In order to ensure that your website is performing at its absolute best, you need to use the best WordPress SEO plugins available. This is true whether you are running a blog or managing a complex eCommerce store. Without the right optimizations in place, it will be difficult to generate enough organic traffic and sales.
There are hundreds of resources online for deciding which SEO plugins to use and why, so many in fact that it can become overwhelming if you are simply looking for straightforward answers. That’s why this guide dispenses with all of the fluff and will only touch on the exact plugins you need for your WordPress website, without getting lost in the details.
Once you feel confident that you have all of the right plugins on your website, take a look at our WordPress blogging guide for SEO, which will help you create powerful content that will help in your optimization efforts.
Do You Really Need SEO Plugins For WordPress?
Before jumping to the checklist, you may have your doubts that SEO plugins are even necessary at all. If you have any experience with search engine optimization, you may already be aware that technically speaking, it has nothing to do with using certain plugins.
There are no magic apps or special themes you can use in WordPress to automatically improve your SEO. All work in this area has to be performed manually. However, there are definitely certain WordPress plugins and SEO tools that can significantly cut down on superfluous work and make your job easier when it comes to improving your website. Think of these plugins like strengthening the foundation of a house. While you are still not in the process of building the structure itself, you are making enhancements that will give your site a clear advantage and just make your life easier all the way around.
WordPress SEO Plugin Checklist
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but should be used when first starting your website or to start off on the right track at the beginning of a SEO campaign. If you are concerned about your website ranking in Google and performing properly for your users, these plugins are exactly what you need for your WordPress site.
Yoast SEO Plugin
No conversion about WordPress SEO would be complete without mentioning Yoast. While All in One SEO Pack is a strong alternative, Yoast is considered the de facto gold-standard when it comes to adding basic necessary optimization features to your website.
Yoast provides a comprehensive suite of different features, allowing the user to customize the way their website appears in the search results, which kinds of content can be indexed, XML sitemap functionality, social media metadata, and a variety of other little fixes, which would otherwise have to be altered through code without this plugin, which is not ideal.
What Yoast is known for most of all however is its various on-page readability and keyword guides that help with creating better-quality content for your readers. While these features don’t actually improve SEO on their own, they can help you take initiative to improve your content and make it more useful and digestible. This also applies to the homepage and product pages as well, which can greatly affect your SEO when everything is taken into consideration.
Google Analytics by Monster Insights
Why not just log in to your Google Analytics dashboard to see your traffic data? Monster Insights simply gives webmasters and store owners the option to view vital traffic data right in the WordPress dashboard without having to venture into the depths of Google. This can save time and aid in understanding, as the data provided in the plugin is considerably paired down compared to what you get in Google.
If you want to improve your on-page SEO, you always have to think about user experience pain points such as navigation, searchability, and page speed. One way in which many websites hamper themselves is by hosting too many overly large images. While attractive photos are one of the best attractions of a professional eCommerce website, you also want to make sure these images have been properly compressed in order to increase page load times.
The Smush plugin makes it so that you don’t have to worry about manually compressing your photos in a program like Photoshop before uploading them to WordPress, saving time and a ton of hassle. This is a WordPress SEO plugin that can directly improve the quality of your website.
W3 Total Cache
One of, if not the best caching plugins for WordPress. A strong competitor is Autoptomize, which might be the better choice in some cases for a paired down experience, but for eCommerce websites that need to fine-tune their caching options, this plugin is the way to go.
If you are not entirely up to speed as to what caching is, it’s essentially a means of condensing and streamlining the content of your website so that it loads faster for the user. This is done by combing pages of code into a single document, and also taking dynamic elements such as PHP and making them static, which reduces load times. These changes can cause glitches and problems for complex websites, so caching is inherently complex. W3 Total Cache gives you extraordinarily fine control over all aspects of your website’s compression, from combing JavaScipt and CSS files, to limiting how your site is cached on particular pages and in certain browsers, this plugin does it all.
WP Sitemap Page
You may already have an XLM sitemap, which is what Google needs in order to crawl your website properly, but do you have an HTML sitemap as well? To improve your user-experience and give your SEO a little boost, it can be helpful to generate a full user-facing sitemap on your website. For sites that have a lot of categories or blogs, this can make finding them much easier. The additional contextual links can also help Google index your website properly as well.
While Elementor is technically a page-builder and not an SEO plugin, it is quickly becoming an “essential” aspect of many WordPress builds. This is because user experience and design is increasingly lumped in with search engine optimization.
To truly make sure your website is optimized for the search engines, you have to be able to control all of the content throughout your website. This is something that vanilla WordPress does very poorly. High-quality page builders like Elementor give you the ability to create attractive, user-friendly content all over your website with ease, and you can have total control over this content in order to make sure it follows the specific conventions that you want it to.
