Setting up a WordPress site is fairly easy, but proper WordPress SEO optimization can be tricky. As it stands, the platform has many features that make it decent for SEO purposes, but there’s plenty of room for improvement.

SEO never stops evolving, so it’s important to stay on top of the best practices to boost the visibility of your website.

Here are 10 WordPress SEO optimisation tactics that you should be using in 2019.

1. Pick a good web host

The first thing you need to review is your web host. Speed is a very important ranking factor for search engines so you want to make sure your site loads fast.  If your site takes longer than 2 seconds to load you should contact your host and ask them why it’s sluggish on their server. If they are unable to give you a reason, it may be time to switch to a different host.

Ask for recommendations from trusted sources rather than relying on ‘top 10 web hosting’ blogs as most of them are paying to be listed.

2. Alter the default permalinks structure

WordPress uses permalinks for posts and, by default, they aren’t SEO friendly. If you alter the permalink structure you can use it as an opportunity to include important keywords.

This simple step can make a huge difference to how you rank in search engines.

3. Install useful plugins

There are three plugins you should install right away if you haven’t already done so – an .xml sitemap plugin to help search engines index your site content faster, an SEO plugin to take care of numerous SEO aspects of your blog automatically, and a caching plugin to improve speed loading times.

4. Internal linking

Internal linking makes navigation within your site easier for both users and search bots. Linking to related posts helps feed search engines more relevant content on your website as well as helping your old posts get more traffic.

5. Optimize all images

Resizing images can improve the page loading times of your site and improve how it ranks as a result. You can use plugins like Smush.it to optimize and reduce the sizes of uploaded images automatically.

6. Fix broken links

If you have too many broken links on your website, search engines may think it’s been abandoned and prevent you from ranking highly. Search engines like sites to be properly maintained so broken links may cause them to penalise you.

7. Think about social media

Having an active presence on social media is a great way to engage with your customers as well as demonstrating to search engines that you are providing valuable content. By integrating social media sharing buttons in your posts, it will allow search engines to determine what reactions a webpage is getting from real users.

8. Put the most important keywords in the first-100 keywords zone

Another WordPress SEO Optimization tactic is to put your most important keyword in the first- two paragraphs of your content. Google decides how it will index the page based on the first two paragraphs of your text so you need to make sure you have factored that into your keyword strategy.

For best results, the keyword should also be in the page title to make that page rank higher.

9. Write high-quality content

It’s no secret that Google favours high-quality content so the best way to rank highly is to provide well-written content that your readers will enjoy. Search engines use a variety of techniques to determine whether the content you produce is worth featuring in search results.

Long form content is particularly good for SEO as people enjoy reading topics in depth. To rank in the top 10 in Google for any keyword you should aim to write at least 2,000 words on the topic. When people take time to search for something, they want all the information in one spot rather than having to read numerous links on the same topic.

10. Add fresh new posts frequently

Google prioritises sites that update their content continuously, especially for time-conscious searches. Luckily, there are loads of places you can find inspiration from, regardless of your niche. You could write about relevant events, industry trends or top tips – anything you think your target audience will enjoy reading about.

We hope you enjoyed our top 10 WordPress SEO optimisation tactics that you should be using in 2019. This really just scratches the surface when it comes to improving your ranking in search engines.

When you sign up to one of our monthly WordPress maintenance plans, we will carry out an initial SEO audit on your website and do all the necessary work to improve your search visibility as part of the service. Find out more about how we can help you get the most out of your WordPress site here.