Are you aware that the most successful SEO experts use and recommend WordPress? Not surprisingly, one of the reasons why WordPress is so ahead of the competition is because it works so well for search engine optimization.
SEO is a big part of any business’ digital strategy. When it comes to deciding on your website builder and which platform is the best option for you, you need to think about traffic. To have visitors rushing to your site, you need to think about searchability and visibility, and which content management system (CMS) would support this the best. We reckon that the answer is WordPress.
WordPress is the most popular CMS. Nowadays, users from all over the world build WordPress sites, from small business owners, who want to expand their businesses online to authorities in different niches. More specifically, 42.2% of the websites on the internet are powered by WordPress.
- Related Article: 26 Major Brands with WordPress Websites
But what makes WordPress so unique? Well, here are some answers:
1. Pretty Permalinks
Permalinks are the URLs on your site. You can easily edit your permalinks when you work on your WordPress dashboard. It can be done by visiting the settings and giving it the format you want. By default, it should look something like https://yoursite.com/?p=123.
When you customize it, a format like http://yoursite.com/%postname%/ is better for the search engines and for your visitors, who should be able to figure out the topic of your article from the link.
The permalinks can affect your ranking in two ways:
- Keywords in the link are an important ranking factor.
- Pretty permalinks can increase the CTR of your posts on the search engines.
CTR is the click-through rate for a link which is also a Google ranking factor. When you get fewer clicks than expected, Google will drop you into lower positions while improving the position of sites with a high CTR.
Lastly, a non-SEO reason that can also harm your traffic. If your link is viewable, you will get fewer visitors from other sources as well as social media; especially, when you use ugly permalinks. So, customizing the permalinks is a much better approach than leaving them with the default option.
2. Adding Metadata Automatically
The SEO title and the meta description are two major ranking factors. You need to add them to almost every post and page of your website. Including the targeted keyword in the metadata which can improve your position significantly.
Also, they help to increase your CTR since they are viewable on search engines. You only need to install one of the many free SEO plugins that are available for WordPress and then, add them.
This process does not take more than a few minutes. Then, you can use the same plugin for every post. When you do not add the metadata manually, a plugin like Yoast SEO or All in One SEO will get the needed information from the title and the first sentences of your content.
3. SEO-Optimized Images
Images are a valuable SEO asset, and play an important role in ensuring that your content is interesting, accessible, and engaging.
On the one hand, they supply search engine bots with important contextual information. According to Moz, one third of all Google searches happen on Google Images.
On the other hand, optimized images can speed your page loading time, improve user experience and provide additional ranking opportunities.
If you want to get maximum exposure, you need to optimize your images for SEO. You can do this by going to the edit options of an image and filling in the “Alternative Text” box.
To get the best results, include a version of your keyword. By customizing your articles, you are two clicks away from optimizing any image on your page for SEO.
Lastly, you can edit the size of an image to improve the page speed. You can even use a plugin for this step. There are many free options available that can optimize the size of many images automatically.
4. User Experience
A bad user experience can be anything from a bad web design to poorly structured content and images which are not relevant to the copy.
Google can understand how good any website’s user experience is from metrics like the bounce rate, the average time spent on a page, shopping cart abandonment, etc.. It’s important that you keep track of such metrics and you can do that by looking at your Google Analytics account.
- Some of indicators for a bad user experience are:
- Low-conversion rate.
- High overall bounce rate and higher bounce rate on mobile.
- Users aren’t engaging with your content – not sharing, commenting, citing it.
- Low completion rate in filling a form, finishing a purchase, etc.
However, with good user experience, you can keep your visitors more time on your site for longer and more engaged with your content. So which Google Analytics metrics indicate a good user experience then?
- More pageviews.
- Increase in number of subscribers.
- High conversion and completion rates.
- Low bounce rate.
- Increase in session duration time.
WordPress provides you with lots of options to customize your site with many great plugins and themes available, more than any other competitor. You can now be creative and design amazing websites.
5. Site Speed
Google is pretty keen on speed and as such it has included site and page speed as a ranking signal. In fact, Google takes page speed into consideration specifically, because the faster a page can load the easier it is for the search engine to crawl the whole website and index it appropriately.
Additionally, page/site speed is really important for user experience. Pages with shorter loading times have a lower bounce rate and higher average time spent on page.
For those who already use WordPress, site speed should not be a problem. There are many fast-loading themes to meet every need. You also can find plugins that were actually created to improve site speed.
To ensure everything works and loads smoothly, you can check your site speed on Google’s PageSpeed Insights. The PageSpeed score includes data from reports on two essential speed metrics DOMContentLoaded (DCL) and First Contentful Paint (FCP), as well as data from Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX). These help evaluate page performance on both desktop and mobile devices, and provide suggestions about how to improve it.
Some common reasons for a slow loading WordPress site can include non-optimized images and digital assets, poor web hosting services, using too many plugins and more. And because speed is really important, it’s essential to be aware of what potential roadblocks can appear, when and under what circumstances, so you can learn how to approach and deal with them.
6. Mobile Optimization
The number of the users, who use search engines from their smartphones and tablets, has increased over the last few years. According to Hitwise, as much as 60% of all online searches happen on mobile. So, if entrepreneurs want to keep their digital competitive advantage, they must adapt to this new trend.
If you use WordPress, you have nothing to worry about. Most themes are already optimized for mobile phones. Additionally, when you customize your website, you can check how it looks on all the different devices. While we take for granted that any theme should be responsive, you still can see website owners who are trying to figure out how to do it.
Google wants to find a mobile version of your site, and as such introduced mobile-first indexing when evaluating and ranking a site. So, if you want to be on Google’s good side, you need to ensure that the mobile version of your site is of the same quality as your regular desktop version. This means that your site should load quickly, have intuitive navigation and ensure that users can perform various tasks without a problem.
7. Social Media Integration
Many online marketers overlook the importance of social media when they talk about SEO. While social media may not influence website ranking and SEO, the links you share across different platforms help increase brand visibility.
If you engage an audience on social media, your rankings will be better. The opposite applies as well when you have a high ranking, more engagement is expected on your social media posts also. The more social shares your site has the more likely it is to reach your target audience.
It is not about how many followers you have, but how active other people are in your posts (likes, comments, shares). The likes, comments and shares your posts receive, are signals that search engines use when indexing and ranking your site. It matters how your brand engages online and how users talk about it, because those conversations influence search queries.
When it comes to social media and SEO, WordPress is once again ahead of their competition. There are hundreds of plugins available, created to maximize your social media exposure. You can use them to automate your campaigns, add social media buttons to your content to get shares from your visitors, embed a social media feed on your website, and many other options to encourage your guests to be a part of your social media campaigns.
Using WordPress benefits not only the user but also your brand and business growth. With its unique features and tools, this platform is perfect for businesses of any size. It’s easy to use, scalable and constantly evolving, offering the flexibility your website needs.
This is why WordPress is the preferred CMS choice for us at DevriX. With it we’ve helped plenty of businesses scale and grow, and while contributing to making the platform as great as it can be.