At Lead to Conversion, we’re a top WordPress SEO agency with decades of experience between us. We live and breathe search engine optimization and have extensive knowledge of WordPress and how to fine-tune it for search engines to maximize organic traffic to your site.
WordPress is a powerful engine and arguably the best method for building a website for individuals without coding expertise. That said, SEO plugins and a general understanding of its platform won’t see your website ranking high on the search engine results pages. Technical expertise and an in-depth grasp of the major search engine‘s algorithms and ranking systems are essential for success.
Instead of hiring staff to manage all the daily, weekly and monthly components of WordPress search engine optimization — get in touch with Lead to Conversion. We can do the work of an entire team for a fraction of the cost. Read on to find out about everything that’s involved with the hefty task of optimizing your WordPress site’s SEO.
What Is Search Engine Optimization?
If you’ve not yet heard of search engine optimization, it’s time to get up to speed — fast. Google, Bing, Yahoo and all the search engines out there have algorithms that analyze every web page on the internet. Google’s algorithm uses over 200 indexing markers to determine the quality of particular pages so it can put them in order of importance in relation to the search terms entered.
Over time, a discipline has evolved and SEO strategy has been developed. SEO experts have a range of tools they use to drive pages up the SERPs while simultaneously improving the overall user experience. It’s not a straightforward specialty to have because it involves diverse skills such as content creation, coding, web design, social media and classic marketing.
What Is SEO for WordPress Sites?
SEO for WordPress is a specialism in itself, because you need a particular set of skills to fine-tune WordPress sites for search engines. While it’s the best CMS for SEO by a long shot, WordPress SEO is anything but simple. There are some easy steps you can take, such as getting plug-ins for WordPress and ensuring the settings are optimized. However, for the most part, it requires an expert knowledge of both WordPress and SEO best practices.
Even getting the most out of the plug-ins doesn’t happen automatically — but when you tap into their full potential, writing blog posts and landing pages that rank is a breeze.
WordPress SEO Plug-Ins
There are hundreds of WordPress SEO tools out there to choose from, but they’re not all equal. Lots of them offer just one or two of the functions you’d need to optimize your site, so we’re only comparing three that include the full stack of features. Rank Math, Yoast SEO and All in One are the best of WordPress SEO plugins, with Rank Math coming out on top.
Rank Math SEO
Rank Math is the best SEO plug-in for WordPress because it boasts all the features you’d hope to see at no cost. It’s also more lightweight than Yoast SEO, because Rank Math’s code is 1.5 times smaller. The benefit of this is site speed — and a faster website means more conversions. A five-word target keyword optimizer, 100-point ranking factor analysis and one-click advanced SEO analysis tool make this particular plug-in stand out above the rest.
We would say the Yoast SEO plug-in comes in a close second to Rank Math. Its major downside is that you need to pay for premium features, whereas Rank Math is completely free. Setup is a little less complicated than All in One, with tabbed and multipage settings simplifying the process slightly. It also has a content analysis function, providing an SEO score for all the content you create.
All in One SEO
Yoast has a lot of options, which is a good thing because that means it’ll work hard for you — but it can make the setup feel daunting. It’s easy to add posts, and the interface is clean and makes optimization simple. Overall, All in One‘s SEO efforts are a little limited. You can’t perform content analysis and there’s no SEO score to tell you how good your keyword usage is. Furthermore, it doesn’t have breadcrumbs navigation or let you import data from Google Webmaster Tools (now called Google Search Console,) which Yoast does.
Tasks Involved in Optimizing Your WordPress Website
Because Google’s algorithm trawls so many points, you must leave no stone unturned when it comes to your WordPress site’s SEO. From choosing whether to prefix your site with www to regular blogging, there’s a lot to take care of.
Create an SEO-Friendly WordPress Blog
While the first step you should take is to optimize your landing pages for search engines, a blog is essential for long-term success. Creating great on-brand content with relevant target keywords produces two huge benefits: It sends your website to the top of the SERPs, and it provides existing and potential customers with quality content they can use.
You can’t overestimate how beneficial becoming an authority on your niche as a blogger can be. The more people use your website as a resource for your specialty, the stronger the association between your vertical and your specific brand becomes. It’s also the best way to generate likes and shares on social media and a great way to get backlinks.
Creating effective blog posts requires research and a deep understanding of your target market. It’s also crucial that all writing is of an exceptional standard, because quality is an important metric for Google and other search engines. Combining great writing with the right keywords isn’t easy, and it takes a lot of time. This portion of the work alone is often too much for one person to do.
There’s a multitude of SEO tools you can use to optimize your WordPress website for search engines. Read on to find out more about some of the most effective ways we can help website owners implement SEO optimization and increase the click-through rate.
The first thing we do is conduct a thorough site analysis so we can see what you’re already doing a great job on and what requires some SEO expert help. This gives us an in-depth insight into your site’s performance and lets us create a structured, customized plan that meets your company’s unique needs.
