WordPress SEO – Mistakes To Avoid
WordPress has some advantages over static sites which make WordPress SEO easier:
* Many settings apply site-wide and it is very easy to create and update pages/posts.
* You can use plugins to add virtually any functionality you can think of without any technical knowledge.
However, to maximise your WordPress SEO there are still mistakes to avoid:
Assuming WordPress is Search Engine Optimised “out of the box” – There are a number of aspects of a standard WordPress Installation that can be improved from a SEO point of view and these are best addressed at the outset.
Displaying unfriendly URLs – By default WordPress will give your pages and posts a number and display this in the URL. For WordPress SEO purposes you want to have your keyword in the URL, so you need to change the Permalinks to “/%postname%”. This will put all the words in the post/page title in the URL but you may need to edit this if the title is long. You can also get a plugin to remove common words.
Not Setting Meta Description – For WordPress SEO purposes you should manually write a good description for each page/post with the keyword near the beginning. There are a number of Plugins which provide the means to do this the best known being “All In One SEO Pack”. This also includes an option of auto-generating the description but this is not to be recommended as it is no better than leaving the search engines to pick an extract from the content.
Internal and External Linking – It is important for WordPress SEO that all your pages/posts contain internal links. All well as counting as links they help spread the benefit of backlinks around the site. It is also important to have external links to relevant authority sites but these can be made “no-follow”. There are plugins to help with both of these.
Allowing Duplicate Content – The structure of WordPress generates duplicate content as, for example, posts exist in their own right, under their category, under their tag, under their author and also by date. For WordPress SEO purposes it is a good idea to avoid the duplicate content being indexed. The All In One SEO plugin will take care of this if properly configured.
Not creating a Site Map – It is important for WordPress SEO to create a site map for the search engines and there are plugins to do this.
There are numerous other things you can do to improve WordPress SEO in small ways but one worth mentioning is caching. To prevent your site slowing when it gets busy installing a caching plugin is a good idea.
Having got the above right there are other mistakes to avoid for WordPress SEO:
Missing Legal Pages – Not having the necessary standard/legal pages with a link from each page/post (e.g. in the footer)
Poor On Page SEO – Not organising your page/post around a keyword such that it is clear to the search engines what it is about. In fact this is the most important aspect of WordPress SEO. Get this wrong and everything else is a waste of time. However you can also get a WordPress SEO plugin to help with this.