With a page-builder like Elementor, you can improve user experience significantly, giving your WordPress site a professional look and feel without necessarily having to get a custom theme developed or any other more comprehensive changes made. When you have full control over the posts and pages of your site, right down to the spacing between paragraphs and the size of buttons, you can tailor each and every section of your store for optimal usability and visual appeal.
The Best Choice For Your WordPress Store
Even with the help of the right plugins, taking care of your SEO can be tough. If you feel lost when it comes to making the proper optimizations and would rather a professional team manage your campaign, we’re here to help. A WordPress SEO agency can give you the edge you need to improve your website enough to start ranking on the front page of Google, which can help you get more traffic and sales.
Here at Genius eCommerce®, we create powerful SEO strategies for eCommerce websites looking to get ahead. From in-depth keyword research to professional content writing and quality backlinking, we know how to give online stores the lift they need to succeed. If you don’t want to deal with the pain of having to figure out SEO on your own, give us a call and we’ll help you get a handle on it.
In eCommerce, the flow or organic traffic you have coming into your website can play a substantial role in the overall success of your business. If you manage a WordPress store, you likely already know how important it is to keep up a steady flow of new users that are looking for your products.
Without this traffic, sales can become stagnant and your eCommerce business efforts may seem like a constant uphill battle. The truth is, without the proper search engine optimizations in place on your website, there is a high likelihood that your online business will not get to the level that you want it to. The field is too competitive now to leave your organic traffic to chance, which is likely why you have stumbled upon this guide.
Here we will go over why SEO is so important for the health of any online store, as well as crucial SEO tips that you can implement to potentially boost your position in the SERPs and get more organic traffic coming into your website. Right now, this is one of the goals of any online business that is serious about succeeding, because as effective as advertising and social media marketing can be, there is no substitute for continuous organic traffic.
Why Your WordPress Store Needs SEO
You may have found success in the past without investing in SEO, or perhaps you aren’t quite sure what SEO even is to begin with and are looking for some clarification. Let’s clear the air a little and lay out exactly what SEO is and why it can benefit your online store.
What is WordPress SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and encompasses a range of strategies that involve improving user experience and the quality of your website so that it may rank higher in Google.
While WordPress and WooCommerce are “SEO friendly,” they don’t automagically get your content or products seen in Google (no service or platform does this).
In order to rank, you need to pay attention to your WordPress theme, your use of keywords on your pages, products, and blogs, your text to code ratio, how fast your website is, the quality of your product photos, which plugins you are using, and a host of other factors.
SEO becomes more technical and user-focused every year, increasing the need for helpful advice and professional assistance.
WordPress is considered a great platform for SEO because you have a great deal of control over the layout and functionality of your website, and important factors like URL structure, caching, navigation, and category hierarchy.
Like any platform, your SEO efforts on WordPress must be driven by content and user experience, so while there are certain plugins and themes that can help you create a better website, you still need to put in the work in to create content that encourages engagement, sells your brand and products, and connects with the users in some way.
Google and the other search engines are looking for certain ranking signals. These days, the search engines track all of the minute behaviors of users visiting your website, such as how long they stay on a particular page or whether or not they make a sale. These metrics are considered in the overall usability of your website and will influence its ability to rank high.
This means that you need to take certain steps in order to ensure that you are providing an optimal experience for your users. No matter how great your products are, if your website is unoptimized and comes across as amateurish, your users are not going to stick around long, and Google will notice this.
Sometimes store owners get lucky and a few of their products rank respectively enough to bring in a bit of traffic that can keep the business afloat, at least in the interim. However, this approach to SEO isn’t sustainable, and if you are serious about making sure your WordPress store prospers, you need to take a more proactive approach to how you optimize your content and reach out to your users.
Important SEO Tips to Improve Your Store
If you are trying to get more traffic to your WordPress website, there are several measures you can take to potentially boost your rankings. Some of the following tips may seem like only small adjustments, but when it comes to SEO and what the search engines are looking for, something as tiny as a meta title can have a big impact on the perceived quality of a page.
Before diving into the tips, take a moment to consider the context of your content and how it addresses certain user needs. This is the true end-goal for Google and they have made this clear over the last few years, that all of the techniques and “SEO hacks” in the world aren’t a substitute for simply providing a great user experience, and this will continue to be reflected in the algorithm changes. Your first concern should be, “how can I provide usable information to my users or help them in some way.”
Here are important WordPress SEO Tips to consider:
Prioritize easy reading and helpful information over flashy designs.
Decrease page load times by compressing images and reducing unnecessary plugin usage.
Your navigation should be clear and understandable, and should act as a guide for your users to help them find what they are looking for.
Meta titles should not be full of useless information. They should accurate describe the primary content of the page in question, and should ideally contain the focus keyword.
