SEO for WordPress – 5 Simple Steps to Improve SEO Performance

For entrepreneurs looking to scale-up at pace, adapt to changing online trends and increase online offering at the click of a few buttons, WordPress is a must-have. The out-of-the-box solution, wide-ranging access to development and theme use has made it a global choice not only for smaller businesses, but international brands as well.

So, how do you utilise WordPress not only for the benefit of your current business, but to gain new business as well?

WordPress SEO

Create a clear Website Structure

At the heart of a successful SEO campaign is the structure of a website.

WordPress allows for the use of parent and child pages, so ensure you build a structure offsite that you can follow onsite. This should be in the form of a hierarchy and identify all top-level parent pages and children beneath them.

From an SEO perspective this sends a clear message to Google once a site is built as to which areas should be the priority.

When building SEO strategies, either in-house or with an agency, it creates a clear approach to which pages should be associated with keyword groups or campaigns.

Use an SEO plugin

One of the features of WordPress for the not-so-tech-minded are plugins. Now, while you should be mindful of plugins and where possible have a developer or SEO agency cast over them for security and compatibility with a theme/Wordpress system, you should also be utilising some basic plugins to ramp up the performance of your SEO.

At the core of onsite work for SEO is how Google reads key elements of your website. This starts with keyword placement, page titles/meta tags and internal linking to guide search crawlers to the locations they need to be in.

A plugin such as SEO Yoast will allow you to put keywords into the bottom of your page and uses a traffic light system to point out where improvements can be made. This includes readability, keyword density and if the keyword/s appear in titles, headings and URLs.

Following the traffic light system at a basic level, in line with a plugin, reduces the technical requirement associated with building meta data within a website.

Wordpress theme

Utilise your theme

Whilst most WordPress themes allow you to build a website ‘Out of the box’, reducing the amount of development work needed to launch a website, they can also come with a huge amount of unneeded code and baggage.

As part of an audit and initial working process, an SEO agency will carry out a technical audit on a website and identify areas of the theme that can be removed, reduced or compressed. This will include the removal of unnecessary Javascript and CSS to benefit how the website loads, changes to browser caching to remove constant strain on browsers, and the use of a cache flush, to control what is and isn’t saved within a web server.

Choose the Right Hosting

Hosting can often prove to be tricky – many will opt for a cheaper hosting service on the premise that a hosting provider is the same wherever you go.

However, a hosting provider needs to located in your target markets to reduce load speeds, you need to consider the size and type of hosting you take as well. Cloud based hosting is popular and ideally you should be on a private server, which will remove the risk associated with sharing webspace with others.

Finally, ensure the hosting provider you have can meet the requirements and traffic use associated with your site.

Any down time of a website and slow delivery of assets will likely impact your SEO performance.

Further, WordPress plugins can conflict with hosting, again – ensure you work with somebody in the know before you undertake any major changes.

Cloud security

Use up to date and useful security plugins

One of the perceived flaws of WordPress is security, and this is not without reason.

Brute force attacks (where robots will constantly try to login), code injections (through plugins and themes which have not been updated) and spam attacks (where thousands of comments are left in a short period) are all seen as common risks.

However, keeping plugins and themes up to date and using a simple security plugin such as CloudFlare – which filters all data on the site, is the simplest way to reduce security risk. This will alert you to any changes in plugins, login attempts and updates needed to keep your website secure.

POLARIS Agency is an SEO Agency based in London providing specialist SEO services across a multitude of sectors.