10 Ways to Improve SEO

By Noah Britton on 04 November 2020

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is one of the most effective ways to get your business found online. When done well, SEO can get your WordPress website on the all-important first page of Google, and other search engines, for the search terms that lead to revenue for you and your business.

But implementing a good SEO strategy can be tricky. There’s a reason there are so many companies that offer just WordPress SEO services. If you don’t have the budget for that, or just prefer a DIY approach, here are ten things you can do to make sure your SEO strategy is as effective as possible.

10 Steps to Better SEO

10 steps to better SEO

So where do you start with establishing a strong and effective SEO strategy? Search engines are constantly tweaking the ways that they assign rankings so it can be hard to figure out how to keep on top of the changes. Not to worry. There are some basic things you can do to show your website’s strength to search engines.

These 10 steps will help put you and your WordPress website on the path to SEO success.

1. Define Your Strategy

The first step in any good plan is to articulate where you are and where you want to go. Start with an analysis of your website, your business, and your services or products. Look for what is working in these categories, and what can be improved with better SEO.

Remember, increasing your search rankings is only part of the picture. Setting other goals, whether it’s building a customer database, getting more bookings, or increasing sales, is crucial for an SEO campaign that results in meaningful actions for your business.


Featured Reading: Local SEO is Crucial for Service-Based Companies


2. Analyze Your Competition

Identify other local businesses that are offering the same services as you. They are your competition for Google search position. Looking at the marketing strategies they are implementing can give you direction or inspiration on the elements you could include in your strategy as well as highlighting anything you are missing.

Here are some questions to ask in your analysis:

 

  • What keywords they are targeting in their titles, headings, descriptions?
  • How their content is structured?
  • What pages do they have?
  • How much information is on each page?
  • What information are they providing to their audience?
  • What is their Google search position in relation to your’s?
  • How many links do they have per page?

 

3. Keyword Research

Keyword research is one of the most important steps in SEO. To optimize your WordPress website for search you need to know what your customers are searching for. Google’s Keyword Planner tool allows you to enter keywords related to your business and see what volume of monthly searches they generate in your location which is a good way to gauge their popularity. Google Keyword Planner also offers suggestions of related search terms to help you identify opportunities you may not have thought of yourself.

Improve your SEO

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is one of the most effective ways to get your business found online. When done well, SEO can get your WordPress website on the all-important first page of Google, and other search engines, for the search terms that lead to revenue for you and your business.

But implementing a good SEO strategy can be tricky. There’s a reason there are so many companies that offer just WordPress SEO services. If you don’t have the budget for that, or just prefer a DIY approach, here are ten things you can do to make sure your SEO strategy is as effective as possible.

10 steps to better SEO

So where do you start with establishing a strong and effective SEO strategy? Search engines are constantly tweaking the ways that they assign rankings so it can be hard to figure out how to keep on top of the changes. Not to worry. There are some basic things you can do to show your website’s strength to search engines.

These 10 steps will help put you and your WordPress website on the path to SEO success.

1. Define Your Strategy

The first step in any good plan is to articulate where you are and where you want to go. Start with an analysis of your website, your business, and your services or products. Look for what is working in these categories, and what can be improved with better SEO.

Remember, increasing your search rankings is only part of the picture. Setting other goals, whether it’s building a customer database, getting more bookings, or increasing sales, is crucial for an SEO campaign that results in meaningful actions for your business.


Featured Reading: Local SEO is Crucial for Service-Based Companies


2. Analyze Your Competition

Identify other local businesses that are offering the same services as you. They are your competition for Google search position. Looking at the marketing strategies they are implementing can give you direction or inspiration on the elements you could include in your strategy as well as highlighting anything you are missing.

Here are some questions to ask in your analysis:

 

  • What keywords they are targeting in their titles, headings, descriptions?
  • How their content is structured?
  • What pages do they have?
  • How much information is on each page?
  • What information are they providing to their audience?
  • What is their Google search position in relation to yours?
  • How many links do they have per page?

 

3. Keyword Research

Keyword research is one of the most important steps in SEO. To optimize your WordPress website for search you need to know what your customers are searching for. Google’s Keyword Planner tool allows you to enter keywords related to your business and see what volume of monthly searches they generate in your location which is a good way to gauge their popularity. Google Keyword Planner also offers suggestions of related search terms to help you identify opportunities you may not have thought of yourself.

