Search engine optimization (SEO) is essentially important for online success. It is good for increasing website ranking in the search engine result pages (SERPs), but doing it in a wrong way can be worse than doing nothing at all. We sum up the top 10 common SEO mistakes made by WordPress users in the following, to help readers avoid making the same mistakes again and taking their websites down.
Don’t Provide an XML Sitemap
A Sitemap is an XML file that lists the URLs for websites. It allows webmasters to inform search engines about URLs on a website to help search engines crawl them more smartly and efficiently.
WordPress users usually ignore the importance of including XML Sitemaps within their websites. However, search engines like Google likes websites that contain XML sitemaps, which helps it find pages on your website.
In addition, Sitemaps are also used to offer additional information about the website, such as when it was last updated, how often it changes, and how important it is in relation to other URLs in the website, etc. For webmasters who are operating a new website or greatly changed the website recently, the sitemap can make a big different in helping major search engines to find and index all pages of your website.
Sitemap is efficiently helping a website to be indexed by the search engines. In order to make your website can be crawled intelligently, you can create a sitemap by hand or use a simple way with a plugin like Google XML Sitemaps. It generates a special XML sitemap which can help search engines to better index your websites.
Poor Quality Backlinks
The backlinks a website has is one of the most crucial factors for search engines to determine the website search engine ranking, popularity and importance. Some bloggers try to rank their websites quickly by purchasing low quality backlinks, which are usually coming from link farms, or sites that are created simply for the purpose of selling links.
Actually, this is one of the most common SEO mistakes made by webmasters. In addition to the number of backlinks, search engines also judge the value of backlinks. With poor backlinks, the search engines may consider your website is low quality as well. And generally, backlinks from authoritative sites on a given topic are highly valuable.
In order to get high quality backlinks, we recommend you try to get a variety of backlinks from different sources. As well, the linking should be as natural as possible, and you should try not to the same anchor text for all links.
Use Improper Post Title
The title tag is absolutely a vital aspect for search engine rankings. Some bloggers tend to write a post with a long title that describes the topic into many words. Actually, you should better keep the title within 60 characters. Besides, you should also focus on optimize the title tags.
For instance, if you write a post with title “What Is a Blog and How to Create it”, it’s too board to a keyword. You can optimize it to be more targeted towards a keyword, such as something like “What is a Blog?” that it may be just a keyword. Before determining the title, you can check the popularity with a keyword tool such as Google AdWords.
Keyword plays a significant role in website search engine rankings. However, keyword stuffing is considered to be an unethical search engine optimization (SEO) technique, which leads to banning a website from major search engines either temporarily or permanently. This method has used to increase the SERPs in a short time in the past. But now, it is completely out of date and even hurts your search rankings.
If you really want to rank for a category of keywords, you can create a separate page for each keyword and optimize them accordingly. In addition, rather than duplicating keyword, you can build more useful pages that include the keywords implemented in them as part of the content. Besides, write some high quality and high relevance content are helpful for obtain high search engine rankings and visibility for particular keywords.
Don’t Optimize How Your Posts Look in the SERPs
Some bloggers only focus on optimizing their websites or content, but ignore the posts look in the SERPs, which highly affects the click-through rate (CTR) in the SERPs. Although the post placement is a key factor for CTR, people can be attracted to lower rankings if your title and descriptions are compelling. To give your content the best possible to gain a good CTR, you’d better optimize each post on the following aspects:
- The Meta Title: it is displayed on the SERPs to replace of headline you choose for the post title.
- The Meta Description: it is shown on the SERPs under the post title, to describe your content main focus.
In order to configure these settings, you can use a plugin to get the job done with ease. In general, WordPress SEO by Yoas t is a good choice.
On the other hand, you can also utilize Google+ authorship to strengthen your position in the SERPs and boost click through rates.
Image can be an important part for webpage or blog post, but few webmasters have realized its importance on SEO. The general mistakes in this aspect is the wrong use of image name and size.
There are few people remember to rename the image name before uploading them to their websites. In general, they keep the image name as the default name. The file name can be very easy to find in your computer, but they cannot describe the image content exactly, which makes your visitors and search engines concerned.
Actually, image name is an important factor in the optimization for search engines. With the descriptive texts in the file names, they can be readable by the search engines, and show up higher in the search results when people search for those types of image.
Note that don’t go overboard and keyword stuffing in the image file name, for this can negatively affect the SEO and visitors. And you can use “-” to replace the space in the image name, which can be shown up like “%20” in the urls.
Besides, if you upload the original and high resolution images to WordPress, you may slow down your website loading speed, which greatly affects your website user experience. In fact, we suggest you edit your images offline, change its size and quality to suitable for your website display using some image resizers.
Not Use Alt Tag and Title Tag
Search engines can read text only, but cannot understand the image content. In order to make search engines can index your website images, you can use image alt tag, which stands for image alternative tag and is part of HTML that provides some alternative text to describe the image content. And Google stated that the alt tag is the basic standard to focus when they trying to understand the content of an image.
The following is an example of how to add image alt age when using an image.
<img src="/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/beautiful-flash-image.jpg" alt="Beautiful Flash Image" />
Just like the above alt tag, the title tag is also crucial for search engines and site visitors. In general, the title attribute is shown when your mouse move over the image.
In order to add the title tag for images, you can use the following code:
<img title="Beautiful Flash Image" src="/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/beautiful-flash-image.jpg" alt="Beautiful Flash Image">
It’s very normal to see many Flash based websites, which look cool and gorgeous to have some dynamic interaction. However, Flash is just like a black box for search engines, can’t be searchable.
On the other hand, as mobile devices become than more popular today, you have to get rid of Flash on the website. Flashes are not readable on mobile devices such as iPhone, iPad, and Android. So you lose out on reaching new potential clients if you use flashes in your website.
Website Is Not Cached
Some websites contain a large number of high quality images, which translates into slow loading pages. By utilizing a cache tool, you can increase your website loading speed to be 10x faster.
Generally, W3 Total Cache is one of the most popular cache plugins used. It can increase the site performance, cache website content, offer CDN integration, and reduce the download times.
In addition, you can also figure out many other cache plugins for your specific requirements.
Not Use CDN Service
CDN, the short of content delivery network, is a large distribute system of servers deployed in multiple data centers across the Internet. It deliveries cached static contents of websites to visitors based on their locations. For example, when a visitor located in New York visits your website, he/she can be served from the closest data center located in New Jersey perhaps, instead of downloading the website content directly from your server in Canada.
To integrate a CDN service within your website, you can choose a CDN optimized web hosting such as the following companies, which offers the best WordPress hosting solutions with free CDN service. In addition, you can also install a CDN plugin like MaxCDN, CloudFlare CDN, CoralCDN, and so on.