How to Develop a Successful SEO Strategy for Your WordPress Website
Posted: 16th May 2019
Creating a WordPress website is one of the best ways to establish a presence online and promote your business.
However, merely putting together a site isn’t going to cut it – you need to have a proven method for attracting the right visitors, otherwise, it won’t matter how good your site is, and you’ll have a hard time gaining attention in your marketplace.
91% of content on the web gets no traffic from Google, so if you want to ensure that all that work you put into your site pays off, you need to have a way to attract organic traffic that is interested in what you have to offer.
That’s where Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) can be so helpful.
If you can rank for some of the most relevant keywords in your niche, you will gain a steady stream of visitors to your site every single month, without having to pay a dime to attract them.
But how to make SEO work for your WordPress site?
Well, unfortunately, there are no quick fixes when it comes to SEO. Some people may try to sell you on a “secret formula” or a “hack” that allows you to rank on Google in days, but even if those methods could work for a while, they are bound to get discovered eventually, and your site’s rankings will then plummet.
Luckily, there are legitimate strategies you can use to methodically improve your rankings and do it in a way that is encouraged by Google, which will ensure that no matter how much the online landscape changes, your rankings will remain intact.
Let’s explore four of the most important strategies that you should implement below.
Understand Who You’re Trying to Reach
As we already discussed, it’s now a great time to start a business online – according to the Technology M&A Outlook for 2019, the valuation of websites is continually rising across the board, so there are ample opportunities in almost any industry.
However, when developing your SEO strategy, it’s essential to have a clear plan of action and understand the ideal audience that you’re trying to reach, because that will dictate many of your decisions that follow.
To get started, use a simple business plan template to figure out some of the basic information about what your online business will be about, and then start compiling info about your ideal audience – their demographics, interests, online habits, and most importantly, the potential keywords that they could be typing in to find websites like yours.
With that information, you’ll know the exact keywords you need to target, what content to write, and even which websites to seek out backlinks on.
Choose the Best SEO Plugins
WordPress is famous for being one of the most SEO-friendly platforms on the web, so you should make use of its potential and install plugins that can help automate or streamline some of the important on-site optimisation tasks.
With plugins like Yoast SEO or All in One SEO Pack, you get a ton of powerful features that will help to optimise your site’s URLs, META data, content, and everything else you need to make sure that Google and other search engines have an easier time understanding what your site is about and which keywords it should rank for.
You should also consider installing a broken link checker that will detect links that are no longer active, as Google may penalise your site for links that aren’t working since they reduce the quality of the user experience.
While some of these features may seem straightforward, setting them up manually for every page on your site can be a painstaking process, so taking the little time it takes to set up these plugins and following their instructions is definitely worth the effort.
Make User Experience a Top Priority
Not too long ago, ranking on Google was all about stuffing your content with keywords and getting as many backlinks from various sources as you can.
Back then, Google’s algorithm wasn’t as sophisticated and was easier to fool, so you could get by with a basic website as long as you knew how to insert keywords in the right places and get links back to your site.
But today, it won’t matter how genuinely good your content is if your site is poorly optimised and a hassle to browse on different devices, so you need to place user experience above all else and make sure that it meets all of the search engine requirements.
But where should you get started?
Well, the first step of the process is ensuring that your site caters to all visitors, no matter what device they might be using. Mobile users are now responsible for the majority of all online traffic, so your site must be convenient to view on a smaller screen if you want to have any chance of success.
Google and other search engines have emphasised the importance of websites becoming mobile-friendly, so you should make sure that your WordPress theme has a responsive design and provides a seamless experience to visitors using a phone or a tablet.
Another crucial aspect you must consider is your site’s speed. Plugins such as WP Rocket and WP Super Cache can help to optimise your site’s performance and improve loading times by compressing images and scripts.
To make sure that your site meets Google’s requirements, go and test our your site’s speed using the Google Speed Test and see the areas that need to be improved.
Finally, make sure that your WordPress website looks professional – if you’re planning on selling products, pick a custom e-commerce theme and set it up to be in line with your brand and marketplace.
You should also consider using Lightroom product photography to make your products look their best, as using stock images provided by the manufacturer doesn’t look professional and can hurt your site’s performance metrics, which influences SEO results as well.
Create Top-Quality Content
We’ve gone through some essential tips for succeeding with SEO above, but creating quality content has such far-reaching ramifications that it’s just as important in succeeding with SEO as anything else, if not more so.
The reason for that is the high level of sophistication of today’s search engines – the progress of machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies has made it possible for Google to automatically analyse content on a much deeper level and gain valuable insights about readability, quality of content, and relevance to the target audience.
What that means to you is that there aren’t many methods left for cheating the system and passing off filler content as quality articles, so your best bet is to get with the times and focus your attention on creating content that is better than everyone else’s.
Start by doing a thorough analysis of the landscape in your niche – see what your competitors are writing about, which articles get the most attention on social media, and what topics get the biggest response.
Then, think about how you could insert your own opinions and add value to the conversation that’s already happening, and you will find that you will have a much easier time getting attention for your content.
If you write articles that are engaging and provide a fresh perspective on an important topic, it will not only become easier to get the article shared on social media but will also enable you to get your content published on other sites, giving you valuable backlinks in the process.