When it comes to the often-overlooked art of internal website optimization, too many people stick with the standard methods such as being mindful of keyword use within the content and relevant tags.
Again, there’s nothing wrong with those techniques; they certainly won’t hurt unless you overdo them. However, there are yet other ways to improve your website’s internal optimization that take nearly no maintenance or additional thought, and which can provide a nice boost to your SERP rankings over a couple of weeks.
With that in mind, this article will showcase six optimizations to your website that you can achieve easily using free WP plugins. Take an hour today to make these changes to your website, and you may soon realize it was one of the most time-efficient efforts you did as part of your website promotion endeavors.
1) Show Most Popular Posts in Sidebar
Not only is this a great way to show off your most successful posts, but it’s also an effective
way to improve the optimization of such posts. When you activate a sidebar list showing the most
popular posts, you’re automatically creating site-wide links to those posts. This will strengthen
the internal optimization of said posts, and likely improve their rankings.
How it’s done: There are several plugins that can be used to this effect, such as “Popularity
Contest” and “WP-views”.
2) Floating Social Share-bar
In this day and age, most webmasters already realize they should install a plugin that makes it easier for users to share content across their favorite social media channels.
What not all webmasters have realized yet is that a floating share-bar that follows users as they scroll down the page will indeed get more clicks. Each time someone bookmarks your content, you’re getting additional links, so this is actually a way to indirectly have users build links on your behalf!
How it’s done: The most popular WP plugin to add a floating share bar is called “ShareBar”; if
for some reason this plugin does not work for you, try using “Share Rail”.
3) List SEO Search Terms After Post
Links inside your website will go a long way towards effective search engine optimization, and the same guidelines apply as with off-site optimization: you want those links to be relevant to the content, and you want to use related long-term keywords as anchor text. This is why adding a list of incoming search terms to your posts linking to the actual posts, will usually help
improve your website’s ranking for those keywords.
Make sure to cap the list to the 10 most popular search terms, because too many internal links in a single page may trigger the link spam flags and actually hurt your rankings (based on experience).
In a future post, we’ll publish a case study that explains exactly how this plugin improves your SEO; make sure to subscribe to this blog, if you look forward to that!
How it’s done: If you’d like to add this feature to your blog, the most popular plugin is called “SEO SearchTerms 2”.
4) WP Minify Code
Code Minifying is a process that involves stripping off redundant code and annotations (which are often interspersed in your website’s backend) before they’re sent to a visitor’s browser. Doing so will often reduce the size of your pages quite a bit, which in turn will make your website load faster and improve the user experience.
5) Gzip Compression
Did you know that most modern browsers support Gzip compression, meaning that you can broadcast a compressed file with all the resources necessary to display your page, as opposed to sending the bloated individual files one at a time? This technique can reduce the total size of your website quite drastically (as much as 80%), which in turn will cause a noticeable boost in its loading times.
6) Server-Side Cache
If you have a moderately busy website that relies on plenty of plugins and sophisticated features, you simply can’t do without a cache plugin. What it does is keeping a file with your website in static .html format which is served to your visitors directly (as opposed to rendering the website from all its dynamic code and plugins), thus significantly cutting down on the
strain to your server.
This approach will make your website load much faster to visitors, especially if thousands of them happen to access your website simultaneously.
How it’s done: There are separate plugins you can use to implement WP minify, Gzip compression and cache in your website, but the problem is that some of these plugins can conflict with one another. Luckily, there’s also a free 3-in-1 solution that you can rely on, and it’s called “W3 Total Cache”. Look it up, install it, and you’ll be amazed at how faster your website gets.
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