WordPress gives us incredible possibilities in terms of design. The CMS is so flexible and user-friendly that your website look is indeed limited only by your imagination. But what is the point in having the most beautiful site on the net if nobody sees it?

Design and SEO go hand-in-hand. Every site owner is dreaming to get into the Google top 10. This article is actually your one-way ticket there. Just make sure to follow all SEO tips stated below and soon you’ll be enjoying the worldwide popularity, traffic and conversion boost.

Every SEO campaign starts with keyword research. The logic behind is simple: you must know what people are actually searching for in your niche, otherwise, you’ll be relying on luck. But luck is fickle, so we would never advise you let it guide your decisions.

When the keyword research is done it’s time to create some brilliant content around them. A lot of marketers believe that content is the paramount aspect of SEO. We won’t argue the statement. SEO optimization is a complex process, which includes multiple steps, but is it possible to rank having no content? Of course not.

Well, supposing your unique, top-quality content is uploaded to your website. Now you start to understand that content isn’t everything and you need to optimize it both for Google and users from flesh and blood.

Even the best content won’t work for you without proper On-Page optimization.

Before arming you with water-tight On-Page SEO tips, let us give you one small piece of advice. Install free Yoast SEO plugin on your WordPress site for their straightforward implementation.

By the way, you can use this plugin for more advanced tasks like setting canonical URLs, integrating your site with Google Search Console, and much more.

On-Page SEO Tips

Most of the tips listed herein under are obvious, but it’s not that easy to keep all of them in mind, especially if you are a creative designer/developer with your head in the clouds or an always busy entrepreneur.

From now on, you can just bookmark this page and free your overloaded mind from extra information burden. Just open it from time to time when you need to check out if you have taken good care of the On-Page SEO optimization of your project.

1. Make sure to include your main keyword in your page’s title tag as well as other important places.

In some cases, web pages rank without the keyword available, but there is still a significant correlation between keywords in the title tag and rankings.

Source: On Page SEO: A (2M Keyword) Data Driven Analysis

So, it is recommended to have a unique title tag for every page on your site with the main keyword included once.

Do the same for your meta description and H1 tags: include one meta description and H1 per page. Ideally, this should also contain your target keyword, yet, that is not critical.

Try not to overthink it. Say, the H1 tag should generally be just your post’s title. There is no need to cram the unnecessary keywords in there.

2. Write hooking titles to get more clicks.

Your title should be really hypnotic for searchers if you want them to click on it.

You don’t have much space to play with here (512pxl only to be more accurate), but the creative approach will help you reap a good harvest.

Make your title compelling, drawing attention, and triggering emotions.

You can inspire browsing some of the viral sites on Facebook.

Source: BuzzFeed

Please note that if all the page titles in your niche adhere to a certain format you can do something different. This will make your titles stand out in the SERPs and gaining extra clicks accordingly.

That’s really cool as if your click-through rate goes up, your ranking will probably raise too.

3. Running a WooCommerce site? Add ‘Purchase intent’ keywords to your titles and make more sales.

Online merchants want to catch searchers at the ‘buying’ stage and they can do this easily.

Let’s imagine someone is searching for ‘pink sneakers’. They could be looking for:

  • reviews
  • pictures of pink sneakers
  • information on what pink sneakers are (whatever!)

But someone searching for ‘buy pink sneakers’ is much more likely to be ready to make a purchase.

What you need to do is simply add a word like ‘buy’ to your titles to catch more of these hot prospects.

Here is a format you might like to use for your WooCommerce site:

Buy {Product Name} Online

This title can be templated and it will save you from writing custom titles for thousands of products.

4. Avoid meta tag truncation and increase CTR.

We have already mentioned above that you have only 512px for your title tags in desktop search results. After that, they will truncate.

Here’s how it looks. Pretty sucky, isn’t it?

Similar situation with meta descriptions. They generally truncate at around 923px.

Pretty sucky again…

However, it’s not only about the ugly look. Truncation can negatively affect your CTR’s.

So, you’d better keep your title tags around 512px and meta descriptions around 923px (maximum) to minimise truncation in the search results.

5. Write meta descriptions that sell your content.

Meta description works similar to your advertising in the search results.

It’s not always showing up as you planned it to. Sometimes Google will pick out text from your page that matches the query better.

But when it does, a professionally-written description can bring you some extra clicks.

Write a unique, compelling meta description for each page on your site that communicates USPs/value and lures click-throughs.

But don’t make haste here. Split test and experiment with different meta description formats to optimise CTR.

For example, if you’re running a WooCommerce store, you might try to include the price of the product in your description.

6. Prioritize your content.

People come to your website because of your content. So enable them to find exactly what they are looking for in the twinkling of an eye upon hitting your page from the search.

At least, your title should be visible without the user having to scroll to see it.

It is also helpful to minimise the use of anything that distracts the visitor from your content.

Here’s what we are talking about:

  • Too many ads “above the fold”. The ads are annoying and Google has no mercy to things that irritate their users.
  • Vexing pop-ups. They are surely great for conversions. But too many of them can make a visitor abandon the website. Any of your pop-ups must be easy to close and don’t go crazy. Delayed and/or exit intent pop-ups are also a good option.
  • Interstitial ads. Be careful with these full-screen ads as Google may choose to penalize your site, especially if interstitials block users from reading content as soon as they hit your page.

7. Your website must look perfect on all devices.

Your website should look and perform flawlessly across a wide range of devices, operating systems, and screen sizes. In other words, your website must be mobile-optimized.

Source: We Are Social

Make it also accessible to users with disabilities.

Make the above a priority as with Google’s mobile-first index reportedly coming soon, this is more important than ever before.

