20 Ideas and Greatest Practices

  • January 5, 2023
  • elkenz
  • 15 min read

Most individuals select WordPress as their web site’s CMS as a result of it’s simple to make use of and Search engine marketing pleasant out of the field. 

Each of these items are true, however it’s necessary to keep in mind that WordPress is only a content material administration system (CMS). So the mere reality that you just’re utilizing WordPress isn’t sufficient to rank on engines like google.

Fortunately, WordPress makes it tremendous simple to implement many Search engine marketing finest practices.

On this information, we’ll cowl 20 Search engine marketing finest practices, share suggestions that will help you rank increased, and clarify learn how to implement them in your WordPress web site.

Listed below are the practices that made the checklist:

  1. Examine search engine visibility settings
  2. Set most popular area
  3. Arrange permalinks
  4. Require handbook approval for weblog feedback
  5. Set up an Search engine marketing-friendly theme
  6. Set up an all-in-one Search engine marketing plugin
  7. Be certain to generate a sitemap
  8. Exclude low-value content material from indexing
  9. Set up Ahrefs’ Search engine marketing plugin
  10. Write a “clickworthy” title
  11. Set an Search engine marketing-friendly URL slug
  12. Use headers to create hierarchy
  13. Internally hyperlink to related content material
  14. Add alt textual content to pictures
  15. Write a compelling title tag
  16. Write a compelling meta description
  17. Nest pages in subfolders
  18. Set up WP Rocket
  19. Minify code
  20. Set up ShortPixel

1. Examine your search engine visibility settings

There’s a checkbox in WordPress that, if checked, is successfully an Search engine marketing dying sentence to your web site as a result of it prevents Google from indexing your pages. And if Google can’t index your pages, they will’t rank.

You’ll discover this beneath Settings > Studying > Search engine visibility:

Search engine visibility in WordPress

Be certain that is unchecked if you wish to stand any probability of rating in any way.

Google seems at area.com and www.area.com individually, so it’s necessary to decide on a most popular model to your website. You are able to do this beneath Settings > Basic. Simply set the WordPress Tackle (URL) and Website Tackle (URL) to your most popular model.

Preferred domain in WordPress

For a brand new web site, it doesn’t actually matter which model you select. But when your pages are accessible at each URL variations, your finest guess is to make use of the model with essentially the most backlinks.

To see which model that is, plug them each into Ahrefs’ Batch Evaluation software and examine their referring domains.

For us, it’s clearly the non-www model:

Referring domains to preferred domain in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

The great thing about WordPress is it mechanically redirects the opposite model to the popular model in order that engines like google and guests can solely entry your website at the popular area.


Altering the popular model could cause technical points in case your website has already been up and working for some time. If you happen to’ve any issues, it’s price enlisting the assistance of a developer to verify all the pieces goes easily.

Permalinks are principally the URL format to your posts and pages, and the “put up identify” choice tends to be essentially the most Search engine marketing-friendly as a result of it helps:

  1. Make it instantly apparent what the web page is about.
  2. Preserve URLs quick, which might stop them from truncating within the search outcomes.

Nonetheless, in case you’re already utilizing a unique permalink construction, then altering it might probably result in damaged pages. So in case you make a change, you’ll need to crawl your web site with a software like Ahrefs’ Website Audit after the actual fact to examine for 4XX errors:

4XX errors in Ahrefs' Site Audit

If there are any, you’ll need to use a WordPress plugin like Redirection to redirect the outdated URLs to the brand new ones.

4. Require handbook approval for weblog feedback

Spammy weblog feedback are unlikely to trigger penalties or any drastic Search engine marketing points as a result of they’re just about at all times nofollowed. However in accordance with Google, they will nonetheless trigger some Search engine marketing points for a couple of causes.

Fortunately, WordPress makes it very easy to unravel this concern as soon as and for all by providing customers the choice to set all weblog feedback to require handbook approval.

You are able to do this in Settings > Dialogue > Remark have to be manually accepted:

Blog comment approval in WordPress

5. Set up an Search engine marketing-friendly theme

Just about all WordPress themes are responsive and mobile-friendly lately, so there’s not a lot to fret about there. What you actually need to examine when selecting a theme is its efficiency.

If the theme is bloated with pointless code and options, it’ll sluggish your web site down. And that’s not good, provided that web page pace has been a Google rating issue for over a decade.

So when selecting a theme, it’s price studying by way of the outline to see what’s included. If there’s a bunch of options you gained’t use, it might not be the only option for you.

You can too run the theme demo by way of PageSpeed Insights for a greater sense of its efficiency.

WordPress theme in PageSpeed Insights

If you have already got a theme and its efficiency isn’t nice, give suggestions #18–20 a shot and rent a developer to optimize it if it’s nonetheless sluggish.

6. Set up an all-in-one Search engine marketing plugin

Lengthen the Search engine marketing performance of WordPress and make it simpler to optimize features of your website with an all-in-one Search engine marketing plugin. We use Yoast Search engine marketing, however there are many different options.

