14 WordPress 2021 SEO Tips For Ranking

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WordPress is used by over 75 million websites. However, not all of them take the necessary efforts to optimize their website for traffic from the main search engines.

If your business runs on WordPress, then following some basic SEO tips can help boost your site’s organic presence, resulting in more leads, sales, and revenue.

Here are the top WordPress SEO recommendations for 2021 and beyond:

1. Ensure that search engines can find your website.

Search engines will not rank your pages if they cannot access your site, and you will lose all organic traffic.

Log in to your WordPress admin panel and go to Settings > Reading.

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Make sure the box named “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” is unchecked.

reading settings

2. URLs should be optimized.

Permalinks are extremely important in making your site SEO-friendly.

Select the post name option as the default URL structure in Settings > Permalinks.

permalinks settings

If your site has been up for a while, get an SEO professional to help you with this because you risk losing all of your SEO equity if suitable redirects are not implemented.

Additionally, when you make a new post in WordPress, it generates a new URL with the same name as the post title.

To make a post SEO friendly, you should modify the URL manually every time you generate it.

For example, if your blog topic is “50 ways to boost sales on a daily basis” WordPress will automatically generate the following URL:

yoursite.com/50-ways-to-boost-sales-on-a-daily-basis

This URL is too long and will not appear in the search results.

Shorter, easier-to-understand URLs are preferred by search engines. As a result, for best SEO value, your URL structure should include your goal keywords.

Yoursite.com/sales-boosting-tips would have been the ideal URL in this case.

Notice the difference: it’s brief, clear, and simple, as well as SEO-friendly.

As a result, the next time you write a blog post, modify the default URL to something shorter and keyword-rich.

3. Improve Your Google Page Experience by Optimizing Your Website

In May 2021, Google released the Page Experience Update. It has an impact on the rankings of all websites that fail the Core Web Vitals test.

If you’re already using Google Search Console, you’ve probably noticed issues like LCP (Largest Contentful Paint), FCP (First Contentful Paint), and FID (First Input Delay) on your site.

To increase the performance of your website and optimize for the Core Web Vitals, use the Page Speed Insights tool or the Finteza Lighthouse Report. Both tools provide recommendations for resolving issues with site speed and UX optimization. Furthermore, the Finteza Lighthouse report includes a performance score, as well as SEO, Accessibility, and Best Practices scores, allowing you to assess your site on a variety of metrics.

4. Use WebP-formatted images
WebP is a new web picture format that produces richer, yet smaller images that are 26% smaller than typical PNG images.

Images contribute significantly to the speed of your website. The Core Web Vitals test will be easily passed by faster websites. Using the WebP format is one of the best ways to make your images load faster.

To convert all of your jpeg, gif, and PNG photos to WebP, use the WebP Converter for Media plugin. You’ll notice a significant difference in page load time because the photos will load faster without sacrificing image quality.

5. If you haven’t already, switch your site to HTTPS.
Google is very concerned about security. HTTP sites are no longer in use. If you believe HTTPS is solely required for ecommerce sites, you are mistaken.

Purchase an SSL certificate for your website and set the WordPress address URL and site address URL to HTTPS in Settings -> General on your dashboard.

HTTPS is helpful for your website, and Google advises you to use it. It creates a secure encryption to protect all user communication data and establishes the trustworthiness of your website.

6. Improve the speed of your website
As previously stated, the Page Experience Update will have a detrimental impact on all sluggish websites. Surprisingly, it will improve the rankings of sites that load quickly.

Determine which areas of your site are generating performance concerns. To resolve the Core Web Vitals difficulties, use the search console. The following are some of the metrics that need to be considered:

  • FCP
  • FMP
  • Speed Index
  • First CPU Idle
  • Time to Interactive
  • Estimated Input Latency

You can also boost your page loading speed by following the instructions below:

  • Use the bare minimum of plugins and eliminate those that aren’t needed.
  • To boost bandwidth, upgrade your WordPress hosting.
  • Switch to a faster-paced theme.
  • Reduce the number of external scripts you use.
    Install a caching plugin for WordPress, such as WPRocket.
  • Using a plugin like AMP for WP, create AMP pages. On mobile devices, AMP pages are designed to load faster.

