Recently updated on June 10th, 2023
Making WordPress mistakes could result in your website being penalized by search engines. Even if you are not penalized, making these mistakes could be stopping you from taking full advantage of WordPress and the functionality it offers. Let’s take a look at five of the biggest mistakes that people make, and how you can address them.
Forgetting To Use Keywords In Your Page Names
To make it really easy for search engines to index your pages, keywords should also be used in your page names. Remember to customize your permalink structure in your settings section of WordPress. It may not be set to post name by default and may only be displaying a string of page numbers.
It’s also worth noting that special characters should not be used in your page names, as they can prevent search engines from indexing your content correctly.
Mashable provides the following insights on optimizing page names using page example “Helping Kids Find a Home or Shelter in St. Louis, Missouri,”:
“Search engines prefer shorter URLs, so it’s worth removing words that won’t help the post’s or page’s ranking. Search engines also prefer that high-ranking keywords appear at the beginning of URLs. In the example above, if we want to rank for the phrase “homes for kids in St. Louis” we may want to adjust the URL to read “kids-find-homes-st-louis”.”
Neglecting To Use An SEO Plugin
“You could use Scribe, WordPress SEO, Inbound Writer, All in one SEO or a range of other plugins but you should have at least one installed. The one we currently use is WordPress SEO by Yoast. When you create a post you specify ‘focus keywords’. These are keywords you want to rank on.”
Forgetting Your XML Site Map
Forgetting to include a site map is like writing a book and not having a table of contents. It shows Google the pages you have on your site. If the site map is missing Google will still crawl the website but it may miss some of the pages. A site map will also tell Google how often the content is likely to change. If you have been disappointed with your website performance to date, not having a site map could have something to do with it.
Not Doing WordPress Updates
Not updating WordPress or third party software can compromise your online security. Updates should be done regularly, and passwords should also be updated on a regular basis.
Forgetting To Install Analytics On Your Site
Forgetting to use metrics means you will miss out on important data that enables you to improve the online experience for your visitors. If you’re using premium themes and are experimenting with different WordPress layouts and page designs. Tips and Tricks HQ explains why it is so important to have access to this data:
“You can get very deep into the analysis of your web site when Google Analytics is installed, especially when leveraging the extra features like outbound clicks, paid referrals, social traffic, etc, but the important thing first is to start tracking the data. You can analyze it later on. So, from day one you should be collecting data.”
Fortunately, WordPress makes it very easy to install Analytics and, if you find it too challenging, there are different plug-ins that can make it work for you. Analytics allows you to take a great platform and improve it even further to get the kind of SEO results you want.