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How to Make a WordPress Site Rank Better

I can’t find any stats but I think it’s fair to say, WordPress is the most popular self hosted blogging platform and probably the most popular content management system too. It’s one of the more SEO friendly content management systems but here is some tips to make your wordpress site rank even better.

Change Permalink Structure

The standard permalink structure just has numbers like ?/p=123, this is not very search engine friendly, you want to include the keywords you wish to rank for in the permalink, this tells search engines what your site is about.

To change your sites permalinks, login to the dashboard, look in the sidebar and click settings, select permalinks and then choose postname. When you name your posts make sure you include the keywords you want to target in the title.

XML Sitemaps

Having an xml sitemap on your site will help the search engines index it, you can use a sitemap to tell search engines which pages have more importance than others.

There is lots of sitemap plugins to choose from, on this site I am using BWP Google XML Sitemaps.

Meta Tags

See my last post, how to use meta tags which tells you what meta tags are and the different types you can use. There is loads of different plugins that will insert meta tags into the head section of your blog, on this site I am using platinum seo pack. This plugin can generate tags automatically using the text from the post or page or you can manually insert your own tags.

It also has a number of other very good benefits, they include the ability to no-idex category and tag pages (this can help with duplicate content), you can also use it to no-index certain pages that you want to keep private or out of search results and loads of other stuff.

Bounce Rate

If a visitor is returning to the search engine after 2 seconds on your site, it might suggest your site wasn’t the most relevant or useful result for them, if all your visitors start doing this you will quickly move down the SERPs. You need to keep visitors to your site engaged and on your site for as long as you possibly can, you can do this by providing relevant content (obvious), set links to open in a new window and maybe try reducing ads, make ads open in a new window too.

Load Speed

Make your site load as fast as possible, see Google’s load speed tips here.

Choose a good webhost, one with fast servers and high up time. Most webhosting companies offer shared server plans, it is important that there are no spammers hosted on the same server as you, if your business is dependent on your website you maybe better of with a dedicated server or at least a dedicated ip.

See this speed test tool to check the speed of your webhosting.

You can also increase your load speed by caching pages and minifying javascript, plugins I use to do this are Quick Cache and Better WordPress Minify.

Increase CTR

Increase your sites clickthrough rate, if your site is ranked 3rd but has a more attractive proposition than 1st and 2nd you might be able to get more clickthroughs, this might see you move up the rankings. Increase CTR by writing an attractive meta description and using Googles rich snippets feature.

See more about rich snippets here

Off-site Optimisation

Once you have done all of the above you will be ready to think about your off-site ranking factors, such as building high quality links. Please tell me your thoughts or if I have missed anything below.

  • Spook SEO

    If your starting building links for your site be sure that all your links are high quality and relevant to your site so that you will not be hit and penalized by Google algorithm updates.

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