Is your or your website made with WordPress? Then this blog is definitely for you/you! WordPress is currently the most used CMS system on the internet, worldwide. What should you pay attention to? What are the pitfalls with your WordPress SEO optimize? SEO is not easy at all in 2020, so don’t be guided by built-in plug-in and generalities!
Optimize WordPress with Yoast SEO Plug-in:
If you want to get a higher rank in Google, and you use basic SEO tips WordPress website. you will probably have come across this plug-in! One of the most useful free WordPress SEO optimization plug-in that we used before, and also comes from Dutch soil. It’s about Yoast SEO.
A tool that gives you quick access to a number of useful SEO components. Yoast SEO uses “green, orange and red dots”. When an SEO component is seen as positive, this component is shown with a green dot. If it is not yet optimized enough, you will receive a red dot. And if the plug-in is not entirely sure whether the data has been entered as they would like it to be, you have to do it with an orange dot. Take a look here as an example.
We advise you not to pay attention (anymore) to the “green balls “. Our advice is to deeper into the matter of the parts that Yoast SEO controls. Optimize SEO for WordPress it from experience of testing and in the field observations, and do not rely on the color of the sphere. There are no one-size-fits-all approaches within SEO!!!
There are no golden “number” words that you can use on every website. Unfortunately, we don’t have time to think about every part that Yoast checks but just highlight a few.
We take a look at the keyword density. Keyword density is the number of times the keyword appears on the (source) page and then measured in percentages. Suppose your article contains 100 words, and you use the keyword 10 times in this text, then you are at 10% keyword density.
That sounds very much right? In any case, Yoast will now show you a Red dot. But Keyword Density has no golden rule at all with the% number of keywords on a page. So the% is interesting that Yoast shows, but NOT whether the sphere is green or red!
If you want to measure the true keyword density, you still have to look over the fence at the neighbors (the competition) and see what they do on the first page in the search results. If all the neighbors on page 1 have a keyword density of 5%, then you are often too low with your 2%.
Tip of the day: Do not believe the green ball in Yoast, but use your own ball!
If you really want to know how keyword density you should not actually look at the entire page, but at every part. View the competition on the first page, for example, the top 5. View the Title, H1-H6 headlines and see how many times the keyword appears in it. Then you have to be close to that. Not twice as high, because then you could go wrong.
Content Word Count:
Another example is the number of words. The text contains 712 words. This is more than equal to the recommended minimum of 300 words. Let’s face it, if your competitors have a page with 5000 words, and you have 350, then your ball is green, but you can’t find it on page 1.
Still, Yoast remains a handy tool to quickly tackle a number of WordPress SEO Optimize issues. In this article, I give you a shortlist of the usable parts in Yoast that I use myself. This, of course, depends on the design of the website and accessibility of the webserver.
The XML Sitemap:
Search engines such as Google and Bing use crawl bots that crawl websites in search of new content and pages. With an XML sitemap, you provide an overview of ALL your posts and pages that you want the search engine to show in the search results.
You can also exclude posts and pages so that they will not be found (if there is no link to it). In Google Search Console there is a Sitemap function, where you can enter the URL of your sitemap. (In many cases the link is something like this: domain.com/sitemap.xml.)
Once Google or Bing has this Sitemap, you can more easily solve any problems with crawling and indexing. You can also find “orphaned pages” faster that way and tell the search engines where they are located.
Orphan pages are pages to which no link is assigned. This can happen with old, large websites because in the course of time pages have been removed where the only link to such a page just happened to be. An XML sitemap file shows this handy.
Titles and Meta Descriptions:
This is one of the most useful parts of the tool! (This window automatically appears at the bottom of the page of a page or post). Suppose you walk into a library looking for a book about panthers (to name but a little crazy). You walk to the corner where you think there are books about animals. To your surprise, all books are black and without a title. How do you know what this or that book is about? Exactly! A good title is therefore not only the most important thing for a book, but also for a webpage have given.
But with the Snippet Preview option in Yoast, you can adjust it yourself what you want. Quickly made an example below. The Page Title (meta title) is 1 of the most important WordPress SEO to optimize factors. So put your keyword in the meta title. (And preferably in front of the title) The Meta description is the part that you want to show under the title in search engines.
