Struggling to get traffic to your website?
On-Page SEO For WordPress Niche Websites (Free Download)
Struggling to get organic traffic to your WordPress niche website?
In this article, I am going to show you my on-page SEO checklist for all of my niche websites which results in thousands of users every day to each of my niche websites.
FREE DOWNLOAD: Free On Page SEO Checklist (opens in new tab)
On-Page SEO Checklist For WordPress Niche Websites
On-page SEO very important and required to succeed. On-page SEO is not very hard to do especially if you have a process in place for every article you write this can be streamlined and put into a process to make it much easier to complete.
A good way to think of on-page SEO is to think of it as a user experience metric. Your on-page SEO efforts should be all about better user experience and if you focus with that in mind you will achieve better rankings in Google.
Step 1: Search Intent - Understanding Your Keyword
Understanding your keyword is probably the most important step in this process. If you don't understand your keyword you are targeting then going after it is pointless and will result in the rest of your on-page SEO efforts being wasted.
Matching Search Intent
Search intent is crucial to successfully rank your web page at the top of Google. If you fail in this aspect you fail overall.
You must understand what the user wants when they search the keyword you are targeting.
A good example would be the search term: homes under 100k
If you think the searcher wants to find a rental property then you failed the search intent. If you understand that the searcher wants to find a house under 100k to purchase then you have successfully understood the search intent.
What if they want to purchase an investment property? Should you include this in your content?
The best way to understand search intent is to see the types of results that Google has displayed on the first page for the keyword.
In this case, it will likely show you a realty website with home listings that match the under 100k price tag. There will likely be listings but an informational post would not be ideal here.
For this particular search term, we will have to be a bit more specific and we don't want to write the article in this case for the type of informational website we offer.
There are synonyms for almost every word in the English language. That is why they say our language is one of the more difficult to learn as a second language.
In your content, you need to use LSI keywords which are synonyms of the main keyword in your article which helps give your content more topical relevance. It also helps Google to better understand your content.
For the keyword boat, you may include a popular brand of the boat. For the word dog, you may use a hot dog or a dog breed.
I like to make a list of relevant and similar keywords to consider in my content.
Step 2: Include Main Keyword In Your URL
You must include the main keyword you are trying to rank for in your URL. This is pretty much a requirement these days. Why would you not do it anyway? Don't skip this step.
Adding your keyword to your URL gives Google a better understanding of the topic of your content for this page.
In the image below you see for this blog post, my keyword is On-page SEO and that is what I used in my URL.
Improves CTR In The SERPs
It will also increase your CTR. When people search in Google they see the URL and by having that main keyword in your URL you give the user more reason to click the result with your content behind it.
This is done by searchers on a subconscious level because seeing the keyword gives us a clue that this content is what we are looking for.
This is especially true for longtail keywords with 3 or more words in the URL.
Step 3: Keep Your URL's Short
Shorter URLs are better and rank higher in Google. There was a study done by many of the big players in SEO that prove this and the results show that shorter URLs are better for higher rankings.
In the image above I didn't include the rest of the title because I wanted a short URL.
Step 4: Keyword In Your Title
Your main keyword should be in your title toward the front of the title if it makes sense to place it in the front. Always go with what sounds better but if you can add your keyword to the front of your title it adds weight to that keyword and seems to increase relevancy.
Step 5: Use H1 And H2 Tags With Your Main Keyword
H1 and H2 tags are very important to your article or blog post. Your keywords should be included in your subheadings along with your title.
Don't Over Use Keywords In Subheadings
While adding your keywords in your H1, H2, and H3 subheadings are crucial it is also crucial to write for human readers not search engines. At the end of the day, our goal is to provide value to our audience, not Google. This will impact UX (user experience) and cause your rankings to plummet in the SERPs.
Title And First H2 Are The Same
This is not something everyone does and I don't always do this but I like to add my first subheading as the title of my article or blog post.
I do this because my first subheading or H2 is there to offer the reader what they came to my website for. I want to give them the answer to their question as quickly as possible for better UX and I think my audience really appreciates that.
I have seen a huge improvement in my rankings doing this especially for informational content on my various blogs.
Step 6 Use Main Keyword In Your First Paragraph
Your first 150 characters of your content sets the topic and should include your main focus keyword. I like to use a strong intro and hook the reader with either pain points or promise for a solution or both.
I also include my main focus keyword in my final paragraph. I typically write a conclusion section with a summary of the content which includes the main keyword I am targeting.
Step 7: Edit Old Content To Interlink To New Content With Rich Anchortexts
Interlinking is studied by Google. They find new content on your website through links on other pages of your website.
Using keyword-rich anchor text links shows Google the topic of the link they are about to crawl and improves your rankings for your focus keywords.
This is also something that can be overdone. Just one link per page to a new page is sufficient. You can add links to this new page from other relevant pages just keep the relevance as high as possible.
If you have a content plan you can strategize and plan your links. This will ensure that you are interlinking your content in the best way possible. I use Asana.com for planning my content and I research my content thoroughly and add notes to interlink to content from within my website.
This is the best approach I have found when creating content for my websites. I always go broad with my domains but I start each website in clusters. I find topics and write about these topics as much as possible for as long as possible to increase relevancy and authority.
A good example is the silo structure method. Your top pages will have supporting pages that all link to the main page.
If I have a blog on Vehicles I may have a topic of Radios and then another topic of Tires.
When I first start I will write about radios and maybe write 20 to 100 articles on that topic all linking to my main page for the radios subtopic. I will then move on to tires and other subtopics of vehicles.
