WordPress is the world’s most popular software for creating websites and is one of the content management systems. Regardless of whether it is a private blog, a club website, a company website, or an extensive company website. In this article, I’m going to give you some very important tips on how to optimize your WordPress website for Google and your visitors. If you don’t have your own website yet, you will find instructions on how to install WordPress on the following page.
Why are these optimizations so important for your website?
The internet is constantly evolving. That means that Google and of course we as users are evolving.
For Google to keep the search engine world domination, it of course always wants to present the best results for its users. These are usually exactly the results that deliver the most added value.
And that is a great advantage for you, provided you deal with this topic. Because what is good for Google is usually also good for your visitor.
Here are a few brief examples:
- A Google ranking factor is the loading time of your website: This is also a positive signal for your visitors. Because if the website loads faster, the visitor will stay on your website and very likely visit other subpages.
- An https-encrypted website is also a ranking factor: Your visitor also feels more secure on an encrypted website. Especially when he leaves data such as his email address. HTTPS encryption is now standard, but still a good example of this.
Ok, you now know why Google wants the best results at the top. This is the only way that Google will continue to be used in the future.
But how does your visitor behave?
When visiting your website, your visitor usually only asks one question: Does this website help me to solve my current problem, or can I find support and help here?
For this reason, your content is the most important element on your website. However, it doesn’t mean anything if your visitor leaves the website for other factors before viewing your content.
Reasons for this can be the following:
- Lack of trust: no encryption, catastrophic design, the website does not seem trustworthy
- Long loading time: If the website loads too long, the visitor will close the page and continue looking elsewhere. You are probably familiar with this behavior from yourself. I will go into this in more detail in this article.
- Responsive design: The website is responsive (mobile-compatible), but not really clear and uncomfortable to view on the mobile device. This is also a common problem.
As you can see, this is where Google and your visitor come full circle. Use your common sense and optimize your website accordingly, then you will benefit from better Google rankings and happier website visitors. And that’s exactly how you can increase your website’s sales and profits.
Well, that was some more general information. In the following section, you will get some specific tips on how to put this into practice.
Topic loading time
Let’s start with the topic of loading time. The loading time of your WordPress website must be as short as possible for the following reasons:
- The loading time is a Google ranking factor.
- The shorter the loading time, the lower the bounce rate of your visitors.
- A short loading time increases the conversion rate.
The most important aspect of optimizing loading times is your hosting package. If this is slow, all optimizations will only help to a limited extent. To put it figuratively: you can pimp a Fiat Panda, no matter how much, it will never turn into a Formula 1 car.
It is best to speak to the support of your hosting provider about this topic and get advice. Your server should support the following aspects:
- faster processor
- enough memory
- Protocol HTTP/2
- free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate
If you are not satisfied with your current hosting provider, here is a tutorial on how to move WordPress.
By far the greatest leverage in terms of loading time is with images. Here you can very easily carry out enormous optimizations. Thanks to the great technology, images are available in high resolution. It doesn’t matter whether it is a photo from a camera, smartphone, or a picture purchased from the Internet.
It would be a big mistake, however, if you uploaded this image in full size to WordPress and then embed it that way. I am addressing it so directly at this point because so many people do it that way.
In WordPress itself, the image is then reduced to the size in which it is to be integrated. In the background, however, the image is loaded in its full size, which of course increases the loading time unnecessarily. This is particularly evident in the long loading times for mobile website visitors.
I recommend the following procedure:
- Before uploading the image, think about the size in which you want to embed it in WordPress.
- Then reduce the image to exactly this size. You do that with your graphics editing program.
- If possible, save the image optimized for the web. Some graphics processing programs offer this option. This will remove unnecessary meta tags.
- After you’ve saved the image at the perfect size, you should give the file a meaningful name. Use your keywords and separate several words with a hyphen.
- Now you can upload the image to WordPress.
As you can see, this optimization is really easy. This already saves you a lot of loading time. The second step is that you resize the images in WordPress again.
There are various plugins with which uploaded images are automatically reduced. The loss of quality is only very minimal. You can also optimize images that have already been uploaded. The effect of saving loading time is terrific!
I can recommend the following two plugins:
- EWWW (also generates WebP images)
The third important point for optimizing the loading time of your WordPress website relates to caching. I don’t want to go into too much detail here, as the explanation would be a bit more complex.
However, there is a plugin for this that does all of the technical work for you. All you have to do is install it and check it out.
This plugin is called WP Rocket.
Further optimization tips
In the last part of this article, I would like to give you a few more tips on how you can further optimize your WordPress website.
In any case, you should use an SEO plugin. Important settings are missing in the WordPress standard settings.
I recommend the YoastSEO plugin. With it, you can carry out a lot of important optimizations.
- Title tag of the page
- Description of the page
- targeted keyword optimization
- “Structured data” topic
- many more settings
An https certificate is now standard. For the sake of completeness, however, I would like to go into this briefly. Many providers now offer free certificates (Let’s Encrypt), which you can easily integrate.
This is a ranking factor and therefore gives plus points on Google. Also, you increase the trust of your visitors. So you kill 2 birds with one stone J.
A responsive design doesn’t mean that your website is really mobile-ready. By this, I mean that the technical requirements are in place, but the appearance and user-friendliness leave a lot to be desired.
For this reason, you should check your website with a tablet and smartphone. Because if your visitors leave your website quickly due to poor presentation, this is a negative user signal, which Google naturally evaluates accordingly.
Finally, I would like to go into the homepage. This is one of the most important, if not the most important, page of your website. However, many of them leave a lot of potential behind because they only concentrate on the undersides.
Take your time and optimize your homepage. Avoid a boring “welcome” and concentrate on ensuring that your visitor immediately recognizes what to expect on this website.
Only if the visitor immediately realizes that this website is helping them with their problem will they stay on your website. Please remember briefly at the beginning of this article, because I talked about it.
Recommendation – lots of WordPress tutorials & instructions
If you implement the tips from this article on your WordPress website, you will benefit from the optimizations in the long term. Your ranking will improve and your visitors will perceive your website as even more positive.