SEO Optimization for WordPress That’s Way Too Easy NOT To Do
Doing SEO Optimization for WordPress? If you’re launching a new site, these 4 WordPress SEO hacks are way too easy to NOT implement right from the jump
4 Too-Easy-Not-To-Do SEO Optimizations For Your New WordPress Website
When you first get the idea to make a website on WordPress, do you stop to think about what you’ll need to do to make it search engine friendly?
Or maybe you thought that this step would come in time and isn’t something you should be concerned about in the beginning. Perhaps you didn’t know about search engine optimization to begin with.
No matter what you thought then, with your WordPress website just launched, you now want to optimize it and we’ve got 4 too-easy-not-to-do SEO tips to help you out.
Like this headline, it’s difficult to get to the point if there’s too long a pause in between a and b. You don’t want users to leave your website because it’s taking too long to load.
Famed marketer, Gary Vaynerchuk, says it best: “Don’t take attention for granted.”
As of 2018, a website’s page speed on both desktop and mobile is a Google ranking factor which means it’s a big deal that you focus on optimizing your page load speed.
Visitors only have a short attention to spend on a given subject, especially web pages!
According to a Google report, 53% of mobile users will leave a page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Those 3 seconds can be a make or break point.
If they leave, will that user ever come back? Most likely not.
You need to make sure that the reason a visitor leaves isn’t because of a slow loading time.
Pass Your Website Page Speed Inspection
Google has a free tool for this known as PageSpeed Insights (PSI).
Using this tool, there are only two easy steps to do:
- Copy and paste the website URL where prompted
- Click “Analyze”
Repeat the process a few times to get the most accurate data. Google PSI will also provide you an error report for both mobile and desktop versions on what is causing the page loading issues including page stats and optimization suggestions.
Here’s what the mobile report looks like:
Here’s what the desktop report looks like:
You should do your best to pass Google’s PSI analysis since this is directly linked to Google’s search engine view of your website.
Inspect & Fix The Errors
There are a couple of ways to inspect and fix errors.
- PSI: You can also use this tool to inspect the suggested fixes. Google has an enormous database of information regarding rules and fixes.
- GTmetrix: Is another free tool you can use for page speed analysis. This is a bit more in-depth compared to PSI. You can view the example below for what the analysis looks like for a website. Just like PSI, you’ll want to run the test a few times to receive the most accurate data.
- Pingdom: Another free tool, although you can purchase the upgraded version with a few more features. Pingdom provides a highly in-depth analysis of your selected URLs’ page speed. Review the example below for insights.
We suggest using all of these tools to get the most accurate picture of how well your website is doing.
SEO Optimization for WordPress, starts with page speed, and here are some great plugins for you…
WordPress Page Speed Plugins
WordPress has a few advantages when it comes to optimizing your page speed including the lengthy list of plugins available for doing so. Here’s a list of seven plugins that can accelerate the page speed of your website:
- WP Fastest Cache (Free): Easy setup, works well with dynamic WP websites.
- LiteSpeed Cache (Free): Integrates great with other SEO plugins.
- WP Rocket (Paid): Starting at $39 per year, has a HUGE list of features.
- Hummingbird Page Speed Optimization (Free): Works well with Google PSI.
- W3 Total Cache (Free): Higher website performance and improvements in the SERPs.
- BJ Lazy Load (Free): Your page automatically serves visitors all of its content. Lazy Load replaces your content that isn’t being viewed by the visitor with a placeholder and provides the content as the visitor navigates through your website.
- PageSpeed Ninja (Free): Works for both desktop and mobile website versions. Compresses images and files to optimized sizes, minifies website code for faster page loads and much more.
There are other tips for increasing your page speed.
Just remember to review all of the proposed strategies to choose what works best for your website.
2) Create a Google Search Console Account
If you want to rank on the search engine results pages quickly, you have to let Google know your website exists.
Google Search Console (GSC) is used by many SEO professionals for indexing pages on the Google SERPs. Rather than waiting around for days (or weeks!) for Google to index your pages automatically, you can submit a sitemap for Google to crawl your pages faster.