Your product descriptions should be fleshed out and should contain relevant keywords. Think of each product page as its own sales page, and you will have a basic idea of the level of quality Google and your users are looking for.
Social proof goes a long way. Whenever possible, include reviews, links to your social media profiles, and other signals of authority that the search engines can pick up to understand that you are a real business and not just another random digital entity.
Invest in your hosting. If you are running a serious eCommerce website, you can’t get by on shared or discount hosting. WooCommerce alone is one of the larger, more resource-intensive WordPress plugins, and needs proper dedicated hosting in order to run as smoothly as possible. A fast host that has proper caching and CDN (content-delivery-network) capabilities will improve your user experience and send all the right ranking signals to Google that your website means business.
Take your blog seriously. You need to find the time to create useful and informative content on your website that goes into more detail than what you can supply on a typical product page, and you don’t want to clutter your homepage with a massive list of facts and tips. Your blog is not only one of the best marketing tools you have access to, it can be used to engender trust with your users and guide them to products that will help them. If optimized correctly, your WordPress blog is a powerful asset to your business that you can’t afford not to utilize.
These general tips will start you off with the right foundation but if you want to really increase your rankings, you need to develop a data-driven SEO strategy that covers everything from on-site technical adjustments, to high-quality backlinks and rich content creation.
WordPress as a platform is great for SEO because of the control it gives store owners in terms of managing their categories, product page content, and even their databases, but SEO is more than just what happens on your actual website. Ranking signals may include social media posts pointing back to your website, outbound links from authorities in your niche that point to your products, and reviews on third party websites, just as an example.
If you are wondering how you can make the most impact with as little work as possible, pay attention to the following areas of your website:
Start with great hosting, such as Siteground, Bluehost, Namecheap, or GreenGeeks.
Select a lightweight premium theme. The bulk of your customizations should come through your page builder, not your theme. Note, you don’t necessarily have to select an “eCommerce theme,” as most well-made themes are both WooCommerce compatible and can be outfitted as an online store with ease.
Install a great SEO plugin such as Yoast, which will help you customize your page titles and descriptions, how your products and blogs show up on social media, will help you in matters regarding your sitemap, keyword densities, and more.
Install a proper caching plugin that helps deliver static content to your users, increasing page speed, lowering server requests, and in general increasing performance of your online store.
Install an SSL certificate. This is considered a ranking factor according to Google, and is necessary in terms of eCommerce. Though you technically only need a SSL certificate installed on the “storefront” area of your website for the checkout to be secure, it helps to simply cover the entire domain.
These points cover the bare minimum steps you need to take in order to help your online store to rank better. A more comprehensive SEO strategy will probably be necessary if you really want your WordPress store to rank, however, which is something we will discuss in greater detail below.
Investing in eCommerce SEO for WordPress
What does it really take to rank a WordPress site? These days, no matter what niche or industry you are in, it’s going to be quite the climb. SEO not only requires a great deal of knowledge and experience, it also requires patience.
By implementing the tips above, you can help draw in more organic traffic to your online store and potentially get more sales, but if you want to really make a difference in the way your business performs, you may want to consider high-quality WordPress SEO services. The technical skill and attention to detail needed in order to properly address most optimization tasks practically necessitates a professional touch.
Can you handle your eCommerce SEO by yourself? Sure, but you are probably not going to get the kind of rankings or results you want. SEO is in part a time investment – you get out what you put in. With that in mind, tinkering here and there with a few pages when you have the time is not the kind of strategy that is going to allow you to compete at the highest level and take traffic away from your competition.
What’s more, Google has indicated that SEO is only going to become more stringent in terms of what is required to rank effectively. This means less easy techniques and more sophisticated strategies that require diligence, time, and experience to execute properly. Already we are seeing this with Google’s newfound emphasis on user experience, which has forced many old SEO tactics to become obsolete.
You’re likely to get far better results for your business and actually increase your rankings and traffic by investing in the right SEO services. Here at Genius eCommerce®, we know what it takes to rank eCommerce websites, regardless of niche or need. With comprehensive strategies that include keyword-optimized blog content, powerful backlinks, on-site technical adjustments, and in-depth research, our mission is nothing less than the success of your business.
Want your WordPress store to start working for you and bringing in a steady stream of organic traffic that is ready to buy your products? Give our SEO team a call at 888.982.8269 and we will discuss your needs and help craft a SEO plan that will cover every aspect of your business. When it comes to eCommerce, you can’t afford to trust any agency to deliver, which is why so many businesses rely on us to get them results that translate directly into more traffic and sales. Get in touch with us today if this sounds like what you need to help guide the course of your WordPress website.
If you manage an online store on WordPress, no doubt you are interested in improving your SEO for the increased traffic and sales it could bring. WordPress blogging is one way to provide more value to your users that will have a powerful impact on your search engine rankings.
