So, what is SEO and why on earth do you need a WordPress SEO checklist for your blog or website?
SEO stands for search engine optimization, which boils down to two main goals. The first goal is to make Google happy. Essentially, this means designing both the layout of your site and content so that it appears higher in the Google search results. The second goal, of course, is to make the reader and consumers of your content happy. This can be done by producing truthful, helpful, and easy to read content. While this WordPress SEO checklist focuses primarily on making Google and it’s search engine algorithm happy, it is always important to keep your reader in mind when making changes to your website or blog.
Here is a WordPress SEO checklist with 13 simple ways to increase the traffic to your website!
1. The very first thing you need to look at to increase the search engine visibility of your site is your website hosting platform. Whether you’re on the lookout for a host or already have one, know that the host site itself can impact your search engine visibility. So, choose a hosting platform that fits your unique needs and has some form of SEO component in their package.
2. In conjunction with picking the right site, the actual layout of your site has a large impact on your site’s standing in Google’s search engine algorithm. So, it is smart to pick a layout that is designed specifically for greater search engine visibility. You will likely find these template options under the “SEO friendly” section.
Another important feature on your WordPress SEO checklist is installing some type of SEO plugin.
3. This is where Yoast SEO comes in. An SEO plugin like Yoast allows you to specify things like the meta description and keyword of your blog post. In addition, SEO plugins also analyze your post and show you areas where you have room for improvement. This allows you to ensure that you are utilizing SEO optimization to the best of your abilities.
4. The permalink to your individual posts is another way to increase the visibility and traffic to your site. It is essential that your permalink is related to either your topic or focus keyword. The shorter the permalink, the better.
If you only remember one thing from this SEO WordPress Checklist, it should be the vital importance of using a focus keyword.
5. It is critical that you find the right focus keyword to center your post around. Without the appropriate focus keyword, Google can’t tell what topic your post is on and what type of search results it is relevant to. Make sure that no matter what type of content you are creating, you always write with a focus keyword in mind.
6. Going along with focus keywords, it is best to do keyword research before actually settling on a focus keyword. How do you narrow down the list of dozens of potential keywords or keyword phrases? Luckily, Ahrefs has the solution for you. This SEO tool can generate a detailed list of hundreds of thousands of possible focus keywords for your post. Even better, it ranks these keywords so you can easily pick a focus keyword that will get people to click on to your site.
Once you have a focus keyword picked out and a blog post written, the next step in your WordPress SEO checklist is to specify your meta description.
7. The meta description is the little paragraph that is displayed in the Google results below the link to your site or blog post. Because of both the vast amount of Google search results and the limited space of meta descriptions, it is essential that you choose your words carefully. Your meta description should include the gist of what your post or site is about, while also drawing the reader into your link specifically. Using your focus keyword here is an absolute must.
8. Another formatting trick to optimize the search engine visibility of your post and make your reader happy is by inserting headers throughout your post. This not only makes your post easier to read and navigate, it also makes Google happier. By inserting headers with your focus keyword in them, Google views your post both as more informative and legitimate.
It’s 2018, and being wordy still matters to some extent when it comes to producing content online.
9. Although certain shorter posts can still rate well SEO wise, it is the long and well-written content that scores highest in Google’s current algorithm. While 300 to 400 words is the typical benchmark for blog posts, the more the better if you want your posts to perform well. Posts that well exceed that benchmark are viewed by Google as being both more trustworthy and more helpful to readers.
10. External links are an easy way to drive traffic to your site. Include relevant links within your blog posts to other popular, high traffic sites to draw more people to your site. It is recommended that you include a minimum of 2 external links per blog post. However, it is important not to go overboard on external linking and to choose only relevant links.
Social media can be a huge player when it comes to bringing new visitors to your site.
11. While there is some debate on just how shares and likes impact the SEO ranking of posts, there’s no denying the power that social media has to spread a message. Research has shown that both shares and likes of a post via social media have the ability to raise a site’s presence in the Google search results.
12. Consistency is another key in making both Google and your readers happy with your content. It is a good idea to get on some type of posting schedule that you can maintain for the foreseeable future. This, in combination with adding a last updated feature to your blog, will ensure that you stay relevant in everyone’s eyes.
The final tip for this WordPress SEO checklist is a surprisingly simple one that can lead to BIG results!
13. Making your site multilingual can do wonders for your SEO ranking. This is especially true when it comes to using focus keywords. Because so few sites utilize this multilingual option, any keyword you settle on in English will be used far less in any other language. Therefore, you will face less competition in the foreign keyword market while also drawing a large amount of new traffic to your site.