SEO WordPress

5 Common SEO mistakes to avoid in WordPress

Optimising your WordPress SEO is essential to get more visitors to your website. Unfortunately, most SEO how-to’s are too technical for new users to get started. In this article we will share some common SEO mistakes to avoid in WordPress.

1.  Overlooking site speed aka page speed

For search purposes, site speed directly impacts Google rankings. As it is an indicator for end user experience. Besides the UX-impact, a huge website with millions of pages, site speed can be what makes or kills a website in terms of SEO, because it seriously affects crawlers’ working efficiency. And unfortunately, most large websites have crawling issues.

Some tools to check your site speed:

Google’s PageSpeed Tools
Speed analysis of both desktop and mobile versions

Webpage Test
Provides waterfall charts that break down the content, check for Page Speed optimisation, with suggestions to improve site speed.

GTmetrix
Website speed and performance optimisation test. They even have a WordPress plugin you can install.

2. Completely ignoring SEO

Ignoring SEO altogether is the gravest mistake a WordPress site owner can make. Ignorance is not bliss, it may not be the most elegant part of setting up your website, it is a task you must complete.

New to SEO, or you simply need a refresher course, here are a few resources:

SEO: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

SEO Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide

The Insanely Powerful 2017 SEO Checklist

3. Not using an SEO plugin

WordPress does not come with SEO installed right out of the box. WordPress is amazing for SEO, if you set it up right. SEO plugins not only help you set up the basics for search engine optimisation, they also cover lots of complex SEO cases.

Some recommendations:

Yoast SEO
The most popular used SEO plugin for WordPress. It’s a free plugin which offers you almost all the features to optimize your website

All In One SEO Pack
This plugin helps you to optimize your site for search engine without any custom settings because the default installation is good enough to go.

4. Forgetting to add a sitemap

There a two kinds of sitemaps: HTML and XML. An HTML sitemap is designed to help guide the website visitor while the XML sitemap is used solely to ensure that search engines crawlers can index the URLs listed on the site.

Show the crawlers your sitemap.

The XML sitemap is primarily used to make information machine readable. This XML page is typically used for lists of URLs and the data associated with them. It is a type of list marked up with XML so that search engines can easily consume information about the URLs that make up a site.

An XML sitemap only exists for the search engines. You can add it manually using the XML sitemap generator or install the Google XML Sitemaps plugin.

5. Not adding relevant categories and tags

Categories and tags offer up opportunities for increased engagement and traffic that most WordPress owners waste.

A post should typically be in no more than one or two categories, and tagging should be limited only to the most relevant topics covered in the post.

If you’ve got a massive block of text with tags at the bottom of each post, search engines can’t make heads or tails of it, making this one of the most egregious SEO mistakes.

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