All-Time Best WordPress SEO Checklist: How to Stay Ahead of the Game


Do you find it impossible to rank your website on the first SERP and gain visibility? If so, this WordPress SEO checklist is best for you. Because even after developing an excellent website with WordPress, you may struggle to pull organic traffic and better engagement on it. So you need to optimize it in a way that it ranks better on the SERPs. Although it may sound a bit complicated, you don’t need to worry, as that’s what this WordPress SEO checklist is for.

Our custom WordPress development services extend beyond just developing your website. They encompass a meticulous SEO checklist, crafted specifically for WordPress sites. This list covers all vital SEO aspects, from keyword optimization, and meta descriptions to enhancing site speed and mobile-friendliness. Adherence to these SEO practices promises a noticeable boost in your site’s organic traffic and user engagement. So, if you’re grappling with the challenge of SERP visibility and ranking, now you don’t need to worry anymore.

Let’s check out the reasons to optimize your website for SEO and the best WordPress SEO tips followed by every experienced SEO expert.

Why Optimize Your WordPress Website for SEO?

SEO is one of the most significant digital marketing strategies to have your website visible to the maximum target audience organically.

Why optimize your WordPress website for SEO

But what kind of benefits does it have in store for your WordPress website? Let’s check out:

  • Better search visibility: The most significant advantage of executing SEO is that it ensures better visibility on the search engine result pages. So your website will be visible in the top ranks when someone searches for the topic, product, or service related to your website.
  • Improved user experience: SEO ensures enhanced performance and usability of the website. That later results in an improved overall user experience as well. According to experts, “A user-friendly website should be designed for the people who use it, not for the people who create it.”
  • More organic traffic: By implementing this WordPress SEO checklist effectively, you will be able to have your website in the top ranks. That means there will be higher organic traffic since most users only visit the top 5 or so pages on the SERPs.
  • Edge over the competitors: By optimizing your WordPress website for SEO, you can have an edge over your competitors. You may stand superior in terms of search rankings, user experience, performance, and organic traffic. 
  • Cost-effective: SEO is a much more cost-effective strategy compared to paid (PPC) marketing. It can deliver better results in terms of search rankings and organic traffic results in roughly 7x less investment. 
  • Long-term results: Unlike pay-per-click marketing, SEO can help deliver long-lasting benefits. With SEO, your website may be visible in the top ranks even after you have stopped optimizing it. But with PPC, your website will stop ranking the moment you stop paying.

So if you want to improve your website’s visibility and organic traffic, implement WordPress SEO tips suggested by an expert digital marketing agency. With these benefits in mind, let’s check out the best WordPress SEO tips for WordPress websites.

Best WordPress SEO Checklist to Follow

Let’s check out the best tips to execute SEO on your WordPress website:

#1 Install the SEO Plugins

WordPress has thousands of free plugins in its library to customize every inch of a website. So obviously, there are several plugins to execute SEO on your website. These plugins can help you handle the technical, on-page, and off-page SEO specifications.

WordPress SEO plugins can help with several key functions: 

  • Internal linking
  • Title Meta Optimization
  • Content Optimization
  • XML Sitemap Generation
  • Social Media Integration
  • Broken Link Building
  • Schema Markup Addition

So install WordPress SEO plugins to improve every SEO aspect of your website. Out of the several free and paid plugins, you can select the most suitable one based on your requirements and expectations.

A few of the best SEO plugins for your WordPress websites are All In One SEO, Yoast SEO, and Rank Math. Moreover, our WordPress plugin development services can help you with the customization of any WordPress plugin or develop a new one to ease your SEO tasks.

#2 Use SEO-Friendly Themes

Install an SEO-friendly WordPress theme on your website. For SEO-friendliness, a website should look good and responsive regardless of the device.

WordPress assigns the default SEO-friendly theme when you first create your website. But, of course, you won’t keep the default theme on your website. Instead, choose one that ensures an appealing design, search-friendliness, and user-friendliness for your website. A few of the best SEO-friendly WordPress themes are Astra, Schema, Divi, and Genesis. Moreover, our WordPress theme design and development can help with custom SEO requests.

#3 Optimize Website Speed and Performance

It doesn’t matter if a website has the best design, features, and functionalities; the traffic and engagement won’t be on par unless it performs well. That’s why the search algorithms consider good speed and performance as a major “upvote.”

