Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a crucial part of any WordPress website’s digital marketing strategy. SEO depends on hundreds of different factors, but some factors carry a lot more weight than others. This means that simply avoiding a few common mistakes when building and maintaining a WordPress website can go a long way towards improving your search engine ranking and making sure that you appear near the top of the search engine results for relevant keywords.
With this in mind, we’ve put together a short list of the most common WordPress SEO mistakes and the best ways to avoid them. They include:
Ignoring Meta Titles & Descriptions
Meta titles and meta descriptions never appear on your website design, so you might be excused for thinking that they aren’t important and ignoring them. However, to do so would be a very bad idea.
Both meta titles and meta tags play key roles in your website’s SEO score, and it’s very important to customise them for every single new page you publish. Try and write rich descriptions with keywords and a short summary of a page’s content, and make titles catchy and clickable.
A lot of people base their new website on a competitor’s site, especially if you’re working in tight niche. While this can work in your favour if you do it well, it’s important to make sure that you don’t duplicate someone else’s content, otherwise you will receive significant SEO penalties.Make sure that every single piece of writing on your website is completely customised to prevent any SEO penalties or red flags.
Using Too Many Plugins
Now, don’t get me wrong – plugins are great! However, it is possible to use too many. Most WordPress plugins are resource intensive, and they can slow your website down a lot if you’re not careful. A slow website will perform poorly from a SEO perspective, so it’s important to make sure that you only use plugins that are relevant and useful.
Failing To Submit An XML Sitemap
Using an XML sitemap is a great way to tell search engine crawlers exactly what parts of your website they should and shouldn’t look at. They are basically a list of every single piece of content – pages, posts, images, videos and more – contained within your website, and submitting one to the major search engines will make sure that your whole website is indexed properly.
Not Compressing Images
Like using too many plugins, failing to compress your images can significantly impact your website’s SEO score. Large image files take a lot of resources to render and load, and this can slow your site down a lot. Make sure that you either manually compress your images or use a compressing tool.
There’s no excuse for making simple SEO mistakes, even if you’re a complete web development newbie. There are literally thousands of different websites and other resources out there to help you get started with SEO, so use them and make the most of your WordPress site!