SEO is an abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization. Website owners use SEO for WordPress to increase traffic by ranking higher in search engines. SEO does not include deceiving Google or manipulating the system. SEO for WordPress is optimizing a website’s technical setup, content relevancy, and link popularity so that its pages are easier to locate, more relevant, and popular in response to user search queries and therefore rank higher in search engines.
Google and other search engines utilize sophisticated algorithms to interpret and rank sites in search results. However, those algorithms aren’t flawless; they still want your assistance to grasp your content. SEO for WordPress makes it simple to plan, manage, and publish SEO-friendly content. WordPress is regarded as the most acceptable CMS for SEO. Search engines will not know how to rank your content if it is not optimized. SEO titles and metadata increase how search engines assess your site’s relevancy.
Metadata provides search engine crawlers with information about the content of your web pages. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has changed substantially during the previous decade. And, as WordPress’s market share rises, more individuals hunt for ways to optimize their SEO for WordPress.
Let’s go through 8 simple steps to optimize WordPress sites for SEO.
Site speed is perhaps the purest of SEO variables since reducing loading times increases your rankings, user experience, and conversion rate. It’s a rare case where an SEO measure benefits everyone! Google has said that one of the signals utilized by its algorithm to rank sites is website speed (including page speed). The faster the sites load, the more pages Google can crawl at once. The speed with which a website load is essential to its usability.
Web pages do not load all at once but rather in sections. Site speed impacts user experience, company goals, and search ranking. Visitors will find it simpler to explore your website and discover what they are looking for if your pages load quickly. Conversion rates and user retention improve as site performance improves.
Let’s explore eight simple steps to optimize WordPress for SEO.
STEP 1- Check the speed of your website regularly
The first step to optimize WordPress is increasing the speed of your website to test it to see what can be improved. When it comes to performance testing, hundreds of options are available online; nevertheless, we will concentrate on Google Web Core Vitals and Lighthouse Reports. Core Web Vitals, launched by Google, is one of the essential services for speed testing on the internet right now, providing information on the various aspects that impact your website.
Core Web Vitals is now heavily focused on user experience, including metrics such as loading performance, interaction, and visual stability; however, it is explicitly stated that these variables may alter in the future. You’ve probably used Lighthouse Report Technology if you’re familiar with GTMetrix or other popular free speed test apps. It is an open-source tool developed by Google that measures the speed of your website.
This analysis, like Web Core Vitals, is quite detailed and will describe issues that might be slowing down your website, ranging from general performance, accessibility, recommended practices, and SEO.
STEP 2- Change the PHP Model
WordPress is built on the PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) programming language, which will require the most recent version when WordPress evolves. Fortunately, it provides a PHP warning if it considers your current CMS model insufficient or that a more modern model should be installed. For the time being, it is recommended that you run PHP 8 or PHP 8.1 for a secure version of WordPress or PHP 7.4.
PHP model 7.4 will continue security updates until November 28, 2022. When a software model no longer receives security upgrades, it has reached its “end of life” and is no longer usable.
STEP 3- Select a WordPress-focused host
Site speed is more important than hosting, yet, the web host you select will serve as the basis for your website. The server infrastructure of a host focused on providing you with the most incredible speed for your WordPress site is critical. Using NVMe SSD, NGINX, PHP-FPM, and Redis, the proprietary UltraStack setup is meant to make your server very fast and efficient. No additional software setting is required to observe a significant boost in WordPress performance.
STEP 4- Make use of a caching plugin
Caching plugins are among the most popular plugins in the WordPress ecosystem. They’re touted as a beneficial way to boost the efficiency of your website, but what exactly do they accomplish? In simple terms, caching occurs when your computer remembers frequently used information from a website to save time; when you open a website, your computer first looks locally to see whether it has a recently cached model.
Because WordPress websites are dynamic, every time a user accesses your website, it gets content from the host. The website will try to load any new information and may be slower. If you don’t frequently update your website, using a caching plugin whose primary function is to generate a static version of your website that is cached will enhance the speed of your website.
The following are a few popular and free WordPress caching plugins:
- W3 Whole Cache
A caching plugin with several options for customizing your website’s cache capabilities. This hosting-independent plugin boosts efficiency and decreases page load by offering minification, object caching, database caching, cache control, and other features.
WP Tremendous Cache
This Automated caching plugin produces static HTML material from dynamic WordPress data and feeds it to website visitors at lightning speed. Due to compatibility concerns, we do not recommend using several caching plugins simultaneously since doing so is detrimental to optimization functions.
STEP 5- Optimize your Images
Images are often surprisingly huge files. As a result, when your computer requests information from the host, it may be among the last items to load. You may optimize your photographs before or after uploading them to your website. WordPress supports WebP photos, optimized images released by Google that keep the photo’s quality while taking up little space. WordPress users also like to employ image optimization plugins. Among our suggestions are the following:
- Performance Lab: The Performance Lab plugin is an excellent resource for WebP image conversion and other optimization options.
- Smush: Smush, one of the most popular WordPress plugins, automatically compresses and optimizes photos as you submit them. If you need to edit more than 50 photographs or compress files more significant than 5MB, you may need to subscribe to premium.
STEP 6- Consider Lazy Loading
Contradictory to what their name implies, lazy loading is an excellent technique to increase the speed of your website. A lazy loader will only load your content when required, decreasing the number of asset and server queries required to render your website. Specific optimization plugins like Jetpack and WP Rocket now provide lazy loading as an option, albeit this feature is often available at a premium price.
STEP 7- Make use of a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A content delivery network (CDN) is a network of computers in several geographic areas that collaborate to make information load quicker by providing it from a place close to the visitor. Having a CDN also increases the security of your website, and several companies even have solutions to defend you from DDoS assaults.
STEP 8- Improve your database’s performance
The information stored in your database serves as the foundation of your website. It includes all the required WordPress setup details and information from your plugin, pages, and client feedback. Because of the way WordPress stores information, your database will require optimization. Issues with database tables include submitting modifications, spam feedback, and deleted postings. These entries take up space and slow down your website.
Eliminating these unnecessary data will improve your website’s speed since the tables where the data is kept will be smaller, and the data will be simpler to course out to your end users. Fortunately, you don’t have to go through your database manually to optimize it; instead, use a plugin like WP-Optimize that has database optimization features.