Although this is not a ranking factor for Google or Bing, it is extremely important to make good use of it. Here you have an extra chance to persuade the searcher to go to your webpage.
You can also use the Bulk Editor in Yoast. This Bulk Editor displays all pages so that you can easily adjust the Meta Description. These tools can be found at Yoast under Tools and then Bulk Editor.
Search Console / Bing validation:
To verify your website in Search Console, Google gives you a few options. One of these options is to add an HTML file to your website. You can upload this in the folder of the website on the webserver. You can use an FTP server for this, but you can also add it manually in, for example, CPanel (if your web server uses it). Yoast has a built-in option that can also add this piece of HTML to your website. See the image below. This saves considerably in time!
In Search Console, you see an ID, which you can copy, and then paste in Yoast. This is not only for Google but also for Bing. That way you can easily have the website verified in GSC. Google Search Console is a goldmine for SEO. You simply copy the entire text that Google Search Console displays and paste it into the field. Yoast will remove the remaining unnecessary characters itself!
Include or Exclude from Indexation:
What you (don’t) want to have indexed! There are a number of things that you (in most cases) should not have indexed for SEO. These include Tags, Authors, and Archives.
These pages are often duplicate (copies) content or “thin content”. Both are not good for your website and reduce the value of your website. You can exclude pages by adding a NoIndex tag to the page. Within Yoast, you can also easily indicate what you do and do not want to be indexed. By default, everything is on Follow, so on indexing. This, therefore, has a direct influence on your SEO optimize for WordPress.
Go to the page that you do not want to be indexed in WordPress, and at the bottom of the screen, you will see the following window. Click on the wheel on the left and select index or no-index as shown below. Eventually, there will be a piece of text in the source code of the page that looks like this:
In some cases, it is possible that a page or post can be reached via different URLs, for example through an archive, tag or filtering. Then it is important to tell the search engine which of the pages is the original and which should, therefore, be indexed.
When a search engine has 2 or 3 URLs with the same content, they will compete against each other in the search results, which is not very useful! You can prevent this by using a Canonical URL. If the Canonical URL is not correct, it is possible that another page will be indexed.
This occurs in certain cases, especially in webshops where many variants of 1 product can be viewed. You can also easily apply this when you go to the relevant page or post, and adjust the settings at the bottom of the screen. See the screenshot below.
Schema / Structured Data:
In 2020 you can get more and more out of this for your website and featured snippets. To help search engines find out what a page is about, you can add a piece of “invisible code” to a page. This code describes the content of the pages. If your website is from a local company, or from an organization, you can let search engines know by adding the code for Company or Organization.
If you sell your products and want to show a starred review for each product in the search engines, then you can format that data so that search engines can “read” it and show it. These plugins are for example Markup (JSON-LD) structured in schema.org, All in one Schema, and WPSSO Core.
Unfortunately, this code can also be misused for things for which they are not intended. Manual penalties are regularly distributed for this. Search engines will also pay more attention to this!
Additional Plugin For Optimize WordPress SEO
What do you do if you have to wait for a page that is loading? How long are you waiting? Approximately 10% of visitors leave within 3 seconds. When a user goes to a slow website you have a good chance that the user will bounce back and visit a competitor! That certainly influences your website and your search results. View the SEMrush study they have conducted. Therefore, be aware of what you want to do with your website.
Fortunately, there are solutions for this, such as a number of plugins that can cache your website. This means that they make a copy of your page (a kind of photo) and serve it when a visitor comes. This has a lot of influence on your speed but is unfortunately not suitable for every theme and website. Some themes or Page Builders have conflicts with a certain way of Cache.
I recommend that you first make a backup of your website before you start. Then it’s best to try out some cache plugins, and see what it does with the speed. Don’t be surprised that your website suddenly stops working or that something is broken. Unfortunately, this happens regularly.
I myself started with WP Super Cache and then switched to WP Fastest Cache. The latter is easier with fewer settings. The result is that you can quickly win a few seconds. My homepage went from 1.4 seconds to 0.4 seconds with the use of such a plugin, so this can be an important adjustment for your optimize WordPress SEO. I also used the W3 cache plugins and the fastest caching plugin Swift Performance.
