[GUIDE] Basic WP OnSite advice or how to increase my Organic traffic easily

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Hey guys!

As some of you might know, I am running a thread where I am providing FREE SEO OnPage advices - click.

Since most of the websites I am reviewing are based on Wordpress, I decided to post and explain here the most common WP OnSite mistakes most of you are not aware about.

Those are simple things that matter. If you already have steady traffic to your site, following these advices might bring you a nice 10-20% increase in organic traffic.

Also, everything covered here is valid for any website, not just those based on WP.

Let's get started!

1. <H> tags

I will start with this, because I am noticing that most of the users do not know how to use <h> tags appropriately or they are just underestimating them.

In the meantime <h> tags are probably the most important tag after the <title> tag which tells the search engines exactly what your articles are talking about.

There are some cases when we are doubling the organic traffic simply by using correctly optimized <h> tags.

My advices regarding this:

1. Use only <h1> to <h3>. Remove <h4> +, you do not need them.

2. Use only one <h1> tag per page.

3. Your <h1> should be different than the <title> of your page.

4. Remove all <h> tags outside the content - for example on widgets, comments, etc.

5. Do not use links (a tags) inside <h>.

6. Do not use any other tags inside <h>. If you want to style them, add a class and style everything in external css file, not inline.

7. Use correct <h> tags sequence. Your <h1> tag should be the first that appears in code. You may use <h2> and <h3> after it.

BONUS - most of the WP themes are displaying the logo inside a <h> tag which is a common mistake and should be avoided.

2. Use a SEO module

Choose any SEO module that fits your needs and install it.

It will take care of the basic stuff like:
  • XML sitemap
  • Some rel tags (prev/next for example)
  • robots.txt
And tens of other things that I will not describe here, simply because any SEO module will take care of them.

3. SPEED

Yeah, yeah... I should make my site faster. You're DAMN right about this!

The correlation between your pages loading time and Google rankings is not so high. In other words - Google will not rank you higher or decrease your rankings only because the speed of your site.

The loading speed matters indirectly. How?
  • Your website is loading fast.
  • => Your visitors are staying more on the site.
  • => Your visitors are looking at more pages.
  • => You getting some nice UX signals.
  • => Google ranks you better.
That's it! And it's not all about the rankings - better speed = more sales!

The most common problems of Wordpress sites is that you are using tens of heavy plugins that are written in spaghetti code.

They are causing problems. No matter what cache plugin you are using, the plugins are usually increasing your TTFB.

I've seen WP sites with over 6 seconds of TTFB (time to first byte). So, no matter that your cache plugin is loading your site for 1 sec, you still need to additionally wait those TTFB seconds.

So, what you should do - minimize the usage of plugins and start using some good cache system.

4. Links

Both internal and external links are important. Your site links might improve or decrease the importance of your page, so you should use them very, very carefully.

Every single link is causing some strength of the page (link juice) to be passed to another no matter if it is internal page of your site or it is an outbound link.

For example - most of the WP sites have links to the date and author. Something like:

Code:
Posted on <a>09.06</a> By <a>admin</a>

In this case, you are passing link juice from your original article to the date and author page.

Answer yourself this question - Why I should decrease the ranking of article X, to rank higher author admin page?

Be very, very careful with your internal links and this is valid for every one of them - date, author, tags, links inside articles, etc.

Every link is passing link juice, so it needs to link to something you want to rank for.

Regarding the external links, it is simple - just make every one of them nofollow, target _blank.

If you are using affiliate links - mask them with internal redirect which also needs to be nofollow.

5. Title of elements

Wordpress is adding title to many tags, such as <a>, <div>, <span>, <img> etc.

Titles have correlation with the meaning of content and are pointing bots in the right direction regarding what is the important topic that is covered in the page.

Many of these titles are automatically generated and are using an excerpt.

This is leading to enormous content within them and may cause:
  • Too big source code (html to text ratio).
  • Dilution of the content.
  • Duplicate content.
You should check carefully your source code and remove any unnecessary content within the title elements of the tags.

Replace it with up to 5 words which are describing the most important topic covered in the specific page, paragraph or element.

6. Use SILO

SILO based link structure is a powerful tool that might distribute the link juice more appropriately.

It is a powerful thing you should start using right away.

I will cover the basics, perform more in-depth reading on how to do this (note - many modules available).