A website is about the information on the main topic but usually has subtopics in the niche. This allows for more content and more growth. Most people refer to these as authority sites.
Step 8: External Linking Shows Good Quality Content
Linking to other sites on your topic helps show Google that your content is well thought out and of extreme quality. This is also great for users as they can further expand on a topic if they wish.
When writing your content you are probably doing a lot of research on your topic. If you are not then you are likely writing for nothing.
Every article on my website has been researched to some degree. I save the links of the websites I used to gain knowledge of a specific topic and will link to them if needed.
If you are in a YMYL niche I find this extremely important to even be on the first page of Google.
Don't Link To Competitors
I don't link to competitors who I am trying to beat. I link to other authority sites like Google, Wikipedia, Forbes, and more. Sometimes you can find research content to link to from schools or state websites. These are the best to link to externally.
Step 9: Related Keywords Are Important For On Page SEO
The English language has so many variations of one single word it is literally insane. A dog can mean a hotdog or a dog or even a puppy or if referring to a man who treats women poorly he may be referred to as a dog. Do you get my point here?
These synonyms are great to be included in your content and can actually help you rank for other keywords in the SERPs thus increasing traffic.
LSI Keywords FTW
These keywords are called LSI keywords or synonyms which really help to expand on your topic. Be careful not to mix this up and write another article on a synonym of your keyword because this could cause you to duplicate your content and confuse Google.
For every keyword, I am writing about I always do a Google search for the synonym of the main focus keyword. If it is a long-tail keyword then look up the synonyms of the subject instead.
Step 10: Images Are Crucial For On Page SEO And User Experience
Images make your content easier to digest and sometimes make it fun for the reader. If you are writing a How-to article on a specific topic then why not include images to help the reader understand the process from start to finish on how to accomplish whatever it is you are teaching them.
Visual illustrations help people understand and I especially love when a good article uses images or GIFs to help illustrate the steps in a process.
I am a visual learner and just reading text is not always the best way to learn something.
To sum this section up be sure to keep your content interesting and visual. This will increase the time on page for your website which is a metric Google looks at to know if your readers are having a positive experience on your website.
Every Image Should Use ALT Title And Description
Images also help Google further understand your topic by reading your ALT text and Description for the image used in your content.
Not only that but Google also ranks images and a lot of people search using the image search. I get a ton of traffic just from images used in my content.
Sometimes images are the first thing people see in the main search results and if your images are good and interesting you may see higher CTR from this alone.
Consider Adding Video For Better On Page SEO
Video is also a great way to better your rankings and it adds another element to your content. It allows better visuals for the topic and can help you better inform your reader of your topic.
Video tends to add more time on site which is a great metric for Google to know you are providing value and your content is good.
In 2021 my main focus is video. I am making videos on just about every topic on my niche sites especially this one. I want to go back to all of my old content and record a quality video to plant more seeds for Google and my users.
After I finish this blog post I am going to make a video and SEO checklist so that it adds to the user experience.
My video will be a visual element, the checklist is a visual that will help my readers with their own content and the images throughout this content will help keep it interesting and further show my points.
Bonus Tip 1: Meta Descriptions Help With On Page SEO
For every page on my website, I create a meta description further enhancing my content. I know people say this is not relevant anymore but I don't agree.
Google sometimes comes up with their own description to show in the search results based on your content and the words the searcher typed in the search box but crafting my own description adds to my relevancy and could increase rankings based on keywords used in that description.
I have tested this over and over across many websites I own and I find that having a meta description increases my CTR and increases my rankings.
I think that Google sees the keywords used in my description adding to the density of my keyword and relevancy.
Tags Are Also Important
I am a firm believer that we should use all of the tools available to us to better the user experience and earn better Google rankings. In every article I write there are tags chosen related to the content. I am very specific about the tags I use and focus on my main keyword, similar keywords, and other relevant words that further expand my content.
If I am talking about pens in my content and I add content on the material used to make a pen I may use these in my tags. Category pages and tag pages help users find the content they want to read and research.
Bonus Tip 2: Formatting Your Content To Match Search Intent
Formatting is a huge deal. Most of my content will have similar formatting because it makes it so much easier for the user to read.
I also keep my paragraphs short just like this one.
This adds to the user experience in a positive way making your content easily skimmed by the reader. Not all readers want to read the entire wall of content you have written they may want to read only a specific section.
Long walls of text are bad for any content. Consider breaking down your content into smaller sections so you do not overwhelm your audience. I typically don't use more than three sentences in a paragraph. That is just my rule of thumb that I try to follow.
Study Competition Formatting
I always check out my competition for every article I write. If Google ranks them at the top of the search engine then it usually means Google is happy with the content, the type of content, and the search intent.
If I see that the top three results have a listicle of 10 to 30 items I will try to beat them with either more relevant items or I will match the higher-ranked article with the number they used.
For this, I always go with odd numbers. If the number one ranked website has 10 best X then I will have 11 best x or 9 best. I have found that odd numbers tend to get a better CTR.
In summary, if your competition is writing these list posts and you write an info article and don't include a list you may not rank well for that keyword. Don't copy the content from your competitors just copy the formatting and style of their content.
FREE DOWNLOAD: Free On-Page SEO Checklist (opens in new tab)
Which tips will you be implementing on your own WordPress website? Leave a comment below and let me know. I respond to all comments.
On-page SEO for WordPress niche sites is more about user experience and doesn't have to be hard. All you have to do is create a process and stick to this process and your rankings will increase and so will your productivity.
Remember to keep the user first in everything and you will be rewarded exponentially. Google rewards great content and people who go above and beyond with their content. That is good on-page SEO.