If a website takes too long (over 4-5 seconds) to load, the users may get fed up and bounce to the next website on SERP. So, optimize the speed and performance of your website through the following techniques: 

  • Choose a fast hosting provider
  • Optimize the images and other media files
  • Use a caching plugin
  • Minimize the HTTP requests
  • Use a CDN (content delivery network)
  • Use a lightweight theme
  • Reduce the number of plugins
  • Minimize the redirects
  • Use GZIP compression

It’s also crucial to analyze the core web vitals. CWV showcases the URL’s performance in terms of status, metric type, and URL groups. The metric types FID, CLS, and LCP analyze the responsiveness, performance, and visual stability of a website. Plugins like Core Web Vitals Booster can help improve the CWV for better performance.

These techniques will ensure better speed and performance for your WordPress website. So it will gain more “upvotes” from the search algorithms for a better ranking on the SERPs. Our WordPress speed optimization services could also be of help.

#4 Use a Caching Plugin

One of the best WordPress SEO tips is Caching. It can help store the frequently-accessed files so users can access them more quickly.   

A caching plugin will help you improve the following:

  • site performance
  • site usability
  • load times
  • search engine rankings, and more.

So you can install a caching plugin like WP Rocket, WP Super Cache, and W3 Total Cache to improve the speed and performance of your WordPress website.

#5 Optimize the URL Structure

If the URL of your website is too complex, it will be harder to read and comprehend. So optimize the URL structure of your WordPress website for SEO-friendliness.


Here are a few techniques to optimize the URL:

  • Keep the URL short
  • Incorporate the target keywords in the URL slug
  • Use hyphens between the words to make the link more readable
  • Avoid the stop words like “a,” “an,” “the,” “and,” “or,” etc. 
  • Avoid numbers in URLs
  • Encrypt the URL with SSL (HTTPS)

With better readability, an SEO-friendly URL gains more “upvotes” from the search algorithms. That will ensure the website is more visible and ranks high on the SERPs for better organic traffic.

#6 Optimize the Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

When a person searches for a particular topic, product, or service, the first thing they see is the title and meta description of the page on the SERP. Now, as you may already know, “the first impression is the last impression.” So a well-optimized title and meta description will help you improve the click-through rate and increase organic traffic on the website.


Keep the title tag and meta description concise and to the point. It’d be ideal to keep the title tag under 60 characters and the meta description under 155 characters. Anything over that won’t be visible to the user on the SERPs. Also, make sure to write a compelling meta description with the relevant keywords, and avoid KW stuffing at all costs.

So you can improve the website visibility on the SERPs through well-optimized title tags and meta descriptions. That will help you gain more “upvotes” from the search algorithms to attract more organic traffic to the website.

#7 Use Proper Header Tags on the Website

One of the significant aspects of the on-page SEO of any WordPress website is the heading tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.). Integrate these HTML elements to define a better structure and hierarchy of the contents on a page.


Here are some of the best WordPress SEO tips on header tags:

  • Opt for H1 or H2 for the headings (SEO rules suggest there should be only one H1 tag on the website).
  • Break down the content into smaller, more readable sections through H3 subheadings. That makes it easier to read and comprehend. 
  • Add the relevant keywords to the header tags to make them more SEO-friendly.
  • Use the header tags in sequence. So if you have used H2 for the main heading, go for H3 for the subheadings. But if H1 has been used to specify the heading, H2 would be better for the subheadings. 

But complicating the content with too many header tags in unnecessary places isn’t recommended.

#8 Use Schema Markup

Structured schema helps search engine crawlers understand the content effectively.


You can even get rich snippets through schema markup by adding different types of schemas like:

  • Ratings (in the case of places like restaurants)
  • Duration (how much time it will take to cook a dish)
  • Pricing (in the case of products)
  • Product pictures under the meta description
  • Listicles

Rich snippets can be excellent for local SEO since people are often looking for the best places around them. For them, rich snippets like ratings make it easier to find the best one. WordPress plugins like Schema Pro, All in One Schema Rich Snippets, and WP SEO Structured Data Schema. It can help with the schema markups on your WordPress website.

#9 Optimize Images Alt Tags and File Names.