To put in it, go to Plugins > Add New > Seek for “Yoast Search engine marketing” > Click on Activate > Click on Set up:

Installing Yoast SEO for WordPress

A lot of the settings can be good out of the field, however we’ll regulate a couple of of them as we go.

7. Be certain to generate a sitemap

Sitemaps checklist the necessary posts and pages in your website to assist engines like google uncover them. Yoast Search engine marketing creates a sitemap for you, however you’ll want to be sure that the choice is turned on.

To do this, go to Search engine marketing > Basic > Options > Toggle “XML sitemaps” on:

XML sitemaps toggle in Yoast SEO

8. Exclude low-value content material from indexing

You must solely enable Google to index pages that provide worth to searchers. Tag pages and format-based archives hardly ever fall into this class, so it’s typically finest apply to exclude them from indexing.

To do this, go to Search engine marketing > Search Look > Taxonomies > Toggle “Present Tags in search outcomes?” off:

Excluding tag pages from indexing in WordPress using Yoast SEO

Do the identical for format-based archives too.

9. Set up Ahrefs’ Search engine marketing plugin

Our free WordPress Search engine marketing plugin audits and screens content material efficiency and offers suggestions on learn how to enhance it.

For instance, if the plugin spots that certainly one of your pages is now not rating within the prime three for its goal key phrase, it’ll tag it as “Now not well-performing” and provides a customized suggestion on learn how to enhance primarily based in your settings:

Ahrefs' SEO Plugin

Right here, it recommends that we replace a put up that now not ranks. If we hit the suggestion caret, it provides recommendation on learn how to do that:

Content recommendations in Ahrefs' SEO WordPress plugin


The subsequent eight suggestions are content-related. Preserve them in thoughts when including posts and pages to your WordPress web site.

10. Write a “clickworthy” title

Each web page and put up in WordPress wants a title, which you set right here:

Clickworthy title in WordPress

This title normally will get proven elsewhere in your WordPress web site. For instance, the title for this put up reveals up on our weblog archive web page:

Example of a blog post title

For that motive, it’s necessary that your title entices guests to click on by way of to your web page whereas precisely describing what the web page is about. In different phrases, the title must be clickworthy however not clickbait.

If you happen to’re struggling to put in writing one thing that matches the invoice, take inspiration from the SERP titles of the top-ranking pages to your goal key phrase, as these are sometimes the identical or just like the web page title. You are able to do that in Google, however it’s higher to make use of our free SERP checker for extra correct, non-personalized outcomes:

Ahrefs' free SERP checker

For instance, you possibly can see above that lots of the pages rating for “Search engine marketing suggestions” discuss boosting site visitors or rankings of their SERP titles. So that is most likely a superb angle for a clickworthy title for this matter.

11. Set an Search engine marketing-friendly URL slug

By default, WordPress units the URL to the complete title of the put up or web page. That is hardly ever perfect as a result of it’s normally lengthy, and lengthy URLs are inclined to get truncated within the search outcomes.

For a extra Search engine marketing-friendly URL, click on “Edit,” enter your major key phrase (or a detailed variation), and substitute the areas with dashes.

URL slug in WordPress

12. Use headers to create hierarchy

Headers create construction and assist guests and engines like google to raised perceive the hierarchy of your content material.

In WordPress, you should utilize the WYSIWYG editor to shortly and simply add related headers. Simply hit the “Paragraph” dropdown, and also you’ll see six header choices:

Heading tags in WordPress


If you happen to’re utilizing WordPress’ block editor, issues will look barely totally different. You’ll have to click on so as to add a “Heading” block as an alternative. 

As most WordPress themes use the put up title as the primary header (H1), it’s finest apply to make use of H2-H6 within the content material itself.

13. Internally hyperlink to related content material

Inner hyperlinks level to different pages and posts in your web site. They’re necessary for Search engine marketing as a result of they assist:

  1. Preserve guests in your website.
  2. Enhance the “authority” of your different content material and rank the content material increased.

You’ll be able to add inner hyperlinks to posts and pages in WordPress utilizing the WYSIWYG editor. Simply spotlight the textual content you need to use because the anchor, hit the “Insert/edit hyperlink” button, and paste within the URL of one other web page or put up in your web site.

Adding internal link in WordPress


Once more, issues might look a bit totally different in case you’re utilizing the block editor, however the course of is just about the similar. 

If you happen to’re undecided if and the place so as to add inner hyperlinks, join a free Ahrefs Webmaster Instruments (AWT) account, run a crawl in Website Audit, then go to the Hyperlink alternatives report back to see related inner hyperlink options:

Internal link suggestions in Ahrefs' Site Audit

For instance, you possibly can see above that it recommends we internally hyperlink the phrase “hyperlink constructing ways” in our information to dangerous hyperlinks to our checklist of hyperlink constructing methods.

14. Add alt textual content to pictures

Alt textual content is necessary as a result of it:

  1. Tells Google what pictures are about, which can assist them rank increased on Google Photographs.
  2. Improves accessibility for visually impaired guests utilizing display readers.
  3. Replaces the damaged picture on the web page if the picture breaks.

