SEO—Search Engine Optimization— is a very important marketing activity to improve your site’s exposure and to attract more organic traffic and with the aid of WordPress, you have countless plugins, and themes designed to help your SEO strategies.
The use of meta tags and descriptions can be hard to get around for some, however, WordPress elegantly eases the process with plugins that teach you as you go and show you ways to improve.
On the other hand, WordPress is the most popular website building platform, powering more than 35% of all websites in the world.
Why WordPress is better for SEO?
WordPress ensures that all content is easily indexed by Googles’ bot. This is done setting up categories and tags. This lets you sort your content neatly. Using SEO friendly URLs and HTML tags.
You can get the most out of your keywords by using them in the titles and subtitles which are seen as more important by a search engine.
WordPress works really well with Google for a great SEO ranking. I can also embed YouTube videos, Google Maps, and other content easily and without any coding ability.
Users from all over the world build WordPress sites, from small business owners, who want to expand their businesses online to authorities in different niches to big companies like Vogue, Sony Music, Mercedes-Benz International to name a few use WordPress to inform, educate and get their message out onto the internet.
Check out the 40 most notable companies using WordPress.
Not only is WordPress great for a generic website it’s incredibly flexible allowing you to build e-commerce stores, video sites, e-learning platforms, social media sites, and the list goes on and on.
WordPress SEO: Pros of WordPress CMS?
How does WordPress fare compared to other website building platforms when it comes to SEO?
Below, we will discuss the key advantages and disadvantages when it comes to WordPress and using the platform as your overall SEO strategy.
Probably the biggest reason for choosing WordPress over other CMSs and website builders is the fact that it is 100% free.
Yes, we’ll need to purchase a domain name, subscribe to a separate hosting service and probably purchase premium plugins, among other costs, but even then, we can flexibly adjust how much we are willing to spend on the site.
With this cost-efficiency, we have more wiggle rooms for trial and errors, and we can free up our budget on other solutions and tools that can help our SEO campaign (for example, investing in a premium keyword research tool).
One of the key advantages of using WordPress over website-building platforms like Wix is flexibility.
As an open-source platform, you get absolute freedom in using WordPress to customize your site according to your needs, and in this case, according to SEO best practices.
If you possess the required programming and design skills, you can create any kind of site with WordPress CMS.
SEO-wise, customizability is very important so we can optimize every single element in our site individually, according to what’s demanded by current ranking factors and SEO guidelines.
3. SEO Plugins
Still related to customizability, the key advantage of using WordPress is the fact that there are over 50,000 plugins for WordPress users, many of them are specifically designed for SEO purposes.
Some are 100% free, while some others are really expensive. Many of these plugins have allowed web designers to have an easier time implementing various SEO activities that are otherwise very time-consuming and/or difficult.
One SEO plugin that will make On-Page optimization a breeze is Yoast SEO.
Since 2008 Yoast SEO has helped millions of websites worldwide to rank higher in search engines
Also, with page load speed now being an indirect SEO ranking factor, various plugins like browser caching and image compression plugins can also help SEO performance.
4. Choice of Mobile Optimized Themes
There are tens of thousands of different themes available for WordPress (both free and paid), some offer really useful features for SEO like analytics, reporting, and even automatic optimizations.
Also, with mobile-friendliness being one of the most important ranking factors, there is a wide range of mobile-responsive templates to choose from with various price ranges.
5. Optimize Images For SEO
Images make your content look more interesting and improve the readability since it breaks up the flow of the text. The above affects your SEO indirectly because they improve the user experience. The images, though, should be quality ones and relevant to your articles.
If you want to get the maximum exposure, you need to optimize your images for SEO.
6. Site Speed
Site speed is not a ranking factor but if the loading time of a site is high, your users will get frustrated and it will be bad news for your bounce rate. Also, if your site is very slow, it may get banned from Google.
For those who already use WordPress, site speed should not be a problem. There are many fast loading themes to meet every need. You also can find plugins that were actually created to improve site speed.
7. Knowledge Resource and Support
WordPress, being the most popular website building platform on the planet, has a massive community-based support forum where you can get help and ask any questions about everything related to WordPress, including how we should implement SEO on our WordPress site.
This way, we can learn from other people that have similar interests or might have faced similar challenges and issues we are currently facing.
WordPress SEO: Cons of WordPress CMS?
Just like with anything in life, it all can’t be perfect. Even though WordPress has so many advantages it also comes with a few disadvantages but despite this, it should not deter you from using the CMS because it’s hands down the best out there.
1. Skill/Knowledge Requirement
Although WordPress is still fairly easy to use compared to, say, creating a website from scratch, it is definitely not the easiest website builders to work with today. Visual builders like Wix, for example, is much easier to use with their drag-and-drop approach.
So, WordPress’s customizability and versatility are also a double-edged sword, as you will need at least basic coding and design knowledge to use WordPress. Optimizing the different elements of the website according to SEO best practices might require extensive skills and knowledge.
2. Website Security
Site security signals like using an SSL certificate and HTTPS are now considered as ranking factors.
However, these won’t come by default when you are building a site on WordPress. You will need to install all the additional plugins, make sure your site’s coding is optimized and secure, and choose a secure hosting service, among other factors.
It is definitely possible to have a 100% secure WordPress site, but again, it might involve a steep learning curve.
3. Hosting Cost and Choice
As we have briefly mentioned above, you will need to purchase a separate hosting service when using WordPress as your CMS platform.
Choosing the right hosting service is very important in relation to SEO since it will affect your site’s security and speed, both are important ranking factors.
Nowadays, there are many hosting services offering very affordable packages (below $5/month), but as your site grows bigger and received more traffic, you might need to upgrade your hosting plan or even change a hosting service (and site migration can be very time-consuming).
While WordPress is not a perfect platform by any means and not the easiest to use, it is, in our opinion, the most versatile CMS and website building platform to optimize your site for SEO.
While there are some disadvantages comparing to other platforms, most of them are manageable and fairly cost-efficient to tackle.