Even if you never intended on starting a blog before, the future success of your eCommerce business may depend on it. Users are hungry for high-quality content and this is what Google is looking for as well when indexing your website.
A blog is the perfect companion to any business that wants to connect with their customers and build a better brand image, while also moving up in the search results. This straightforward SEO guide will cover some of the important qualities of WordPress and why it is such an optimal platform for eCommerce blogging, as well as general guidelines and techniques you should follow to make sure that your blog stands out.
Why Use WordPress For Blogging?
If you are not familiar with the history of WordPress, it originally started off primarily as a blogging platform and evolved from there due to the ingenuity of the WordPress community.
While WordPress can easily be adapted to fit any mold you need it to simply by installing the right themes and plugins, including full eCommerce functionality through WooCommerce, it shines as a blogging platform.
Here are just a few of the key reasons why you would want to use WordPress for blogging:
Easy to learn and use. WordPress has a very small learning curve, especially for an open-source platform.
Nearly unlimited customization. With thousands of different themes, plugins, and page builders, you can easily craft a unique and optimized experience for your users without needing to learn how to code.
WordPress is optimized for SEO right out of the box and only requires a few adjustments and plugins to make it vastly superior compared to many other platforms in this area.
Easy to create attractive looking blogs. Since WordPress is first and foremost a blogging platform, many themes allow you to create stunning-looking blogs with very little technical knowledge.
WordPress gives you full control over your blog. Since you are simply installing software on your own host, and not paying for a service, you have complete control over all aspects of your website, including the database.
Supports scaling and growth. You can always add functionality or pack up and move your website to a bigger server. WordPress makes it easy to grow without feeling constrained by arbitrary limits and caps.
Embed media and social posts by cutting and pasting URLs. This is one of the most underrated features of WordPress blogging. You can simply drop the URL of a Twitter link, Pinterest pin, or YouTube video right into your blog and it will appear embedded on your website. An excellent way to increase engagement and create visually appealing blog articles. Supports all of the major platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and even TikTok.
Integrations are available for just about anything. If there is functionality you want, you will be able to find it with a plugin, no questions asked.
Plenty of support. WordPress has a massive user base and following, which means that you can almost always find the answer to questions or problems you may encounter.
These are just some of the many points that make WordPress an incredibly effective blogging platform. Whether you are already on WordPress and power your store through WooCommerce, or are hosting your store on Shopify or BigCommerce and are thinking of using WordPress solely for your blog, you won’t find a better option in terms of functionality and SEO friendliness.
Simple WordPress Blogging Guidelines to Follow
If you want to boost your SEO with blogging, there are several important points you will want to keep in mind. Even on a platform that is favorable to SEO like WordPress, you still have to put in the work if you want your efforts to pay off.
The key element of blogging is making sure to infuse that personal touch, whether it is your unique take on a certain subject, deep insight on your particular products or industry, or special brand messaging. The purpose of blogging is to connect with your audience and provide them with information that they can actually use.
With that being said, here are the key WordPress blogging tips that will help improve your SEO and bridge that gap between you and your users.
1. Be as Consistent as Possible
A neglected WordPress blog stands out more than no blog at all. It comes off as unprofessional and hobbyist.
At the same time, consistently updated content is one of Google’s known SEO ranking factors. It’s important to continually update your website with fresh content if you want your website to remain relevant in the search engines.
Consistency will also help with a number of other factors as well. The more content you have, the more potential keywords you could be ranking for and the more chances you have to help a user find what they are looking for.
Don’t mistake consistency for “quantity over quality.” Each piece of content you post on your blog should be as high-quality and comprehensive as possible in order to outrank your competitors and to be as helpful as possible to your users. Thin content will be soundly ignored by the search engines, and for good reason.
This leads us right into the next point…
2. Write to Inform and Engage Your Target Audience
Your only goal when writing on your blog should be to genuinely engage with and inform your audience. If you are simply trying to sell them a product through a thin veil of information, they will pick up on this fact lightning fast.
Your blogs should be full of valuable information that your users will appreciate. This can be how-tos involving products you sell, reviews of products in your industry, your firsthand experiences with products that your audience would be interested in, as well as general information about your industry.
The more you write with your audience in mind, the more natural your blog will sound and the better user experience it will create. This will translate into a lower bounce rate and better rankings in Google over time.
3. Your Title Should be Catchy and Informative
Blog titles are important for a number of reasons. First, they make that initial connection with your users and are typically the first thing they see when your article pops up in the search results.
Another important aspect of your titles is that they should be optimized with the search engines in mind. This means, ideally, that your title should contain your primary keyword or some variation of it. You also want to make sure that your title sounds natural. Users are far less likely to click on suspicious blog titles that sound salesy or too stilted.
