SEO Blog WordPress More Than 10 Best Optimization Steps With RankMath

Today we explore how to optimize your seo blog WordPress style with the RankMath plugin.

7 SEO blog WordPress tips to get you started

  1. Always include at least 1 image with “alt text” that contains your focus SEO keywords.
  2. Reach a minimum of 600 words, but try to go much further and surpass 1,000 words for an extra content length boost.
  3. Draft your ideas quickly, revise and edit quickly, optimize quickly. Being good doesn’t require you to write slowly, instead focus on understanding and optimizing your process for great content development.
  4. Install the free RankMath plugin for WordPress available from the official WordPress directory.
  5. If you need help with your search marketing, hire professionals with experience and fair rates.
  6. Do deep keyword research using premium SEO software like SemRush before you start trying to compete in the search marketplace. Appreciate how strong competition can be and try to find niche opportunities.
  7. Learn the main RankMath analysis factors so you can optimize your blog posts in records speed. This includes a lot of common sense and practice whitehat SEO methods like using short paragraphs and optimizing your SEO title.
seo blog wordpress optimization with rankmath

Write about things you care about

You should never resort to writing for robots or machines. Even if you got a little help fleshing out your ideas or researching a topic from ChatGPT! Your audience is still human. It matters that you care about the topic and have some feeling of inspiration when you write. Did you know you can write faster and better when you care about the topic? It certainly makes all that research a lot more fun. Let’s discover topics we are genuinely interested in.

This doesn’t mean it has to be your favorite topic, or the thing your most passionate about. We can be practical and strike a good balance. For instance I might rather be writing about health and nutrition right now! So why don’t I just drop everything and go do that? Well, I have good reasons to cover this topic. This topic can help people. This relates to a project I was just involved in over the past couple of weeks. Therefore it makes sense to me to cover the topic of SEO blog WordPress optimization and related topics about using RankMath.

SEO blog WordPress optimization process

What are the core steps in the seo blog WordPress optimization process? We recommend utilization of a “real-time seo analytics plugin”. Our recommendation for this is RankMath. The more commonly chosen plugin in this category is Yoast SEO, a long-time favorite amongst WordPress SEO managers. We do feel however that despite being a relatively newcomer to the field, RankMath plugin offers some advantages. In particular we like the clean UI that RankMath provides.

seo blog wordpress optimization with rankmath real-time analysis plugin

Let’s look now at common steps that occur in order to bring up the RankMath score that is provided by the plugin with every blog post edit.

  1. Set the focus keyword with RankMath. This enables the RankMath plugin to begin providing you with real-time analysis of the content and it’s SEO score on a 1-100 basis.
  2. Add at least 1 image with alt text that contains the focus keywords.
  3. Add at least 1 internal link to your SEO content. This is a link to the same domain, and it should be a “dofollow” link, and it should open in the same tab, in other words avoid any extra settings on this link and use the full URL. This is also a very practical way of giving your users another route to navigate your site to visit related content, it can also be presented as a call-to-action.
  4. Add at least 1 external link to your blog post. This should be a “dofollow” link, and should open directly (not in a different tab). RankMath will reward this step normally with somewhere between 3-5 points on the scoring, though it varies greatly based on the other optimization efforts you’ve already completed.
  5. Optimize the SEO title. This is often presented in a range of different optimization prompts in RankMath. These prompts can include adding a “sentiment keyword”, a “power word”, and the addition of a number to the title is often recommended as well. Optimization of the post title does not require doing everything suggested, but by doing enough of the options you can gain a positive score in this part of the analysis.
  6. Improve or alter the keyword density. It is often stated (rightly so) that search engines do not consider keyword density as valuable a ranking factor as it once was, yet it is still considered reasonably important. One key factor that RankMath actually checks for is over usage of the keyword focus which can be considered a blackhat tactic, or a negative ranking factor. Striking the right balance is what RankMath encourages you to do and gives you feedback on in it’s analysis.
  7. SEO blog WordPress optimization heavily factors in content length. If your seo content is under 600 words in length that will be flagged as a major problem and you’ll be prompted to get over that first milestone. This however is not the end all be all of content length, because crossing the next milestone of 1,000 words dramatically increases the content length score awarded to your blog post. You can go further, aiming for what is often called “evergreen content”, articles of sizeable length over 1,600 words. This is not vital to obtaining SEO rankings or the RankMath score, but it will improve the scoring provided by RankMath in this one area.
  8. For optimal SEO blog WordPress optimization we have to consider subheadings as important and specific elements. First it’s important to utilize subheadings, and if you’re using a table of contents plugin these subheadings will also be presented to users as a great navigation aide. Within the subheadings, your focus keyword has slightly greater impact and this is factored into the RankMath calculation of the SEO readiness score.
  9. Ensure your focus keyword(s) are unique, that you have not used them before. For most of us as content creators this is fairly automatic, but in some cases small businesses that have a narrower band of potential topics may find themselves landing on the same topic ideas over and over again. It’s important if this happens, that you check if RankMath detects prior use of the keyword focus. If you do accidentally find yourself working with a duplicated keyword focus, it’s worth rethinking that focus and a professional grade SEO software tool like SemRush can be invaluable in exploring other ideas for keyword targets.
seo wordpress blog optimization with technical analysis

