12 Key WordPress SEO Tips for Small Business

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It’s easy to see why most people choose WordPress to create a website.
WordPress is the obvious choice for practically any form of the website because of its easy-to-use dashboard, open-source nature, and thousands of themes and plugins.

WordPress, launched in 2003, has become the world’s most popular CMS.
Over 455 million sites use WordPress per TechJury.

Non-technical users should utilize WordPress to apply SEO recommended practices.
WordPress is easy to manage and optimize, making it suitable for small businesses without in-house developers.

What is your WordPress small business website optimization plan?
This article will provide you with SEO tools and best practices.
Let’s begin!

WordPress SEO For Small Business Websites

WordPress is SEO-friendly right out of the box, thanks to its default indexing settings.
But WordPress’ SEO strength doesn’t ensure you’ll be number one overnight.

We’ll cover WordPress SEO principles, tips, and methods to help you construct a brand-friendly platform.

1. Choose the Right Domain

WordPress isn’t the only platform that requires a domain name.
No matter what content management system (CMS) you use, having a solid domain name is critical to your website’s SEO success.
Here are a few ways to help you to choose a domain name:

  • Use the a.com domain whenever possible.
    .com remains the most common domain extension, but there are a plethora of others available.
  • In the event that someone can’t discover your website or doesn’t remember the URL, they’ll probably type your brand name +.com.
    This add-on is well-liked by users, and Google favors it.
  • Your name should be short and easy to say.People will have an easier time recalling your name if you do this.
  • Choose a domain name that really is memorable.You may want to pick a domain name that immediately identifies what your site is all about.
  • When going up against well-known brands, Google used to favor keyword-rich websites. However, this will no longer be the case as of 2022. The use of keywords in your domain name will therefore be a business decision, rather than an SEO decision.
  • Among other things, brand awareness will play a role.
  • A domain like coachingforwriters.com may do better than your company name, for example, if you’re just starting out in the coaching business for writers.
  • However, if you’re a well-known author whose name is instantly identifiable, you could choose to go with your entire name plus.com.
  • The use of hyphens is discouraged. In the URL bar, most individuals forget to put a hyphen.
  • Get your hosting first, and your domain will be included for free. Don’t buy a domain before doing that.

2. Use Managed WordPress Hosting

WordPressOnce you’ve decided on a domain name, the next step is to find a web host.
It’s a service that gives you a place on the Internet.
If you think of it as property for a house, it’s a lot like that.
For the purposes of building a website, think of it as a server-side virtual machine.

It’s up to you to decide if you want to go with shared or managed WordPress hosting (among other options).

You share a server’s resources with thousands of other websites when you use shared hosting.
Sharing a server is a great way to save money, but it also restricts your options.

The flexibility of server resources provided by managed WordPress hosting enables you to handle surges in traffic and run a speedier website.
In addition, it has the following advantages:

  • Access to a CDN on a business scale
  • Automated, regular back-ups
  • Auto-updating software
  • Obtaining entry to a staging area

The cost of managed WordPress hosting is higher than the cost of a shared hosting account, though.
If you want to maintain a strong internet presence, this is the best option.
You don’t want your site to be slowed down by your hosting’s limited resources because site performance is critical for SEO.

Regardless of which hosting company you choose, be sure they have a 99.9% uptime guarantee and excellent customer service.
It’s time to install WordPress after you’ve chosen a hosting company and plan.
Non-technical individuals may easily set up their sites thanks to one-click installers offered by the majority of businesses.

3. Security First: Set Up an SSL Certificate

In the eyes of your customers and other parties, SSL certificates prove that your website is safe.
SSL encrypts your connection and displays a padlock icon in the URL bar along with an HTTPS URL.
SSL has long been considered an extravagance.
A necessity in today’s world
If you do not have a current SSL certificate, you will encounter the following issues:

Due to Google’s use of HTTPS as a ranking signal, you may face a penalty from search engines.

It is possible that browsers will notify users if your website is malicious or dangerous.

Payment gateway integration may be difficult for you.

SSL certificates, in addition to all of the above, increase the safety of your website.
To put it another way, if you want your website to appear high in search results, it must be secure.

Permalinks are essential for SEO success.
As a result, it should be one of the first things you set up when starting a new website.
If you wait until later and redirect the old URLs, your SEO efforts may suffer.

To ensure that your URLs are easily readable and memorable, you must set up a clear permalink structure from the beginning.
As a general rule, this isn’t necessarily a problem, but it could have an impact on user experience and lead to broken links.

