Getting indexed and ranked well. This should be the goal of any business that operates a WordPress site and blog. After all, if searchers cannot find you, what is the point in even generating all of that content?
With all of the competing content out there (oceans of it, actually), you have to somehow stand out, and it’s not always about the content. Of course, content is a critical factor in search engine algorithms, but there is far more to SEO than just that – a lot of great content never gets discovered, because other SEO strategies are ignored.
This guide will provide you with seven tips and strategies that will improve your writing for SEO optimization. And, while it does require some work, it is not hard to understand and do.
1. High-Quality Content
Defining high-quality content involves multiple factors, and all are important.
- You must know what your audience wants and needs; you need to know your audience’s sense of humor, what it values, and what it finds inspiring. Because every piece of content must educate, solve a problem, entertain, or inspire. It is never about selling – it is about developing relationships and trust, becoming an expert/authority, and engaging a reading audience enough that they both return for more and share your content with their tribes.
- Keep it Simple
A big mistake that writers often make is trying to sound sophisticated and learned. What they don’t realize is that their readers don’t have time to decipher long, complex sentences or academic vocabulary. If you have not done so recently, go back and read Ernest Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea. No one has a problem reading this book because it is in simple language. And he still gets his point across.
And consumers today won’t take the time to read a wall of text that is a chore. They will bounce. One factor in SEO is not just the numbers accessing your content but how long those visitors actually stay. Lots of people coming and staying tells search engine crawlers that you have something valuable to say, and you are saying it right.
There are plenty of tools that will give you a readability level – you want to aim for 6th-7th-grade reading level.
- Don’t Ignore Grammar and such. While you are keeping things simple, you still have to show good grammar and composition skills. If you know you are not a skilled writer, then get your content edited by those who are – friends, freelance editors, or writing services, such as WOWGrade.net. When you expose readers to bad writing, they won’t stick around – it’s just irritating.
2. Do Your Keyword Research
Here’s the thing about keywords. In the past, they have been single words that directly relate to your business and that were used in generic searches. Today, consumers use long-tail keywords – multiple words or phrases that are more specific to what they want to find.
A big part of SEO optimization is coming up with the most popular keywords/phrases that searchers may use to find you. You can do a few things to find these keywords:
- Do you own Google search and type in keywords that you believe are most related to your business niche? See how many results you get total
- Check out your competitors` blog posts and look for keywords/phrases that they use most frequently.
- Use any number of keyword research tools that are now available.
- Google has a keyword research tool, Google Correlate.
Once you have those few keywords/phrases that are the most popular, you will want to use them in your content.
But here’s the thing about keywords: You will need to use them naturally within the flow of your content. If you don’t, or if you try to “stuff” them in too many times, you will be penalized.
One of the best WordPress plugins you will want to have is the Yoast SEO tool. Among other things, it will evaluate your use of keywords.
3. Images Deserve Keywords Too
Images are critical for attracting and engaging readers. Any time you can use an image as opposed to text, you will be better off. But images can be SEO friendly too. Add captions to those images that include keywords, and they will be indexed too.
Moreover, there are some other small and simple techniques to optimize your images here, check it out and follow them to rank your website higher.
4. Captivating Titles/Headlines
Journalists understand this. To get a reader to move forward on what they have written, they must first have an engaging title – one that intrigues or captures immediate attention. You must do the same with your content.
The other challenge for titles is to get keywords/phrases in as much as possible. There are plenty of headline generator tools. You might try typing in a keyword or phrase and see what they generate. Google Keyword Planner is another great option for ideas.
5. Use Internal Links
Whenever you can, link to other content you have written. This will keep readers engaged for longer periods of time, and that is a good thing in terms of ranking. You can place these links throughout a single article with CTA’s that promise more detailed information about a specific sub-topic.
6. Load Speed
This is indirectly related to SEO. When content loads quickly (and images can have a big impact), visitors will stay. When it does not, they will bounce. Remember, the goal is to keep visitors there for as long as possible, reading your great content. Here are some tips for you to speed up your website, try to follow up the theme to keep your website as fast as possible.
7. Meta Description
This small snippet is what is used by search engines to provide a brief summary of what your page or post contains. If it’s written well, it can improve your rankings and motivate searchers to click through. And lots of click-throughs only improve SEO rankings even more. Here are a few tips:
- Try to keep it less than 300 characters. Google only shows up to 160 characters, so those first will be the most important.
- Include your main keyword/phrase early on
- Include a CTA – “learn how,” “find,” etc.
- Provide a benefit
Here’s a Google first page result for the term “WordPress custom fields”
Note: It has been cut off because of length; however, the key things are all at the beginning – the keyword (WordPress custom fields), benefit (step-by-step guide), CTA (get).
In case you don’t know how to add meta description to your post, look at this instruction.
Don’t Stop Here
There are so many great WordPress sites with great pages and blogs. And yet they are rarely “found” through generic searches. These seven tips should get you started. But you should also consider an SEO tutorial that will provide much more in-depth information you can use going forward.
Emma Robertson is a content creator who cooperates with a lot of various websites. She has a strong academic background and vast experience in writing and content strategy building. Currently, the writer works on Digital Marketing topics.