If you use the popular content management system WordPress, you can significantly increase the traffic on your website with the right measures of search engine optimization (SEO). […]
The reason why the Content management system (CMS) WordPress, originally conceived as a pure blogging software, has become the world’s number one over the years, lies not only in its simple and largely coding-free handling. WordPress is also excellent for many typical SEO tasks that need to be done for a good ranking on Google & Co.
So if you rely on the CMS with the catchy graphical user interface, you will kill two birds with one stone: with WordPress, a new website can not only be set up in a visually appealing way, but content can also be optimized relatively easily for a good placement in the search engines. This does not even require in-depth programming knowledge.
Of course, WordPress does not work miracles either: landing in the top three in the search engine results of Google and others cannot be realized overnight. But there are ways to help luck a little on the jumps. With the following three SEO levers, you can set your WordPress website for a sustainable SERP success (SERP = Search Engine Ranking Position). Ideally, this is even possible during the planning phase of a new web project.
If you plan the best possible technical and infrastructural basis for the new WordPress installation from the outset, you will later be far ahead in the search results rankings. As everywhere else, the same applies in the digital world: a good foundation pays off. Even if the typical 1 euro super bargain webspace offers may sound tempting – if you are on clay feet here, you will have a problem at the latest when the load increases. And this often happens faster than you might have thought when building a fancy, new WordPress website.
The reason: Most WordPress websites buy the large range of functions through the use of numerous additional programs, so-called plugins. This is practical, because you can save planning and programming effort with the add-ons. However, the plugins are sensitive to the performance values of the website as the number increases.
If your own web project is then also located together with many other third-party websites in a small shared webspace on a crammed cheap server, this quickly becomes noticeable in long loading times, jerky transitions and poor Google rankings. Google evaluates websites not least on the basis of loading times: one would like to largely spare the searchers the bad user experience on lame websites.
So what to do? Do not rely on a super cheap webspace offer, but on a reasonably sized WordPress hosting offer – ideally with the following features that are essential for good web performance:
If even a single item is missing from this minimal list of requirements, you should rather look for another foundation for your new WordPress project right away. Only together, the listed features ensure a comprehensive basic performance configuration of the web server.
Do you know the biggest performance eater that can be found on almost all WordPress websites? It’s the pictures. Here, even experienced web designers, web developers and content managers are always doomed to a really practical WordPress function when it comes to performance: automatic image adjustment! This ensures that even too large graphic and image elements fit into the template as if by magic. However, this only happens optically – the actual file size remains unchanged. And that costs valuable computing power – with every single page view.
The good news: What used to be manageable only with great effort is now being taken over by specially designed extensions such as the EWWW Image Optimizer. Once installed and configured, the powerful plugin automatically ensures that even large image and graphic files no longer mutate into the dreaded PageSpeed killers on your WordPress website.
Also useful is the so-called Lazy Loading, an optimization technique with which content is loaded only when it gets into the field of view of your website visitors – and not already, as is usually the case, during the initial page construction. This delays the downloading and rendering of content that is not currently needed. The technique becomes especially interesting when a website contains a lot of embedded videos and high-resolution images. Lazy loading can be easily found via a keyword search in the WordPress plugin library. Anyone who uses it will quickly find that the dreaded Google SpeedTest is much better.
A powerful, ideally also pre-installed Content Delivery Network (CDN) is another important optimization set screw at the CMS level. Because whenever the distance between your own server location and the place where a user wants to access the WordPress website is too large, valuable milliseconds of response times go on it. Due to its network structure, a CDN significantly reduces these latencies and thus contributes to a fast user experience, which is ultimately reflected in better SEO results.
Even if the mentioned technical settings at the server and WordPress system level form the basis for successful WordPress SEO, in the end it often depends most on the last optimization step: to provide the best possible content for the visitors of the website (and thus also for the search engines).
Fortunately, there are also a number of helpful plugins for this task that make life easier for webmasters. As one of the most popular programs for WordPress SEO, the Yoast SEO plugin has established itself in recent years, which can be found and installed using the keyword search in the built–in plugin library.
When creating new posts, it helps to hit the nail on the head in terms of content, keyword technology and text length. Important Meta-Information such as title, description and so-called open graph data can be stored quickly and easily with the practical plugin.
*CMS expert Marc Hillebrand is 30 years old and works at DomainFactory. The experienced product marketing manager not only likes to develop websites himself, he also knows the most common CMS and programming languages very well. The experienced content management professional is happy to pass on his specialist knowledge in helpful specialist and advice articles about WordPress hosting & Co.