“A picture is worth a thousand words.” It’s a great saying, but search engines can’t recognize and comprehend the images. So you need to provide them with extra info to explain what the image is all about.


The first thing you need when saving an image is a descriptive filename. That ensures the search engine understands the context of the image while crawling the website. Also, don’t forget to use the relevant keywords in the file name and alt tags. So your image is visible in the “Images” section when a user searches for it.

#10 Use Breadcrumbs for Easier Navigation

Breadcrumbs is one of the most significant on-page SEO techniques for WordPress websites. This navigational strategy improves the user experience of the website. That helps search engines understand the context, structure, and hierarchy of the website. 


The hierarchy should showcase a clear structure from the top-level category to the sub-categories. Moreover, the labels need to be descriptive. For e.g., instead of using “Home > Blog > Post 1”, use “Home > Blog > WordPress SEO Checklist”.

#11 Submit an XML Sitemap to Google Search Console

An XML sitemap lists all web pages with important info, like their modified date and priority. This technical SEO strategy ensures that all the pages that have been mapped will be crawled by the search algorithms for indexing.  


Several SEO plugins like RankMath can help generate XML sitemaps for websites. These plugins can help generate and update the sitemaps when you add or delete new pages on the website. 

After updating a sitemap in Google Search Console, crawlers will understand the structure of the website. So they will crawl effectively without spending a crawl budget. GSC also helps you to track website errors like indexing, broken webpages, redirections, page experiences, and many more.

#12 Optimize Your Robots.txt File

Another significant WordPress SEO tip is optimizing the robots.txt file. This file specifies to the search crawlers which pages of the website they should be crawling. Optimize this file to ensure your website is crawled and indexed more effectively. 


Here are a few tips to optimize the robots.txt file:

  • Use the correct syntax.
  • Block crawling to irrelevant pages like the admin, login, etc. 
  • Allow crawling to important pages like the homepage, category pages, product pages, blog posts, newsfeeds, etc.
  • Then, test the robot.txt file through Google Search Console’s tester to ensure there are no errors. This tool can also help you check the preview for how your pages look to the crawlers.

Google suggests you optimize the robots.txt files to help the search crawlers go through relevant web pages more effectively. That’s why it is one of the most significant technical SEO strategies.

#13 Use Internal Linking

Another excellent practice in the WordPress SEO checklist is internal linking. It’s the technique of inserting the link of one page of a website onto another page of the same site. 


Here are a few tips for effective internal linking:

  • Use the relevant links rather than cannibalizing them for the sake of linking.
  • Use descriptive anchor text, showing a hint of what the linked page is about.
  • Link the pages in the right context. 
  • Incorporate internal linking to interconnect every page of your website. So the crawlers can go through it more easily.
  • Monitor the page traffic regularly to check what kind of effect the internal links have on the page.

Internal linking ensures users understand the content a little better with more context. It also spreads link equity and improves the authority of the page and domain.

#14 Optimize the Navigation of Your Website

User experience is a significant aspect of SEO and a potential “voting factor” of search algorithms. One of the major factors controlling the UX is the site’s navigation. 

Good navigation would mean the user is able to explore the website and find relevant products or services more efficiently. So let’s check out a few tips to optimize the website’s navigation. 

  • Keep everything simple rather than adding too many menus and submenus. 
  • Use descriptive labels on the products and services so people know what they are clicking on.
  • Organize the content and headings with drop-down menus. 
  • Implement breadcrumbs so that users understand their current position on the website. So they can also get back to the previous pages. 
  • Use internal linking so that the reader understands the context. 
  • Include a search bar with a voice search option. So people can find their desired product or service more easily.

Good navigation enhances the user experience and improves dwell time. It also ensures more “upvotes” from the search algorithms for better rankings on the SERPs.

Fixing the broken links is a crucial WordPress SEO practice since the users may get frustrated when they click on a link and see “Error 404”, which means the page doesn’t exist. That may lead to them quitting your website and moving on to the next alternative.


So monitor and identify the 404 errors through a popular SEO tool and fix the broken links.

You may also try optimizing the 404 pages to ensure the visitors don’t click off. The 404-page optimization includes adding useful info, adding branding, and using a friendly tone. You should also add a CTA to the sign-up form or other relevant pages.

