WordPress SEO Best Practices for 2019 and Beyond

Ways to Boost the SEO of Your WordPress Site

WordPress SEO tips
WordPress SEO tips

Five quick WordPress SEO tips

Before I get into the details, I wanted to give you a quick overview of everything we’re going to cover:

  1. Improve your site speed
  2. Optimize for mobile
  3. Delete thin content
  4. Ensure all your images have alt text
  5. 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. Pick a good web host

The first step is to ensure your site loads fast, because speed is a very important ranking factor for Google. If your site is presently not loading very fast (even heavy pages should load in under 1.5 seconds),  you can contact your host and ask them why your website is performing slowly on their server, but if they fail to provide you a specific reason (such as your website hitting your allocated resource limits), you can be sure that their servers are slow in the first place.

2. Install an .xml sitemap plugin

Installing an .xml sitemap plugin is vital for WordPress blogs. Providing search engines like Google links to all the pages on your site in a sitemap, preferably in the .xml format, helps them index your site content faster, in an easier way.

3. Install an SEO plugin and start using rel=”canonical”

Installing a good SEO plugin is a must because it can take good care of numerous SEO aspects of your blog automatically. As soon as you install one, you should enable the rel=”canonical” tag for pages on your blog.  It helps search engines to determine the original source URLs of content on your blog. That way, it helps eliminate duplicate content issues from WordPress sites.

4.  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):

5. Ensure all your images have alt text

Did you know that Google image search accounts for 10.1% of all Google’s search traffic?

Adding 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.

6. While writing new ones, link to your old posts

Internal linking has been and still is a very important way to feed search engines more relevant content on your website. It works as a virtual map of related posts on your site and makes navigation within your site easier for both users and bots. Linking to your old but related posts manually using manually chosen anchor text performs better than linking to old posts using a ‘related posts’ plugin which displays full titles of your old posts while linking to them. In addition to SEO, it also helps your old posts get more traffic.

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