WordPress SEO Best Practices

Consider for a moment how second nature it is nowadays to pull out your phone and type a phrase into your preferred search engine — whether you’re looking to buy a pair of running shoes or trying to find the best tacos on vacation. Mobile devices have become our gateways to finding the products and places we desire.

So, a big part of being a business owner in today’s market is making sure people can find your brand when they go looking for a relevant search query. This explains why companies go to great lengths to do all they can to boost their search engine optimization (SEO). Ranking well for relevant keywords can make the difference between getting noticed by potential customers and, well… not.

Some SEO best practices are more technical, while others involve the content posted on your website — including your brand’s blog. Are you one of the many entrepreneurs using the WordPress content management platform? Here are some SEO tips.

Prioritize Website Functionality

As scrolling on smartphones becomes ever more normalized, users expect more seamless experiences. Research shows people don’t want to wait even a few seconds for a website to load. This means factors like wait time can affect user experience, which in turn means search engines consider them when assigning rankings to blogs.

Page speed and other functionality features play key roles in SEO. Keep this in mind when you’re choosing your WordPress theme. Not only must a theme look nice and offer intuitive navigation, but it must load quickly to keep visitors’ attention. Before settling on a theme, be sure to test its functionality so you can evaluate its look and its performance.

Take Advantage of Plugins

The great news is that you don’t have to be a seasoned SEO expert to take advantage of the tools available today — like plugins, which adds SEO capabilities onto the existing platform. Ultimately, these tools aim to make it user-friendly to optimize your brand’s blog.

Verizon Small Business provides a rundown of some of the best SEO plugins for WordPress, with features like:

  • Selecting and using keywords throughout your content
  • Writing title tags and other components of blog SEO
  • Making images more SEO friendly with alt and title tags
  • Making it easier for search engines to index your blog (which can improve your rankings)
  • Allow you to switch WordPress themes without losing your SEO efforts
  • Help organize your content with links, categories and tags

This is just a sampling of some of the SEO tasks plugins can either automate or support, making them worthwhile additions to any business blog. Brands on a budget will be glad to know many plugins are free or low-cost.

Focus on Creating SEO Friendly Content

What does it take to create effective content? Of course, you want it to be engaging, entertaining, and helpful to readers. But behind the scenes, you also want it to be appealing to search engines as well as humans — helping it rank well so even more people can find it.

Perhaps the first step to SEO-driven content marketing is nailing down your keyword research — that is, deciding which terms around which to center your content depending on their competitiveness and relevance to your line of business. There are lots of designated keyword tools out there to help you tackle this important step.

WordPress SEO best practices exist to help bloggers take the right steps to maximize the visibility of their site so they can connect with target audience members. There are measurable benefits to knowing these practices and implementing them as you keep building your blog.

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