While building a website, website owners and web developers have the option to choose from a wide range of content management systems (CMS). But a large percentage of website owners and developers opt for WordPress to reduce website development time and cost.
In 2023, individuals and enterprises will promote their websites through many digital marketing channels – search engines, social media, emails, display ads, and paid advertisements. But search engines are more effective in diverting organic and trackable traffic to websites than other digital marketing channels.
According to Search Engine Journal,
“53%: The percentage of all trackable website traffic that comes from organic search.”
Also, search engine optimization (SEO), unlike other digital marketing strategies, diverts traffic to websites organically and regularly over a period of time. That is why; companies and startups have been spending more and more on SEO services. You can easily divert search traffic to your websites regularly by implementing SEO strategies or availing of SEO services in 2023.
But you must remember that major search engines like Google change search algorithms around 500 to 600 times every year. Also, they add new ranking factors regularly to deliver the most relevant search results to searchers. That is why; you have to focus on a slew of factors while making and implementing SEO strategies in 2023.
WordPress is one of the content management systems (CMS) that help you to optimize your website for search engines without putting in extra time and effort. But you must prepare an elaborate WordPress SEO checklist to divert and grow your WordPress website’s organic traffic. You can refer to the SEO checklist to optimize web pages and blog posts according to the latest search engine guidelines and emerging SEO trends.
While preparing the WordPress SEO checklist for 2023, you must cover important SEO activities like on-page SEO, off-page SEO, keyword research, content optimization, and link building. Also, you must make the checklist more effective by including SEO tips and best practices. However, it is also important to keep the SEO checklist flexible enough to finetune SEO techniques and adopt SEO trends quickly and effortlessly.
WordPress’s clear and simple source code makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index websites. But WordPress allows users to prevent search engines from crawling and indexing a website by disabling the search engine visibility option. While implementing SEO strategies, you must allow search engine bots to crawl and index your WordPress website effortlessly by making relevant changes in the robots.txt file.
While preparing WordPress SEO checklists, webmasters and digital marketers often opt for the most popular SEO plugin for WordPress – Yoast SEO. Yoast is one of the mature SEO plugins that are used widely to optimize various websites. However, you have the option to choose from many new-age SEO plugins for WordPress. It is always important to spend some time choosing the best SEO plugin for your WordPress website. That is why; you must compare various WordPress SEO plugins using important parameters like features, compatibility, security, speed, and update frequency.
Google recommends webmasters make bots crawl web pages without consuming more bandwidth by keeping the URL short and simple. While optimizing a post or page in 2023, you must check its URL to ensure that it does not contain unsafe characters. Also, you must keep the URL readable by replacing blank spaces with underscores and using either uppercase or lowercase. However, you must not forget to include the focus keyword in the URL while optimizing it according to search engine guidelines.
Accurate usage of heading tags (H1 to H6) is one of the key elements of on-page SEO strategies. Every heading tag conveys important information about your WordPress website clearly to the search engines. For instance, the H1 tag makes the search engine understand what the page post or page is about, while the H2 tag conveys information about a particular section on the web page. Every WordPress theme handles headers in a different way. That is why; you must review the page’s source code to ensure that the header tags are used accurately.
Selection and optimization of keywords must be one of the key elements of your WordPress SEO checklist for 2023. You can accelerate keyword research using the options included in WordPress SEO plugins. Also, you can find long-tail keywords using Google Suggest and use Google Keyword Planner to find relevant and related keywords. However, you must not leverage social media and online forums to find fresh and untapped keywords. The information and trends collected from multiple online sources will help you to find the most relevant keywords.
After conducting keyword research, you have to optimize a page or post by including the focus keyword and secondary keywords strategically. Your WordPress SEO checklist needs to ensure that you include the focus keyword in the URL, title tag, tag modifiers, and H1 tag. Also, you must include the focus keyword in the first 100 to 150 words of the content. At the same time, you must use secondary keywords strategically in header tags. However, you must review and edit the content to ensure that the keywords are placed naturally and not stuffed.
In addition to improving the search experience, structured data make search engines understand a web page or blog post clearly. Major search engines these days boost the search experience by displaying structured data on SERPs in the form of rich snippets. You can boost the search visibility of a post or page by adding a variety of rich snippets – products, reviews, courses, recipes, events, how-to, businesses and organizations, and reviews and ratings. You can add structured data or rich snippets to a web page using WordPress plugins or structured data markup.