There are two ways to go about fixing the broken links:

  • You may have to remove the broken link if the page no longer exists.
  • If the link is broken because that page has moved to a different link, make sure to redirect the old link with the new one. 

Fixing the broken links can ensure a better user experience, leading to better search rankings.

#16 Optimize the Website for Mobile Usage

More than 58% of the web traffic comes from mobile devices. So the search algorithms consider the mobile-friendliness of a website as one of the major search engine ranking factors.

So you need to use mobile-friendly themes and plugins, optimize the images, use better mobile-friendly fonts and designs, and use better navigation menus. Afterward, make sure to test the site on the mobile to check if it loads, renders, and looks as well as you expected.

#17 Install and Use SSL and HTTPS on Your Website

Security is another significant ranking factor recognized by every search algorithm. One of the best ways to secure your website is by installing an SSL certificate and using HTTPS protocol. People tend to find websites with these security enforcements more trustworthy because the data transfer between the website and its visitors is encrypted and secured from hackers.


So trustworthiness ensures a better search ranking and higher organic traffic. 

The SSL certificate can be installed through the web host or a certified authority. Moreover, after installing the SSL and HTTPS, make sure to configure your website so that its URL, along with the resources (like images and scripts), runs over this newly secured protocol. There are several WordPress plugins, like Really Simple SSL, Easy HTTPS Redirection (SSL), etc., that can help you redirect your website to HTTPS. You can even hire WordPress developers to secure your website and ensure it is safe from hackers and malware.

#18 Choose the Right WordPress Hosting Provider

Choosing a hosting provider is one of the first things you need to take care of when creating a new WordPress website. A hosting service provides a space for your WordPress website on the internet and helps publish it. So when you choose a hosting provider, it’s like renting a space on the internet to store the crucial data and files that will help run your website efficiently. 

Generally, there are 5 types of hosting plans to choose from: WordPress Hosting, Shared Hosting, VPS (Virtual Private Server) Hosting, Dedicated Hosting, and Cloud hosting. 

Not only will a hosting service help establish your website, but it will also control critical elements like the website’s speed, performance, storage, security, etc. Moreover, it’s a crucial part of the WordPress SEO checklist.

A hosting service includes features like CDN, which improves the loading speed and performance of the website, resulting in a better user experience. A good hosting service also ensures the website stays up at all times, improving its search rankings as well. So make sure you choose the hosting provider carefully. A few of the best WordPress hosting service options we recommend are WP Engine, SiteGround, etc.

#19 Monitor All SEO Factors in the WordPress Regularly

Last but not least, make sure to perform regular audits on your website and analyze all SEO factors, including the content, keywords, backlinks, sitemaps, schema, and more, to ensure your optimization efforts are paying dividends in terms of traffic, engagement, and rankings.

There are several SEO tools like Google Search Console, Google Analytics, SEMRush, Ahrefs, etc. to analyze the website comprehensively. As discussed above, there are some WordPress plugins that can help perform website analysis for SEO, and a few of the best ones are Yoast SEO, All In One SEO Pack, Rank Math, etc. They run constant checks on the website to ensure the SEO optimization checklist discussed above is working smoothly and provide recommendations on improvements.

Above, we’ve covered different tips to improve the search rankings of a website comprehensively. But if you want to ensure these SEO efforts are resulting perfectly.

That way, you will be able to ensure this SEO checklist for WordPress has helped your website achieve the best rankings on the SERPs.


Although it may seem easy, improving the rankings of a website or page through SEO is quite a complicated process because of the numerous factors involved. These factors and their significance are constantly being changed by search algorithms. So you need to be updated on every single one. 

That’s why we have created this comprehensive checklist for WordPress SEO that covers everything from SEO-friendly themes and plugins, better URL structure, title, meta descriptions, and image alt tags to XML sitemaps, breadcrumbs, 404-page optimization, and link building. So follow this ultimate SEO checklist or contact our experts to build or update your website to ensure it reaches as many of your target audiences as possible.

Nikita Shah is a technical content writer at WPWeb Infotech known for simplifying complex topics. With expertise in various technical fields, she crafts engaging articles that makes technology easy to understand. Her clear and concise writing style ensures that readers gain valuable insights while enjoying the content.

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