4. Make URLs Short and Concise
You also want to be mindful of your URLs. WordPress allows you to fully customize your URLs for SEO purposes, but you may have to change a setting to get them to display the way you want.
A URL should resemble the page title closely, but without useless connecting words. Work to reduce the size of your URLs as much as possible while retaining the target keyword and any other impactful words that are contained in the title.
You can easily change the URL of each blog article that you write on your WordPress site by simply clicking the “edit” button beside the permalink on the blog page itself. Just remember to save your settings afterwards, and keep in mind that if you attempt to create a URL that is already live on your website, WordPress will automatically place a “2” at the end, which looks somewhat unprofessional and should generally be avoided.
5. Interlink Your Blogs For Better Indexing
Hyperlinks are what drive the Web. Google understands the quality and intent of a website largely based off of its interlinking profile. If most of your blogs are sitting on metaphorical islands and don’t have many outbound or inbound links, Google will assume that it is content that is either useless, or doesn’t support or refer to anything and is not worth seeing.
It’s crucial that you take the time to interlink your blogs if you want to seriously improve your SEO. This is especially important if you are an eCommerce business, as you likely have dozens or even hundreds of products that don’t have much context to other parts of your website and are sitting alone unlinked but through the navigation.
You can use interlinking to connect blogs to other blogs, blogs to products, and even products to blogs if the situation warrants. For example, you can create an in-depth how-to article involving one of your products, and include a link to this article in the product description on that item’s page. This will enhance user experience and help Google understand how the pages on your website relate to one another, which will get them indexed faster and ranking higher.
6. Use Large Social Share Buttons
Social media marketing (SMM) is not only an important aspect of running an eCommerce business and a successful blog, but it is also a known ranking signal. Google takes social presence into account when ranking pages, so the more one of your blogs is getting shared around on social media, the better.
There was once a time when small and out-of-the-way social share buttons were the normal convention, but these days, users want to see large share buttons that are easily clickable.
What social share buttons do you want to include in your blog posts? This will largely depend on the kind of content you produce.
As a general rule of thumb, a blog should have share buttons for Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Other platforms such as Linkedin and Tumblr are less necessary but may be relevant in certain circumstances.
7. Include Links to Your Products or Services
While you don’t want to come across as merely trying to push one of your products, blogs are valuable sales funnels that can and should be used to link to products and services that you know your users would benefit from.
As long as you consistently generate quality content and create a trusting user base, you can reliably link out to products or services in your blog posts. This will actually help strengthen your SEO by interlinking and helping users find products that answer the questions and address their needs, which of course is the end goal of your entire online store.
As long as you approach product linking with the mindset that you are providing something valuable to your users and that you don’t expect anything in return, your efforts will be effective.
What WordPress Plugins Will You Need For Your Blog?
WordPress provides a decent amount of basic blog functionality as soon as it is installed, but you may want to beef it up a bit by using a few blogging plugins.
Some of the following plugins may already be installed on your website, in which case you likely already know how useful they are.
Broken Link Checker
W3 Total Cache
Regardless of the plugins that you choose for your eCommerce blog, you want to make sure that you hit all of the major points of functionality that a well-managed blog needs in order to be successful.
This includes a powerful SEO plugin like Yoast that will help you craft optimized content, a mailing list integration plugin, Akismet to tackle spam comments, a caching plugin to help speed up your site, and a high-quality page builder such as Elementor.
Depending on how you manage your website, you may need slightly different functionality, but this list is a great starting point if you are looking for a strong core of plugins to begin with if you are unfamiliar with WordPress SEO.
How to Boost Your SEO by Creating Engaging Content
The cornerstone of your WordPress blog should be rich, engaging content that is both informative and entertaining. While everything you write doesn’t have to be a masterpiece or go viral on the Internet, you do want to make sure that every piece of content has a purpose and gives the users a reason to stick around.
What if you are not good at writing blogs? As much as we would like to say that there was some trick to blogging, there isn’t. Sometimes you just have to sit down and construct an informative and eye-catching piece of digital content that will draw in the attention of your audience and provide them with what they are looking for.
This doesn’t always require succinct writing or sophisticated analyses, but it does take a little understanding in regards to what works and what doesn’t when it comes to what users are looking for. If you want to give your SEO that extra boost, you need to pay close attention to what actually gets clicks and engagement online.
Start with infusing your blog pieces with plenty of media. This can be pictures of your products, photos you take with your phone going through a how-to process or cataloging your adventures or even high-quality stock photography that accurately describes what you are writing about.
Don’t stop there however. Video content is one of the best drivers of engagement online and should be used whenever possible. If your business uses YouTube you can take your uploaded videos and place them on your blog to reinforce your branding and add value to your articles.