Taking these methods can help your website load faster than ever before.

7. Build High-Quality Links
Building high-quality links can help you rank for your target keywords and increase your SEO efforts.

To obtain high-quality links, you can employ a variety of link-building tactics. Here are a few examples:

  • Guest posting.
  • Blogger outreach.
  • Broken link building.
  • Unlinked brand mentions.
  • Resource page link building.
  • Guestographics.
  • Roundup posts.
  • Product reviews.

To save time, use tools like Pitchbox to discover and contact high-quality link-building prospects.

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Pitchbox can help you uncover link-building opportunities for a variety of tactics. Following the discovery of promising leads, the following stage is to assess the quality of the relationships. Tools like Ahrefs and Moz can assist you in this area because they provide link statistics such as traffic, rankings, DA, and PA.

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Because good link building necessitates registration and the use of numerous tools, you may need to make accounts on multiple websites.

Passwords saved in your Chrome browser are not secure because your friends and family may be able to see them. Hackers will also try to get past your security to gain access to your system and read your personal information.

8. Use the Power of Video Marketing to Your Advantage
Video marketing can help you improve your SEO because data shows that 83 percent of marketers utilize it to create a lot of traffic.

You can insert or embed your YouTube videos to take advantage of the potential of video marketing.

To add videos to your blog, you can use a plugin like the Easy Video Player.

You may increase traffic and social shares of your content by using video marketing because statistics reveal that 45 percent of Facebook and Twitter users watch at least one hour of video material per week.

9. Enhance the User Experience of Your Website
When it comes to website success, the user experience is crucial. Webmasters frequently overlook the importance of offering excellent user support.

Here are some reasons why user experience is vital for any website and how it affects SEO:

  • Converts visitors into customers.
  • Reduces the bounce rate and improves the time on page.
  • Increases site trust and improves website authority.

You can improve a website’s UX by doing the following:

  • Provide well-researched, intent-specific, high-quality, and engaging content to the audience.
  • Create a well-structured responsive website design that is easy to navigate.
  • Make your website load fast.
  • Add responsive and user friendly calls to action.
  • Provide good customer service.
  • Use attractive media like images and videos.
  • Fix any 404 issues, redirection errors, or core web vitals issues.
  • Optimize all the images on your site.

There are a variety of tools that may be utilized to improve user experience. Smush, for example, allows you to optimize images for faster page loading. It also allows you to add lazy loading to images on your website, allowing people to access your page’s core content without having to wait. You may batch optimize up to 50 pictures with Smush’s bulk optimization tool.

You may display relevant notifications to guide users using the Apex Notification Bar. It’s a fantastic WordPress notification bar plugin that lets you show unique notifications, alerts, offers, and promotions to website visitors. It comes with five ready-to-use templates that can be customized. It can be placed at the top or bottom of your webpage.

Zendesk is another tool that may be used to provide exceptional customer service. It allows you to provide customer assistance via live chat, phone, and email. Zendesk is used by both small and large enterprises to provide excellent customer and client service.

Installing a free plugin called “Zendesk Chat” on a WordPress blog is the best practice. Customers can live chat with you on your website with this plugin. Zendesk’s finest feature is that it supports more than 40 languages and works with the majority of browsers, including Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Opera.

10. Update .htaccess File
A .htaccess file is a high-level configuration file that’s normally found in the root directory of your WordPress installation. You can utilize the.htaccess file to perform changes like redirecting to the HTTPS version of the site, preventing hotlinking, creating a custom 404 page, and password protecting server folders.

If you’re using an SEO plugin like Yoast SEO, simply navigate to SEO > File Editor >.htaccess.

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You can directly add lines of code to the.htaccess file in WordPress, as illustrated in the image below. Simply click the “save changes to.htaccess” button, and the backend will be updated instantly.

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If you wish to redirect any page to a new location, for example, add the following code to your.htaccess file:

Redirect 301 /oldpage/ http://www.yourdomain.com/newpage

How to Force WWW and Non-WWW Versions of your Website

To force your website to launch with a www URL, use the code below:

Options +FollowSymLinks 

RewriteEngine on 

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^yoursite.com [NC] 

RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.yoursite.com/$1 [L,R=301]

You can use the code below to force open your website without a www address:

Options +FollowSymLinks

RewriteEngine on

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} .

