Here at Cloudways, we see tons of valuable info about the technical side of WordPress. We learn how to fix bugs, protect websites from DDoS attacks, and troubleshoot WordPress errors.
But don’t you get the feeling we’re missing something?
Technically perfect, our WordPress website still needs stellar content for users to click, visit, read, and follow it.
This article is a detailed guide on how to format WordPress posts for better visibility, SEO, and more clicks. Step-by-step instructions and a checklist will save your time on content creation and help make it more actionable for the audience to follow.
So, here we go!
Why Bother with WordPress Content Editing?
Nothing personal, just numbers!
WordPress is the #1 content management system now: It holds 65% of the CMS market and powers 43% of all websites. Just think about it! Over 455 million websites use WordPress, with around 1.4 million content assets published daily!
How do you plan to make your content stand out in this depth?
The competition is incredible. Content shock and short attention span make users super picky about what they click and read online. Webmasters understand they need to focus on top writing ideas and advanced content optimization techniques for their WordPress pages to be worth noticing.
What are those optimization techniques? How to edit WordPress pages in the admin panel for more users to see and like them?
Keep reading to reveal all the secrets.
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How to Format WordPress Posts for Better Visibility?
The more optimized your WordPress content, the more likely search engines and users will find it. Go beyond <title> and <description> tags to boost visibility and get your website in front of more eyes.
Below are the tricks for editing WordPress articles and driving traffic with proper content optimization.
1. Use Headline Formulas Backed by Psychology
Headings help search engines and users understand the content and guess what this or that WordPress page will have. They also work for better formatting, for users to see which part of the content is essential and how it relates to other content blocks.
According to the advertising guru David Ogilvy, only two out of ten people read your content; others don’t go beyond headlines. Your task is to craft content headlines so that they hook users and encourage them to continue investigating your WordPress page.
For that, it would help to understand the psychology behind clickable headlines and use proven headline formulas:
- 36% of people prefer list-based headlines, so craft titles accordingly.
- Write power words in headlines: add beneficial adjectives, address emotions (curiosity, fear of missing out) and pain points of your target audience, and promise easy ways to solve their problems.
- Remember to mention your target keywords in headings: The basic rule of on-page SEO for engines to show and rank your content accordingly.
2. Publish Content Types That Convert Best
Specialists working with web content know how critical its quality is for visibility, website traffic, and lead generation. If you want more people to see, click, and read your WordPress article, it’s worth focusing on what you publish and whether your page content is well-written and informative enough.
The trick is that certain content types attract more users, thus boosting traffic and conversion:
For example, 80% of users prefer watching videos to reading text, so why not consider publishing videos on your WordPress website? The human brain loves lists, so do your best to publish this content type, either.
How-to publications are among the most shared content types on social media. You may also want to consider roundups with experts (people enjoy reading insights), long-form content (ultimate guides or ebooks) on evergreen topics in your niche, and visual content like infographics or webinars.
3. Consider Intro Formulas That Work
Okay, say you’ve engaged users with your WordPress content type and headline. Now what? How to motivate them to keep reading rather than leave your page and hurt your website’s behavioral factors and overall performance?
Ensure your content introductions rock!
While a headline hooks users and encourages them to click, an introductory paragraph makes them decide whether they are at the right place and if it’s worth staying on the page to learn more. Remember about a short attention span — you have eight seconds to grab their attention — and craft intros accordingly:
- Make them short.
- Ensure they are clear and concrete (provide the info about what users will see in your article).
- Follow the rules of web writing: short sentences, paragraphs, and transitional phrases to evoke curiosity and keep users glued to the page.
A well-known SEO expert Brian Dean developed two methods for writing content introductions: APP (agree, promise, preview) and PPB (preview, proof, bridge). Both methods work:
They let you keep introductions concise, straightforward, and appealing to the reader. Both are quick and easy to read for users to understand if the content is worth finishing.
For example, the introduction of the article you’re reading now follows the APP formula:
The longer a user stays on your WordPress page, the better its behavioral factors become (lower bounce rate, higher dwell time) for search engines to rank it higher. As a result, more people will see and click on it to bring you more traffic.
4. Check Content Readability
Online reading is 25% slower than print, and users read only 20-28% of the words on a site. You need to encourage them to stay on your WordPress page longer: Make your content more comfortable for them to read.
- Add a table of contents after the introduction. It works as an outline of your article, allowing users to see if it contains the information they’d like to check.
- Use short paragraphs. Break your text into 3-4 line paragraphs to improve the readability. It’s uncomfortable for online readers to consume the wall of text, so they get frustrated and leave a page when a webmaster ignores the formatting.
- Consider a font size and white spacing. Too small fonts (12px or less) are hard to read, so ensure you use at least 14px for WordPress content. Some experts insist we need a 16px font minimum for text-heavy pages, but the size itself doesn’t make content easy to read: A line height, length, and white space also matter.
White space is the space around and between the content, making it look more legible. When editing WordPress articles, add an extra blank row after headings, leave space between each paragraph, and provide room around the post edges.
- Use lists and bullet points; bold core statements. We scan, not read online, and these formatting tricks allow you to transform a text into an easy-to-scan piece with a focus on critical information users won’t miss.
- Include a post’s reading time. Thus, you help users understand if they can read it right away or save it for later. It’s easy to add this feature with WordPress plugins like Reading Time.
