WordPress SEO Performance
Why WordPress SEO tips? Let’s start with this: Google is the #1 marketing channel of them all.
It’s responsible for sending hundreds of thousands of visitors to the world’s WordPress blogs.
The best part?
These 5 quick WordPress SEO tips you’re about to learn, will help you see improved rankings in just a few weeks… Please keep in mind that this is not tailored to your site's specifics, you should always consult with SEO experts if you want better result in the long term for your website.
And you can do most of them in less than 10 minutes.
Sound exciting? Good! Let’s dive right in.
Five quick WordPress SEO tips
Before we get into the details, here is a quick overview of everything we’re going to cover:
- Improve your site speed
- Optimize for mobile
- Delete thin content
- Ensure all your images have
- Review your site structure and internal linking
Note: This post assumes you already have a basic understanding of SEO and are already applying SEO best practices, like keyword research and on-page optimization. If you’re not, learn those first!
On to your WordPress SEO tips!
1. Improve your WordPress site speed
Site speed is important for a lot of reasons. People will tend to leave if a site takes longer than 3 seconds to load, for one.
But it’s also important to Google.
Contrary to popular belief, Google doesn’t reward fast sites – they penalize slow ones. So if your site is slow, speeding it up can remove the penalty and improve your rankings.
You can check your site speed using a tool like Pingdom. However, it’s more accurate to check your speed in Google Analytics, if you have it set up.
(If not, definitely set it up – it’s really easy and gives you a lot of awesome data on your site.)
To find your site speed in Google Analytics go to Behavior → Site Speed → Overview.
You’ll probably see a high number here – don’t freak out. This isn’t the time it takes for the above the fold content to load (which is what most of your visitors care about), but rather how long it takes for everything on the page to load, including backend code.
Now, here are two quick tips to improve your WordPress site speed in less than 10 minutes:
- Install and set up a caching plugin.
- Compress and re-upload any huge image files on your site.
Now, #2 could take a long time to do if you have a lot of images. But it’s one of the best and easiest ways to speed up your site for better search rankings.
You can definitely save some valuable time by getting a Premium WordPress Care Plan that comes with caching options already setup for you and our Extra optimization option to automatically compress images on the fly at our CDN level without altering your original images.
Once you take these steps, check your site speed again on Pingdom – you should see a significant increase! If not, you may ask us to help you with the more complex speed issues.
2. Optimize your WordPress site for mobile
Mobile has long overtaken desktop in the number of users browsing online. And it’s only going to continue increasing as phones get better and voice search improves.
Google knows that. And they reward mobile-friendly sites with better rankings.
It makes sense – Google’s goal is to provide the absolute best experience for the end user. Obviously, viewing a mobile site on a mobile device is going to provide the best experience.
Here’s an example on one of my sites (ignore the orange in the left screenshot – I had blue light blocking turned on at the time):
See how the image was centered so the text didn’t get forced left align? Makes it so much easier to read (and way less ugly)!
So how do you make your site mobile friendly?
The easiest way is to choose a mobile friendly WordPress theme.
3. Delete and redirect thin content
Thin content is any page on your site that’s under 300 words long and doesn’t provide clear value to the reader.
The reason we want to delete thin content is that it doesn’t provide any benefit. If you think of your site as a farm, and Google’s “SEO juice” as your farm’s water, you want the water going to the right places.
If you have a lot of dead weight pages, you’re basically watering dead plants. Instead, uproot those plants and keep your water going to the plants already performing well, so they can perform even better.
Rather than trying to explain how to find thin content and what to do with it, I’ll just point you to this guide by Lee Wilson and continue with my WordPress SEO tips.
Word of Warning: It can be difficult to determine whether content is “thin” or not if your site is an e-commerce, since many product pages will be under this word count. So be careful!
4. Ensure all your images have alt text
Did you know that Google image search accounts for 10.1% of all Google’s search traffic?
alt text to images is a super easy and simple way to take advantage of some of that traffic.
Plus, Google uses
alt text to determine the topic of a page, so it can even help your search rankings on non-image search.
To find all the images on your site lacking
alt text, you can use a tool like Screaming Frog. The free version won’t show you all of them, but it will show you a good chunk.
5. Review your site structure and internal linking
Your site’s navigation is hugely important to SEO. Google gives the highest ranking authority to those pages in your navigation, since they are linked to from essentially every page on your site.
Remember the farming analogy? Adding internal links to important pages is like adding another stream of water to that crop. The more internal links, the more water it gets.
Make sure your navigation is clean, and don’t link to more than 5-15 of your absolute most important pages.
If you aren’t sure which pages are your most important, just look at your analytics to see which pages get the most traffic. (Or you could just do a gut check – you know which pages you put the most effort into.)
Pro Tip: If you want a page to rank faster, add more internal links pointing to that page! For example, if you just published a new blog post that you spent hours creating, go into your old posts and add links to the new post.
For more info on internal linking and how to do it properly, check out this guide by Andy Crestodina.
While there are quite a few more quick WordPress SEO tips I could give you, I’ll leave it at these for now. It’s more important that you go and implement this stuff right away than get stuck reading more material.
While the tweaks we mentioned here won’t perform magic, don’t be surprised if they boost your pages from the second page of Google to page one within a few weeks. Especially if you have a larger site with lots of pages and decent domain authority.