17 Actionable WordPress SEO Tips

Are you interested in increasing traffic to your website? Trying to increase sales or generate more revenue? Then follow these WordPress SEO tips.

At Pathfinder SEO, WordPress is our favorite content management system for a myriad of reasons. It is powerful, customizable, and easy-to-use. Its origin as a publishing platform means that WordPress has been all about content from day one.

Who else values content? Google. Which means that WordPress and Google play well together. Our SEO coaches have compiled a list of 17 actionable tips for your WordPress site to help you maximize your SEO impact!

Step by step, you can increase your website’s visibility in search engines and grow your business.

1. Rely on Yoast SEO

There are a lot of SEO plugins for WordPress. We recommend relying on the Yoast SEO plugin. It’s a multifunctional SEO plugin that has been created by SEO experts and is also frequently updated, meaning it keeps up with technology changes. Best in class is an understatement — thank you, Yoast!

2. Customize your XML Sitemap

Your XML sitemap acts like your website’s resume. Be sure it includes the content you want the search engines to index. Often, we see duplicate or thin content included in the sitemap, which means you’re cluttering and confusing communication with the search engines.

3. Double Check Your Robots.txt

Your robots.txt file is the opposite of an XML sitemap; it tells the search engine spiders where you don’t want them to go. Make sure your directions are clear and go minimalist when possible. View your robots.txt file at www.mysite.com/robots.txt.

4. Verify Your Website with the Google Search Console

Google Search Console is the most under-utilized SEO tool on the market. And it’s free! You can get invaluable keyword-level performance data in the GSC. You’ll also get continual feedback from Google based on how they are crawling and indexing your website.

5. Invest in Keyword Research

SEO is not about getting traffic; it’s about getting the right traffic to your website, which increases sales and conversions. Make sure you are reaching your target audience by knowing what words and phrases they’re using to search for the services your business provides. Follow our step-by-step approach to keyword research.

6. Use Headers (H1-H6) for Structure, Not Just Design

The search engines turn to your header tags to understand your page and content structure. Too often, we see header tags used only for design. Instead, your headers should be used to create an organized outline of your content.

7. Add Alternative Text to All Images

Alternative text is first and foremost a principle of accessibility. The search engines also rely on this text to understand the content of your images (and their relevance to the rest of your content). Ensure your images all have descriptive alternative text.

8. Don’t Forget About Speed

Your site visitors expect lightning-fast load times (and won’t hesitate to leave if things seem slow). Check to see how quickly your pages load with Google PageSpeed Insights. Then, invest in making incremental steps towards improving your site speed performance.

9. Get Started with Structured Data

Structured data is code that allows the search engines to better understand your content. You can use schema.org> to find the code you would need to markup your pages with structured data. But, thankfully, Yoast SEO makes it easier. Check out the Yoast Local SEO plugin if you are a local business. Use content blocks for your FAQ page and the Yoast HowTo block for how to pages.

10. Publish Consistently

Google values content because content demonstrates your expertise on the web. Publishing consistently is one way to commit to sharing your expertise on an ongoing basis. Pick a publishing schedule that you can stick with and write more value into your site.

11. Write Long-Form Content

Did you know that the average first-page result in Google has 1,890 words? Invest in long-form content that shares a depth of expertise all on one page or post. This could mean combining related content  to create a single, longer page or post. Or creating something entirely new that lends itself to the longer format.

12. Make it Easy for Visitors to Turn Into Leads

Improving your paths to conversion will ensure that the well-deserved traffic you generate from organic search turns into more revenue. Make sure your website includes user-friendly WordPress forms and learn more about better form conversion.

13. Be Purposeful with Categories & Tags

Taxonomies in WordPress are one of the reasons why it is such an SEO-friendly platform. Categories and tags allow you to organize your content with a purpose so that your visitors can find what they need more easily. Learn more about categories, tags, and SEO.

14. Verify your Google Maps Listing via Google My Business

If your business has a physical location or serves a specific geographical area, then Google Maps is for you. Set up a profile and verify your business via Google My Business. Update your business information to ensure accuracy, then focus on generating customer reviews.

15. Grow your Authority via Partners

The foundation of SEO is having a user-friendly website with great content. But to excel, you also need authority. Google assesses your authority based on the  links from other websites that point to your website’s content. Learn more about link building.

16. Think about Security

Ensure your visitors are secure and prevent your website from attack. Start by ensuring that your website uses HTTPS encryption. Then, learn more about WordPress security.

17. Take a Step-by-Step Approach

SEO can be overwhelming. There is so much to do — just look at this list! Start with incremental action. Invest an hour today into one of these WordPress SEO tips. There isn’t a secret sauce to SEO; it’s just like hiking to the top of a mountain … take it one deliberate step at a time, and enjoy the views along the way.

Want to make your site easier to find? Here are 17 SEO tips from the pros at Pathfinder SEO that you don't have to be a tech person to make happen!Click To Tweet