5. Think of Custom Visuals With Captions
We know images and other visual contents are critical to include in WordPress articles for better visibility and engagement.
But there’s a catch!
Stock imagery doesn’t bring any results. Too many websites use the same pictures from free image resources, and yours won’t stand out from this crowd if you do the same.
Your visuals should be original and 100% relevant to the page topic. Feel free to customize visuals via graphic design tools for better user experience and higher engagement.
There are plenty of free and paid graphic design tools that can help you with this job, such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Procreate, etc. Although adobe software is industry standard, if you want to add a more professional touch to your visuals, Procreate might be your choice. In Procreate, you can draw with digital brushes, just like traditional artist draw with physical ones to create beautiful, eye-appealing visuals. Brushes are usually free, but the best-quality ones sometimes require paying for them. But have no worries, there are plenty of sources on the web where you can find free brushes for procreate in 2023.
Optimize an image file size before uploading it to WordPress. Otherwise, the page loading time will suffer, which is crucial for user experience and your website’s overall rankings.
If necessary, resize visuals according to the maximum image width on your website. As a WordPress user, you can download a plugin for image resizing: enable it, choose the size you need — and that’s it!
Besides resizing, you may also need to compress images, i.e., minimize their file sizes without sacrificing the quality. Consider tools like TinyPNG or ImageOptim, or download the WordPress corresponding plugin — Smush!
One more thing!
Remember about image SEO: Proper optimization will help you get visuals indexed and ranked high, thus driving more traffic to your WordPress website.
6. Avoid Content Usability Blunders
Usability blunders make it challenging for users to scan your WordPress content: right alignment, wrong color-contrast ratio, large text fields, complex text structure, hard-to-see subheads, no paragraphs, etc.
When formatting your articles in the admin panel, do your best to avoid them:
- Left-align your texts to minimize spacing between words.
- Consider the color combination between the text and page background: Adjust your site for no less than a 5:1 color-contrast ratio.
- Be mindful about spacing around subheads: Make it clear for readers which section a paragraph belongs to by using a wider spacing before a subhead than after it.
- Use simple text structure: The simpler, the better; Title-H2-H2 is optimal, and Title-H2-H3-H3-H2 also works, but more than a four-level structure will be too heavy.
7. Remember About SEO
When you start a website, you can’t ignore SEO: the more optimized your WordPress content, the more likely search engines and users will find it.
First and foremost, ensure your WordPress theme is mobile-friendly and responsive. In 2022, you can’t ignore mobile optimization: Over 50% of web traffic comes from mobile, and you don’t want to lose such a broad audience, do you?
The site tester by Google will help you get recommendations on what to improve, if anything.
Then, pay attention to on-page optimization.
Let’s leave alone the stuff with a focus keyword, <title>, <description>, and <alt> tags for better SEO. We bet you already know it, given that so many corresponding plugins can help you see what else to improve for better optimization.
Here goes something else you may want to do for WordPress pages’ better visibility:
Optimize content for Google Snippets, aka Position 0 in SERPs.
- Add an <div> element with an id attribute (like <div id=”featured-snippet”>text</div> to definitions or step-by-step lists in your content.
- Optimize your content for common questions.
- Incorporate a FAQ section into the content.
Finally, pay attention to the URL of your page:
Ensure it’s short, descriptive, and contains a target keyword. Please, do not include special characters or dates, as they make URLs look unnecessarily long. To optimize an URL, feel free to edit the default permalink structure when crafting your page on the admin panel.
There are also a number of SEO-related plugins available to help you boost your on-page optimization like YOAST.
Checklist for Editing WordPress Content
Now that you know how to edit WordPress articles for better visibility, it’s time to recap everything in a checklist:
- Write headlines that invite users to click.
- Publish content formats most users love investigating.
- Format introduction paragraphs for better clarity.
- Consider readability: short paragraphs, white space, table of contents, font size, lists and bullet points, etc.
- Use custom images and optimize them for better load time and site speed.
- Avoid usability blunders: color-contrast ratio, left align, simple text structure, spacing between subheads — everything matters here.
- Remember about SEO: Make your website mobile-friendly, optimize for Google Snippets, and do not ignore WordPress SEO fundamentals — corresponding plugins will help you check and improve them.
Also check out why WordPress users prefer Cloudways to host their content.
And now, over to you!
Do you consider such precise content editing and formatting when working with your WordPress website? Do you have any tips for content optimization we didn’t mention here? Please share your thoughts and questions in the comments.
Note: This article was published in collaboration with Lesley Vos. She has been in web content creation since 2010 and is now a regular contributor to publications on academic writing, content marketing, and SEO.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How do I optimize my WordPress blog posts?
There are a few basics that you should always remember while optimizing your WordPress blog posts.
- Use keywords in your headings
- Create proper structure (heading tags)
- Use action verbs
- Optimize your media files
- Interlink your articles
- Add meta title and description
- Write in a reader-friendly tone
- Use categories and tags
Q. How do you write a new post on WordPress?
Log in to your WordPress admin, go to Dashboard → Post → Add New. You can start with writing your post title and then the content body of your post. Make sure to preview your post before publishing it.
Passionate about technology, entrepreneurship, and marketing, Mansoor Ahmed Khan is in computing since he knows how to type on a keyboard. His daily life is rocked by his family, projects, and his screen. Probably in this order, he likes to be convinced at least. You can reach out to him at [email protected].