How to Optimize WordPress Page & Post with RankMath SEO Plugin
WordPress is one of the most popular Content Management Systems (CMS) used for building websites. According to W3Techs, a web technology survey firm, WordPress had a 42.5% market share of websites built with a known CMS as of December 2022.
This article is about how to optimize each page and blog post on your website to be easily found on search engines.
By following these steps, every page and blog post on your website will be properly optimized.
Optimizing your WordPress posts can improve your search engine rankings. By including relevant keywords in your post titles, headings, and content, search engines are more likely to index your content and display it in search results for relevant queries. This can increase the visibility of your website and bring more traffic to your site.
Understanding On-Page SEO
On-page SEO refers to the process of optimizing individual web pages to improve their search engine rankings and attract more traffic to your website. It involves optimizing various elements on a web page, including the content, HTML source code, and images.
On-page optimization is one of the three components of SEO along with off-page optimization and technical optimization. Together, they help businesses make themselves noticed on search engines thus, increasing the number of organic visitors and consequently, the number of conversions.
Some common on-page SEO techniques include:
1. Keyword research: Identifying and targeting relevant keywords that your target audience is searching for.
2. Title tags: Creating unique, descriptive title tags for each web page that includes your target keywords.
3. Meta descriptions: Writing compelling meta descriptions that accurately describe the content of the page and include your target keywords.
4. Header tags: Using header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) to organize your content and make it easier for search engines to understand the structure of your page.
5. Content optimization: Creating high-quality, relevant content that includes your target keywords and provides value to your audience.
6. Image optimization: Optimizing images by using descriptive file names, alt tags, and captions that include your target keywords.
On-page optimization is what you do on your self-hosted WordPress Admin panel, on each of the pages and blog posts that you will be publishing live. This process can be done before the pages and blog posts go live or after publishing it (e.g., if your website is already live and you haven’t optimized it yet).
Before You Start Optimizing Your Web Pages
Before you start the optimization process on your web pages, it is necessary that you conduct a thorough keyword research. Group the keyword based on search intent and map each with the page or blog post you want to optimize. Make sure each page targets only one primary keyword to avoid page-keyword cannibalisation.
After you have created a list of keywords to target for each page, write the content of the page or blog post without optimizing it for the target keyword yet. It’s better to write the content without worrying about the optimization process or the keywords you need to use. This way, you will be able to produce content that’s more natural, focused on the users, rather than the search engines.
On-page Optimization of WordPress Pages and Posts with RankMath SEO Plugin
Lets now dive into how to optimize your wordpress posts and pages using the Popular RankMath SEO plugin. By now, we assume you have done your keyword research and have written the content (published or draft mode).
Learn more about how to perform keyword research for your website pages in this post.
Step #1: Optimize Metadata
The meta tags on each of your pages and blog posts is just as important as the content itself - so you should first make sure to optimize it before moving on to optimizing the content.
1. Optimize the page title tag with your chosen keyword (Focus Keyword)
- When you’re in the “Edit Post” section of your WordPress site, scroll down to the RankMath bar (you will find it right after the box that allows you to paste/ edit the content). This applies if you are on the classic editor:If you are on the Gutenberg editor, you will see the RankMath SEO at the right pane of your dashboard.
- To input the SEO title, click “Edit Snippet”
- Enter your desired SEO title (including your target keyword).
- Remember to keep it at most 60 characters - otherwise, Google will truncate it when displaying it in SERPs. This will consequently lower your CTR. Although some online resources will peg it at 65 characters, the fact is Google doesn’t use characters but pixels and in most cases, 61-65 characters is already exceeding the pixel limit.
- RankMath will help you determine if the SEO title is too long by indicating with colour and number (in the above screenshot, you can see the title length is 60/60) and showing green. It will begin to show red if the title length is longer than 60 characters.
- Run your title through CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer;
- Rankings are not just influenced by keywords. The CTR on your search result is an important ranking factor, so this step will help you write attractive and compelling titles.
- Aim for a score above 60 on CoSchedule’s Headline analyzer, but don’t stress or obsess over it—it’s an automated tool and you should only use it as an indicator. Follow the recommendation to boost your headlines score.
2. Optimize the URL slug:
- Keep it as short as possible (up to 75 characters at the most - making it easier to remember).
