The 411 on WordPress SEO: Tools to Optimize Your Site

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important aspect of website development. SEO exists as a form of best practices meant to increase your ranking in search results from engines like Google. In turn, this helps prospective customers, fans, and followers find your website.

Once your WordPress.com website is up and running, you might want to consider enhancing its SEO, but there are also a variety of WordPress SEO tools that you already have access to (on top of the free ones that can be found across the internet). All of these resources can help you assess and improve your current SEO practices, which will enable you to improve your website’s search ranking.

WordPress.com’s built-in SEO tools

By hosting your website on WordPress.com, you’ve given yourself a leg up on SEO.

According to Matt Cutts, the former head of Google’s web spam team, WordPress takes care of 80 – 90 percent of SEO mechanics for you. This includes key features like mobile-friendly layouts and GoogleBot crawling.

All WordPress.com websites also include detailed statistics powered by Jetpack, which allows you to extract insights about your site visitors. Within your site dashboard, you’ll find data on how many site views and unique visitors you receive per day, where your visitors are coming from, what pages they previously visited, any links that they clicked on, and more.

WordPress.com’s expanded SEO toolkit

If you upgrade to a WordPress.com Business plan, you’ll have access to even more helpful SEO tools. With the Business plan, you’ll be able to customize your site’s front page meta descriptions, blog post meta descriptions, title formats, and search engine and social media previews.

A WordPress.com Business plan also offers access to hundreds of WordPress plugins, many of which improve your site’s SEO. Some popular SEO plugins include:

  • Yoast, which gives you advanced XML sitemap functionality, control over site breadcrumbs, templates for title and meta descriptions, and more.
  • All in One SEO Pack, which provides XML sitemap support, Google Analytics support, advanced canonical URLs, automatic title optimization and meta tag generation, and more.
  • Google Analytics, which includes advanced SEO features to complement WordPress.com stats, such as goal conversions and visitor site paths.

When used correctly, these tools can improve your website’s search ranking, driving even more potential followers and customers to your site.

The best free SEO tools on the internet

There are multiple factors that contribute to SEO, including keywords, website speed, click-through and bounce rates, and inbound links. If you want to assess your website for how well it’s performing based on these factors, there are a variety of online SEO tools that can help (many of which are available for free).

For example, SEMRush tracks your website’s ranking on specific keywords. With the free plan, you can track up to ten keywords and see how you rank compared to other websites in your niche. You can also use SEMRush to analyze your site’s backlinks (when one website links to another).

SEMRush free SEO tools for WordPress.com

Another helpful tool is GTmetrix, which analyzes your website’s loading speed for free. In addition to providing you with a speed rating, it details any of your site’s problem areas and recommends ways to improve your score.

GTmetrix free SEO tools for WordPress.com

Combine tools to grow your site

No matter which aspect of WordPress SEO you want to improve or analyze, you can likely find a free tool online to help you do so. Using online tools in conjunction with those built into WordPress.com can position you to effectively analyze and improve your search engine ranking.

Thousands of small businesses and online stores call WordPress.com home.

Whether you’re looking to promote your business or share your story, we have a plan that’s right for you.

Create your own website

Camryn Rabideau

Camryn Rabideau is freelance writer specializing in digital lifestyle content, ranging from pop culture to smart home technology. Camryn has contributed to popular media sites such as InStyle, Taste of Home, Martha Stewart, Food52, USA Today, The Spruce and more.

More by Camryn Rabideau