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^yoursite\.com

RewriteRule (.*) http://yoursite.com/$1 [R=301,L]

Note: Replace “yoursite” with the address of your website, and if you have a TLD other than.com, replace the.com with your TLD.

11. Utilize the Yoast Search Engine Optimization Plugin
Yoast SEO is one of the top WordPress SEO plugins. Yoast SEO aids in the optimization of content for greater search engine rankings. It makes numerous ideas and recommendations for improving the content’s SEO ranking.

To install the Yoast SEO plugin, navigate to Plugins > Add New in your WordPress dashboard, search for “Yoast SEO,” and then click the install and active button as shown below.

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You may also use the Yoast SEO plugin to add meta titles, descriptions, and target keywords to your articles. You can even see a snippet preview, which allows you to see how your post will appear in search results after it has been published.

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Aside from that, the Yoast SEO plugin has the following features:

  • SEO analysis.
  • Keyword density check.
  • Keyword check in prominent areas like headings, introduction, title, description, slug, and content body.
  • Internal links and outbound links check.
  • Meta description length check.
  • Image alt tags check.
  • Content word count check.

It also includes sophisticated features such as article indexing, link following, and the inclusion of canonical tags.

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Yoast SEO provides a schema type to your content by default, but if you wish to alter it, you can do so easily.

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You may also manage open graph tags on Facebook and Twitter. Select the information you wish to share on social media, such as the image, title, and description of the article.

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12. Optimize Content
For good rankings, content optimization is critical. WordPress website owners can use tools like Yoast SEO to optimize their content.

When compared to thin content, writing long and informative content can help you achieve higher rankings. The core keyword should be used in the title, description, headers (H1, H2, H3), and major body of your article to optimize it for SEO. You can increase the relevance score by including some LSI or similar keywords in addition to the main keyword.

Every post on your blog receives a “readability score” (excellent, average, or terrible) from the Yoast SEO plugin, which includes several tips for improving the score.

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As you can see in the image above, there are some suggestions for improving your material. Always strive for an excellent reading score, which is green.

13. Strengthen Your Internal Linking
You should use interlinking on your website as a top SEO practice. Internal links are links in articles that point to other articles on your website.

There are numerous advantages to internal links:

  • It increases the duration of a user’s session and the number of pages viewed on a website.
  • It aids in organic search engine rankings.
  • It decreases the bounce rate of the website.
  • It disperses the link juice across all linked articles.

You can strengthen your internal linking structure by utilizing tools such as LinkWhisper.

14. Connect your site to Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and Bing Webmasters.
Adding your website to Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and Bing Webmasters is critical for the following reasons:

  • By uploading an XML sitemap, you can allow search engine crawlers to crawl your website.
  • You can resolve indexing issues as well as request page indexing.
  • You can examine your website’s traffic data using filters and search queries.
  • You can resolve a variety of technical issues such as mobile usability, core web vitals, mobile responsiveness, 404 errors, and AMP.
  • You can be notified if Google discovers a technical problem with your website.

To get Google Analytics working on WordPress, you must first create an analytics account and add your website as a property.

You must include a special verification code in your website’s header file to install Google Search Console and Bing Webmasters (in between the opening and closing head tag).

Using a Plugin to Add Code
If you are not a techie, the Yoast SEO plugin can help you. Simply navigate to SEO > General > Webmasters Tools and enter the code. Changes should be saved.

You can add the verification code for Baidu and Yandex search engines in addition to Google and Bing.

Adding Code Without the Use of a Plugin
If you do not want to use a plugin, navigate to Appearance >Theme Editor and locate the Theme Header (header.php) file in the right navigation area.

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As shown in the image below, you must include a verification code before closing the head tag.

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Conclusion
Most SEO guides on the internet are difficult to follow, but I have simplified the technical concepts of WordPress SEO so that you can take the necessary steps to make your site search friendly and user friendly.

Wait a few weeks after implementing the above SEO tips to see the results. Additionally, create high-quality content, obtain high-authority links, and take steps to improve UX. Taking these steps will assist you in continuing to generate noticeable results for your website. Best wishes for WordPress SEO in 2021!

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