Bringing traffic to your website isn’t as easy as waiting around for the right people to show up. To get them to come to you, you need to make sure your site shows up in the places they’re looking — like search engines.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a technical term for tactics that you can use to attract more readers, clients, or customers from search engines. SEO is usually thought of as a complicated, time-consuming series of tasks, but with the right tools it’s well within your reach.
With Jetpack, you can optimize your WordPress site for search engines… and do it in less time than it takes to brew a cup of coffee. Here’s how.
Double-check on your XML sitemap
Search engines like Google and Bing rely on several signals sent by individual websites to determine how highly to rank them, both overall and against their competitors.
One of those ranking signals is a sitemap — essentially, a list of all the pages contained by an individual site. Sitemaps help search engines understand what your site contains, and how each page is connected (whether it’s by links, a menu, or products in the same category).
When you install Jetpack, it automatically generates two sitemaps for you: one standard XML sitemap, usable by most search engines, and a second sitemap built specifically for Google News.
You don’t need to do anything to get this SEO tool other than installing Jetpack. But if you want to double-check that your standard sitemap is working properly, add
/sitemap.xml to the end of your site’s URL. You should see something like this:
You can learn more about sitemaps and how they’re used on this page.
Get faster-loading images with the Jetpack CDN
Search engines rank faster sites higher because those sites create a better experience for visitors. According to Google’s Webmaster Central Blog:
Faster sites create happy users, and we’ve seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there.
Images are among the most common causes of long load times, whether that’s large images, or multiple images on a single page. The long wait for these files can cause visitor frustration, which leads to a higher rate of people “bouncing” from your site — that is, leaving. And search engines use that bounce rate, among other factors, to determine how well your site ranks.
Fortunately, there’s a solution built right into Jetpack that makes serving SEO-friendly images a breeze: the image content delivery network (or CDN).
Jetpack’s image CDN automatically hosts all of your images on global servers configured to deliver content quickly. When a visitor views your site, the images are served from the location closest to them, and at speeds faster than you can usually get from your host.
You can activate the CDN by going to Settings → Writing→ Media and turning on Speed up images and photos. After that, there’s nothing else you have to do: upload and manage all your images through the WordPress Media Gallery like you usually would. Jetpack handles all the optimizing and image delivery for you behind the scenes.
Automatically filter out spammy content
Another one of the factors search engine algorithms take into consideration is spammy content, like auto-generated comments or links to harmful websites.
Spammers may leave link- or keyword-filled comments on your site in an attempt to direct more traffic to their sites (and boost their own SEO). And with enough spam, your site’s rankings could take a hit, through no fault of your own.
The solution is to activate automatic spam filtering. Jetpack will monitor all your posted comments for anything that resembles spam. Spam comments will be held in a queue for review (if you choose), while real, non-spam comments will be treated normally.
This doesn’t just help your site’s reputation — it may also save you a ton of time. Heavily-trafficked sites can get hundreds or even thousands of spam comments a day. Manually reviewing and deleting those comments is a full-time job. With Jetpack, you don’t even have to think about it: just switch on the filter and get peace of mind.
Automatic spam filtering is available to customers with a Jetpack Personal plan or above, starting at just $3.50 per month. As soon as you purchase a plan, we’ll begin filtering spam for you on the spot — there’s nothing else you have to do.
Create and customize your site’s meta description
SEO is partially based on what search engine algorithms think of your site — how fast it loads, how well the pages are linked together — but it’s also based on how real people interact with it.
Meta descriptions are manually written descriptions of websites or individual pages, and they can make visitors more likely to click over to a site. If a great meta description leads to a lot of clicks, that particular site may start to rank better. If the description is inaccurate and most visitors leave, a site’s rankings may start to slip.
Our Professional plan customers can add a custom meta description to their site using Jetpack. This meta description can be used to describe what your site is about, why someone should click through, or what you’re selling.
To customize your site’s meta description, go to Settings → SEO in Jetpack. You can also customize the meta description of individual posts by looking for the SEO Description box while using the editor.
Read more about customizing your meta descriptions, plus creating custom titles for your posts and pages, on this SEO Tools page.
If you optimize it, they will come
Make no mistake: search engine optimization isn’t always easy. There’s plenty of competition out there, and many factors to consider when you try to improve your rankings.
But with Jetpack, you can take a lot of the difficulty out of SEO for your WordPress site with just a few minutes of work. By enabling an image CDN, enabling spam filtering, or writing a meta description, you can boost your rankings and, over time, your traffic.
We hope this look into some of Jetpack’s built-in SEO tools has proved useful to you! If you have any questions, let us know by leaving a comment below.
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