The Swift Performance plugin is such a powerful plugin that this is only recommended for advanced users! A lot can go wrong. 1 thing set incorrectly and your website is inaccessible, but that actually also applies to other Caching plugins .. If you have a lot of technical knowledge, and you have time to delve into the matter, then this is the very best caching plugin! … But at the same time, I come across questions in the Swift Performance Facebook group every day with problems caused by the plugin. Hence the warning!
404 and 301 Redirects:
Have you ever moved and still received mail at your old address? That also happens with your website if you do not tell the visitors that you have moved. This is super important for SEO.
What is a 301 redirect?
A 301 is a removal service for the internet. As soon as you move a page or website from an address, you must still guide the visitors to the right place after the move. You usually do this with a 301. As soon as Google or Bing visits the old address, there must be a message that the info is now at a new address so that they will now view the new URL.
The 301 is a very important WordPress SEO Optimize factor because it takes the “quality signals” from the old URL to the new URL. So don’t skip this. Suppose you have a busy page but decide to adjust the URL because it is better and clearer for visitors. Then you can send the visitors with a 301 to the new URL so that all links that are still followed to the old URL end up on the new page.
A plugin such as Redirection is a handy tool to handle this.
WordPress SEO Optimize Website Scan:
Do you want to know to what extent your WordPress website is optimized for SEO? Being found better and getting higher in Google are sometimes opportunities that are just in front of you. You just have to know where those opportunities are! In some cases, solving 1 problem is enough to get a few places or sometimes even a few pages higher in search engines such as Google and Bing.
That is why Rankify Nederland offers an SEO scan as an SEO specialist.
WordPress Theme suitable for SEO:
- Don’t rely on your first impression! To start a WordPress website, you usually have to choose a theme first. You can still adjust this theme later, but then you can run into problems with layout settings and plugins. Also, see why we have chosen Astra WP as the best WordPress optimize theme for SEO.
- First: Many themes are not handy to work with. The standard themes such as Twentytwenty, Twentynineteen, etc give you few options to adjust things like the layout of the header and footer. These are important parts that you would like to (be able to) adjust for layout.
- Second: Most theme builders are mainly focused on layout and feel. Not up to speed. To create a nice page you soon need a Page Builder such as Divi, Elementor or Beaver Builder. Some page builders, on the other hand, make the website a lot slower, also because they work a lot with extra plugins. This is not good for your WordPress SEO optimize.
- Use a good and lightweight theme such as Astra. The free version can already be used in combination with, for example, Beaver Builder. But if you still want to be able to set more options, you can use the PRO for $ 59 a year.
- Tip: If you want a discount, join the Facebook page and ask the designers for a discount. They will soon give you a 10-15% discount on every type of package. Annually and Lifetime.
You can also wait until Black Friday when many themes have a special deal. You can also choose a theme that is built with the popular Genesis framework. Many things are automatically set for structured data here, so you don’t have to add them manually afterward.
• A child theme keeps your layout good. A theme uses different settings and files with which the layout is arranged. So beware. These files are often overwritten as soon as a new update is installed. If you want to make adjustments to the core of the theme yourself, for example with the layout, adapted CSS, etc .. it is valuable to use a Child Theme.
• A Child Theme is a small copy of the original theme and is not updated as soon as a new update is installed for the main theme. This is what you want! So all changes to the modified CSS etc. are saved in the Child theme, and will be left alone and therefore always remains effective. That is why it is advisable to check with the theme builder if they have a ready-made child theme for you. If not then there are also plugins that do it for you, although I know from experience that this does not always work flawlessly.
• Tip: Also delete themes that you do not use, such as the standard twentynineteen, twentyeighteen etc. Just to keep a well-organized website and to keep the database clean.
Good and fast hosting is just as important as gas for your Tesla … or electricity I meant to say. Even if you have such a lightweight theme and little text and small images, your website hosting can be the bottleneck. Therefore go for a good and fast hosting solution. I myself have a positive experience with hosting from NameCheap. A good hosting provider uses SSD hard disks, and have a fast TTFB (time to the first byte).
In speed tests you can sometimes see that for some websites the ‘server response time’ is too long, and in many cases, this indicates a slow hosting server. But luckily you can speed it up considerably with a Cache plugin !!!
