WordPress currently has a 32.3% market share of all websites on the internet. It was originally a blogging tool and now operates as a robust content management system (CMS) and website builder. WordPress is deliberately designed to make it easy for laymen to build websites with little to zero UX acumen. This is primarily due to integrated plug-ins. But, like any website, it still requires SEO to thrive online. Below are our top tips for improving WordPress SEO.
Common WordPress SEO Mistakes
#1: Don’t Forget to Set Your Time Zone
Publishing in the correct time zone is paramount to organic engagement. If your time zone isn’t set correctly, you won’t be sharing content when you think you are. This means your analytics won’t be set for the right time, resulting in wasted data sets. To select your time zone, go to Settings > General > Timezone.
#2: You Overuse Keywords
If you try to cram in as many keywords as possible onto your webpage, you’ll rank higher, right? This common mistake, called keyword stuffing, is a big no. Search engines consider it webspam and penalize sites that use this strategy to gain an unfair rank advantage. To rank higher, focus on creating information-rich content that strategically uses keywords in context.
#3: You Forgot About Meta Tags
These invisible tags provide data about your page to search engines and visitors. They allow search engines to determine what your content is about and are crucial for improving WordPress SEO. Meta tags appear in a page’s source code and not on the actual web page. The page title and description tags are the two most-used tags and frequently contain keywords to increase ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs).
#4: Your Site is Slow
Webpages that take 3 seconds to load have a bounce rate probability of 32%. This means a third of your visitors will leave your site without waiting for it to load, resulting in a loss of potential leads.
Utilizing too many plugins and using themes with large CSS files can contribute to a lagging page.
WP Fastest Cache is a plugin the can remedy this, while Pingdom is a useful tool to test your site’s speed.
#5: You Don’t Utilize YOAST SEO to Its Full Potential
Yoast SEO is a WordPress plugin that optimizes website content and keywords to improve search engine ranking. As such, it solves many WordPress technical SEO issues with a strong focus on content in terms of readability, site structure, and internal linking. While it does require some technical ability to implement, Yoast SEO offers site structure training to help.
#6: Your Images Aren’t Optimized
Search engines can’t “see” images. Instead, they read the alt text (image description). Alt texts that contain keywords improve WordPress technical SEO, so make sure to label images correctly. Image optimization also has to do with size, as large images slow down web pages. Compressing their size via plugins or scripts will easily solve this issue.
#7: Your Linking is Poor in General
Internal and external links point to related content, so search engines can build knowledge hubs and understand website niches. The more external links a website garners, the more trust they gain from search engines, especially if they are linked to an authoritative website. Conversely, if a website has no external links, Google will deem it less valuable and rank it lower in SERPs.
Internal links between blog posts on your website increase user engagement.
They define the architecture and hierarchy of a website and distribute page authority and ranking order throughout a website. If internal links are poorly structured or broken, the user experience will be poor, affecting website traffic and WordPress SEO.
#8: You Have Broken Links
Hyperlinks that lead to non-existent pages with 404 errors are broken links. They provide negative user experiences, dissuading some visitors from ever returning. Broken links also devalue WordPress SEO because they restrict the flow of link equity throughout your site, adversely impacting SERP rank.
#9: Your Blog Lacks Proper Structure
HTML Header tags (<h1>, <h2>, etc.) structure webpages by separating headings and subheadings. Google identifies how header tags rank content in order of importance to improve readability and SEO.
Headers also create high-quality user experiences.
If information isn’t clear and users can’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll revert to another site.
For this reason, it’s important to include relevant keywords within these headers. <h1> should always be the headline of the blog, while <h2> and <h3> should contextualize information to help search engines index a website. Even though headers are less impactful than SEO, Google still uses them to understand website content, so it’s crucial they are correctly optimized for improving WordPress SEO.
A few technical WordPress SEO tweaks can have a massively positive impact on your WordPress eCommerce site. Our experts in online marketing SEO services can optimize your WordPress website to increase traffics and drive leads. Call Catapult Revenue at (312) 625-0447 to improve your WordPress SEO, or click here for a WordPress SEO audit.