Fix duplicate and missing title tags and H1 tags
- Two or more pages with the same title and content but different URLs can be confusing to the user and to search engines. Each page should only have one H1 tag. The duplicate and missing title tags and H1 tags can hinder your sites overall performance.
Find & fix duplicate and missing meta descriptions
- Duplicate meta descriptions can make it difficult for search engines and users to differentiate different webpages. This can also mean a lost opportunity for using relevant keywords and increasing click-through-rates.
Check meta tags
- Meta tags are snippets of text that describe your webpage’s content at the source code level. Meta tags use the <title> and <description> elements. Search engines use meta tags to understand the content.
Run a content audit
- Running a content audit will help you determine your content’s performance, trends, and to make sure your content up to date. It is always good to optimize your content to make sure you are using relevant keywords and creating valuable information.
- Optimizing images helps improve site speed. Make sure images have alt text (alternative text) so search engines can understand the image and for users who are visually impaired.
Improve internal linking
- Internal linking helps search engines understand the structure of your site. It also plays an important role in the user experience. Making it easy to link to one relevant page to the next brings value. Having the right internal linking strategy can establish a hierarchy on your site, which allows you to give the important pages more link value than others.
Find & fix keyword cannibalization
- Keyword cannibalization is when you have multiple pages that all rank for the same keyword. When you have more than one page designed to rank for a specific keyword, you are then competing with yourself.
Check these SEO Basics
Set up Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster tools
- Setting up Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster helps you track, maintain, and improve your site’s search performance.
Set up Google Analytics
- Google Analytics will allow you to understand where your traffic is coming from and what content people are consuming. You can gain insight on specific actions users are taking on your site and campaigns that are driving traffic.
Install and configure an SEO plugin (WordPress)
- Having an SEO plugin will allow you to easily optimize your webpages for search. These include your page titles, page URL, meta descriptions, and other meta data.
Generate & submit a sitemap
- A sitemap tells Google which pages you think are important on your site. A sitemap is a fundamental part of your site’s SEO strategy. Sitemaps are a good way of letting search engine know your site is available and can be crawled.
Create a Robots.txt file
- Robots.txt file is a text file webmasters use to instruct web bots how to crawl pages on their site. A robot.txt file is used to avoid overloading your site with requests to crawl; however, it is not a mechanism for keeping a page out of Google.
Check Google Search Console for manual actions
- Google gives you manual actions against your site when someone at Google has determined that pages on your site are not compliant with Google Webmaster Guidelines.
Make sure your website is indexed
- An indexed website helps your pages appear on the search engine results page. This is the first step in generating traffic.
Plugins Make Improving SEO on WordPress Easy
Once you have evaluated your WordPress Website’s SEO, improve it – and you don’t have to be a techie to do that. WordPress plugins – tons of them – exist to ease the improvement process and help you manage SEO. Northwoods has worked with Yoast SEO, Rank Math, and many SEO plugins. Most of them simplify your SEO efforts by:
- Providing keyword analysis
- Editing meta descriptions
- Enabling breadcrumbs
- Adding schema markup
- Adding social
- Automatically generating XML sitemaps
SEO Friendly URLs in WordPress
By default, WordPress allows you to set up friendly URL structures, called Permalinks. The permalink is the portion of the URL that comes after the final backslash (/).
SEO-friendly URL structure boost your website rankings by telling Google’s crawlers what any given page is all about.
“Slugs” have similar SEO benefits. The WordPress dashboard and most SEO plugins allow you to add slugs to individual pages. Slugs are among the indicators that tip users about page content. Make sure your slug aligns with what users expect to see and with your important keywords.
Focus Keywords in WordPress
Make sure to use a Focus Keyword on any WordPress site. (Remember, as you optimize your website, that Google Search is a computer algorithm.) You can easily use a WordPress SEO plugin to set a Focus Keyword. The SEO plugins will then analyze your content and keyword density, which will help you boost your content. The image below shows how one SEO plugin, Yoast SEO, does this.
Page Titles and Heading Tags in WordPress
Page Titles are the headlines that appear on the search engine results page. You can manually set up a Page Title, or SEO title, using an SEO plugin. Limit it to 65 characters.
Your website page content should also follow a correct heading structure. The Google bot crawler checks HTML tags -- H1, H2, H3 and so on. This helps Google determine the hierarchy of your site’s content. Think of the heading structure as an outline. If you only read the headers, could you tell exactly what that page is all about?
For header best practices, use one H1 tag. You can use multiple H2s, H3s, etc., but do not abuse headers. SEO is their secondary purpose; their main role is splitting up and organizing content to make it easy for actual human beings to read and grasp it.
Images: ALT tags and Proper Size
ALT tags convey, through computer-generated audio readings, the content of images to visually impaired users. Such users hear the ALT text you type in. Google uses ALT tags to better understand an image and its relevance.
All your images should have ALT text. And those images should be properly sized.
WordPress by default allows you to add ALT text and adjust image size within the image settings function. Unnecessarily large images slow down page loading and can raise the number of requests to the server before it finishes loading the page. This competes with other critical resources, which further slows loading.
Source: Search Engine Watch, “Image Optimization for SEO: Everything you need to know for success”, 2019.
Content and SEO in WordPress
SEO plugins and the features in WordPress help you make your technical SEO sound. But improving your keyword rankings goes well beyond the technical aspects of your content management system.
To significantly improve SEO you should:
- Take the time to analyze the keywords you want to rank for.
- Group those keywords by searcher intent.
- Understand what features appear on the search engine results page.
- Craft content and keywords to meet the needs of both Google and your users.
To learn more about improving WordPress SEO, contact us to set up a free consultation. We’re happy to help!