So as to add alt textual content in WordPress, fill within the “alt textual content” subject when importing an picture:

Adding alt text to images in WordPress


As soon as once more, issues might look barely totally different within the block editor, however there’s nonetheless an “alt textual content” subject. 

Simply attempt to preserve it quick and candy whereas being descriptive.

Really useful studying: Alt Textual content for Search engine marketing: Easy methods to Optimize Your Photographs

15. Write a compelling title tag

Google normally makes use of your title tag for the snippet within the search outcomes.

Yoast units your title tag to your put up or web page title by default. That is usually high-quality, as you need to have already crafted an attractive put up title. However typically it’s too lengthy, so it’s price pasting within the full title manually to verify it’s not prone to truncate.

If it will get highlighted inexperienced, you’re all set. If it will get highlighted purple, it’s too lengthy.

Adding title tag in WordPress using Yoast SEO

You’ll be able to normally resolve the difficulty of a prolonged title tag by eradicating any superfluous data. Simple methods to do that embrace:

  • Eradicating data in brackets.
  • Eradicating pointless phrases.
  • Rephrasing.

16. Write a compelling meta description

Meta descriptions aren’t a direct Google rating issue, however Google usually makes use of them for the search outcome snippet.

For that motive, it’s necessary to put in writing a compelling meta description that helps your title and additional entices individuals to click on.

Listed below are a couple of suggestions for doing that:

  • Double down on search intent
  • Use an energetic voice
  • Preserve it beneath 120 characters

Really useful studying: Easy methods to Write the Good Meta Description

17. Nest pages in subfolders

Assuming that you just set your permalink construction to put up identify, your web page and put up URLs will appear like this:


However with pages, you possibly can create them with totally different ranges utilizing subfolders.

For instance, let’s say you’re a digital advertising company providing three totally different companies: Search engine marketing, PPC, and social media advertising.

Right here’s one of the simplest ways to construction that:

  1. Create a “Providers” touchdown web page that lists the companies you present
  2. Create particular person pages for every service you provide
  3. Hyperlink to every service web page out of your “Providers” web page

Right here’s what your URL construction will appear like by default:

area.com/search engine optimisation/

That appears OK. However it’s higher to nest the person service pages beneath the “/companies/” subfolder like this:

area.com/companies/search engine optimisation/

That’s simple to do in WordPress. Simply use the “Mother or father” dropdown on the web page editor and select the “Providers” web page.

Nesting pages in WordPress


The subsequent three ways are about web page pace. Use these to hurry up your web site and enhance its efficiency. Observe that we haven’t coated each optimization you can also make right here, as web page pace is a fancy matter. So if you wish to delve deeper into this facet of issues, learn our full information to rushing up your WordPress web site.

WP Rocket describes itself as an online efficiency plugin that enhances your web page pace. The great thing about the plugin is that it makes a bunch of helpful optimizations out of the field, together with browser and server caching.

Right here’s what caching does in a nutshell:

  • Browser caching – Saves widespread recordsdata on guests’ laborious drives in order that they don’t must preserve re-downloading them on repeat visits.
  • Server caching – Saves static variations of your webpages in your server in order that they’re prepared and ready at any time when a customer requests them.

This isn’t a free plugin however, for my part, it’s properly definitely worth the $49 price ticket when you’ve got the funds. If you happen to’re on the lookout for a free plugin that does one thing comparable when it comes to caching, attempt one of many many different caching plugins accessible.

Minification removes pointless white area out of your code to scale back file sizes.

Minified vs un-minified code

It’s easy sufficient to allow minification in case you’re utilizing WP Rocket. Simply head to the File Optimization settings and examine the choices to “Minify CSS recordsdata” and “Minify JavaScript recordsdata.”

Minification in WP Rocket

If you happen to’re not utilizing WP Rocket, give Autoptimize a shot (it’s free).


Enabling minification can result in options breaking in some situations. So it’s at all times finest to check how this impacts your web site in a staging surroundings earlier than deploying reside.

ShortPixel mechanically compresses and optimizes the pictures you add to WordPress. This makes the picture recordsdata smaller, reduces pressure in your server, and makes issues load quicker to your guests.

To get began, set up the plugin, activate it, then enter your API key within the settings.

Observe that ShortPixel is a freemium plugin. So in case you’re compressing greater than 100 pictures per thirty days, you’ll want to purchase some credit or join a paid plan. This solely prices a couple of {dollars} and is properly definitely worth the cash, for my part.

If you happen to do have the funds for a paid plan, it’s additionally price hitting the choice to bulk optimize the pictures already uploaded to WordPress.

Resizing images using ShortPixel

Last ideas

WordPress is versatile, simple to make use of, and gives a superb base for Search engine marketing. However it might probably solely get you up to now as a result of it’s only a CMS. If you happen to’re severe about rating on Google, there are a couple of extra stuff you’ll have to do.

Prepared for higher rankings? Learn our step-by-step information to rating excessive on Google.

Received questions on WordPress Search engine marketing? Ping me on Twitter.