Visitors but no conversions?
Even though you have many users on your website, it is important for a company to convert the visitor to a customer, right? That is why you have to concentrate on the ‘flow’ of your website so that it is easy to convert a visitor to a customer. Google Analytics helps you a long way. With this, you can see on which page a visitor has arrived, and where they have gone out again. You can also see whether the visitors have been bounced back to the search results. This can give an indication that something is wrong with the page.
When many visitors come in on a page that is not your main page, you can pay more attention to optimizing for conversion on that page.
Analytics and Search Console:
• The 2 essential pieces of software for your WordPress SEO optimize With Analytics you can see how visitors react to your website, how long they have looked at your website, how they have navigated and which browser / pc / device they use. You can see exactly where they have arrived and where there are any problems. You can also see whether the users came to your website via a link on another website.
• Search Console is a gold mine.
Google also gives you for free. With GSC you can see exactly what people are looking for and in what position you are on average for that keyword. (Search Console is the successor to Webmaster tools). So you can get a lot of information from this.
• Communication with Google.
GSC is also the way in which Google communicates with you and tells you exactly what is going on with your website. You can see errors found on your websites such as 404 errors, crawl errors, and other notifications that are important for the functioning of your website.
If you have a manual penalty, this is the only place you can find out!
• Money is there for the taking.
In GSC you can easily see what you are found on, and adjust your pages accordingly. People only search for words in the singular, and you have all the keywords (keywords) in the plural, then you can easily get higher by adjusting the text to the singular. That is why GSC is a tool that you cannot miss for your WordPress SEO. That simple!
Optimize WordPress SEO Pictures:
• Optimize the file size of the image.
Images that come directly from your camera or phone are often far from optimal for web pages. A very effective way to speed up your website is to reduce the file size of the images. By default, an image is easily 3-6MB directly from the camera. And if you want to reduce the images with software such as Microsoft Paint, then they are often still too large.
WPsmush is a well-known plugin that can make images smaller.
If you have an existing website with many images, this is an option. I myself am not too happy about it because such plugins seem a bit messy, and sometimes make the names separate from the images. It is also the umpteenth plugin in your list of plugins. But in some cases, this is the quickest and easiest solution.
• Adobe Lightroom and GIMP.
I usually use Adobe Lightroom myself if I have a series of images that I want to add. Unfortunately, this is an expensive professional photo software that allows you to shrink and edit files properly.
Sometimes this simply takes too much time to do, making it even longer to create a new page. In addition, I use GIMP if I need to better edit an image or convert it to a PNG or GIF image.
The names of the images must be unique and descriptive. Names like img_2001.jpg say nothing about the content of the image. So use descriptive names such as kitchen chair.jpg. In this way, you can not only find your images faster, but search engines also understand the content and can be displayed in image searches.
The alt attribute is used for screen readers for blind and visually impaired people. This is an “alternative” description of the image. Google also uses this text to display images in Google Image Search. While ordinary readers do not see this alternative description of the image, search engines (bots) can. You should also take that with you when you look at keyword density etc.
• Stock Images:
Have you never noticed it? Many websites use stock images that do not match the content. Bah. This is not only my opinion, but it lowers the visitor’s confidence in the (owner of the) website. It also comes across as fake and cheap. Try to work with real photos as much as possible. If necessary, you go on Facebook or in the circle of friends looking for a hobby photographer to shoot a few images of your company or employees.
Optimize WordPress SEO Link:
Links are incredibly important!
When Googlebot or another crawler lands on your website, it will go through the page and see if there are links. As soon as there is a link he will ‘open’ it and follow it. That is why it is important that you place links on your homepage to pages that are important so that both crawlers and visitors can access the important pages faster. The links that are on the home page are rated higher by Google than the links that are on another page.
Therefore, be careful not to “accidentally” link to a competitor from your homepage.
rel = “nofollow”
A link passes a certain value to the page to which you are referring, also called link-juice in English. If you do not want to pass on value because, for example, it is a website that you do not want to be associated with, create then use the nofollow tag. You can easily do this by describing the links like this (you do this in the WordPress Text editor and instead of the Visual tab go to the Text tab).
rel = "nofollow" and looks like this as HTML code: <a href="http://rankify.nl" rel="noopener"> Rankify </a>
Link is broken?