Following through with your SEO blog WordPress optimization

What should you do once you have optimized your SEO blog WordPress posts? SEO is a process, and in the last step we looked at the process of getting there in terms of RankMath score. Of course RankMath score does not automatically translate into search engine rankings or traffic being driven to the site. One of the most pragmatic and important factors in any SEO program is tracking rankings.

Before we go there however, we need to think about publishing. With WordPress usually we write SEO content with the post set to “draft” status. Once we have it optimized, then it’s time to hit that publish button. Double-checking the front-end view to make sure images are rendering, that links work and other quality checks are all important parts of that step as well.

Now that our blog post is published and has a good RankMath score, let’s look at some of the tangible steps we can take to ensure we do generate positive results from our hard-earned optimizated content production.

  1. Add the keywords we’ve used in our SEO blog WordPress posts to our tracking software (such as SEMRush).
  2. Ask independent users to read the content and provide feedback on how the post reads. If it’s an instructive post, ask some of your testers to comment on what they learned and whether they could follow the instructions provided.
  3. Start thinking of how you can leverage the addition of more SEO blog WordPress content to spin-off additional articles. Having a nice long list of future topics is a great resource for any SEO content production team.

Long form evergreen content production

Thinking about writing really long form evergreen articles? How can you type so many words and still keep your sanity? Let’s refer back to one of the earlier points made in this article, write about things you care about! It helps a lot when you find a topic truly interesting.

This helps you conduct more research because there is a natural motivation to learn more about the topic and to explore it to a depth that you wouldn’t do if you found the topic mundane.

Don’t write about mundane things, be true to your own inspiration and follow that path. That being said, there are concrete methods you can use to expand articles from typical lengths of 1-2 thousand words to that favored long form 2,500+ word count.

It’s worth looking at the scores here from RankMath for content length:

  • 600+ words earns 20%.
  • 1,000+ words doubles the score for content length to 40%.
  • 1,500+ words increases the content length score to 60%.
  • 2,000+ words creates a smaller increase to 70%.
  • 2,500+ words is the final tier from RankMath’s perspective, and this triggers a 100% score for content length.

It’s worth pointing out here that RankMath’s content length scores do not necessarily crossover directly to search engine rankings. This is true of any analysis really, but it’s particularly true here because the RankMath real-time analysis of your content cannot take into account the relative strength or weakness of your competition for the keyword focus.

Relative strength of your competition for any given keyword focus is actually very important for you to be aware of. For this you’ll need to invest into powerful SEO analysis and tracking software. We recommend SEMRush, but there are other notable software suites available including Moz. We chose SEMRush and have no regrets because of it’s strong feature set.

The ability to view competitive factors can really help you avoid chasing after very competitive keywords. It can conversely help you identify niches where a relatively small amount of effort can earn strong rankings and a reasonable level of traffic. Fighting for the “very best” keywords is often the worst SEO strategy because it’s the digital equivalent of sending your army to immediately attack the best defended part of the enemy stronghold. Not a great idea, and definitely a good way to zap your resources.

