Having a solid online presence is more important than ever because of how quickly the digital world is developing. A website is frequently the first step in the process for companies, people, and organizations looking to leave a lasting digital footprint. WordPress is one of the world’s most popular content management systems (CMS). As of this year, 43% of all websites were constructed on WordPress. It is easy to use and offers various features, making it a great option for everyone, from bloggers to startups and large e-commerce brands. Its popularity stems from its easy-to-use interface, advanced customization capabilities, and flexibility in creating different types of websites. While WordPress websites are known for their ease of building, customization, and attractive designs, it’s important to note that they can still encounter SEO issues that require attention and optimization.
Identifying SEO Issues and Making Strategic Changes
WordPress indeed does a lot of the heavy lifting for you, but there are some key ways to optimize and best practices to follow that will help you make the most of your website. SEO is an essential part of business success on the internet. If your website is not adequately optimized based on SEO guidelines, you may not be giving search engines what they need to get your site in front of your target audience. Without integrating important SEO markers, your site and hence your business could be suffering. Today we’ll examine the factors that contribute to successful SEO and the issues you need to address with your WordPress site.
Core Web Vitals
Core web vitals are metrics that give developers the information they need to understand users and the experience they have on your website. Your core web vitals along with page speed are important factors that you need to take a look at when analyzing your website. Here are some components to consider:
- Avoid cheap hosting: Find the right WordPress hosting that works with your site’s features and the needs of your business.
- Compress images: Large images can do a serious disservice to your page speed. Pages that take long to load will increase your bounce rate. To prevent that from happening, you can compress the images on your site to about 200KB or less.
- Optimize fonts: Certain fonts can impact page speed. Using what is referred to as “system fonts” will load faster.
- Utilize a CDN: Content delivery networks store your files in servers across the world. This way they are able to deliver them to the user from the closest location.
Google Analytics 4
We’ve recently discussed Google Analytics 4 and the importance of switching to Google’s new version of analytics. This is yet another reason to ensure that you are set up for Google Analytics 4 before the July deadline. Many website owners have not made the switch, but it is an essential part of optimizing your WordPress site. Check out our Google Analytics 4 blog mentioned above for more details on making the switch from Universal Analytics. As the features vary between the two programs, it can be beneficial to do the setup yourself. Following the GA4 setup, you should include a WordPress plugin to allow for tracking and linking your website data to your Google Analytics dashboard. This way, you know that your metrics and detailed analytics reflect your business model and marketing strategies.
Fix Website Links
Between fixing link targets and broken links, links can be a problematic segment of your site if not worked through effectively. Link targets determine what happens when a user clicks a link within your site. Links that open in a new tab can become frustrating and difficult to navigate. Ensuring that they open in the same tab will increase the time spent on the domain. While link targets can be a little frustrating for users, broken links are a whole other story. If a user encounters an error message, they are not going to return to the site. This should be prevented as much as possible. Testing your links or using a link checker can help you stay on top of any problems.
Internal permalink redirect helps redirect old links to new links on your site. They help with maintaining SEO and preventing 404 errors (broken links). Although links should be redirected, many WordPress users will not remove old links after they are replaced. This then causes what Google refers to as unnecessary server hops. It can negatively impact the authority of your site which plays a role in your SERP rankings. The flow and connection of links within your WordPress website are essential pieces of the SEO puzzle. If they are not used efficiently, they can negatively affect the success of your site.
Anchor text is the visible text within a hyperlink that aids in webpage navigation. Now, regarding SEO, anchor text allows search engines to understand what your page is about. This is essential for page optimization and SERP rankings. Although including keywords is important, relying on overly used keywords can confuse Google. This can also impact SEO rankings. The most effective way to utilize anchor text is to include specific keywords that will help search engines set your webpage apart from others.
Don’t Forget About E-E-A-T
The E-E-A-T framework has made an appearance in many of our blogs and it’s clear why. These guidelines are a major part of Google Search Quality Rater. Google uses E-E-A-T to analyze your website and determine how well the information responds to users’ search queries. E-E-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Hitting on these concepts throughout your WordPress website will help crawlers index your page and can be extremely beneficial for site visibility. It is suggested that you include:
- Dates when the content was published and last modified.
- Link content to the About page and include an image of the author.
- Include credentials
- Add FAQs
- Avoid using stock images when possible.
Assess Webpage Accessibility
Accessibility is a concern that many website owners and users worry about. In some cases, lawsuits can arise from the lack of accessible website content. Some things to consider are including alt text for users relying on screen readers, color contrast, appropriate heading usage, and an accessibility policy. The lack of accessible content can not only cause legal problems but can hinder relationships with users and potential customers.
With the vast number of WordPress sites out there, following search engine guidelines and SEO best practices is vital for setting your site apart from others. So, yes, WordPress does do a lot of the behind-the-scenes components, but there are many aspects site owners need to take action on. Even small technical changes can make a large impact. With so many AI tools and search engine changes, now is the time to take inventory of your webpage and SEO. Reflect on your current setup and take the time to improve any issues or potential SEO issues. Addressing these common problems can increase the value you receive from the WordPress platform. Not sure where to start? We can assess your current site and help you get your page where you want it to be.