Another important tactic you want to use is embedded social media posts. These look great on WordPress blogs and provide a ton of instant value. Despite how easy it is to embed a tweet or Instagram post into a blog page, this is still something you don’t see all that often and yet it instantly improves the look and feel of a page.
Experiment with different forms of media and see how they may drive engagement on your posts. You also want to keep social media in mind in general when constructing your blog. Upload high-quality vertical images to your blogs that would look great as pins, which will increase the likelihood that someone will actually pin your post organically.
If you can speak from experience on a topic, this will aid you in creating engaging content as well. You will sound more natural if you speak from experience, which is ultimately what your users are looking for. They want the opinion or knowledge of someone who has actually done what they want to do or bought what they want to buy, and are looking to your content to guide them in their decision-making process.
The best ways to improve SEO routinely involve direct user experience enhancement. You want to ask yourself how your users will benefit from the content you are creating, and if they would look at it with a critical eye or if they would accept it as natural and genuine. This is important because users are savvier than ever can sniff out sales tactics and spam a mile away.
How Your WordPress Blogging Efforts Improve Your Online Store
The time you invest in your WordPress blogging efforts will pay off by bolstering your rank in the search engines and helping your online store get more organic traffic and sales.
No matter what industry you are currently in, or what kinds of products you sell, your eCommerce business could be greatly improved with the addition of an SEO-optimized blog.
The increased brand awareness, user engagement, traffic, and potential for conversions are just some of the perks associated with managing a high-quality WordPress blog.
The issue is that you may not have the time or the skills necessary to properly run such digital marketing efforts by yourself. If you are strapped for time as it is, blogging is certainly something that may not even be possible for you.
This is where expert WordPress SEO services would be an amazing benefit for you and your business. You already know the benefits of blogging on WordPress and want to jump in, but subjects like keyword research and writing extensive optimized articles puts you at a loss.
You don’t need to try and tackle such a massive undertaking yourself. A professional eCommerce blog is not something that just anyone can create. If you want to really see dramatic results and create engaging content for your users that will help boost your presence in the search engines and get you the kind of traffic and conversions you are looking for, you need an agency that specializes in eCommerce SEO services and that can take this project on for you.
Let our team of SEO experts help you transform your online store with content that your users are looking for and that Google wants to see as well. Give us a call at 888-982-8269 or read more about our WordPress services here.
Improve Your WordPress SEO With This Simple Strategy
Optimizing your website for higher rankings is an increasingly complex endeavor that often requires hours of meticulous keyword research, careful attention to site performance and user experience, and plenty of backlink outreach to increase your domain authority.
Improving your WordPress SEO doesn’t always have to be this difficult however. There are still a few less-complicated techniques out there that are far easier to implement yet will still have a meaningful impact on how your website performs in Google.
One simple strategy that anyone can take advantage of and which will help boost the overall quality of your website is through a better understanding and implementation of internal linking. With the right internal linking strategy, your website will appear more authoritative to search engines and will increase the quality of your user experience. The best part is, working on your internal links may be one of the easiest search engine optimization improvements you can make for your WordPress website. By investing a little bit of time every month to making sure all of the important pages of your site are getting enough attention, you will boost your site’s ranking potential a great deal.
How Search Engine Crawlers Use Internal Linking
When a search engine crawler such as the Google Bot crawls a page on your website, it’s looking for a few key ranking indicators. Search engines pay close attention not only to what links point to a particular page, but also how a page “links out” to other places on your site as well as other destinations on the Web.
If a page of your website appears to have no internal linking, it may send a signal to Google that this page has nothing to say that is valuable, or is not trying to prove any sort of a point. If you are not “referencing” any other important pages on your website or elsewhere, the search engine in question may assume that the page does not exist to solve user problems or address their needs, but instead is something else, such as a disclaimer or terms of service page.
Regardless of how the intent behind your page is interpreted, the search engines want to see certain elements on a page to consider it worth ranking. The same philosophy behind backlinking works here. A backlink is essentially a link from another website pointing to yours, which sends a signal of authority and trust to the search engines.
When you link to another page on your website in the proper context, you are essentially saying “this page reinforces the page I am linking to,” creating a network of contextual relationships that help search engines to understand the overall purpose behind a page or your entire website for that matter.
If you are creating a webpage that discusses a certain topic, and you already have content on your website related to this topic, you can and should use that older page as a resource that you can link to, or vice versa, as long as it makes sense. In this way, you create a roadmap for the search engines to follow as they crawl your website, helping them to make sense of it all.
Improving Your Internal Linking Strategy
So how do you improve your WordPress SEO with internal linking? The good news is that WordPress makes it easy to place links in the body of pages and posts, which means you don’t really have to do any heavy lifting here. The point is to help build a network of information using the pages you already have, keeping in mind that as you add pages and blog posts to your website, you should be linking to your older content so it has a better chance of ranking.
