Looking for some irresistible tips to help with your WordPress blog?
Well, we’re here to share those tips! And yes, they are irresistible… such a good word.
From the list below, my goal is that you will be able to pick out at least a couple to implement. If you do, then we’ll be happy.
1. Optimize Your Content with Yoast WordPress SEO
We’ve reviewed many SEO plugins for WordPress and we always end up with back with Yoast WordPress SEO. It is simple to use and, as well as the SEO optimization part, it has some great add-on features (e.g. social media optimization).
With Yoast, you define your main focus keyword(s) and it will indicate whether you have these keywords in the most important places in the content, as well as noting how many times they appear.
This plugin also lets you configure your page title and description. If you have the advanced section enabled, you can view further detail about the optimization to improve it even further.
2. Implement Filament for Social Sharing
Filament was initially a WordPress-only plugin but it’s now available as a web app so it can be used on other platforms. When you create your blog posts, you need to encourage your website visitors to share your content on social media.
Filament allows you to add horizontal and vertical bars of sharing icons. As visitors scroll through the content, the horizontal sharing bar moves with them, so it’s always there as a reminder.
The floating bar doesn’t work on mobile devices because of technical limitations, but the vertical bar does appear. A lot of social sharing breaks on mobile devices so it’s important to get this working!
3. Dramatically Increase Your Opt-ins Using OptinMonster
If you want to build your email subscribers, you need a good tool for it, and OptinMonster is one of the best available. It has a great selection of opt-in boxes (e.g. pop-up, footer, sidebar) and one of the many powerful features is the easy ability to split test. No opt-in works perfectly out of the box, so you need to test different variations to see what works best for you.
Another great feature that I love is the ‘exit intent’ feature for the pop-up opt-in box, which only appears when somebody is exiting the site. You could be browsing a website for an hour and never see a pop-up, but as soon as you are about to leave, up it pops! It’s great for conversions!
4. Manage Your Editorial Calendar using CoSchedule
Blogging is time consuming, so if there are tools to help you optimize your process, you should use them. CoSchedule provides you with an excellent editorial calendar to manage your content and, if that’s not enough, it provides you with the ability to schedule multiple social media updates for each piece of blog content.
This is a great tool that’s improving all the time with new functionality. Here’s an example of the calendar, where we’re dragging-and-dropping posts to different dates.
5. Use Keyword-Rich Headings Within Your Content
When you write a blog post, typically you are targeting particular keywords in the hope that you will rank for them in Google. But, when you’re doing your keyword research, make a note of any related keywords. Then, if it makes sense, use some of these related keywords in headings within your post.
As well as ranking for the main keywords, you might, then, also rank for other related terms in the post. They may have a much lower search volume and not be interesting enough to write an individual post about, but it’s still useful to target them.
6. Move to a Hosting Provider with Expertise in Hosting
We recently moved our hosting provider to SiteGround. We moved mainly because it was 10 times cheaper for us than WPEngine, but also because they provide 24×7 support, fast servers and have strong expertise in WordPress.
Because WordPress is one of their specialties, they provide a lot of WordPress-specific facilities (e.g. WordPress security plugin, caching, 1-click WordPress install etc).
You need to use a hosting provider that is going to support your rapid growth.
7. Use Gravity Forms For Any Forms You Require
When you want to create a simple form on your website, there is no need to go to your developer all the time. Gravity Forms provide a very simple way of creating basic forms and forms with dropdown boxes, checkboxes etc.
Here’s an example of a form that took just a couple of minutes to set up.
Read this post on Gravity Forms.
8. Create XML Sitemaps for Google
An XML sitemap describes your content to Google so they are absolutely essential! It is basically a file where you tell Google about the pages on your website.
Here’s an example of a sitemap that shows the page names, priority for indexing, the images included, how often a page is likely to change, and the last updated date.
A tip -> Google prefers new, fresh content to old content. If you’ve got a post that is driving some traffic but you haven’t updated it for a long time, you should add some updated information to it!
If you’re using WordPress SEO by Yoast, it will automatically build a sitemap for you. In Google Webmaster Tools, you can verify that Google is aware of, and is reading, this sitemap.
9. Create XML Video Sitemap for Google
If you want to go one step further and you have video on your site, you should create a video sitemap. Let’s say you have a lot of YouTube videos on your site; without a video sitemap, these videos will not be indexed on your site. With a video sitemap, on the other hand, your videos will show up in the search results for your site.
10. Create a Custom 404 Page
If someone tries to connect to a page on your website that is no longer available, they end up on a blank page with a big 404 error. Most people will leave your site at this stage. Instead, however, you could direct them to a custom 404 page where you can offer them appropriate resources and links to related content on your site.
For example, put up a ‘sorry’ message and provide a link to your top 3 posts. At least, then, people are likely to engage with your content rather than just disappear.
11. Implement Disqus for Comments
Disqus is the most popular third-party comment system for WordPress, and this gives it a big advantage. Most people who comment regularly on blogs will already have a Disqus account, and they will be automatically logged in when they arrive on your site. Reducing the friction that might put people off commenting means you’ll get more comments.
I’ve looked at other commenting systems such as Livefyre, and they do have great functionality, but it’s not worth considering because they don’t have the same size customer base as Disqus.
12. Use 301 Redirect Plugin for Older Content
Sometimes, when you’re writing content, it’s an update on something you already have on your website. You can go back and update your existing content or write a fresh post. If you write a fresh post, you should redirect the old content to the new, so that the more recent post benefits from any links already pointing to the older post.
The best way to redirect content like this is known as a ‘301 redirect’. This is a permanent redirect, which means that Google will pass all the link juice to the new content (i.e. any links from an external website will automatically be passed on). There are a couple of plugins available for this, and we use the Simple 301 Redirect Plugin.
13. Integrate LeadPages for Landing Pages
It’s important to be able to create landing pages quickly, without the help of a development team. For example, if you get an opportunity to guest post on another site, you might want to create a landing page specifically targeted to that site. This helps to improve your conversions significantly when new visitors arrive after reading your guest post.
But, you won’t create the landing page if it’s a hassle. That’s just the way it is!
Register with LeadPages and use one of their templates. With their WordPress plugin, the landing pages are automatically synced with WordPress.
14. Disable Indexing of Irrelevant Content
At times, there will be content you do not want to be indexed, for example directories of WordPress content that are not pages or posts. Another example is a ‘thank you’ page, which offers no value to anyone, so why should it appear in search?
If you want to disable the indexing of a full directory, the best way is to update a file called robots.txt. For example, you could put in it ‘Disallow: /wp-content/plugins’ . This tells Google not to index any files in this directory.
If there’s a specific page you don’t want indexed, you need to set a ‘noindex’ flag on the content.
If you use Yoast WordPress SEO plugin, you can do both of these tasks without having to hand-edit files. But be careful, you don’t want to make a mistake with robots.txt and tell Google not to index anything!
15. Write Regularly!
Every piece of content you write is an extra opportunity for Google to index your content. If you’re not producing new content, you’re not going do to well on Google. So, get writing!!
WordPress is a fantastic platform but you need to put some work into it to get maximum value. I hope that you’ll be able to pick off a couple of the blogging tips and techniques we have shared here.
Which tips will you use?
What would you like to add to the list?
We’d love to hear your comments.
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