- Also, try to include the keyword in the URL as well - it will definitely help with the on-page optimization.
- To minimize URL characters, you can remove stop words (e.g., a, the, for, an, and); here is a list of the most common stop words you can remove from a permalink.
- If your page has already been published for a while, do not change the URL, especially if it’s already ranking in the SERPs or if other pages already link to it. Doing this would mean you are migrating your URL - and it’s best to avoid it in most cases.
3. Optimize the meta description.
- Include the target keyword in this description.
- Remember, the meta description should be under 160 characters - anything longer might be truncated by Google in the SERPs.
- Same as with the page titles, keywords are not everything. Your meta description should be compelling and tell readers exactly what information will be provided on the page. While meta descriptions don’t directly impact rankings, they will increase the CTR - and that is a ranking factor.
Step #2: Optimize the body of the content
Now that you have optimized the meta data and target keywords supporting your page or blog post, it is time to move on to optimizing the actual content on it. Here are the steps you need to follow to do this:
1. Keyword in the H1 heading:
Include the keyword in the h1 heading, but do not stuff keyword in any of the heading. It is far better to publish natural, rather than keyword-stuffed content. Make sure your page or blog post has an h1, but remember that there should be only one h1, and it should be above the fold. Typically, your h1 will be the actual title of the blog post or page. Same as with the metadata optimization, focus on creating an attractive, compelling h1 rather than creating a piece of content for search engines. It will also be beneficial to structure your content in H2 and/or H3 subheadings in your page or blog posts for easier reading.
2. Keywords in the first 100 words:
Try to include some of your target keywords in the first 100 words of the page or blog post.
3. Keyword Density:
Avoid including the exact target keyword more than 4 or 5 times/page. Add other keywords from the same keyword group in the body of your content. This will help Google contextualize your page or blog article, so that it shows your target keywords to users searching for the information you provide.
4. LSI Keywords:
Try to add synonyms to your target keyword as well as LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords tool. These keywords are semantically related to your target keyword, and they will help improve your SEO. To find LSI keywords, go to https://lsigraph.com, enter your target keyword, and pick the most relevant suggestions to include in the body of your page content.
5. Include internal links to other pages within your domain:
Try to include at least 2 or 3 links to relevant related content that’s already published on your site. To do this, select the words (anchor texts) you want to create a link on (hyperlinks), click on the “Insert/Edit link button,” and paste the URL you want to link to. Do not no-follow internal links; you can do that on external links if you think you don’t want Google to pass any link juice to the linked site.
6. Include external links to other domains:
- Our advice is to always link to authoritative sources of information or pages already ranking very well on the search results for your target keyword.
- To add an external link, follow the same steps as described above for internal links.
7. Try to include rich content:
- Rich content does not only mean different media formats (sound, video, and images) used in web pages or posts. If applicable, you can add data tables, pie charts, and other graphical elements to increase readers' engagement.
Step #3: Optimize the images in your post or page by providing Alt text
Rename the image you want to upload into your page or blog title with a descriptive name. For example, “screenshot17348.jpg” is not a descriptive name, but “build-ecommerce-websites,jpg” is a descriptive name.
- Always use the “-” symbol to split the words in the image names.
- To rename a file, right-click it, choose “Rename” from the drop-down menu, write the new name, then press “Enter”.
- DON’T include keywords in the file name unless they are actually relevant to your content.
- Include descriptive ALT text for each of the images you upload into your page or blog post.
- Within the media selection view in WordPress, select the image you want to edit, you will see a series of fields on the right side of the window. Scroll to the “Alt text” field and enter it..
- Adding ALT text to your images not only optimizes for Google Images but will also improve accessibility. For instance, this feature can be used by screen-reading software applications for the visually impaired.
Wrapping it Up
Consistently performing on-page optimization for every post and page on your website may demand more effort than usual. Nonetheless, implementing each step and adhering to the suggested recommendations will result in improved keyword rankings for your site, ultimately leading to increased organic traffic in the long run.
Optimizing your posts can also help you achieve your website goals, whether that's generating leads, making sales, or building brand awareness. By creating high-quality, optimized content, you can attract and engage your target audience and achieve your desired outcomes.
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