To begin working on your internal links, take a look at your oldest blog posts and look for ways to refurbish the content by adding more information and supporting keywords where applicable. As you are working on this older content, be sure to include one or two relevant links to supporting content elsewhere on your website. This can be a product page that addresses user needs based on the topic of the page, or another blog post that you have recently posted that may contain important information you want your readers to see.
Repeat this process for all of your older content that may be underperforming. This includes product pages that you think could do well with contextual linking to a relevant blog that could help provide necessary supporting information for your customers. This strategy works regardless of which niche or industry you are in. The search engines want to see that all of the pages of your website provide solid and valuable internal linking.
If you are interested in improving your WordPress SEO even further, give us a call at 267-225-1946 and our team of SEO specialists will help you with your internal linking, backlinking, on-page optimizations, blogging, and more.
SEO is an important part of building and growing your website, no matter which platform you ultimately decide to choose or what the goals of your website are. WordPress, in particular, is known for being a solid platform if ranking high in Google is one of your top concerns, but you still need to tackle a few WordPress SEO essentials if you really want your website to succeed.
After all, it is a huge misconception to think that SEO just “happens” once you set up your website. Search engine optimization is an ongoing process that will continue during the entire span of time you own your website, that is unless you are okay with letting your Google rank slide into irrelevance.
Success online is intrinsically linked with SEO, the two concepts are now impossible to separate. Search engines like Google have fine-tuned their ranking algorithms to such a degree that only the best content delivered in the most streamlined and effective fashion has a chance to rank well for any given keyword. This means that unless you’re putting your all into your WordPress SEO, chances are your website is falling behind or may not even be ranking at all.
The good news is that any missteps and mistakes with SEO can be corrected, especially with a platform as powerful and versatile as WordPress. You always have the opportunity to tweak and correct issues on your website that will potentially lead to better rankings.
You can completely change how Google sees your website with just a few essential tactics, however, which we will cover in this guide. Even if you started off on the wrong foot with your website or currently are only seeing a trickle of traffic, you can turn it all around simply by implementing these SEO best practices.
Starting With a Strong Theme
Even if you have your heart set on a certain theme already, you may need to take a look at it and decide what’s more important: a certain design or your SEO. While the right theme won’t make or break a WordPress site, they can hold you back a little if they are unoptimized and clunky.
These days, given how fine-tuned Google wants your website to be, sticking with a slow or basic theme will not get you the results you are looking for. While it’s nice to think you can get away with a random free theme, it’s not going to offer you the right level of customization and functionality that a well-made premium theme would.
The main thing that separates a free or cheap WordPress theme from a premium option, outside of customization options, is the way that it is coded. A poorly coded theme will influence how everything else functions on your website, especially in the way blocks of content are rendered and how well plugins and site-builders interact with each other.
Poorly coded WordPress themes influence site speed, which is one of the most important Google ranking metrics. So not only are you losing out on functionality with a cheap theme, you will almost surely be affecting your SEO in a negative way.
It’s important to note here that not all free themes are bad, as there are some extremely lightweight WordPress themes designed specifically to be open-source and barebones. The drawback here is that they provide very little out-of-the-box functionality, and may require at least some custom development to get them looking professional enough to use for serious purposes.
Do yourself a favor and look into installing a solid theme for your website. A few excellent free examples are Moesia, Hueman, and eStore. Astra and GeneratePress are solid premium themes with basic functionality and lightweight design that are appropriate for a wide range of websites.
The Importance of SEO Plugins
It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to install a high-quality SEO plugin for your WordPress website. It’s true that WordPress is naturally designed with SEO in mind, but a basic WordPress setup doesn’t help you with important issues like sitemaps, social media metadata, your appearance in search engines, and sharing data with important tools such as Google Search Console and Google Analytics.
Search engine optimization is a complex matter, with Google claiming there are roughly 200 ranking factors to consider when building your website and creating content for your users. Clearly, you need a high level of awareness and functionality just to begin to be able to tackle each of these 200 points in any kind of decent fashion.
That’s where an SEO plugin comes in and helps you do some of the deeper tasks that basic WordPress doesn’t account for. While there are plenty of aspects of SEO that only come into play when you are actually creating content for your users or customers, Plugins tend to address several background issues that act as a foundation for your SEO efforts.
There are two primary SEO plugins for WordPress, those being Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack. Both accomplish most of the same tasks but go about it somewhat differently. Which one you choose is mostly preference, but currently, the industry standard is still Yoast.
Yoast, while offering a solid range of options for various SEO issues, is most known for its blog page features, which give you an ongoing system of feedback for the quality of your writing. Depending on the keywords you use, your spelling and grammar, and other aspects of your page, Yoast will give you a red, orange, or green light in order to indicate whether or not you should consider revisions.
