In today’s post I want to talk about the 5 biggest and most common WordPress SEO mistakes that I persistently see while doing some work for new clients.
Even if you are a beginner and just started out, is important to have a SEO-proof blog or website because you want people to find you in Google in order to grow and make sales/views/etc..
Don’t worry if you identify one of them in your website. Luckily is very easy to fix them and you can easily do it on your own.
1. Blocking Search Engines
Believe it or not, on WordPress you can block search engines from finding your blog or website.
For example, I had a client who created his website for a personal project and didn’t want to share it on search engines. It’s more common than what you think.
Because of that, it might also happen that you accidentally turn the option on, making search engines turning away when it comes to your website.
If you want to check you’re not blocking search engines, in your WP-admin area, go on settings>reading and look for “Search Engine Visibility”. Make sure the box NOT checked (unless of course you don’t want your website to appear on search results).
2. Not connecting WordPress with Google
Google is great platform and offers FREE tools which you can connect your WordPress blog or website to it.
The most useful ones are Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
The first one gives you very useful insights and data about people who visit your website. I’ve written a post here about it that can give more info. For example, you can know the source of traffic or the behaviour.
Google Search Console instead is more SEO and how your website performs across the Google search engines.
One thing I really find helpful are the reports about the mobile usability and if your website has errors.
In the example on the right, I wanted to show you how Google Search Console shows me that I’ve got 2 pages with the following problems: “Clickable elements too close together” and “content wider than screen”.
Once you know where to work and fix a problem is much easier!
To add your website to Google Search Console, you need a Gmail account, open GSC, add a property in the dropdown menu and follow the step to verify the ownership.
Similar process with Google Analytics, you need a Gmail account, open GA,
3. Not installing an SEO plugin
If you know how to code and develop a website, I’m sure you don’t need a plugin for that as you can write your own page codes.
But if, like me, use WordPress as platform to build your website, you NEED a SEO plugin.
SEO plugin helps you by inserting string of SEO optimised phrase/code in the header of the website, for example, or other relevant pages.
Do you remember when I was explaining why the alt text is important in images in this post?
If no, go and check the post out 🙂 If yes, SEO plugin works pretty much similarly. When someone search for something in Google, the search engines reads and analyse what’s behind your website. And it analyses codes and that weird language made of < and />. IF what’s behind your website contains those searched keywords, it will appear in the search results.
4. Not optimising your website for keywords
Similar with SEO, you want to optimise your website with the keywords that your audience or potential readers will look for.
For example you can do your keywords research. Try to think what your website talk about and narrow it down as much as you can to be specific.
For example, I am a web designer. Still too vague. I can say that I am a FREELANCE web designer. Now it’s better, but not there yet! We need to narrow it down. For example, where do I operate mostly? So now I can say that I am a freelance web designer in CANTERBURY, UK. And so on…
If you website is about a business you can use this example. If your website is about blogging, try to think which words people would use to try to sort a problem out that you talk about in a post.
Remember, there are some strategic places where is good to put keywords. In this way you’ll help Google finding your content easier. Here’s the places:
- URL (or slug)
- Heading (H1, H2 or H3)
- Title (page or post)
- Meta Description (you can edit this by using a SEO plugin)
- First 100 words
- First image alt text
5. Not searching the right words
You want to make sure that the keywords you are using are the same that your audience search for.
The easiest way to find out and fix this issue is to complete a keyword research.
You can do a search on Google and see what are the first results by putting keywords from your website.
Are the articles similar to what you talk about?
If yes, that’s great, you only need to refine your SEO.
If not, you are probably using the wrong keywords for your audience. Meaning that, if they search something on Google, you won’t appear in their results cause the keywords don’t match.
Another good way to do some keyword research is to use an AdSense account and start using Keyword Planner. Basically it help you find similar keywords for the one you’ve searched for.
5 Biggest WordPress SEO mistakes
When those 5 things are done right, you are well on your way to SEO success!
Even if you’ve just started is a good idea to put these things in action and be a step further. Google algorithm changes 500 to 600 timer a year so there is always room for improvements!
I’d love to hear, in the comment below, if you are already following one of these steps or you’re experimenting other things to improve your WordPress SEO.