The Most Common Mistakes You Make Creating SEO-Friendly WordPress Site
Generally, when using WordPress to create a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) friendly website, it’s a straightforward process. However, you can make mistakes during the process of optimizing your WordPress site for search engines without even realizing it.
With that in mind, we’ll consider some of the most common WordPress SEO mistakes and ways to avoid them.
Not Optimizing Your Permalinks Properly
A well-optimized permalink indicates your site’s relevance to search engines and gives your visitors an idea of what your page entails. You must give some thought to your permalinks before setting it up, so you don’t need to change it often. Once it’s a must that you alter a permalink, search engines won’t pick up your posts because they’ve indexed the old permalink. The visitors directed to your page via their search engines will run into the infamous 404 error message.
To avoid this common mistake, you can set your post name or page name as your permalink under Settings > Permalinks. Another vital tip when setting your permalink structure is to include the specific keywords you are targeting. But when considering adding a date to your permalink, it might be a good idea for the short term. Since people will typically give priority to posts with recent periods. As the content gets older, its SEO relevancy might drop. An example of setting up a structured permalink for a paper writing reviews website like Online Writers Rating should look like this:
As opposed to this:
Failure to Carry Out Required Website Updates
WordPress isn’t a CMS where you create your website or build your blog and assume you’re done. Between all the plug-ins and themes on WordPress, there’re several updates you need to do. And it cannot be easy keeping track of all these updates. More so, when it doesn’t feel like they are required because the site is working smoothly.
However, when you fail to carry out these required updates, it leaves your website open to hackers, a possible site crash or defacement, loss of vital information, etc. Understandably, most WordPress websites or blog owners are skeptical about updates because they mess up their settings and cause possible file loss. Before carrying out any updates, make sure you backup your WordPress site. Ultimately there are more benefits in carrying out an update that can help fix bugs and security issues.
Having Several Plug-ins
There are over 55 000 WordPress plug-ins in the market you can install. Thus, it might become too tempting to install several of them, including those you do not need. When this happens, it immediately slows down your site and reduces its SEO quality. Remember that these plug-ins also require frequent updates.
To avoid this common mistake of installing several WordPress plug-ins, carefully evaluate your need for the plug-in before installing it. Additionally, installing a single plug-in can also affect your entire website. Such plug-ins don’t have vendor support, are sometimes too heavy for your site, haven’t been updated in a long time, etc.
So it’s best not to install these plug-ins, and if you already have, you can simply uninstall them. Therefore, aside from the number of plug-ins installed, you should also be mindful of the kind you add to your site.
Poor Page Categorization and Tagging
Another common mistake you might make while creating an SEO-friendly website is to add too many categories and tags on your web page. You need to select them for each page precisely. For the tags, you can work with a limit of less than 50, and for the categories, it can be less than 10.
It helps to keep things simple on each of your WordPress pages. I will recommend that you use one category for each post and include a few relevant tags. In this way, you can produce taxonomies that are contextually relevant and fit for high SEO rankings. For example, if I’m looking for sites that offer professional writing services such as Best Writers Online, my search words might include “cheap essay writing services” or “best term paper writing services.” Here, the category remains writing services, while the tags could be best, cheap, essay, term paper, etc.
Poorly Structured Headers
The words used within your header tags often carry more weight than those within your site’s main content. What happens is that most web developers are so engrossed in creating SEO-Friendly content within the website that they forget to develop equally excellent headers. To avoid this common mistake, you must add relevant keywords within your headers and structure them appropriately.
Here are a few tips you can apply when checking your header tags:
- Your home page should carry the <h1> tag as your site name.
- While the <h1> tag should be the headline (i.e., of the post or page) on the other pages on your website
With this, your homepage gets a better chance to increase your site’s name search ranking. And the remaining pages have the best chance of ranking in linw with the specific topics they address.
Deleting Content in the Wrong Manner
Sometimes you might need to delete a post or page on your WordPress site or blog when it’s no longer relevant. It makes good sense to remove such pages or posts. But the challenge arises when they aren’t properly removed. Considering that search engines have indexed your site, content not well deleted will pull up a 404 pages error message.
If you wish to delete a page completely, ensure that you send the correct HTTP header: a ‘410 content deleted’ header. It should not be mistaken with a 404 header. The difference being that, while 404 indicates “content not found.” 410 specifically means “content deleted.” A URL that returns a 410 lets the search engine know for sure that you’ve removed the URL deliberately. Therefore, the URL of the page is then removed from its index immediately.
If your site isn’t functioning as well as it should, it is most likely a result of some mistakes made when you’re creating SEO-friendly content for your WordPress website. You’ll need to take a thorough review of your site to check what common mistakes you might be making and apply the solutions provided in this post. Remember to stick to best practices to improve your site’s search rankings and return on investments.