In the SEO Analysis of each page, you can drill down to see all of the different parameters that Yoast has flagged as an issue, which lets you see exactly what you can change on your page in order to potentially get better rankings. While this system can seem clunky and obtrusive for anyone who is already familiar with SEO and knows what they are doing, for most people it is a well-received and useful feature that can help you put together a great blog post or product page.
All in One SEO, on the other hand, is far less intrusive and has no “hand-holding” features for creating your content. Instead, it focuses on simple and intuitive layouts for its blog options and far more settings that can be set to fine-tune your SEO better than you can with Yoast. If you already have a solid handle on using keywords and creating content that the search engines like, you don’t need Yoast. However, I would definitely recommend it if you are just starting out with SEO.
Using Proper Permalink Structure
Not everything revolves around complicated plugins and optimized themes. There’s one simple action you can take immediately that will almost certainly improve your SEO immediately if you haven’t already done it. If you hover over the “Settings” option in the WordPress sidebar, you will see an all-too-important option called Permalinks. It’s in this area that we will make our critical change to how WordPress displays your URLs.
What exactly is a “permalink” though? Without getting unnecessarily deep into the subject, a permalink is essentially the visible URL of a given page in WordPress. Because WordPress pages are dynamically generated, the permalink structure needs to be set by the owner of the website. The true “id” of every page on your WordPress website is a dynamically generated string of numbers, and if you don’t set a good permalink structure, it will use these numbers as the URL, along with question marks and other nonsensical characters.
This is an SEO disaster that you want to avoid at all costs. Your URL is actually a very important contextual ranking factor that you don’t want to ignore. Your URL should include a keyword that matches the keyword used in your page title for best results, but all of this goes out the window if you don’t have a proper permalink structure set.
In the Permalinks options in WordPress, you have an array of choices that you can make for how WordPress displays your URLs. In most cases, you want to pick the option that says “custom,” which means you will decide how each page’s URL is displayed and there will never be generic dynamic content included in the URL path.
This one simple change can have a dramatic effect on your SEO. You will be able to assign specific URLs to each page of your website without WordPress interfering with and inventing URLs of its own. If you notice one thing about the way in which all major websites function, especially their blogs, it’s that they control the structure of their permalinks. You need to also keep in mind that when displaying your website in search results, Google will show your URL. Even if somehow you get a piece of content to rank when using generic dynamically generated URLs, that string of nonsense will display in the search results, creating a highly unprofessional look. It’s simply something that you want to avoid if you are serious about SEO.
Lastly, the most important aspect of taking control of your WordPress SEO is in the actual content that you are generating for it. This can mean anything from your blog posts to your product pages, and even your “about us” page or “contact” page. Anywhere that you are creating content that you want to share with visitors to your website, SEO needs to be taken into account.
When crafting the pages on your website, you want to ensure above all else that your content is being created for the user’s benefit and not yours. It doesn’t matter what the end goal of your website is, even if you are trying to sell a product or service. Your content should address the needs and questions of your audience.
For Google, this means a descriptive and direct page title, high readability (large plain font, no hard to read colors, proper line spacing), proper linking to sources and interlinking between other pages of your website, an easy to follow page structure (using bullet points, title tags), and high-resolution photographs and video.
Your content is what will draw users to your site and grow your following and brand. Without addressing the needs of your audience, your website has no value, because it won’t generate enough traffic to be sustainable.
This same philosophy can be used to optimize your product pages. You want each product page on your website to be just as readable and aesthetically pleasing as a well-made blog post, if not more so. The benefits and quality of your product need to be communicated through the screen, otherwise not only will the visitors to your website not convert into buyers, but Google will not recognize your product page as worthy enough to rank. Page title, description, use of keywords, proper alt tags for images, and contextual linking with other products all need to be taken into consideration.
Ensuring Your WordPress SEO is Handled Right
For optimal traffic and conversions, you may want to consider professional WordPress SEO services rather than attempting to tackle everything on your own. While these essential points will get you started, you will soon realize that SEO is becoming increasingly complex and takes years of research and implementation to master.
If you follow through with these SEO steps, you will, however, give your website a better foundation from which to grow. For Google, following the proper search engine optimization techniques is mandatory if you intend to rank. This is the reality of building and maintaining websites today, and it’s only going to get more difficult as Google further refines the algorithm to increase focus on user experience above everything else.
This means that there are no shortcuts with SEO. You have to put in the work no matter what platform you are on. If you want to make sure your SEO is handled properly, an experienced agency is what you will need to come out on top. If you are interested in optimizing your website’s SEO and increasing your traffic, take a look at the WordPress SEO services that we offer.
We understand the complexities of search engine optimization and want to help your business succeed. Genius eCommerce knows SEO and will put together a strategy that will generate the results you’re looking for. Get in touch with us today and find out what we can do for your WordPress site.