Google is emphasizing “mobile first” website design. Google wants visitors to have a positive experience on websites that they recommend. If your site is slow or poorly designed, Google will downgrade it and your site may not show up as a high-level search result. Let’s look at a few ways you can make your site provide a better user experience and gain a few “Google points.”
1. Link, link, link.
To encourage Google to index your site, make sure you’re using internal links. Include links to other pages and posts inside your website and you get two advantages:
- People click the links, read more and stay on your site
- Google uses your internal links to organize your content and that, in turn, improves your site’s indexing.
Every webpage should have at least one internal link and more is better. Avoid “click here” and use descriptive words for your links.
2. Not using them? Delete
WordPress site owners sometimes go a little overboard with plugins, the tools that extend WordPress. Sometimes they add plugins that do what the site already does. Worse, sometimes plugins are deactivated and just hang around on your site and slow things down. Take a look at your installed plugins and decide which can go. You may want to contact your web developer for help with deleting them (sometimes they leave stuff behind).
3. Images can slow down your site.
If you take pictures on your phone and upload them into your WordPress website, you’re creating a Media Library mess. Smartphones take really BIG pictures. You should resize them before uploading to your site (best) or crop/resize them inside WordPress (second best). Optimize your images either with your own software/app or with a free online image optimizer.
4. On-Page SEO.
Search engines look for optimized content on websites. Millions of sites have SEO tools (like Yoast SEO tools) installed but too few actually use it. Add “keywords” and a “meta description” to every page and post on your site to help boost your organic traffic. Use “long tail keywords,” or words that appeal to specific groups or interests and don’t compete with hard-to-compete with broader keywords. (Think: build a ship in a bottle and not at-home crafts.)
5. Write Great Headlines.
Write irresistible headlines. Search engines see the <h> tags on headlines and compelling ones get noticed. Short of click-bait, a great headline is what visitors read and they merely scan 20% of what you write. Use this link to learn more about writing great headlines for news and blog posts.