WordPress SEO Tips: 7 Deadly Mistakes You Want to Avoid

WordPress powers a huge chunk of websites on the internet today. The free and easy-to-use Content Management System (CMS) has helped people create professional websites with limited technical skills.

The CMS offers unlimited themes and plugins for users to experiment with their site. No, wonder it is one of the most sought after CMS since early 2000, with a whopping market share of more than 60%.

Having a WordPress site cannot bring you success automatically unless you get your SEO strategy right. Even a small mistake can disrupt your potential to rank on the web. In the post, we’ll discuss some useful WordPress SEO tips for maximizing online visibility and ranking better on SERPs.


1. Not Setting Permalinks to Post Names

A permalink is a unique URL structure that points to a blog post, web page, or other pieces of content on a site. There are two parts of a permalink, the domain name, and the slug. The slug is the part that appears after the domain name. The domain name remains constant for a website, but the slug is dynamic in nature.

Google recommends that you use a simple and short permalink structure so that it is easy for people to follow and share. Depending on your website requirement, you can choose to go for a simple permalink structure or a hierarchical URL.

Complex URL structures can be difficult for search engine crawlers to understand. Therefore, you should always edit the permalink for all your posts on WordPress by going to Settings > Permalink and adding a custom URL structure.

To make a permalink SEO-friendly, you should try to include the target keyword within it. This will help your content to rank in SERPs. You must also eliminate stop words within the URL structure to trim it further.


2. Not Creating and Submitting XML Sitemaps

An XML sitemap is a list of all the URLs present on a website. An XML sitemap helps search engines to crawl your website more efficiently and index your content faster. Besides, the XML sitemap also signals search engines on how frequently your site is updated and which web pages should be prioritized over others.

XML sitemaps are crucial in boosting the SEO rankings of WordPress sites by improving their online visibility. It is particularly beneficial for new websites that don’t have any backlinks. Sitemaps help search engines discover pages from the deep web and index them.

You can install the Yoast SEO plugin on WordPress to create an XML sitemap. Once installed, go to SEO > General and reach the “Features” tab. From there, you need to go to the XML Sitemap option and enable it. Once the sitemap is created, you’ll have to submit it to Google Search Console.


3. Not Updating Content Regularly

Updating old content on your WordPress site is as important as creating fresh content. As time passes, your content starts losing its value and getting less relevant to the users. Consequently, the traffic also keeps decreasing on those blog posts after some time.

To ensure that there is no loss of traffic from older posts, you need to refresh them by updating information and adding more content. Content refresh has tremendous SEO benefits. Firstly, it will give you a traffic boost and increase the click-through rate. Secondly, when you update your content, it signals Google that your content is fresh. This will speed up the crawling process and index your site faster.

Thirdly, as you update outdated content, you can enrich the user experience by fixing issues such as broken links, spellings, or grammar errors, linking better resources, and improving your content’s overall accuracy.


4. Not Implementing Schema Markup

Schema has a huge potential to spike the click-through rate on your site because it can offer rich information (additional data) to the users in the Google SERP.  It is an advanced SEO technique that should be implemented by all WordPress sites. To add schema markup on your WordPress site using the Yoast SEO plugin.

Schema markup is a type of microdata that tells search engines more about your site. On WordPress, it is added to the HTML code within your web pages. By adding schema markup, you can increase your probability of ranking in SERPs for relevant search queries. It might also help you in appearing on Google’s Knowledge Graph and Featured Snippets.


5. Not Checking For Broken Links

The links present on your WordPress site are supposed to pass the link juice from one web page to another. This helps in spreading value from a high authority web page to another. In the presence of broken links, the link juice doesn’t spread within your website.

Broken links are harmful to a site as they hamper the user experience. Moreover, Google hates broken links and pulls down the rank of such websites. You can use the Broken Link Checker tool on WordPress to discover such links on your site and replace them with active links.


6. Not Setting Up Your Time Zone

One of the most overlooked features of a WordPress site is the time zone setting. Most WordPress users realize it when they schedule a post to be published at a particular time but instead, go live at a completely different time. This happens due to the difference in the time zone between your location and the default time zone set on WordPress.

Therefore, you need to go to the time zone settings on WordPress and select your city time zone or a city with a similar time zone as your own.


7. Neglecting Suggestions From Your SEO Plugin

The final WordPress SEO tip that most WordPress users tend to ignore is the suggestions offered by their SEO plugins. Every professional WordPress website has an SEO plugin installed in it to create and publish SEO-optimized content. Users need to follow the suggested edits and implement changes accordingly.

When you complete writing a blog post, you can scroll down on the dashboard to find these suggestions made by the SEO plugin. If you consider them and make changes within your content accordingly, it will help you rank on the web. But, if you choose to ignore those suggestions, your content might lack proper SEO optimization.

SEO is an ever-evolving domain that is continuously experiencing new changes. SEO optimization is now combined with a good user experience to boost organic rankings. Therefore, whatever SEO changes you plan to implement on your site should cater to satisfy the masses along with the search engines.

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