Basically, SILO is the web address structure of your inner pages. For example mysite/article/

Your SILO needs to be something like this:
  • For categories - mysite/main-category/inner-category/
  • For articles - mysite/main-category/inner-category/article
Most of the WP sites have a wrong structure, something like this:
  • Categories - mysite/category or mysite/category/category-name
  • Article - mysite/article
SILO is very powerful regarding the internal link building. Here are a couple of advices you should be strictly following:
  • Link only to the same level element or upper element.
If you have two web pages:
Code:
mysite/category1/article1/

and

Code:
mysite/category2/article2/

Your article1 should link only to:
Code:
mysite/category1/ - The main category of the article.

Or:
Code:
mysite/category1/article2/ - Another article within the same category.

Code:
mysite/category1/article1/

Should not link to category2 or a post in another category.

There are some exclusions of these rules, but in most cases you should follow them.

7. Crawl budget

Google Bot is getting quite lazy lately. To make it crawl more often your content you should be aware that there is something called "crawl budget". You should distribute this budget carefully and avoid crawling unnecessary things.

To do this, delete all unnecessary post, pages, comments, etc. from your blog. Many of the websites out there still have their "Hello world!" post published.

Regarding the proper optimization of the crawl budget, it is also affected by:
  • Page speed.
  • Proper SILO.
  • Proper internal linking.
Conclusion

That's basically everything I wanted to cover here. Simply take care of all of these mistakes and you will get a nice little increase in your organic traffic.

Hit me up with questions, I hope that we will make a nice discussion here with your advices as well.
Super helpful for a beginner like me. Thanks
 
Nice, I checked my website and I found H3 on (Leave a Reply) and H4 on (Widget section). But I don't know how to remove them.
 
Hello, Not able to remove h3 from the widget section.

You should take a closer look at your template. Also, search in Google and learn how to edit WP themes. Different approaches:
  • In-built WP editor.
  • CPanel file manager.
  • Most preferable - FTP + code editor.
Also, very very basic HTML and CSS knowledge is required.

Depending on your site, the files that needs editing are different, so I can't give any specific guide.
 
This is how to remove H3 on (Leave a Reply) and H4 on (Widget section) for ALL Wordpress themes:

Go to WP Admin > Appearance > Theme Editor > find on the right side functions.php and click on it

OR

Login with your FTP software and go to wp-content > themes > {your-theme} > functions.php and open it in some text editor like notepad or some code editor

Insert the code below at the Bottom of the functions.php file:

/**
* Widget Titles: Change default H4 to an P tag or whatever you want.
*/
add_filter( 'widget_title', 'custom_widget_title_headline' );
function custom_widget_title_headline( $title ) {
return '<p>' . $title . '</p>';
}

/**
* Leave a Reply Title: Change default H3 to an P tag or whatever you want.
*/
add_filter( 'comment_form_defaults', 'custom_reply_title' );
function custom_reply_title( $defaults ){
$defaults['title_reply_before'] = '<p id="reply-title" class="h4 comment-reply-title">';
$defaults['title_reply_after'] = '</p>';
return $defaults;
}
 
Beware that when you change H3 or H4 to P tag or something else you will probably remove styling and size for it, so you need to add appropriate class to style it OR you can do it with CSS inline styles like this:

/**
* Widget Titles: Change default H4 to an P tag or whatever you want.
*/
add_filter( 'widget_title', 'custom_widget_title_headline' );
function custom_widget_title_headline( $title ) {
return '<p style="font-size:24px; font-weight:bold; color: #dd4400;">' . $title . '</p>';
}
 
This is how to remove H3 on (Leave a Reply) and H4 on (Widget section) for ALL Wordpress themes:

Go to WP Admin > Appearance > Theme Editor > find on the right side functions.php and click on it

OR

Login with your FTP software and go to wp-content > themes > {your-theme} > functions.php and open it in some text editor like notepad or some code editor

Insert the code below at the Bottom of the functions.php file:

/**
* Widget Titles: Change default H4 to an P tag or whatever you want.
*/
add_filter( 'widget_title', 'custom_widget_title_headline' );
function custom_widget_title_headline( $title ) {
return '<p>' . $title . '</p>';
}

/**
* Leave a Reply Title: Change default H3 to an P tag or whatever you want.
*/
add_filter( 'comment_form_defaults', 'custom_reply_title' );
function custom_reply_title( $defaults ){
$defaults['title_reply_before'] = '<p id="reply-title" class="h4 comment-reply-title">';
$defaults['title_reply_after'] = '</p>';
return $defaults;
}

Thank you.


Not working for me.
 
i remove link to author and date. and yes it can improve my traffic. the problem is my article using mysite.com/article/. i am not using siloing previously because it just general site.
 
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