How to use WordPress hooks to improve Technical SEO

How to use WordPress Hooks to improve Technical SEO.

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WordPress is the most popular and user-friendly platform for starting a website or blog.  Over 43 percent of all websites run on WordPress. It powers more than one in four of the websites you visit. 

WordPress is free and open-source software that can be used or modified by anybody. The GPLv2 licence governs the software’s distribution and use. A content management system (CMS) is software that allows non-technical users to easily update and modify a website’s most crucial features, such as its content, without the need to learn how to code. Because of this, WordPress allows non-developers to create websites with relative ease. 

Building a website with WordPress (WP) is inexpensive because of the large support community and the abundance of available free plugins. 

However, use of plugins does not come without a price. Your site’s Core Web Vitals score may drop if you use plugins, which frequently do not add any value to the user experience and can cause issues like the constant loading of unused CSS and JS files. You may either pay a developer to do it for you, get a paid plugin, or start learning how to do it yourself. There’s also the option of a hybrid approach, when you use a combination of custom coding and plugins to address your problems. 

Let me walk you through the basics of hooks and then the most important WordPress hooks that can help you enhance the technical seo of your website. 

What are WordPress hooks? 

Hooks allow one piece of code to interact with and alter another at, predetermined points in both pieces of code. They form the backbone of the communication between WordPress Core and plugins and themes and are heavily utilised by Core itself. 

Because of WordPress hooks, themes and plugins can be updated without worrying about breaking any specific alterations made to the CMS, which is a huge time saver and gives developer a potent tool for modifying and expanding WordPress’s core features and capabilities. 

Hooks are of two types: (1) Action hooks and (2) Filter hooks 

  1. Action hooks 

In WordPress, an Action is a hook that allows you to perform some tasks when WordPress is activated. This can involve anything from sending a Tweet whenever a post is published to building a widget whenever WordPress is initialised. 

  1. Filter hooks: 

Filter hooks in WordPress make it possible for plugins to dynamically alter a wide range of internal data. A plugin’s ability to alter data is achieved by connecting a call-back to a filter hook. Each bound call-back is then called in order of priority when the filter is applied, giving it the opportunity to affect a value by returning a modified version of that value. 

It’s possible to use several hooks to improve Technical SEO goals. Here are a few suggestions about where to get started. 

Use Caching Plugins 

By temporarily storing frequently visited material in a cache, caching plugins can help speed up your website. This can aid in lowering the time it takes for your website to load, which is a consideration in search engine optimisation. Caching plugins, such as WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache, can be integrated with the help of hooks. 

Track your Website’s Performance 

Tracking your website’s performance after making these changes is essential for determining whether they were successful. Keep an eye on your website’s load speed and performance with the use of tools like Google Page Speed Insights, GT Metrix, or Pingdom. 

Better Optimise your Pictures. 

Images play a vital role on your site, but they can also cause it to take longer to load. To make your photographs more visible in search results, use “hooks.” With the add_image_size method, for instance, you can generate various image sizes for various devices, thereby decreasing the amount of data that must be loaded. 

wp_head:  

You can add code to your website’s header using this hook. This is helpful if you want to add Meta tags, Google Analytics tracking code, and other code snippets to each page of your website. 

wp_footer:  

You can add code to your website’s footer using this hook. This is helpful for including structured data or schema mark-up. 

the_content:  

You can edit the content of your posts and pages using this hook. This hook can help you increase readability, add keywords, and SEO-optimize your material. 

wp_enqueue_scripts: 

To avoid loading superfluous CSS or JS files on webpages, use this event hook. 

Over 5 million people use the free Contact Form 7 plugin, which loads CSS and JS files on all sites. 

To prevent other pages from loading CF7 CSS and JS files, add this code to your contact page’s header. 

Our modification executes last in the queue because the action hook priority is 99. 

The CF7 enqueue perform utilises precedence 20, thus setting it to 10 won’t work. To keep yours running, prioritise it. 

script_loader_tag: 

Render-blocking resources can be solved by deferring or async loading JavaScript tags. It improves FCP and LCP. 

This filter action filters the HTML output of script tags, which you need to async or defer load your theme or plugin’s JS/CSS files. 

As described in inspect element, this filter takes two arguments: HTML tag and script handle. 

The handle lets you load scripts async or deferred. 

Defer or async load? Check the browser console for JS faults. If you find JS issues, you may need to hire a developer to repair them. 

template_redirect: 

This action hook is called before choosing a template. It changes response HTTP status codes. 

Your internal search query pages may have spammy backlinks with strange characters and patterns. 

ChatGPT is a wonderful tool for non-developers to generate regular expression conditions for if/else situations based on GSC spam patterns. 

Wrapping up: 

Because of their general purpose, plugins aren’t always tailor-made to meet your individual requirements. 

One of the best things about WordPress is how easily its core can be modified with only a few lines of code. 

Though our focus here was on action hooks that may be used to improve technical SEO, WordPress has a wealth of them that can be explored and used to accomplish just about whatever you want, with only a few plugins. 

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