Creating your small business website on WordPress was an excellent decision because WordPress strives to make SEO easier for their users. Once you know the basics of optimizing your ranking, WordPress has tools to help you fine tune the rest. They’ve collaborated with top developers to create plugins and tools that make running your small business website much easier, even for beginners. Our expert at Small Business Seo have shared the 10 tips to get your WordPress site optimized.
1. Publish Useful and Engaging Content
As a small business, one of the best things you can do to help your SEO is to publish useful information on a consistent schedule. Potential customers want to read engaging content that teaches them about your area of business and expertise. Grab the attention of your clients, answer any questions they may have, and teach them something new.
– Quick Tip: It’s okay to browse the websites of your competitors or blogs in your niche to get ideas and themes for posts of your own, but be sure to write unique posts. Content theft not only looks bad for your brand, but it hurts your ranking as well.
The goal is to produce content that people will want to read – in entirety – and share with the people they know. When every post is high-quality, users will want to spend more time on your site, clicking from post to post. Since most small businesses use a website to promote a product or service, this is great. The longer a potential customer spends on your site increases the probability of them converting to a customer.
2. Keep Publishing on Schedule
Don’t forget to set up a posting schedule. Take your time and money into consideration, and choose how often you would like new content added to your site. Whether your schedule is posting once a month on the 1st, or once a week on Fridays, keep with it. Consistency is key, and a hiccup or long departure from your publishing schedule can hurt your SEO badly.
3. Format Headers Properly
This may seem like an obvious one, but it can be easily overlooked in the chaos of running your own business. After you learn how to format your headers properly, and get into the swing of posting content on a regular basis, it will become second nature.
When you’re formatting your content before posting, go through the post and identify your headers. Now all you have to do is mark each of them as ‘heading 2’ or ‘H2’. The title of the piece is always marked as ‘heading 1’ or ‘H1’. If you’d like to, you can also use ‘heading 3’ or ‘H3’ for subheadings to divide larger pieces of text that are already covered under a ‘heading 2’ section.
It’s important to use relevant keywords in your titles and headers because search engines give special attention to ‘heading 1’ and ‘heading 2’ text to pinpoint what the page is about.
4. Optimize Links and Anchor Text
When posting high-quality content, it’s not only important to link to other useful sites and information to boost your ranking, but also link back to your own content. Each time you publish a new post, go through your already published material to find what would be relevant to link to. Often times a section header of one post is the entire topic of another post. Develop your own web of links on your site to boost your ranking and keep readers engaged on your website.
Another important optimization is choosing proper anchor text. Anchor text is the word or words you choose to add a hyperlink to when redirecting to one of your own pages, or a source on another site. Many hyperlinks look something like, “this information, which can be found here”, with ‘here’ hyperlinked. Since here is usually not a valid keyword for the topic, it doesn’t help optimization. Instead, hyperlink words that have to do with the topic like this: “We’ve compiled ‘keywords in your niche’ to help”.
5. Formatting Media Properly
Using media like pictures and videos within your post is vital. Readers love to see media within posts, and it helps to break up all of the text to form a more visually appealing page. To help improve your SEO, there are a few steps you can take when adding media. Change the title of the picture to include keywords that are appropriate for the image and also drive more traffic to your site. There’s no need to do this before uploading since WordPress lets you change it upon uploading. They also ask if you’d like to add a caption, alt text, or a description; take advantage of all of these options to boost your SEO.
– Quick Tip: It’s also a good idea to compress your photos to a smaller size before uploading to make it easier for the page to load.
6. Social Media Share Buttons
If you followed tip number one by releasing top quality content that engages your users, then be sure to add social media sharing buttons to your posts. When a reader finds information particularly useful, or thinks that someone close to them may find value in it, they will want to share the page.
Adding share buttons not only makes it easy for readers to share your content and bring more traffic to your page; it reminds them that sharing your page is an option. Offering the choice makes them far more likely to share, and drives more traffic to your site that you may be missing out on now.
– Quick Tip: Hopefully your small business is taking advantage of social media websites already, but if not, it’s a good idea to start and maintain a business account on a few platforms. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram are all great platforms to spread your knowledge and business ideals, and gain a following of loyal customers in return. Post often and interact with your following to get the most out of your social media profiles.
A sitemap is exactly what it sounds like: a map of your website. It’s not only useful to your customers if they’re having trouble locating a particular page or piece of information, but search engines also use it as a map of your website’s structure. As a small business, it’s paramount that you have a sitemap so that search engines can easily navigate through your website and catalog each page; greatly boosting your SEO.
Google has created a plugin that works with WordPress called “Google XML Sitemaps”, and you can get it directly from the WordPress site. With the use of this plugin, creating a sitemap for your small business is as easy as a few clicks.
8. Adjust Your Permalink Settings
Permalinks are links – found in the address bar – that lead directly to a specific page on your website. Each of the pages on your website has one. When you first start off with your website with WordPress, your permalinks are set to a less-than-ideal structure. For instance, your permalinks might look like this right now:
In this permalink setting, each page of your website starts with ‘?p=#’. This type of structure doesn’t help your search engine results because it doesn’t add any clues as to what this page is about.
Simply go into your WordPress settings, click ‘permalinks’, and change the setting to reflect the post name. Now the permalinks will simply be the title of the post, which means they will have your keywords and will look like this:
Another acceptable format for permalinks displays the date and year the post was published, along with the post title. Pick whatever structure feels right for your business.
9. Take Advantage of Google Analytics
When a huge company like Google offers a free tool, use it. “Google Analytics” is a tool that tracks the analytical data of the traffic on your small business website. This tool will find any 404 error pages on your site, lets you know what sources your traffic is originated from, and so much more.
10. What SEO Plugins Can Do For You
WordPress has teamed up with other companies to offer a lot of beginner-friendly plugins to help boost your SEO. The most popular WordPress plugin available is Yoast, but many more are available with specific areas of expertise. It’s best to search out the ones that would help your blog the most, and diversify to cover your bases.
Plugins help you to edit your metadata with ease: such as titles, descriptions, and tags. Many of them also scan your content and give suggestions on how to optimize your keywords, as well as generally tweaking your content to boost your rankings. Using these SEO Plugins can take a lot of guesswork out of running your own small business website, as well as save your precious time and money.
Implement What You’ve Learned
Now that you’ve read about how to improve your SEO, go implement that knowledge while it’s fresh on your mind. Remember to publish only quality content, keep publishing on a consistent schedule, link back to your own relevant pages, and always format your headers.
Choose proper anchor text, and take advantage of plugins to help your format all of your media. Don’t forget to add those social media buttons so that your customer base can do a lot of marketing for you. With those ten simple steps, you can make a huge amount of progress on your search engine ranking, and bring your small business into greater success.