You should always be working to optimize your website for SEO. After all, the reward for a success SEO strategy is immense. It can earn you thousands of daily visitors for free. At the same time, the road to that reward is a long one, as you’ve got to push yourself at least to the first page of search results (since only 10% of visitors get past it).
For that reason, you consistently and constantly want to be working on improving your SEO to finally get up there and reap the rewards.
The problem with SEO, however, is that the field keeps changing and strategies that were super effective only last year can actually drag you down today. For that reason, you’ve got to stay on the ball.
Today we’re going to look at some strategies that are working well right now so that you can tweak your page and again start climbing the SEO ladder back to the top.
Use Yoast Seo
If you’re not yet using the Yoast SEO plug in, then star there. It will give you a whole bunch of instructions to make sure your post is SEO optimized. This includes making sure the keywords are in your URL, your title, your meta-description, your first paragraph and more.
The tool will give you a checklist below each article where it will tell you if something is missing (e.g. an image) and what you can do to make your post more SEO friendly.
The makers also update it regularly, so that you can be certain you’re keeping up with the Googdashians.
You need to protect your WordPress site. This isn’t because it’s inherently a shoddy service, but because it’s so insanely popular. That makes it a very enticing target for hackers, as their malware can infect a huge number of computers.
You’ve got to take steps to secure your website, because if Google discovers that your spreading malware onto other systems then you’ll get downgraded and not just a little bit either.
But it isn’t my fault, you might cry. It is just a little bit, though. You could have done more to secure your website. By, for example, installing Wordfence. Check out this nifty guide to get a better idea of what you need to do.
Plain language URLs
The first step is to make certain that your WordPress site actually gives you plain-language URLs. In this way, rather than giving you some kind of strange series of characters, your WordPress actually uses the keywords that you’ve chosen for your article – and that in turn will make Google think far more highly of those words.
So how do you do this? It’s straight forward. If you’re logged in as an admin, go to settings and choose the option ‘permalinks’. There you’ll have a number of different options as to how you want your URLs displayed. Choose the radio button that says ‘ post name’. And hey presto, from here on in the URLs for your files will be the names of your post.
Of course, you’re free to fidget around with them some more as shorter URLs are better than longer ones.
Google has brought out a new way to configure pages. It’s called AMP – short for accelerated mobile pages. Convert your pages to this format and Google will reward you for it. Why is AMP better? Because it makes pages easier and faster to load.
And that is something that won’t just help you in terms of Google, but will help you overall as many users nowadays will kill a page if it doesn’t load fast enough. And that, obviously, is the last thing you want.
So install the right AMP plug in and convert the pages you’ve already got.
Watch the spammy comments
If you allow people to put spammy content on your site, where they talk up their own brand and create links to their own websites, then Google will penalize you for it.
So make sure that you don’t allow every Tom, Dick, and Harry to post comments on your blog. You can do this by monitoring your blog, or instead of getting a plug in to do it for you. There are plenty of them out there.
Reduce the bounce rate and increase the hanging rate
Google assumes that when people don’t stick around on your site, that means the content being displayed there isn’t that interesting. For that reason, it’s important that you always work on creating more engagement.
Of course, you can do so by making sure your content is high quality by spending enough time on it and getting it to be a top website in terms of content.
That isn’t the only thing you should do, however. You also need to make sure that your website links well internally so that people feel tempted to follow your links. You can do this by linking posts contextually so that people that have just finished your post will immediately see a next one that is related.
This will help you increase your click-through rate considerably.
Also, make sure that your tags and your links are in order so that people can follow them and see related content.
Social media buttons
You’ve got social media buttons, don’t you? In case you don’t, do something about it right now! Social media buttons are a great way to draw more people to your site – and that is something that Google will also look at to decide where you rank and on which page.
And besides, it means more eyeballs, which creates more opportunities for back links and other forms of attention, which in turn will also benefit your site.
As already said, SEO isn’t the easiest thing to rank for. Often it can be far simpler to draw in people through social media and newsletter campaigns. At the same time, those only work for a short time, with both taking consistent and continuous effort to pay off.
Organic searches, on the other hand, don’t work that way. They will provided your article is actually delivering what people want, keep supplying you with a constant and steady stream of traffic. This can, in fact, become self-reinforcing, with the constant stream of traffic leading to more shares and links, which in turn will continue to keep you riding high on the SEO wave.
That’s well worth the effort and the time you have to put in. So, even while you’re looking at social media and such strategies for the short term, never forget that SEO will pay off in the long term like nobody’s business.