There is this general belief that WordPress is perfect for SEO without you having to do anything about it. That is not actually the case. While the platform allows you to do anything from a search engine optimization point of view, it is by no means perfect. If you just believe that you click Publish and all is perfect, you are wrong and your SERP ranking are a lot lower than they could be.
Let us go through some really common WordPress SEO mistakes that so many people make these days. There is a strong possibility that you make one right now so go through all points. Also, remember to share your experience to help out. More on that below.
1. NO XML Sitemap
Even Google tells us that the sitemap helps them to discover those pages that the search engine would not know about in another way.
Every single SEO specialist knows that he/she cannot trust rumors but when Google says something, it needs to be properly analyzed. The situation in this case is really simple. Since Google tells you that it needs the sitemaps, you should add a sitemap.
Besides this, the sitemap will also offer a lot of information about your site. For instance, it includes information about how often posts or pages are updated together with media type specifics like video running time. If you just now launched your WordPress blog, the sitemap will help the search engine to index all pages and discover them in a really short period of time. Choose one of the top Sitemap Generator plugins available and install it now. Using one is really easy and you will love the choice that you made as indexing becomes almost instant.
2. Improper Tagging And Categories
Proper use of tags and categories will help the visitor to find the information that is needed but also offer a huge SEO on-site advantage. Google does not actually rank the tag or category pages in theory but if you conduct a specific search, you will notice that some category or tag pages are actually ranking better than some regular posts.
The problem with categories and tagging is that it is so easy to end up with duplicate content. That happens when you use too many tags or categories and there are not many posts or just one post included in those new pages. Some specialists will tell you to use the SEO Plugins like SEO Ultimate to simply add the NoFollow attribute to tag and category links. That does solve duplicate content problems but it does not help you to gain the possible benefits. Plan your categories like the contents of a book and the tags as an index.
3. Canon URL Problems
You need to basically tell the search engine what to rank and index. You do not want the search engine to choose different instances of an exact page. In this case you end up with that duplicate content problem. Offer canonical URLs as this is a very good idea. To put it as simple as possible, this is done like this:
- Highlight how your main site is presented (domain.com or www.domain.com)
- Use Google Webmaster Tools in order to let Google know what you use (the sitemap can easily help with that)
- Use plugins like the above mentioned SEO Ultimate to make sure that the URLs are properly defined.
4. No Google Plus Authorship Optimization
Google Plus is more important than Twitter and YouTube when referring to social networks. Facebook is the only one that is stronger. There is this general belief even between some SEO specialists that Google Plus Authorship is not important. That is definitely not the case.
Even if the Authorship program does not help you increase SERP, it will increase clickthrough rates. It has been proven that the increase is substantial and that basically brings in more traffic to your website. See how you can verify authorship through this tutorial.
5. Slow WordPress Loading Time
This is a factor that is rarely taken into account. You need to understand that simply because your site loads fast in your browser does not mean that it is so for others. Use the Pingdom Test Tool to see how your site’s loading speed ranks when referring to all other sites tested so far.
Many problems can cause slow loading times. In most cases we are faced with one of the following problems:
- Too many plugins used – just use those that you need
- Badly customized WordPress theme – use another one
- Improper web hosting – consider professionally managed servers if you do not have technical knowledge
- Not optimizing images used in posts or in the theme
6. Improper SERP Optimization
This is also connected to SERP clickthrough rates. Every single post should be optimized in order to achieve a suitable clickthrough rate. You need to think about the following two aspects at all times:
- Meta Title – this highlights the headline that appears in SERP
- Meta Description – in many situations Google will use this description instead of a post excerpt
Once again, an SEO plugin can be used in order to optimize these two elements. Since you would surely end up using one, make sure that you read the documentation of the plugin so that you can learn all that the plugin offers. There are many others that are available besides what we mentioned and choosing one to use for your WordPress blog is something that is subjective.
What Other Mistakes Did You Do In The Past?
We would love to hear from your experience. It is normal to make mistakes and we can all help each other by sharing tips. The mistakes that we mentioned above are really common but so many others are made on a constant basis. Tell us what you learned from mistakes you did and how that impacted your business. You will surely help out everyone that reads your comments.