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SEO optimization in WordPress – basic practices

Never optimized a website on WordPress? Everyone has to start at some point. In this article, we will discuss the basic SEO practices you should know about. This is a guide for beginners and intermediate users aiming to supplement their knowledge with the most important information!

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3 MIN.


What is SEO optimization in the WordPress CMS system?

SEO optimization in CMS WordPress is nothing more than the implementation of technical and content solutions (on-site and off-site) to achieve high positions in Google and other search engines, such as Bing, Yahoo! or DuckDuckGo.

With thoughtful SEO efforts, you will be visible in SERP (Search Engine Results Page) results for valuable keyphrases relevant to your business. You will verify the visibility of the website in any optimization tool. For our part, we recommend Senuto, Ahrefs or SEMRush.

Verification of site’s visibility in Senuto

Basic SEO optimization practices in CMS WordPress

Practice #1 – Installing Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is a tool dedicated to optimizing pages on CMS WordPress. It offers intuitive support in adjusting content for the latest search engine requirements.
Specialists often use Yoast to generate title tags automatically and efficiently set meta descriptions (subpage descriptions).

Practical application of Yoast SEO – configuration of the title tag and meta description.

It’s also worth mentioning that Yoast SEO analyzes your texts for readability and the use of relevant phrases, allowing you to manage metadata effectively. With this tool, you get direct feedback on the SEO quality of your post, allowing you to adjust and improve your content on an ongoing basis.

Practice #2 – Selecting the right keywords for SEO

The better you choose keyword phrases for a SEO strategy developed on WordPress, the more satisfying results you will get in the long run.
Focus on the so-called “money keywords”, i.e. keywords that will give your business the most profit. They are usually distinguished by a sizable number of searches (over 100). Decide on phrases with low SD (SEO Difficulty). This will allow you to get a lot of traffic with little SEO effort.
A good tool for this purpose is Ubersuggest.

Selecting key phrases with low competition in Ubersuggest.

Practice #3 – Implement a site map in XML format.

A site map is a “signpost” for search engine robots (aka crawlers), allowing them to index your subpages and blog posts faster and more efficiently. You can do this in CMS WordPress with the Yoast SEO plugin, which automatically generates and updates your site map.
Google Search Console (GSC) is an easy way to do this.
Once you have your site map ready, go to the GSC dashboard and select Sitemaps → Add a new sitemap.

Implementation of the site map in GSC.

Practice #4 – Implement internal linking among the structures of your site

When implementing internal links (e.g., for product descriptions or blog posts), pay attention to contextual compatibility and user value. Internal links not only improve navigation but also support SEO by distributing the value of the home page to individual subpages. Used properly, they enhance the visibility of individual sections in search engines, raising the site’s overall rating.

Skillfully placed internal links on Ahrefs blog.

Practice #5 – Optimizing Core Web Vitals Indicators

Core Web Vitals are a set of metrics that measure the quality of the user experience on your site. Pay attention to three key elements:

  • loading speed (LCP – Largest Contentful Paint)
  • interactivity (FID – First Input Delay)
  • visual stability (CLS – Cumulative Layout Shift)

By optimizing the above metrics, you provide users with a smooth and user-friendly experience, which directly affects your site’s ranking in organic search results.
Try to keep Core Web Vitals in line with the following guidelines:

Core Web Vitals measures optimization recommendations by Google Support.

If, in turn, you want to measure the value of these indicators in the context of your site, use Google PageSpeed Insights.

Google PageSpeed Insights – CWV measurement tool indicating correct CWV measures for Ahrefs site.

Practice #6 – Signing images with ALT attributes

ALT attributes in images play an essential role in SEO, making it easier for search engines to understand the visual context of a page. When describing images with these attributes, focus on accurately and concisely conveying the content of specific graphics. Such measures not only improve accessibility for people using screen readers but also improve the indexing of images by search engines.

ALT attribute implementation for graphics in CMS WordPress.

Practice #7 – Improve the site’s backlink profile.

When focusing on improving your backlink profile, try to acquire links from reputable, thematically related sites. This increases the credibility and authority of your site from the search engine’s point of view.

Bet on:

  • viral content
  • guest blogging
  • acquiring links from WhitePress sites

The higher the Domain Rating (DR) your site has, the faster Google indexes the content and ranks your site higher in SERP (Search Engine Results Page) results.

To check DR, use any DR Checker, such as from Ahrefs.

Ahrefs DR Checker – verification of domain authority in terms of Google’s backlink profile.

SEO optimization on WordPress – how long does it take to see results?

The time it takes to see SEO results on WordPress depends on elements such as:

  • Quality and quantity of content – the more content you create, the more visibility you will get in less time;
  • Competitiveness of the industry – more competitive industries like medicine, apparel or finance (especially the YMYL sector) will require more work than operating in the local market;
  • Domain history and age – older domains with an established history get higher rankings in organic search results much faster than brand new sites (less than a year);
  • Quality and number of backlinks – links from external, reputable sites can significantly accelerate the increase in position in search results (effective SEO requires a minimum of 4 quality backlinks per month);
  • Compliance with search engine algorithm guidelines – adhering to the current guidelines of Google and other search engines accelerates the achievement of SEO goals.

To sum up, if you have a well-thought-out SXO (SEO + UX) strategy, you will notice the first results after 3-4 months of starting work (e.g. in the form of additional searches for selected key phrases). You will see a return on your SEO investment after a minimum of 8-12 months of regular activities.