Your WordPress SEO checklist must focus on optimizing content for both search engines and searchers. You can attract and engage website visitors only by posting fresh, insightful, and readable content with no spelling or grammatical mistakes. At the same time, you need to optimize the page or post for search engines by keeping the content scannable and embedding keywords naturally. You can easily analyze the SEO-friendliness of the content using a slew of WordPress SEO plugins and online writing assistants. These tools help you to post SEO-friendly content by making changes and fixing mistakes.
Search engines display a web page’s title in the form of a clickable headline on SERPs. They display the page title in around 60 to 70 characters. That is why; you must focus on creating a page title that is short and contextual. While defining a page title in the H1 tag, you need to ensure that the page title conveys the nature and context of the title clearly to both search engines and searchers. At the same time, you must make the title SEO-friendly by including the focus keyword. It is always important to spend time creating a compelling page title and optimizing it for search engines.
Unlike page titles, the meta description is not a search engine ranking factor. But searchers will decide about clicking on the page title only after reading the meta description appearing on SERPS. While writing a meta description, you should restrict its length to 160 characters. You still need to ensure that the meta description provides the searchers with a summary of the content. Also, you must not forget to optimize the meta description for SEO by embedding relevant keywords strategically. Here is a quick guide on meta description SEO best practices.
In your WordPress SEO checklist for 2023, you must focus on the web page’s internal and external link structure. Unlike external links, internal links can be created easily and organically by connecting the new web page to existing web pages. But you can boost a web page’s search visibility only by creating contextual internal links by connecting relevant and related web pages. At the same time, you must restrict the number of internal links to avoid passing excessive link juice. You can easily boost the web page’s internal link structure by adopting some simple best practices.
Along with creating the internal link structure, you must focus on building high-quality external links using white-hat SEO techniques. While posting blogs, you must explore ways to link the web page to a relevant website with high domain authority. The external links must help readers to gather additional information related to your page or post. The leading SEO experts will advise you to include at least two external links to high-domain authority sites in a single page or post. However, you still need to ensure that the linked web page opens in a new tab when the reader clicks on the external link.
Here are some off-page SEO techniques for aspiring marketers.
Like keyword stuffing, higher keyword density often impacts a web page’s search performance directly. While optimizing the content and web page, you must focus on maintaining the right keyword density. The keyword density percentage recommended by individual bloggers and digital marketers differs. But you can easily check and modify keyword density using a WordPress SEO plugin. Most SEO plugins for WordPress help you to know the current keyword density along with making suggestions and recommendations.
You can easily boost a web page’s search performance by leveraging the SEO benefits of images and videos. The multimedia content will help you to keep the visitors engaged. At the same time, you can easily boost your page or post’s SEO by optimizing the images and videos. However, it is important to choose and include multimedia content that complements the topic of the article or blog perfectly. Also, you can use images and videos to help readers understand complex concepts and analyze diverse information while reading the textual content.
WordPress is one of the CMSs that comes with built-in options to help users handle and optimize images. While embedding images, pictures, or graphics into textual content, you need to ensure that the web page’s loading speed is not impacted. In addition to choosing the right image format, you must compress the image before uploading. At the same time, it is also important to optimize the images for search engines through the ALT tag. You can use the ALT tag to include the relevant keywords in the image description, along with keeping the image caption compelling. Here are some image SEO tips for savvy digital marketers.
The search visibility and performance of every WordPress website vary from time to time based on a variety of factors. You cannot boost your website’s search performance consistently without fixing the issues and factors impacting its performance. You can easily identify the issues affecting your website’s search visibility using a slew of SEO audit tools and plugins. Most of these tools and plugins help you to identify SEO lists without putting in extra time and effort. Your WordPress SEO checklist must focus on making SEO audit an ongoing activity in 2023.
In 2023, no webmaster can boost her WordPress website’s search visibility without improving its user experience (UX).
According to Search Engine Land,
“Think of the partnership of SEO and UX this way: SEO targets search engines, and UX targets your website’s visitors. Both share a common goal of giving users the best experience.”
While implementing SEO strategies, you must focus on key factors that impact the website’s user experience directly – loading speed, mobile accessibility, and site navigability. It is always advisable to test and boost your website’s UX before starting SEO.
The WordPress SEO checklist will make it easier for you to optimize web pages and blog posts in 2023. But you cannot boost lead generation and lead conversion without reviewing and updating the SEO checklist for WordPress websites from time to time. It is always important to keep the WordPress SEO checklist for 2023 flexible and dynamic enough to adopt SEO changes and trends proactively.
This article was republished in January 2023.