SSL Certificate and HTTP URL
In the past, getting an SSL certificate was seen as optional. As cybercriminals have become more sophisticated, search engines now expect this extra level of security. Plus, the majority of site speed and performance optimization techniques require that you have SSL and HTTP configured correctly.
Choose the Correct Permalink Structure
Permalink settings define the format of your page and post URLs — and formatting is almost as vital as content for SEO. If you don’t amend the settings, they remain in the default format. These don’t look as nice as customized permalink structures, and they’re not as appealing to search engines.
Schema Structured Data
This is where it gets pretty technical. Structured data is the dictionary that search engines use to read web pages. When you describe your content using code, they have a better chance of climbing the SERPs. It’s possible to do this using Rank Math, but it requires a fair amount of time and SEO expertise.
Breadcrumbs sound whimsical, but they’re actually very useful for helping users navigate your site and helping search engines easily understand its structure. These links usually appear above a post or e-commerce page and provide an easy way to get back to previous categories within your site’s directory.
Focus Keywords and Keyword Research
Key phrases should underpin most of the content you create, including landing pages, blog posts, explanatory pages, white papers, e-books and even YouTube videos. Focus keywords help you to connect with the search terms people enter into Google and other search engines. Getting this balance right is an art form — too many of the same keyword strings and you’ll experience the consequences of keyword cannibalization; not enough and you won’t rank.
Homepage Title Tags and Headers
We’ll make sure your homepage is clean and easy to navigate, and every post you write and page you create needs to have a correctly formatted title tag. Page titles and headers need to be arranged in specific ways to ensure search engines can read them. We can ensure your entire site is free of clutter and user-friendly.
Your homepage and subsequent, less important posts also require meta descriptions. These are two sentences that are catchy, entice readers to find out more and contain the target keyword. While these steps might seem like formalities, all these seemingly minute details are crucial for SEO success.
The most popular method people use to find products or services is local searches. They include typing the phrase “[product or service] near me” or “[product or service] in [local state, city or neighborhood].” To capture this intent, we ensure you have landing pages that are optimized for each area you operate in.
Need for Speed
Site speed is nonnegotiable when it comes to search engine optimization. In this digital age, consumers aren’t used to slow-loading pages, and they’re a real bugbear for many people. In addition to packing your site full of useful content that’s written with search engines in mind, we’ll make sure it runs fast.
Internal links are essential for search engines to read your site as easy to navigate. They also have the benefit of increasing the time each person spends on your website as they click through the well-placed internal links. We’ll help you get the right anchor text and organize the structure of your website so Google understands how important your business is!
HTML and XML Sitemaps
Search engines favor websites that use sitemaps to help users find all the pages that could be useful to them.
Alt Text and Alt Tags Image Optimization
One aspect of SEO that lots of individuals and agencies alike miss out on is image optimization. We’ll update your website so all your images have the necessary alt attributes to attract even more organic traffic and satisfy the eagle-eyed Google algorithm.
Rich snippets are a great way to get more eyes on your Google listings. We won’t create them for all pages, but they’re useful for service information, software information, recipes, event information, product pages and review pages.
High-Authority External Links
It’s important that all statistics are validated by a high-authority external link from specific types of websites. Google reads the links you include in your writing and makes a judgment based on how trustworthy the sites you link to are. While you don’t want to send people away from your website, never to return, it’s crucial that you include some noteworthy sources.
Check for Duplicate Content
Any duplicate content dilutes the value of your website’s SEO efforts. If multiple URLs have similar content, Google reads this as spam.
Google Analytics and Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free tool that lets webmasters see the visibility and indexing status of their sites. It clearly displays a bunch of useful metrics that you can watch climb as you improve your WordPress SEO.
When you update your site, Google isn’t automatically alerted. We’ll use force crawl to ensure Google finds and indexes each update.
If you think the above sounds like a lot of effort to go to — we’re not finished yet. Now we’ve explained the SEO that takes place on your website, we’ll explain what we can do out in the wider World Wide Web.
Social Media Shares
Social media is the best friend of any company, provided you know how to make it work for you. Online shares are the equivalent of free marketing, but they do more than just look impressive on your blog posts. Google views multiple shares as a sign of utility and importance, so the more shares a post gets, the higher it’ll appear in SERPs. Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook are particularly useful for this.
Quora is the most popular community-led question and answers site on the internet. And it’s such a big community that it counts some impressive CEOs, influencers and thought-leaders as members. You can search Quora to find questions related to your offering and provide in-depth, insightful answers with a link to a relevant page on your site for more information. Images increase visibility.
Another smart way to use social media is to tap into the plethora of groups on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. People with a particular need, interest or problem gather here to discuss their subject and find solutions. You need to be careful not to spam. Instead, contribute regularly and only sparingly suggest your product or service as the answer to people’s needs.
