How to Technically Optimise Your WordPress Site
There are many issues that need to be addressed when it comes to technically optimising your WordPress site for SEO. All of which contain more specific things that need to be targeted to help your website towards ranking well on a search engine. These issues can be discovered by using online auditor tools or purchasing your own audit tools, to save you the time of going through every single page on your website and manually finding these issues. It is vital to carry out your on-site optimisation so that Google sees your site in the best manner possible.
Pages missing a page title
A page title is a very simple and very easy way to include your target keywords for the page, and is therefore important to include on all pages you are targeting, and the rest of them for good measure. To set a page title on a page using WordPress first you should be on the page that you want to set a title for. On the WordPress toolbar, there will be a button to ‘edit page’. Once you are in the edit page section you should scroll down until you see the preview of your page title/meta description (if you haven’t already set one it will still be there as it will set a default one). Click on the preview and it will open the option to set a page title, enter the appropriate page title here (don’t forget to include your keywords) and make sure to save changes before leaving the edit page section. A page title should ideally be between 10-70 characters this is so you can be sure that it will be displayed properly on the search engine and it doesn’t get cut down.
Pages with a duplicate page title / Meta description
Google is all for original content and fresh ideas, anything that is duplicated makes it more difficult for Google to understand your site, so original titles for each page is an easy and effective method to please search engines. This again would be edited in the same way as the previous two, by going into edit page on WordPress and changing all your page titles appropriately if any of them are duplicated.
Pages missing a meta description
Missing a meta description may not affect your SEO directly, however it is very important, as your first point of sale is often your page title and meta description in Google search, it is your first chance to sell your product or service to your customer with a snappy and effective description. If a meta description is not specified, then search engines will display some copy from the page instead. This will therefore be unlikely to give a good description of your page and will be bad for attracting potential customers to your website. You should try to keep your meta descriptions between 150-160 characters to maximise your chances of achieving a better number of clicks from potential customers. A meta description can be added to your page using WordPress in the same section that your page title is added.
Pages missing Google Analytics
Google analytics should be on every page if the user would like to be able to view what’s happening within their website, things like referrals and traffic. Google analytics can also allow you to set up other tracking tools and will do all the work for you. You must have a Google Analytics account set up, and the analytics are put onto the website in the code on each page on your site.
Pages with a low word count
It is recommended to have at least 250 words on a page to improve your technical optimisation for your site, however exceptions can be made for non-key pages, such as contact pages. This is because if a page has a low word count then it gives the search engine less content to look at, this means it is more difficult for the search engine to understand the page and to judge whether it is a good quality page or not. Therefore, to improve your on-site SEO it is strongly advised that your key pages include over 250 words, and don’t forget your all-important keywords. On your WordPress site you can click edit page in the toolbar and more than likely increase your word count by simply adding to the content on the page, which is easy to see and edit.
Pages with duplicate content issues
Once again, in the same way that a duplicate page title or meta description is harmful to your SEO, pages that have content that is considered as duplicate can be even worse. Duplicate content is bad your site as search engines may not show both pages because they are forced to choose which version is likely to be the original, or most relevant version. Therefore, if you have pages with duplicate content you are jeopardising your chances of getting the desired high rankings. There is no one way to change duplicate content specifically for a WordPress site, other than changing the content and ensuring that no content is the same across your site.
Links missing anchor or ALT text.
If a link is missing ALT text, then it makes it more difficult for a search engine to understand the context of your site and therefore more difficult to decipher whether your site is worthy of a good ranking or not. Therefore, it is important to add ALT text to your links to ensure that the search engine is not going to struggle to read your site and give it a good ranking. This can be done by simply putting text that is relevant to the link as anchor text in your <a> tag when linking to a page.
Images missing ALT text / Title text
Using ALT and Title text is an easy way to give search engines a further understanding of what is happening on your site, as you can include relevant keywords in them, giving the search engine an understanding of what the image is, and how it relates to the page. Using your keywords in ALT text and title text will improve your likelihood of ranking higher for your search term as Google will understand that your page is relevant to this keyword, providing that the rest of the page is well optimised for your keywords. Try to ensure that all your images across the site do have ALT text and title text. These can be added in WordPress in the media section, where you will find all the images on your site, simply click on the image and on the right-hand side will be a section to add ALT text and title text.
Broken images will not only damage your SEO, but also your user experience. If a user can see that there should be an image on your page but the image is broken, then they will be deterred from what is happening on the page as this broken image will negatively impact their experience on the site. It may also negatively affect your SEO as search engines can see that there is a broken image on the page. But you should make sure you do not have any broken images more importantly for your users than search engines. If you have a broken image on your WordPress website you should be sure to fix this as quickly as possible, because there are several reasons an image could be broken, there is no sure way to fix this. You can read about the common reasons and fixes for broken images here.
Page errors / Broken links
Page errors will cause an issue when the search engine cannot find a page on your site, that is being linked to or is indexed. This can be due to the server being too slow to respond, or because this page may have been deleted, or had the URL changed without performing a 301 redirect. These errors will stop a user from accessing your site and should be amended as soon as possible, as they severely damage your SEO and your user experience. There is no one way to amend a broken link on a WordPress site, as it can be due to different reasons, you can find out some of the reasons and methods to fix here.