Creating URLs with just one or two sub-levels is generally recommended by experts.

When it comes to examples:

the example.com/page-name/ example.com/category/post-name

The WordPress dashboard has a permalink structure edit option.
Set your preferred permalink scheme in the Settings > Permalinks section.

5. Install an SEO-Friendly Theme

WordPress themes that are responsive and mobile-friendly are becoming more commonplace.
A free responsiveness checker provided by Google can help you determine if a plugin is compatible with your website.

When it comes to picking a WordPress theme, performance is now the primary consideration.
For the past decade, Google has used speed as a ranking factor.
An overly feature-rich WordPress theme will slow down your site, so keep this in mind when shopping around.
So, when choosing a theme, make sure it isn’t too heavy.

These are a few of the most popular WordPress themes for SEO purposes:

  • Divi
  • Neve
  • Shapely
  • Webify
  • GeneratePress

6. Install an SEO Plugin

SEO plugins can help you streamline the process of optimizing your website for search engines by allowing you to control everything from a single location.
In search of a device that has the following features:

  • Generating a sitemap automatically
  • Tracking keywords and optimizing your content
  • Functionalities for writing meta tags
  • Analytical support for Redirect Management Schema and OpenGraph

The following is what we suggest:

Yoast SEO All in One Rank Math

Additionally, SEORadar is worth a look.
However, it does not aim to be a comprehensive SEO toolkit like the ones mentioned above does.
When you use SEORadar, it monitors your site’s code and alerts you when it detects changes that could affect your search engine rankings.
All of the important aspects of your website are covered, including:

  • Film and video credits
  • Metatags
  • Keywords that appear in the headlines
  • Sitemaps are updated.

Use breadcrumbsWhen a non-technical user is in charge of a website for the first time, it’s easy to overlook small but important coding changes.
SEORadar automatically scans your code for these changes and notifies you via SMS, email, or Slack if it detects them.
Both a web app and a WordPress plugin are available for SEORadar.

Despite their importance, these plugins may not provide a complete picture of your site.
Most SEO experts rely on Google Analytics and Google Search Console, two free platforms.

You can track the visitors to your site over time with Google Analytics.
Google Search Console is Google Analytics’ SEO-only sidekick.
Check out this complete guide for more information on how to use Google Search Console.

If you want to learn more about your website and improve your SEO, you can use a variety of other tools.
For better results, you’ll need more than just the free tools.

7. Generate a Sitemap (or Two)

Using an XML sitemap, your site can be better crawled by Google’s bots.
Google may not index all of your URLs if you don’t have a sitemap.

In contrast, an HTML sitemap aids your platform’s users in navigating and making the most of it.
Sitemaps should be created for both types of pages.
The footer of a website is the most common location for an HTML sitemap.
So, when you customise your theme, you can create an HTML sitemap for your site.
It doesn’t require any additional plugins or technical tinkering.

Then, you’ll need an SEO plugin to create your XML sitemap.
In the case of Yoast SEO, you can go to SEO > General > Features > XML sitemaps directly from your dashboard to create your sitemap.

You can also prevent content cannibalization by preventing Google from indexing archive pages.
In order to begin, go to the SEO > Search Appearance > Taxonomies section of the site.
The question “Show Categories in Search Results?” can be found under the heading “Categories.”
Select “No” from the drop-down menu that pops up.

8. Configure Built-In WordPress SEO Settings

Make certain that “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” is not checked in the Settings section of your WordPress dashboard.
If Google can’t crawl and index your pages, you won’t be able to rank!
To do so, go to Settings > Reading > Search Engine Visibility in the Reading section.

9. Create Optimized Content

Ranking well on Google requires more than just technical SEO optimization.
No, we’re not saying this for the first time.
However, how do you produce high-quality content??
It all starts with thorough keyword research and an original value proposition.
Your posts should also be readable and useful to readers by implementing best practises in content writing.
That’s how you build an audience, gain backlinks, and rise to the top of Google’s search results.

Quick tips to help you produce better content:

Creating a content calendar before you begin writing will help you stay on track.
Do some research into what your customers are looking for.
The intent of a keyword’s search should be determined.
The next step is to create content that focuses on these keywords while also meeting the demands of your target audience.

As you speak, write as if you were speaking.
Make sure your content is easy to read by using tools like Hemingway and Grammarly.
You can also help your readers navigate your posts by using lists, subtitles, and visual content such as images.

