Common WordPress SEO Mistakes

10 Common WordPress SEO Mistakes to Avoid

WordPress CMS is well-optimized for search engines out-of-the-box. However, performance depends on how well you manage the website. Website owners keep making SEO mistakes preventing the site from high traffic. If you don’t follow basic SEO principles, any plugins or widgets you’ve installed will not function properly.

Team at WishDesk cares about your business. WIth that in mind, we created a list of most common WordPress SEO mistakes you should avoid. If you find out that your platform suffers from any of the errors, contact WishDesk for asap website fixing and update.

Common WordPress SEO Mistakes

1. You Didn’t Set Permalinks

Permalinks explain visitors what a page is about and indicate relevancy to search engines. 

Ensure that your permalinks are defined correctly in Settings > Permalinks on your backend.

You can set permalinks to a certain format, such as day and name or numeric. We recommend to combine category and post name formats. Here you can optimize your permalinks for the specific keywords you are targeting. Category field makes your URLs more clear. You can enter custom structures for your categories, e.g. blog, to make your URL look like: sitename/blog/name-of-the-blog

Make sure that your permalink and web page headline have the same keywords. In such a way, Google will identify your web page as of high relevance.

2. You Instructed Too Much Indexation

Google will not crawl and index your entire website. Instead, you should index the content worth ranking. Irrelevant and useless information will decrease your search ranking. Ensure that all such pages are tagged as “noindex”.

You can use Yoast SEO plugin to noindex entire taxonomies. Just proceed to SEO > Search Appearance. Find the option “Show (Post Type) in search results?” and tag “No” for each post type you’d like to noindex.

indexation wordpress

3. You Didn’t Provide Your XML Sitemap

An XML Sitemap leads search engines to the most important pages on your website. It lists a website’s important pages, letting Google find and crawl them all and understand a website’s structure.

Install Yoast SEO plugin and proceed to SEO > General > Features. Toggle “On” the XML SItemap functionality. That’s it!

xml sitemap wordpress

4. You Have Slow Page Speed

If WordPress website loading speed is fast on your device, it doesn’t mean it performs the same for other users.

Test your WordPress site speed with Pingdom. It is a free online service, that allows you to check your site speed from different locations. Note, that page load speed should be under 2 seconds.

If your WordPress website is slow, there are special plugins to fix this issue. WP Fastest Cache plugin creates quickly rendered HTML files that are accessed by repeated visitors. W3 Total Cache plugin stores the versions of web pages beforehand and sends them to browsers.

5. You Didn’t Optimize Your Images

Website owners often forget about image optimization. If you don’t set relevant title and alt text (pic description) to your images, search engines will not be able to identify them. For people with visual disabilities or those who use mobile devices, picture may not be viewable. Instead, they will see alt text.

There are special WordPress plugins for image compression and optimization. Use Image Optimizer or Compress JPEG & PNG images plugins to automatically optimizes all your images.

Quick Alt Editor plugin will add an alt field to images in Media Library.

Use our guide on how to optimize images to learn more about other ways of making pictures accessible to all users. 

6. You Have Broken Links

Broken links are hyperlinks on your website that lead to non-existent pages. They might be rather internal (inbound) or external (outbound) links. When user clicks on broken link, he is confronted with an error message — usually 404 error.

Broken links increase bounce rates, decrease session duration, and drop conversions. These all reflects in search rankings.

Broken Link Checker is a tool that will help you find and fix your broken links. This plugin will begin scanning for broken links as soon as it’s installed and display all of them in a list.

7. You Have Poor Internal Linking

Linking between blog posts on your website increases user engagement. What’s more, if Google sees that you are linking to relevant content pages within your website, it will understand your platform’s relevance to a certain topic in general.

To increase relevance, use keywords anchors. Avoid sentences, like “For more details, click here”. Instead use combination “Discover more details about WordPress website performance”.

Better Internal Link Search plugin can help you make interlinking quicker.

8. You Have Poor External Linking

Improve your search engine rankings by providing linking to relevant and authoritative websites. If you don’t link to external sites, Google will identify your content as of no value.

To provide positive user experience and prevent users from leaving your platform, use Open external links in a new window plugin.

9. You Didn’t Structure Your Headers

Google identifies HTML headers (<h1>, <h2>, etc.) as valuable content as well It is important to include relevant keywords within these headers. Structure your header tags appropriately: 

  • <h1> tag should be rather the name of your website (for homepage) or the headline of the page or blog (for all other pages). Only one H1 can exist on any page. 
  • <h2> and <h3> tags are called subheaders. They should be contextually relevant and convey information that can help search engines to index your platform. 

10. No Call-To-Action Button 

Intention of every website owner is not only to gain new visitors, but also to keep them and encourage to do a certain action. This is where call-to-action (CTA) play a vital role. This is a button that offers an action to the visitors, such as “sign up” or “contact us”.

Set CTA buttons to each web page. Don’t forget that multiple buttons distract visitors and they will not know what to do next.  Think on each web page goal and create appropriate call-to-actions. Make CTA button stand out from other content on the page. It should attract visitors’ attention and be visible at first glance. 

Improve Your WordPress Website SEO

SEO is a technique that takes time to understand and learn. Also it takes time to see results.

If you are not sure how to improve your website for search engine optimization or you don’t get the results you expect, try our SEO website audit and SEO services. WishDesk is here to care about your business! 


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