Unfortunately, you come across it regularly, many broken links on a website. I recently came across this one, it just piled up. It is best to display non-existing pages with a 404 or 410. The more errors Google detects, the lower your website will be valued. That rhymes. So clean up all unnecessary broken links. Look in Google Search Console where they are located, or use a tool such as Screaming Frog.
Site URL and Navigation Structure:
Give what google wants. Google clearly states in their webmaster best practices that they want a clear site and navigation structure, including a clear name.
For your pages, you can easily do this by setting the underlying pages under their “parent category” as shown in the image below.
wikisoftyt.com/seo/seo-tips and wikisoftyt.com/seo/seo-tips/ are, therefore, clearer than a horizontal menu, where all pages fall directly under the domain, such as wikisoftyt.com/seo/ and wikisoftyt.com/seo/.
So you definitely don’t want this:
Google has also indicated a preference for links in the text and not in images, buttons, etc.
Use the Permalink settings in WordPress to adjust your URL structure in such a way, and to use a clear URL structure.
Use Heading Tags:
- Keep your head there for a while. Well, cups. Suppose you read the Bible and you are looking for Psalm 119 for example. How long would you have to look if no chapters and no headings were used?
- Heading tags are therefore the headings or chapters if you want to call it that give order and overview in the text.
Search engines such as Google and Bing also love that. Don’t forget to make good use of it. So work from H1 to H6, and don’t skip a step! you don’t start with an H2, and then an H1, and then an H4 again because the font size is better.
- The heading tag H1 is roughly the title of the page, and may, therefore, correspond to the real title of the page that you have previously set. This H1 is filled in by WordPress by default, but I change it manually if it fits better. The H1 is one of the strongest WordPress SEO to Optimize factors/signals in addition to the Title of the page.
Do you remember the example of the book in the library above? Yes, chapters are so important in a book that you cannot miss them. So use clear headlines that make it easier for visitors to keep an overview on your webpage.
So make smart use of all your keywords or keywords on which you want to be found in the various headings. See the image below for the correct order.
Optimize SEO WordPress Security:
All your WordPress SEO Optimize is done for free! Lock the door when you leave! Sin, sin, sin. I just spent 20 hours optimizing the website, and now it’s hacked. Everything is gone, all the work is done for nothing. Don’t give burglars a chance to destroy your work! Below I give you some simple tips to better secure your WordPress website:
HTTPS / SSL:
In 2020 you as a company can no longer be taken seriously without a secure connection. SSL certificates are available for free at, for example, Let’s Encrypt. There are also enough hosting providers that can install free SSL certificates. Browsers such as Chrome have been reporting since 2017 that a website is unsafe if it does not use https. A matter of trust. SSL is also a ranking factor so you really can’t miss this anymore.
Make enough backups of your website. You can do this via plugins or on the web server itself. In any case, it is advisable to run a full backup every so often. The number of backups and time intervals between the backups differ per website. For example, install BackWPUp and UpdraftPlus that are both free to use.
Make sure your Theme, WordPress and plugins are all up to date. It will be effect optimize of WordPress SEO. If you do not do this, you have a good chance of someone entering your site. WP white security has lists of plugins that can be dangerous.
WP-admin login URL:
example.com/wp-admin is the default URL to login. Custom Login URL plugins (such as WPS Hide Login ) can change the login URL to a URL that you want, so it becomes more difficult for a “robot” to try to log in. For example, you can change your new login URL to example.com/verder.
Every standard WordPress website has the first user as Admin. To break in you only have to guess the password, which becomes a lot easier than if you have to guess a username and password. Therefore, do not use a user with the Admin username.
Here I just give the name of the plugin, Wordfence. Wordfence protects your website against brute force attacks where a computer tries to log in in a short time by entering a lot of passwords (for example in combination with username Admin). With Wordfence you can limit the number of passwords entered per minute so that the attacker is (temporarily) blocked. You can also block certain IP addresses. Read the manual for all details, but it is definitely worth installing. Recommended. You can opt for the free as a paid version.