4. Content Optimization

Now that you’ve selected the keywords you want to target, look at the structure of your WordPress website pages and the content on them. You’ll want to aim to have one page for each of your major keywords with 500+ words of good quality content. Don’t forget to consider the structure of your page – breaking up content with relevant subheadings and including images can help your SEO when done correctly.

One part of your website to pay close attention to is your blog. Blog posts are prime opportunities for boosting your SEO, especially when it comes to specific keywords. You can create and structure your blog posts to target specific keywords that are hard to target in other parts of your website.

5. Optimize On-Page SEO

Once you’ve made sure you have relevant pages and content on your site, it’s time to start implementing your on-page SEO. Use the primary keyword for each page strategically in your meta titles, descriptions, page headings and subheadings, URL, image optimization, and page content. Use variations on your keyword to avoid being repetitive and remember, search engines like Google is looking for readability so don’t stuff keywords in excessively or out of context.

6. Build Quality Backlinks

A backlink is simply a link from another website back to yours. Backlinks act as a referral source, letting Google and other search engines know that your WordPress website is a trustworthy resource, but the quality of the link source is also important. Look for link opportunities from other websites in your industry, association profiles, businesses in your local area, and relevant directory listings.

One great place to start building backlinks is through your Google My Business profile. Google My Business is a great place to solicit ratings and reviews, and to also link back to your website.

7. Optimize Your WordPress Website for Mobile

Google now analyses websites based on mobile-first indexing, meaning mobile-responsive design is more important than ever. If your website doesn’t perform well on mobile, you’re also likely to lose customers who are trying to visit your page on their phones so updating your website to be functional across a range of devices is a win-win situation. There are some great mobile-friendly themes available on WordPress so you don’t have to do the development yourself.


Featured Reading: Your Website has 15-30 Seconds to Impress


8. Page Speed

Page speed is an important factor in your rankings, Google ranks faster pages higher, but also impacts other important metrics such as the bounce rate of your site (users who leave without interacting with your site) and time spent on site, both of which also impact your organic position.

Data suggests that 53% of users will leave a page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load and 50% expect it to load in 2 seconds or less. This is especially true for consumers searching on their mobile device Running a report using a free tool such as GTMetrix will provide you with a report on your current website performance and provide suggestions on how to improve it.

One easy place to start is ensuring that your website’s images are all of the optimum size. Images that are too large will slow down your website’s speed. By strategically sizing down your images, your customers won’t notice anything except a website that loads faster.

Improve your SEO

9. Track Your Progress

To know how effective your SEO is, you’ll need a clear way to track its performance. Remember those goals you identified in step 1? Make sure you have a method in place to collect data around these, whether it’s appointment booking numbers, sales figures, or signups.

It’s also a good idea to track general analytics data around your website and SEO performance. Tools like Google Analytics can track your organic traffic and goal conversions, while a good rank tracking tool can help you see the changes in your search results position for your chosen keywords.

10. Analyze and Adapt

SEO is a living process. For it to work well, it cannot be a case of set and forget. You should be consistently reviewing your data, revisiting competitor analysis, refreshing your keyword data, updating your content, building backlinks, and adapting to Google algorithm changes to keep your SEO efforts relevant and up to date.

Bonus Tip: Check Out Your Backend SEO

There are many places in the backend of your website where you can beef up your website’s SEO. On each page of your website, you can optimize the image description, title tags, meta descriptions, meta tags, H1 headings, and page names. Search engines crawl each of these elements to determine your site’s ranking and, the great thing is, most are invisible to your site’s visitors.

Final Word

Search engines are the best friend and worst enemy of the small business website. They can bring you more traffic than you can handle and, sometimes, they also can seem to overlook you for no apparent reason. That’s where tweaking your WordPress SEO can help.

However, if it seems like doing SEO right is a lot of work, you’re right. It is. But it’s also work that is worth it to your business’s bottom line. We get it and we’ve expanded our services to help.

Our new SEO service will help you realize all the benefits of a professionally crafted SEO strategy, without all of the work involved. (We know how to get you on page one of Google and keep you there.)

A strong SEO strategy is the best way to bring a steady stream of new traffic directly to your digital front door. The long-term results you achieve from an SEO strategy cannot be replicated. Our SEO experts can help create a custom campaign that will deliver the results you need to take your business to the next level.

Thrive Design is a customer-centric web design agency and marketing agency from Seattle. Contact us to find out how we can elevate your business online! Find us on Clutch, UpCityLinkedInFacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.

Find out how our SEO services can bring even more traffic to your digital front door.

Noah Britton

Noah Britton is the founder of Thrive with 18 years of experience in the web industry and 10 years with WordPress.