 

8. Optimize your images and get more traffic from Google Images.

Google image search can drive massive traffic to your site. This should sound sweet for e-shops owners in particular.

We will explain why. Because many people prefer to start their research by browsing through Google images rather than a regular Google search.

There is one thing you should keep in mind here. Google isn’t smart enough yet, so it can’t figure out what is there in your images. Therefore, you need to tell them.

What should you do? Add descriptive alt text to all your images and get your benefit from extra Google image search traffic.

You can also tell Google what’s in an image by using descriptive filenames.

Here is an example:

  • Good:
    <img src=“photo-of-a-crow.jpg” alt=“photo of a crow” />
  • Bad:
    <img src=“1550111.jpg” alt”” />

As you see, everything is simple. But let’s go further. Make sure that your images are compressed and optimised to download as quickly as possible. Loading speed is a ranking factor not only in Google Images but regular search.

You may use an Imagify WordPress plugin to simplify the process. The plugin will automatically compress your images as you upload them.

You can also use their bulk optimization tool to compress existing images by 50%.

Looks good, isn’t it?

9. Use short, descriptive URLs for your content.

Why should you?

  • They look better;
  • There might be a slight SEO benefit to using your keywords in your URL;
  • Naked anchor links will include your target keywords.

For instance, here at Ahrefs, we opt for 2–3 word URLs separated by hyphens.

For example, the URL for one of our keyword difficulty tool is ‘keyword-difficulty’.

10. Minimise boilerplate text to avoid Google Panda wrath.

By “Boilerplate” text we mean big blocks of repeating text that appear on many pages of your website.

You don’t need to worry about that if you have bags of other content on the page.

But if you are running an eCommerce site, the boilerplate text can become a real killer.

We will explain why. How many unique words do your product pages have? Oftentimes their number is nearly 50 or so, where you tell about the product, the rest 500 words are about delivery terms and stuff like that repeated verbatim on every page.

What does Google “think” about that? “Hmm… There’s only 10% of unique content on all these pages… they probably offer little or no value”. And here comes Panda intending to squash you.

11. Include your address in your site’s layout if you are targeting local SEO.

This point is applicable to every site. Your contact details must be easy to find.

But if your business is targeting local search, this is crucial. We would recommend adding your physical address and contact details to the footer of every page on your WP site. This way you will both reinforce your location to Google and send effectual trust signals to your customers.

12. Opt for cool, branded domain name instead of sticking to keywords.

Having the main keyword in your domain doesn’t bring appreciable SEO benefit anymore.


For justice sake, we should say that we did find a slight correlation in our on-page SEO study. But that was due to branded keywords that skewed the figures a bit.Source: SE Roundtable

The takeaway is: go for a cool, branded domain rather than something ugly like yourfocuskeywordmatch.com.

13. Implement Google’s recommendations to improve your site’s loading speed as it’s one of the ranking factors.

Let’s imagine that we are researching two websites with equal characteristics but different loading speed. A page that loads faster will outrank a slower one.

When have studied page load speed as part of our on-page SEO study and found out that the correlation between load speed and rankings was small, still there was a correlation.

How are you going to optimize your load speed? Do you need any pieces of advice?

OK, first of all, you need to test the current loading speed of your website. You may use Google Pagespeed Insights for the purpose.

The software will give you some useful recommendations. Implement them if they fit.

You can also use Pingdom or Google Analytics as the alternatives for checking current loading speed if you like them.

14. Install a Caching Plugin on your WordPress site.

Why should you install one more plugin? Because a good caching plugin will considerably speed up your site.

WordPress is pretty heavy on database calls without a caching plugin. This slows down your site to a crawl when you’re having a good traffic day and want it to be super fast.

What does a caching plugin do? It serves static HTML versions of your pages (which load in an instant) to visitors, so, your server can deal with much higher volumes of traffic.

Thinking which plugin to choose? Try WP Rocket.

We should warn you that it’s not free, but many developers consider it the best one out there.

15. Set up accelerated mobile pages (AMP).

What are accelerated mobile pages? They are basic (stripped down) versions of actual web pages that load amazingly fast on mobile.

Google is likely to give a ranking boost to AMP ready pages in the future, as they have already started marking them in the search.

Do you see the AMP flag in the news results below?

You can use the free plugin or themes for your WordPress site to easily set up AMP.

16. Set up rich snippets/structured data to increase CTR.

Today organic search is more competitive than ever. So you need to put in your best licks to make your listings stand out and win some extra clicks.

And the thing you’ll love is that they will show up in the search results for certain queries, which can help to boost CTR.Use rich snippets, which are descriptive HTML tags helping search engines to understand the contents of a web page better.

17. Find high ranking keywords with CTR below average and augment their traffic.

You can find keywords that have below average CTR for their ranking position using search analytics report in Google Search Console.

All you need to do is order the report by position and look for keywords ranking in the top 5 spots with low click-through rate.

Next, when you find them, try to split test different title and meta description variations to improve your click-throughs and obtain some extra search traffic.

18. Keep your content up-to-date to get significant traffic swell.

Don’t forget to update your old/archive content to keep it fresh, relevant and “rank-worthy”.

The simple old content update can lead to a huge search traffic uplift.

Over to you

We hope that you got your dream ticket to Google’s top 10 with our actionable On-Page SEO tips. Though, it’s not the time to rest on your laurels. There are so many things to be done to upswing your WordPress website positions. Proceed with link building, so-called technical SEO, and other tactics to be sure that no competitor will outstrip you the next day after your triumph.

Have any questions/opinions/additions to our list? They are welcome in the comments section.