.

Pretty Links is a very useful plugin that can help you give a unique, non-affiliate URL for whatever links you use. As an advantage, this tool also has tracking so you can see how many people are actually clicking on your links.

To install this plugin, go to Plugins ›Add New and search for Pretty Links.

Plugin Pretty Links.

Install and activate the plugin, then go to Pretty Link ›Options on the left sidebar.

To ensure that all your affiliate links are not being tracked, check the Add nofollow box  under the Default Link Options.

Setting up the Pretty Link plugin.

You can create a new link by selecting the Add a new link option , pasting your affiliate URL, and then creating a custom link instead.

25. Configure HTTPS on your site

HTTPS is officially a ranking factor , so sites that update will have a ranking advantage. It allows your browser to establish a secure connection to any website you connect to and encrypts any data passed between them.

To switch your WordPress site to HTTPS , follow these steps:

Make sure your current host supports HTTPS and SSL.

Purchase an SSL certificate or get one through Let Encrypt .

Install SSL certificate on your host.

Check if SSL is working.

Redirect all your HTTP traffic and links to HTTPS.

The whole process is too technical. Here you can find answers to many questions .

26. Build good quality backlinks

Backlinks are still one of the top ranking factors. The more quality links your site has, the more likely it is to rank. According to research by Matthew Barbie  , if a page has a lot of backlinks, it will rank higher in search results. This post is not about building backlinks, so it would be impossible to detail each strategy here. However, here are a few techniques that can help you build quality backlinks to your site:

Create  skyscraper content  .

Look for broken backlinks  .

Create an ego decoy .

Create a Guest Post  on popular sites.

Do outreach link building  .

If you’re interested in learning more about building backlinks, check out the resources below:

Matt’s anchor text guide  (eng)

How to get quality back links  (English)

How to build backlinks when you have a new website and no money  (English)

27. Do an SEO audit

If you are not sure if your site is properly optimized, you can do an SEO audit. But instead of going through each step yourself, you can get your site up and running with an SEO audit tool. These tools will guide your site through a series of checks, and you will receive a report that tells you what you are doing right and what you can improve.

SEOSiteCheckup is a free tool that analyzes over 50 different on-site ranking factors and tells you how your site is performing. You can also use the  Varvy SEO tool to show you how well your site complies with Google guidelines.

28. Monitor your  backlink profile

By monitoring your backlink profile, you can see if your off-site optimization efforts are improving. Backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors  , so you’ll check them often.

It’s a good thing to see a trend in the number of sites linking to you over time. But remember that it is not only the number of backlinks that matters, but also the quality and relevance of those links. The more reputable and relevant sites linking to you, the better.

There are many different tools out there to help you track your backlinks. One of the most commonly used is Ahrefs . This tool will give you detailed information on the number of sites linking to you, the quality of those sites, the number of referring domains, and more. This is a premium tool, but the data you get will be invaluable.

If you’re looking for a free option, then the SEOProfiler tool might be the way to go. Just create an account and you can get a detailed report of backlinks both in individual places and on the page.

29. Force Google to index your site

Typically, your site is crawled based on the frequency with which new content is posted. But there is a workaround whereby Google indexes your content immediately.

Open Google Search Console, go to Crawl and click View as Googlebot . Enter the URL of the post you just published or updated and click Get and Display .

Launching Google Search Console.

Then click on ” Request Indexing ” and your new URL will be indexed by Google. Sometimes it doesn’t happen instantly, but it will be much faster than waiting for Google to crawl your site.

30. Target Long-Tail Keywords

Depending on your niche, ranking on the Google homepage for top keywords can be very difficult. Many of them are won over by veteran pages with content that has worked and improved over time. Not to mention a large profile of backlinks helping them, in such cases, you need to think outside the box and work your way up by targeting smaller but very specific keywords. They are often referred to as Long-Tail Keywords  . For example, try brainstorming what a potential customer interested in buying a product might write in a search engine. Then use a tool like KWFinder (eng) to get a rough estimate of the complexity and volume of the search. Make a list of options that can bring maximum potential and publish your post applying all of the above WordPress SEO tips. This will ensure a steady stream of targeted traffic to your website.

Further reading

To get the most out of your WordPress site, there are many things to consider. Here are some good articles to help you improve WordPress SEO today!

Building WordPress for Mobile with Google AMP

WordPress Security Tips

9 Ways to Speed ​​Up WordPress Sites

The definitive guide to WordPress robots.txt

WordPress Cheat Sheet for Beginners

Final word

As you can see, there are many things that you should consider when optimizing your site for the search engines. Hope the post above was helpful in giving you a great place to start optimizing your site.

Finally, remember that SEO is a long-term game. The more effort you put into SEO, the more results you will see, but usually these results only come after a while.

Your turn. Are there any tips we missed? Have you been successful in implementing some of the tips in this post? Please share in the comments below.

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