Tag Infuencers on Social Media
It’s essential that you learn how to tag influencers in your niche. This isn’t necessarily to build a relationship with these individuals or groups — although that would be a bonus. Instead, it attracts the attention of the followers of these influencers — AKA your target audience.
Create Guest Posts and Get Backlinks
Backlinks are a vital aspect of off-page SEO because they clearly signal to search engines that your content is useful and authoritative. One of the best ways to do this is writing guest posts for websites Google would consider to be high authority.
WordPress SEO Services vs Leading Competitors
There are a whole bunch of CMS providers out there, and most people agree that WordPress is by far the superior one. WordPress is the market leader for good reason, and we’ve analyzed its offering in comparison to the other most popular CMS platforms on the web.
WordPress vs Wix
Wix has been around since 2006, making it three years younger than WordPress, which was released in 2003. It’s renowned for its ease of use and simplicity, but this comes at the cost of functionality. Another major downside of Wix’s drag-and-drop content creator is that it’s not as easy for search engines to read as a WordPress site.
Pros and Cons of Wix
- No upfront charge — you only pay for hosting
- Wix hosts all websites on its servers and takes care of security
- As easy to use as WordPress
- There are lots more WordPress themes than Wix themes
- Lacks support compared to WordPress
- The basic plan doesn’t offer any free add-ons
WordPress vs Squarespace
Squarespace launched in 2004, one year after WordPress. It starts off as just as affordable as WordPress, but additional features all come at a cost. Because it’s not particularly jam-packed with choices, it’s easy to navigate and use, and a drag-and-drop editor makes it more beginner-friendly than WordPress. However, once you’re over the small learning curve with WordPress, you can get so much more out of it when it comes to SEO.
Pros and Cons of Squarespace
- Easy to use
- You can customize your website if you’re familiar with CSS and JSON
- E-commerce capabilities are very limited
- Templates and customization are limited if you don’t know CSS or JSON
- Additional features are expensive
WordPress vs Concrete5
Concrete5 lets users build complex web apps, while WordPress is an open-source CMS. As such, it has significantly fewer plug-ins and themes than WordPress and isn’t as customizable.
Pros and Cons of Concrete5
- All apps are controlled by Concrete5, so there aren’t many compatibility issues
- Free of charge with some free plug-ins
- Sitemap and other features are native
- Lacks themes and plug-ins compared to WordPress
- The support community isn’t particularly active
- Not as customizable as WordPress
WordPress vs Joomla
Like WordPress, Joomla is free, self-hosted and open source. You require more IT expertise to get the most out of Joomla compared to WordPress, and it has a much more complicated structure. All in all, these two are pretty similar, but the learning curve is steeper and you’ll need to work a little harder with Joomla.
Pros and Cons of Joomla
- Strong developer community
- Integrated e-commerce
- Lets experts customize their site
- More challenging than WordPress for beginners and intermediates
- Fewer plug-ins and themes than WordPress
- Updates require even more work than WordPress
WordPress vs Magento
While Magento is decent enough for content and e-commerce, it’s nowhere near as user-friendly as WordPress. However, Magento is much more focused on the latter, while WordPress takes care of both SEO and e-commerce. Plus, Magento is such a complicated platform that a beginner might require the help of a developer just to get it set up.
Pros and Cons of Magento
- Great for e-commerce
- Works well if you combine it with a WordPress blog
- Integrates with a POS
- Not good for people with less than 1000 products or a small budget
- Lacks content solutions and analytics
- Not quick to get off the ground
WordPress vs Silverstripe
Silverstripe is much newer than WordPress and doesn’t rely on third-party plug-ins, which cuts out certain issues. However, its functionality and power are hidden from developers, and it has a small following compared to WordPress, so support isn’t as readily available. In general, it’s much more empowering for developers than operators or content creators.
Pros and Cons of Silverstripe
- Excellent security
- Doesn’t have as many modules as WordPress
- Not as many themes
- Limited extensions
What Makes WordPress WooCommerce Stand Out Compared to Other E-Commerce Platforms?
WooCommerce is the plug-in for e-commerce on WordPress. It lets you easily manage and update your online store while enabling vital functions such as secure payments, shipping integration and tax management. Here are eight ways WooCommerce beats the competition:
- It’s more affordable than most of the competitors because it’s free.
- Modularity means you get access to WordPress themes, plug-ins and extensions.
- You can sell anything on WooCommerce, from subscriptions to appointments and products.
- WooCommerce has a huge community of expert developers.
- Analytical tools are part of the package.
- It’s scalable as your business grows.
- WooCommerce is compatible with SEO plugs.
- It has an intuitive back end for stock management, order management, refunds, email management and more.
Work With the Best WordPress SEO Agency
If you’re ready to refine your WordPress website so it climbs up the search engine results pages, contact Lead to Conversion at 855-473-6582 today.