Google recently did a massive update to GSC and I made an in-depth article on submitting a sitemap. Here’s an in-depth step by step process I’ve made on how to submit your sitemap in 2018.
3) Create a GMB Profile
What’s a Google My Business (GMB) profile and why do you need it?
Most people think of all SEO Optimization for WordPress taking place on-site, but this is one off-site optimization hack you don’t want to skip.
Odds are you’ve probably searched Google for things like “restaurants near me” or “gas stations” and Google’s results have shown you local restaurants and gas stations closest to you and with reviews.
Does this local search result box look familiar?
This is because these local businesses have created an account for their business on GMB. You don’t have to make an account just to rank in your local region. However, doing so gives you full control over your profile.
Some of the benefits of owning a Google My Business Account include:
- Provide a business description and list of products or services to let consumers know who you are and how you can help them
- Let customers know when you’re open and closed (especially helpful for holiday hours)
- Receive and respond to reviews (a major local SEO ranking factor)
- Add photos of your team, business, and product or services
- Use the Posts feature to drive more traffic and convert users with a special offer
You can see there are many benefits of claiming a GMB account.
A Google My Business profile is super easy to create.
Here’s a quick how-to on making your GMB account:
- Sign In
Go to Google My Business and sign in with your Google account.
- Input Your Business Name
Type in your business name then click “Next”.
- Input Your Business Location
Fill out the address information of your business. If your business delivers goods or services to the customer’s door, then check the box for “I deliver goods and services to my customers.” If this doesn’t apply, then keep it unmarked. Click “Next”.
- Choose a Category
Google provides an enormous amount of categories for your business. Start typing what industry or service you provide, pick the category that best suits your business, then click “Next”.
- Add Contact Details
Let Google know how users can contact you. Enter the phone number that reflects on your website and the website domain URL. When finished, click “Next”.
- Finish and Move on to Verification
Congratulations, you’ve successfully created your business account! Click “Finish” to move onto the next step.
Your business profile isn’t on Google just yet. You must first verify your business address. There are a couple of ways to verify your business address:
- Phone call/text with a verification code (may not be available for every business)
- Postcard by mail (highly recommended and most reliable way for Google to prove your address because sending the mail to a physical location absolutely proves your business’s existence), typically is received within 5 business days
- Verify later (which won’t help you now since Google needs to prove your business is at the address you say it is)
Finish Making Your Profile
Once you’ve verified your business, you’ll need to finish filling out your business profile.
Try to add information to as many fields as possible to help online users understand who you are and what you do. This is how you represent your company on the local search listings so be highly detailed and relevant as to what your company is about. Include some keywords about your business to help Google provide the best content for users in the SERPs.
Look around all of the features and apply what’s best for your business.
A very important aspect of GMB is your image content. Go through all of the photo categories and try upload at least three high-quality images to each one. The higher quality the picture, the better for users and Google.
You’ll want to edit these images to specific dimensions before uploading them so they look their best.
4) Install Yoast SEO
A friend to the SEO professional and beginner. Yoast is a powerful and free WordPress plugin that truly handles a huge amount of SEO Optimization for WordPress.
The benefits of using Yoast include:
- Meta optimization: Optimize your page titles, descriptions, and URL slugs.
- On-page optimization: Yoast gives you a checklist of optimizations to make and will let you know if you’d done them or not.
- Add a focus keyword: A focus keyword is the most valued keyword you want that particular page to rank for. Yoast will tell you how good a job you’ve done at optimizing the page for that keyword.
- XML sitemaps: Yoast will automatically create a sitemap for you to use.
- Cornerstone content: Let Yoast know which pages are most important to you and they will make sure it gets extra SEO love.
You can check out the full Yoast SEO Optimization for WordPress Video Tutorials Here:
There are more features than this with the premium account plugin but these are a great start.
SEO is a complicated service. A great deal of work goes into SEO Optimization for WordPress, at least doing it the right way. For the best results, this is why there are so many SEO marketing agencies and consultants. Not everyone can be an SEO professional but these are a few things that you can do yourself without expert knowledge.
Take the time to execute each optimization and you’ll find yourself getting closer and closer to your SEO goals.