In addition to being an SEO-friendly content management system (CMS), WordPress allows you to choose from many SEO plugins. The market share data published by Datanyze suggest Yoast SEO is currently more popular than other SEO plugins for WordPress with a market share of 42.9%. But many new-age SEO plugins have been gaining market share by helping webmasters and digital marketers overcome some of the major shortcomings of Yoast SEO. Rank Math plugin has been challenging the dominance of Yoast SEO by providing additional features and utilities. You have the option to choose from four distinct versions of Rank Math SEO – free, pro, business, and agency. The free version of Rank Math SEO scores over many free WordPress SEO plugins by offering additional features. There are a number of reasons why you should opt for Rank Math SEO while implementing SEO strategies.
Like other popular SEO plugins, Rank Math plugin allows you to choose from many modules. But Rank Math plugin, unlike other widely-used plugins, features a modular framework. The modular framework enables you to disable unnecessary modules according to your SEO strategy. Also, you can easily boost your website’s search performance and user experience by enabling only necessary modules.
WordPress SEO plugins with longer lines of code impact your website’s loading speed directly. The decline in loading speed impacts your website’s user experience and search visibility simultaneously. Often webmasters explore ways to speed up WordPress websites. Rank Math is a lightweight WordPress plugin that sends less number of PHP requests. Hence, the speed of your WordPress website remained intact after Rank Math installation.
Most free SEO plugins for WordPress allow you to optimize a single website. But you can optimize unlimited keywords using the free version of Rank Math plugin. Hence, you can optimize multiple keywords without escalating SEO costs. The unlimited keyword optimization makes Rank SEO Score over both free and premium WordPress SEO plugins.
While conducting keyword research, you have to focus on finding words related to the primary keyword – Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords. Rank Math SEO suggests LSI keywords automatically based on your primary keyword. Hence, you can find relevant LSI keywords while creating and optimizing content for search engines. You can further get additional keyword suggestions by connecting the Rank Math SEO account to Google.
Content analysis is one of the key features of WordPress SEO plugins. But each plugin presents the content analysis reports in a distinct way. Many popular SEO plugins depict content readability and SEO as either good or bad. Hence, you need to put in extra time and effort to optimize the content by identifying errors and issues. Rank Math SEO simplifies the content analysis by assigning an SEO score out of 100. You need not optimize the content if the SEO score is more than 80.
While creating content and posts, you need to add schema markups to make Google display rich snippets on SERPs. Rank Math SEO is one of the SEO plugins that integrate schema markups to your site automatically. Both free and premium versions of Rank Math support a variety of schemas – article schema, person schema, product schema, service schema, local business schema, book schema, music schema, review schema, and how-to schema.
While optimizing an article, blog post, or web page for search engines, you have to put in extra time and effort to optimize images. Rank Math plugin, unlike similar plugins, makes it easier for you to implement image SEO by adding alt tags to multiple images automatically. You can further use this plugin to add all attributes to various images without adding alt tags. Likewise, you can change settings to add title and caption attributes to images dynamically and automatically.
The search visibility of websites is impacted by a variety of issues. You cannot implement an SEO strategy successfully without identifying and fixing the issues affecting your website’s search performance. Rank Math SEO analyzes your website elaborately by performing over 70 tests. It further displays your website’s SEO score, along with passed tests, failed tests, and warnings. You can easily boost your WordPress website’s search performance by working on the failed tests and warnings.
Most free and premium SEO plugins for WordPress lack built-in features to do redirects. But Rank Math plugin simplifies redirects by featuring an advanced redirection manager. You can use the redirection manager to do a variety of redirects – 410 content deleted, 301 permanent move, 302 temporary move, and 307 temporary redirects – without putting in extra time and effort.
You can complement the SEO strategy with a social media promotional strategy to increase website traffic and drive lead generation. Rank Math SEO makes it easier for you to optimize the content for popular social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter. You can use the plugin’s Meta Box feature to optimize content by adding an image, title, and description. You can further preview the social media content to make the posts more compelling and captivating.
The premium editions of Rank Math SEO features advanced Google Analytics integration. You can leverage this feature to analyze your website traffic without leaving your WordPress dashboard. The analytics make it easier to compare and measure the performance of posts based on good, fair, or poor scores. You can boost the search visibility of posts with poor scores by optimizing their titles, schemas, and links.
While considering Rank Math SEO, you must remember that the plugin has its pros and cons. Also, you must not forget to compare Rank Math with other widely-used SEO plugins, including Yoast SEO. It is always advisable to refer to our blog – How to Choose the Best WordPress SEO Plugin? – while evaluating important aspects of Rank Math SEO.
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