The Most common WordPress SEO mistakes
WordPress is a great platform for your business website. There are many rumours out there that WordPress is “good for SEO”. Maybe that means that WordPress is a clean and well structured platform that makes SEO easier?
- Using a “set it and forget it” SEO plugin
Many WordPress sites tend to use free SEO WordPress plugins that they just install, enter some basic keywords and figure SEO is taken care of. This is one of the biggest WordPress SEO mistakes people make.
We’d recommend installing a quality WordPress SEO plugin such as Yoast, and take the time to configure it correctly per page/post for best results.
- No sitemaps
A sitemap is extremely important for search engines to accurately “crawl” your website and find content on your site to index. You can either create a sitemap manually, or use free tools such as XML-Sitemaps and upload to your default WordPress directory. Alternatively, use one of the various WordPress plugins (such as Yoast) that include a sitemap generator.
The entire sitemap creation process, uploading and checking in Google Analytics takes around 5 minutes, so what’s your excuse for not having a valid sitemap?
- Poor categorization and tagging
Back to the point 1, it’s important to correctly set your Focus Keyword, SEO title and Meta description. Update your SEO Plugin to ensure it accurately conveys the SEO title and Keywords you wish to be associated with. Some of the “set and forget” SEO plugins just use the first paragraph of the page to automatically set your meta descriptions. This may not be optimal for your website.
- No canonical URLS
Google hates duplicate content! Most websites have a duplicate URL, such as www.evolocity.com.au and https://evolocity.com.au It’s important to identify the canonical URL that the page should point to, to avoid confusing Google’s crawl and being downranked. WordPress SEO plugins such as Yoast take care of this automatically (but it’s worth double checking).
- Not optimising how your pages look in SERPs
A search engine results page (SERP) is the snippet of information that’s displayed in the results page of a search. If left as default, the SERP snippet is auto generated. I’d suggest using a plugin such as Yoast (or similar) to check and manually correct the SERP snippet for each page/post.
- Little or No keyword research
Keyword research (both long and short) is the crux of Search Engine Optimisation. Ensure you spend the time to research the keywords for your business, as well as the search frequency and competition for those keywords. Google’s AdWords keyword planner is a great place to start your keyword research. Click the link to read about our guide to SEO Keyword research.
- Failing to create engaging content
As with most things in life, there are no shortcuts to success. If you want a good search engine rank and lots of organic traffic, create good content! It’s important to focus on engaging content creation such as blogs, infographics etc to attract visitors to your website. Blog regularly and engage visitors to increase search engine rankings.
- Using “Spammy” methods
As per above, some website use all kinds of tricks in attempt to increase their ranking. Paid links, cloaking, and stuffing keywords in order to rank higher will likely penalise your ranking in the search engine (or ban you from ranking altogether). Don’t artificially try to increase your web authority, It’s simply too risky.
From reading the above, you can probably guess that we use and recommend the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin. It’s intuitive, provides excellent guidance and overall does it’s job well.
Good SEO takes time. From the time taken to perform research, index your site, creating links and engaging content etc. It usually takes several months to improve your search engine ranking. Be patient and follow the advice above and you’re on the right track!
Contact us today to learn more.