Optimize your H1 so that your readers know if a piece of content is relevant to them…
Make sure your post’s title accurately describes your content, while also including your focus keyword, before you publish it!
WordPress SEO for small businesses websites: 14 key optimization tips” is the post’s title, so the user is aware of that:

This is a how-to on search engine optimization.

Small businesses that use WordPress are the intended audience.

There are 12 helpful hints in this comprehensive guide.

Meta titles and meta descriptions should not be neglected.
Reiterate the unique selling proposition of your content.
Keep them to 120 characters or less and use the keyword as a focus.
Google will likely generate your meta description for you if your meta tags are not optimized, which may put you at a disadvantage.

Improve the quality of your images and other media.
Make sure your images don’t slow down your site’s loading time by compressing them.
In addition, make sure to include alt tags for all of your images.
In this way, screen readers and Google bots will be able to pick up on the information.

A good rule of thumb is to avoid competing with yourself.
Do not post the same thing twice by using different keywords for each piece.
Otherwise, you run the risk of consuming your own work.

An internal link is a link on your website that directs visitors to other pages or posts on your site.
As a result of these links, your site’s audience stays on your page for longer, and you gain more backlinks.
When you use internal links, you’re letting search engines know how and what your content is about.
Google can better rank your site if it has a better understanding of it.

Make use of Categories and Tags to categorize your posts.

Using categories and tags is a great way to keep your website tidy.
Both users and search engines will benefit greatly from this.

Categories and tags come in handy as your blog grows.
On a cooking website, if you’re looking for a recipe for a vegan cake, you can search for “Vegan” and then “Cakes.”
Here, “Vegan” would be the category, and “Cakes” would be the tag.
It’s possible, however, that it’s the other way around.
Your website’s niche and the needs of your visitors will dictate the structure of your categories and tags.

For each of your categories and tags, WordPress creates an archive page for you.
Avoiding indexation of these pages, as mentioned earlier, can help you avoid content cannibalization.
Custom taxonomies are another way to organize content in WordPress.

11. Use breadcrumbs

Providing users with an HTML sitemap was one of our main points when talking about sitemaps.
Using a tool like this can make it easier for your site’s visitors to find their way around.
Additionally, breadcrumbs are a minor detail that has a big impact.
They look like this and are typically positioned between the header of your website and the title of your content:

Welcome to our section on science fiction and fantasy literature.

It’s easy for the user to retrace their steps and return to a parent page or your homepage with just one click thanks to breadcrumbs.

12. The Best Ways to Boost WordPress Performance

A pleasant user experience is one of the reasons why Google places a high value on website speed as a ranking factor.
When a website takes too long to load, users will become annoyed and leave.
Those who visit your site because it’s fast and has interesting content are more likely to stick around.
The speed of your website can be affected by a variety of factors.

As a starting point, we suggest

It’s important to select a lightweight WordPress theme.

Delivering your website’s heaviest assets via CDN.

Enabling the browser’s ability to store data locally

removing or deactivating unwanted plugins.

Making your photos smaller

W3 Total Cache, WP-Optimize, WP Super Cache, and WP Rocket are all excellent options for caching your JS and CSS.

Boost the Exposure of Your Online Presence

WordPress has no bearing on how you market your site, but doing so is critical for SEO.
Promoting your website is as simple as:

Having a social media presence that is active and engaging

Link-building campaign Implementing the newsletter

You may be asking yourself at this point: What does SEO have to do with social media?
No-follow links are the most common type of link you’ll receive from social media sites.
According to SEO best practices, they’re not that crucial.
These links, on the other hand, send a strong signal to Google.
In other words, you’re getting real, organic traffic from these links, and that’s what Google values.

Running a newsletter has a more indirect effect.
It’s like putting your content in front of the right people.
As a result, your site’s dwell time will likely increase with this demographic.
Newsletters can help you build backlinks, which are an important ranking factor.
As a result, a link-building campaign is essential.

Key Takeaways 

WordPress, as we’ve seen, is a powerful, flexible, and user-friendly content management system.
Consequently, it’s the best option for creating an SEO-friendly website.
Make sure to keep in mind that search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t purely technical or content-oriented.
Use the right monitoring tools to catch errors before they have a negative impact on your search engine rankings.

To be successful online, no matter what industry you’re in, you need first-rate hosting.

We at Hostnats specialized in getting small businesses online and helping them grow.
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