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How to Use WordPress Hooks to Improve Technical SEO

  • WordPress hooks, such as filter hooks and action hooks, can significantly enhance the technical SEO of your website. 
  • Choosing the right SEO plugin (Rank Math, Yoast SEO, All in One SEO) is an important initial step to streamline your SEO efforts. 
  • Leveraging specific WordPress hooks can help with tasks like adding metadata, modifying content, optimizing images and managing SEO tasks more efficiently.

As website owners, you should understand the technical aspects of SEO, particularly when trying to improve your website’s rank on search engines. If you’re using WordPress, it’s not as complicated as you might think.

However, installing plugins, a common practice in WordPress, can sometimes have drawbacks. That’s why leveraging the right combination of plugins and hooks might help you optimize some parts of your site.

Read on to learn about the most popular WordPress hooks to improve your site’s technical SEO.

What Are Hooks in WordPress?

WordPress hooks enable developers to modify core functionality without changing core files. Hooks can be categorized into two types:

Filter Hooks

The hook filter function is used to modify the output of the function before it is displayed to the user in the browser. They take a piece of data and return a modified version so that you can customize WordPress components like posts, pages, dashboard widgets, and menus.

Simply put, they give you the flexibility to tweak and fine-tune the content and appearance of your site.

Action Hook

Unlike filter hooks, these codes don’t change data. Instead, they modify the default behaviour of a specific function. An action will allow developers to add their own code to specific points in the WordPress core components. 

Action hooks can be used to perform specific actions during a particular event. For example, you can add extra widgets or a menu to a page.

Choose the Right SEO Plugin

Before we start with specific hooks for improving technical SEO, you need to choose the right SEO plugin. Three popular options are:

Rank Math SEO

Rank Math has quickly gained the trust of top SEO professionals and has become one of the most recommended plugins for its purpose. It’s also the first SEO plugin to use AI (Artificial Intelligence). It is fully packed with core features such as:

  • Usage of AI to write SEO optimized content
  • Dynamic suggestions, recommendations and keywords
  • Smart Link suggestions
  • Super fast plugin optimized for various technologies

Yoast SEO

With over 5 million active installations, this comprehensive plugin offers a range of features that make optimizing your website for search engines a breeze. Key features include:

  • On-Page Optimization
  • XML Sitemaps
  • Title and Meta Description Management
  • Readability Analysis

All in One SEO Pack

This plugin delivers a comprehensive suite of features designed to enhance your SEO efforts. Here are the most important features:

  • XML Sitemap Generation
  • Social Media Integration
  • Advanced Canonical URLs
  • Schema Markup

While both plugins offer similar functions, Yoast SEO may be more beginner-friendly.

Appropriate Hooks for Your SEO Tasks

Now, let’s look at some helpful hooks for specific SEO tasks:

  • wp_head: This hook adds code to the head section of your WordPress site, such as the meta tags for search engines. You can use this hook to add metadata, Google Analytics tracking code, and structured data.
  • wp_footer: This action hook is called in the footer of your WordPress theme. It can be used to add JavaScript code or tracking pixels to track user behaviour or implement certain SEO optimizations.
  • the_content: This filter hook allows you to modify the content of your posts and pages before they are published. You can use this hook to add keywords or custom HTML, improve readability, change headings, or insert additional SEO elements into your content.
  • add_image_size: Images can slow down your website’s load time, so it’s important to optimize them. The add_image_size hook allows you to create different image sizes for different devices, reducing the amount of data that needs to be loaded.
  • pre_get_posts: This action hook is called before the main WordPress query is executed. You can use this hook to modify the query parameters and include or exclude certain posts or pages based on specific SEO criteria.
  • admin_init: This action hook is called when the WordPress admin area is initialized. You can use this hook to add custom functionality or SEO-related settings to the admin area, making it easier to manage SEO tasks.
  • Bonus: Caching plugins like WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache can speed up your website by storing frequently accessed data in a cache. You can use hooks to integrate caching plugins and improve your website’s load time.

Bottom Line

WordPress hooks are the perfect tools for improving your site’s technical SEO. You can harness the power of the right hooks and plugins to get your website right on top of those search engine rankings and gain more visibility.

Not only CanSpace Solutions is the perfect partner when it comes to hosting WordPress websites, if you have any questions or need assistance with setting up hooks to improve your technical SEO, our team is here to help. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to optimize your website’s potential. Contact us today to learn more!

CanSpace Team

CanSpace Solutions is Canada's leading domain name registrar and web hosting provider. Keep an eye on our blog for expert information on domain names, websites, and running a business online.