WordPress and SEO – A Few Things You Need to Know

WordPress is the world’s most commonly used content management system, for good reason. It’s adaptable, resourceful, easily customisable thanks to the plugins and themes and easy to use, so even a novice can be up and running in no time at all. Many people choose WordPress because they believe it provides great SEO off the bat but this isn’t the case. You can’t simply build a site on WordPress, publish it and have excellent SEO that will manage itself; it’s not going to happen.

What you need to do is create a SEO strategy that will help your website gather pace in the search engines and work its way to the top.  You’ll also need to make a few changes, such as:

  • Speed up your website. WordPress can be very slow to load and this will have an effect on your SEO. A simply way of speeding things up is by installing a cache plugin as WordPress doesn’t come with one already built in.
  • Change your permalink structure. Permalink settings on WordPress are not optimised for the search engines. You’ll need to change the default permalink structure to something that is easily readable rather than a collection of random letters and symbols. Making it readable results in permalinks that are much more search engine friendly.
  • Build the XML sitemap. There isn’t an XML sitemap on WordPress, at least not until you create one. A sitemap is essential for SEO. The sitemap gives the search engines information on the URLs on your website that need to be crawled, ensuring they are indexed and not missed out.

Use the Right Kind of Theme

WordPress has plenty of themes for you to choose from, some free and some premium that come at a cost. You could also hire a designer to create a fully unique theme, or make your own. Many of the ‘off the shelf’ themes claim to be optimised for search, don’t believe them. A theme isn’t going to get you up in the search engines; you need to have original content and plenty of it. However, there are a few things you should be looking out for while you browse the themes:

  • The theme should be quick to load
  • Be developed in HTML5
  • The theme has to be responsive
  • Supports schema input

Installing a SEO Plugin Isn’t Enough

Finally you have probably come across SEO plugins, they are certainly useful but it is important to remember that the plugin is making it easier for you to optimise your website, installing it isn’t all you have to do. You will still need to add and optimise the Meta descriptions for your site, and so on.  The good news is that providing you have some basic SEO knowledge the use of the plugin is pretty much self-explanatory.

WordPress is an excellent CMS to use, but you will still have to put time into creating and managing the SEO of the site too. We’re always on hand to assist you with your SEO woes and digital marketing challenges, get in touch today.

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