by Alex Panagis on March 20, 2019

WordPress SEO: 5 Tips to Set You Up For Success in 2019

WordPress SEO

Search Engine Optimization isn’t easy – it takes a lot of time, effort and dedication. In this post, we’ll be taking a look at five tips that will help you set yourself up for success in 2019 and beyond…

This is a guest post written by Alex Panagis, who is founder of The Mainframe. If you would like to write a guest post on our blog feel free to contact us.

1. Focus on creating quality content

I think it’s safe to assume that this is not the first time you will have heard that content is king. It truly is. Without great, engaging content, no matter how much of a genius you are at on-page optimization and link building, you’re still going to fail.

Focus on creating quality content

Notice how I didn’t say that it will prevent your site from ranking. There’s no doubt that poorly written content can manage to perform well and rank highly in Google, there are tons of examples of this still actively working.

The problem is that just because their content is ranking doesn’t mean it’s actually achieving anything. If you want to create a lasting impression, build an audience and become an authority, your content doesn’t even just need to be good – it needs to be great and it needs to cater to an audience by providing value and helping them in some way.

And if that still doesn’t convince you to invest more effort (or money) in quality content, it might be worth mentioning that great content is beneficial to you in many different ways, not just for search engine optimization. Content that is helpful, interesting and extremely well-written is also shareable so the traffic that such a post will generate will be through the roo

2. Optimize your WordPress website for speed

Nobody likes a slow loading website, including Google. One very important, yet somehow still overlooked, on-page search engine optimization technique is speeding up your website.

Optimize your WordPress website for speed

If your website is heavily image-based you can easily speed up your website with any one of these WordPress image optimizations plugins. Once installed, activated and configured, all of the plugins basically run on autopilot so you don’t have to worry about the images you upload being too large or anything because that will all be taken care of for you…

Apart from image optimization, there are actually a ton of things that you can implement – unfortunately, some of which are quite complicated to do. That being said, using tools like Google Pagespeed Insights, GTMetrix and Pingdom you can get data-driven insights such as:

  • Serve images in next-gen formats
  • Defer offscreen images
  • Enable gzip compression

The list really goes on. Once you have insights like the ones above, you can easily implement them by looking for tutorials on – as you might’ve guessed – Google!

Beyond that, you might be forced to upgrade your WordPress hosting. There’s only so much you can achieve with low-quality, cheaper hosting so if you’re about to get serious about your search engine optimization you might want to look into better WordPress hosting.

3. Use an SEO-friendly permalink structure

A quick and easy fix/win you can implement right now is changing your permalink structure. People often fall into the trap of thinking that it would be suitable to include other post meta such as the date in their permalink structure, but research and case studies have shown that this isn’t the best choice. But if you’re not a fan of case studies – take a look at the URLs below:

👎 https://rankmath.com/?p=31
👍 https://rankmath.com/yoast-alternative

Which of them do you think you’d be more likely to click?

Obviously, the answer would be the second one because it actually describes and prefaces the information that you’re going to find in the post or page. The good news is that this is super easy to change if you’re using WordPress.

Simply hover the General → and click Permalinks in the WordPress admin area sidebar (left vertical menu) and you will be taken to the following page:

Permalink settings

Here you can change your permalink structure to post name.

It is extremely important that you remember to redirect all of the URLs from your old permalink structure to the new one so your site’s ranking pages don’t start throwing 404 errors.

If your WordPress website is hosted on Nginx, you can simply add the following to your .conf file:

rewrite "^/\d{4}/\d{2}/\d{2}(/.*)$" $1 permanent;

If you’re hosting your website with a web host, and not managing your own server, you could alternatively reach out to them and let them know what you’re trying to do and they will (in most cases) be more than happy to take care of it for you…

4. Use the Rank Math WordPress Plugin

A lot of the things that we have mentioned in this post are either extremely difficult or impossible to do without the Rank Math WordPress SEO plugin.

Use the Rank Math WordPress Plugin

Get Rank Math

Rank Math comes with everything you need to properly configure your site and a meta box with great insights and tips you can use to improve your titles and content.

And, possibly one of the most notable features is the fact that Rank Math is the only search engine optimization plugin that comes with built-in schema markup support for all of the following types of content:

  • Articles
  • Books
  • Courses
  • Events
  • Job Postings
  • Local Businesses
  • Music
  • People
  • Products
  • Recipes
  • Restaurants
  • Reviews
  • Services
  • Software/Apps
  • Videos

But that doesn’t even begin to describe all of the reasons why Rank Math is the best WordPress SEO plugin you can get.

Yoast SEO vs. Rank Math SEO

The best part about Rank Math is that it is free. Unlike other search engine optimization plugins, Rank Math firstly is not bloated and doesn’t clutter the WordPress admin area with upsells, and secondly (perhaps most importantly) they do not make you pay for basic functionality like the ability to set up redirects and internal linking suggestions.

5. Write effective post titles that potential readers can’t ignore

In order to keep this post nice and concise to make sure that you make it to the end, here are 5 quickfire and actionable tips you can use to help you write great post titles:

1. Know your target audience

You’ve probably heard this before – but what does it actually mean? Well, every reader is slightly different and different titles will appear to those different readers respectively. As a result, adjusting and testing different titles depending on who your content is targeted towards is a great way to ensure that you are able to reach the audience you’re trying to reach.

2. Make sure your title is the right length

If you’ve already taken our advice from tip number four, you’ll know how easy this one is. Thanks to Rank Math’s incredible meta box it is easier than ever to preview how your post will appear in search on both desktop and mobile devices.

3. Consider including your target keyword in your SEO title

Although using the exact keyword that you’re targeting in your headline is not always the best strategy, in most cases case studies strongly support the fact that doing so will help your site rank. Essentially, the advice here is just to make sure that you keep your title relevant to the content.

4. Stick to one headline style (don’t clickbait people)

The one thing you want to avoid is building a reputation on the fact that your titles overpromise and your content itself underdelivers on that promise. Make sure that your title is 100% relevant to your content, but don’t use this advice to limit yourself to boring titles – sometimes ambiguity can be a good thing.

5. Always test and try new things

After a while, you’ll start to realize what really works and what definitely doesn’t work. Once you reach that point, it’s important that you try to limit the number of times you do the things that don’t work (obviously) but it is also important that you do not stop experimenting with different title techniques and strategies. The chances are that what’s working for you now won’t work forever or there’s something that works slightly better which is why it’s important to keep innovating and implementing new techniques whenever you can.

Let us know if you found this guide useful and feel free to share it along with someone who could benefit from this WordPress SEO guide.

Alex Panagis

About Author

Alex is the entrepreneur who originally launched The Mainframe at the age of 11. He’s been creating content and working with businesses all over the world to redefine their marketing ever since.