Increasing content volume is partly about mindset. There is a certain mindset you need to get into when writing the content. You need to think about a broad spectrum of subtopics that branch off from the main topic. Whatever your focus keyword is, that’s the center of the mindmap if you want to picture it that way. Then what branches off of this is the subtopic tree. That tree may have a number of branches. And it’s in this breakdown to smaller subtopics that can greatly increase the “natural length” of your content article.

What too many writers try to do when they want to make evergreen content is simply adding more words. You won’t get where you want that way. If you just add more words you’re actually dissolving the strength of your ideas, it’s like mixing up instant coffee and you keep adding more and more water. Don’t drink instant coffee by the way, have some standards!

Just kidding, I love a rich cream cafe con leche made with instant expresso. It’s fine, I will defend that method. Just as I’ll defend the method of creating long form articles using subtopics. When you branch off, and then branch off again, you create natural length. This refers to length of content that comes about organically because you are actually exploring new and diverse ideas.

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SEO blog WordPress optimization qualitative analysis

SEO blog WordPress optimization with qualititative analysis is the addition of a higher level of skill to your program. By definition this type of analysis is about measure things that cannot be directly quantified, things that what is called subjective judgement.

An example of this is to place a quality metric on each of your WordPress blog posts. What is the right way to do this? The bad news is there isn’t a clear methodology to applying quality ratings to something as subjective as blog post quality. The good news is we are all capable of identifying quality once we’ve got a handle on what quality is and what we’re aiming for.

SEO blog WordPress posts should meet a range of relevant quality metrics. This includes basic story telling and communication factors like sticking to the central topic, expanding that topic to subtopics in a seamless manner, using short paragraphs for readability.

The RankMath scoring will actually help move you in the direction of reasonably good readability and general quality. What you can do to go one step farther, or even multiple steps farther, is to examine the actual impact of your blog posts. This is why we recommend having your blog posts read over by a testing audience made of users or other people who were never involved in the content creation.

SEO blog WordPress development factors

Most of the time, SEO blog WordPress optimization is about SEO, content production and to some extent is completely outside the world of web development, programming and other departments. Content production can, and often should operate separately and without interference or constant collaboration with developers. This is important if your development team costs a lot more than your content team, which is normally will. This all being said, there are times when it makes sense to think about front-end programming factors, web development factors and how coding can help to solve problems.

Take for instance using a table of contents plugin. This is a factor, although a small factor, in the RankMath scoring for SEO blog WordPress content posts. You can solve this with just a few minutes of work, by simply installing a completely free table of contents plugin. If you’re not entirely comfortable or able to install plugins on your WordPress site, this is good place to ask a developer to help.

They can do the install, and then continue with some configuration of the plugin to ensure it is functioning well and that it works well on the front-end. It’s always a good idea to utilize a developer and do testing on a staging site before adding any plugins to your live WordPress site on the production server.

Using generative AI to supplement your SEO blog WordPress content

Since the emergence of ChatGPT, generative AI has become a topic of constant conversation. This is very true on Twitter. It might be a bit less true at content production companies and agencies involved in SEO, but even there we are seeing the adoption and integration of generative AI into the content production process.

There are several good reasons to leverage an AI content production tool into your workflow. Remember that using ChatGPT doesn’t automatically mean allowing the generative AI tool to write your content for you. You can for example focus your AI usage on research only. You can also focus it on drafting content, where you still use your own humanity to apply that human touch to the content before you publish it.

Can ChatGPT save you time and dramatically increase your output? Yes and yes. The bottom line here is careful, selective use of generative AI can be a very good addition to your content production processes. More on this in future articles.

In closing, final word on SEO blog WordPress optimization

Thanks for reading this article to the end! This article is actually an example of a longer form type of blog post that SEO blog WordPress optimization recommends the most. RankMath has scored this article so far with 91 out of a possible 100 points. That’s not perfect, but it’s pretty good. No generative AI was used in the production of this blog post by the way. All research was done by humans, and in fact the author used mainly the memory of a very recent project that involved RankMath optimizations of many dozen blog posts.

If you’ve enjoyed this content and want more, please leave us a comment below or head over to the contact page and drop us a line of encouragement or a request for a topic to cover here in the official SaberWP blog!

Casey Milne

Founder of SaberWP. PHP Programmer for the past 20-years.