If your blog runs on WordPress, it is in good company. WordPress is now the most popular CMS in the world, powering about 38% of all websites. WordPress sites post an average of 70 million blog posts monthly, and these get 20 billion views and growing.
But if you want more views or conversions than the average Joe or Jane WordPress user, you’ll need to take a few extra steps. Here are 5 ways that you can improve your WordPress blog’s performance, usability, and visibility on the web.
1. Deliver Original Content
The entire premise of WordPress is to make sharing and delivering content simple. The system does a lot of the heavy work for you, but you’ll need to do a few simple things. One is to create new and interesting content that people want to read.
This might seem like a tall order but think about your purpose for starting a blog. Was it to share your experiences or sell some products? If it was the former, share away! If it was the latter, find ways to help solve your customer’s greatest problems.
Delivering content on the web is equal parts art and science. A few tips to get most out of your content are:
- Keep your sentences and paragraphs short. Internet readers hate to see a “wall of words.”
- Include a ton of images and even splurge on a few infographics.
- Consider creating some short videos to add variety.
- Don’t skimp on the length of the content since a longer piece will tend to rank higher than one on a similar topic that is shorter.
2. Improve Your Page Loading Speed
Page loading speed is vitally important on the web today. Not only is it a ranking factor with Google, but users will abandon your page in droves if they have to wait for it to load. Statistics show that just a one-second delay in the load time of your site can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. Whether you’re trying to make money or just get more eyes on your page, website speed matters.
So, what can you do about this?
- First, check your site speed with a tool like Pingdom. As a general rule, anything under 2 seconds is excellent and anything over 7 seconds is pretty bad.
- Bulky images can create a significant lag in the time it takes for your site to load. Compress all of the images on your website using a plugin like WP Smush It.
- Using a caching plugin to improve the user experience and speed up site loading time. A popular one is W3 Total Cache.
- Consider moving your site to the trusted WordPress hosting to gain faster speed and more control over your website.
3. Improve On-Page SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) can help get what you post on your blog to the top of the search results, which means more eyes on your page. While this might seem complex on the surface, it is really just a series of systematic actions that can help boost your website rankings and visibility on the web.
- Do some keyword research. There are paid tools to accomplish this, but you can also use the Google Keyword Plannerto find high-value and related keywords.
- Optimize your posts for keywords. Use your chosen keyword phrase in the title of the post (with a tag) and the first paragraph.
- Include related keywords throughout the post and use the keyword again in a subheading when possible.
- Use relevant links. In your post, you should have a combination of external and internal links that are relevant to the content. Outbound links should go to authority sites such as studies. Also, include 2-3 internal links to other pages on your site that hold useful information.
4. Leverage Social Media
Anything you put on your WordPress site should be shareable on the major social media platforms. These include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn if your site is business-related. When a reader likes what they see, they can hit the “share” button and quickly send your blog post to their followers, which can give you free exposure. In some cases, content can even go viral.
When you pick the right theme for your WordPress site, there’s a good chance that it will come packaged with social media sharing buttons. You might only need to turn them “on” or specify where on your blog posts they’ll appear. Otherwise, you can add these with a plugin such as AddToAny Share Buttons.
Sharing your own content on social media is possible, but use caution with this. While social media is an excellent way to get more exposure for your content, too many WordPress users flood social platforms with post links, which is counterintuitive. Instead of just sharing your own stuff on social media, you’ll have to put in some effort to gain trust before followers will just blindly click on the links you post.
5. Increase Your Site’s Security
WordPress sites are hacked with surprising frequency. Once a hacker gets access to your site, they can take it offline, steal important data, and make sure that you spend hours trying to fix the problems. If you want to improve your WordPress site, you should make it as secure as possible.
- Avoid using “admin” as your username. This is the WordPress default in older versions, but you can change it.
- Choose a strong password to access your site. This means that you should avoid using phrases like “password123” and anything else that is simple to guess or defeat.
- Use a security plugin such as Better WP Securityif you don’t have security tools provided by your web host.
- Consider using a backup plugin, such as Backup Buddy, to periodically create a backup of your site—just in case.
Improving your WordPress blog is vital to its performance and the user experience. Even though this CMS is friendly enough out of the box, these various tweaks can help you generate more traffic and excitement around each post.