If there is ever a time to look far beyond the common WordPress SEO tools, such as Yoast SEO Plugin, 2018 is the year. All things considered, the Yoast plugin is still an excellent baseline tool for best practice on-page SEO, however the tools and tactics that impact positive rankings are far beyond the plugin’s capabilities. Let’s dive in.

WordPress Image Compression and Optimization: WP Smush

Large image files may be slowing down your site without you even knowing it. Smush has been benchmarked and tested number one for speed and quality and is the proven crowd favorite image optimization plugin for WordPress.

Site Speed for WordPress: Web Page Test

You can run simple tests or perform advanced testing including multi-step transactions, video capture, content blocking and much more. Your results will provide rich diagnostic information including resource loading waterfall charts, Page Speed optimization checks and suggestions for improvements. Site speed and page load performance is a critical factor for both desktop and mobile (responsive websites).

WordPress Theme: Consider a Custom WordPress Theme

It’s our experience that even premium “off the shelf” themes come pre-packaged with heavy theme files and far too much front-end code that is necessary. We recommend approaching WordPress with a Custom Theme built from a bare-bones scaffolding.

WordPress Plugin Audit: Deactivate old Plugins and Update In-use Plugins

Consider doing an audit of your WordPress Plugin library and deactivating plugins that are no longer being used, or potentially duplicate functionality. Activate Plugins only when you need the functionality. Also consider using automation services like Zapier to handle heavy lifting of data between platforms like Mailchimp, WordPress, WooCommerce, etc…

Improve Structured Data in WordPress: Schema.org

Created in part by search behemoths Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, Schema adds a new level of “vocabulary” to our content. Typical implementation is done by adding this markup language to specific parts of a website, it will provide search engines with a higher level of context to the page itself.

Optimize WordPress for Mobile: Google’s Mobile-First Index 

Google’s Mobile-first indexing means that the Google algorithm will use the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking, to better assist – primarily mobile – users find what they’re looking for.