The WordPress content management system has plenty of plugins to help people with their SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), and yet people still manage to make those mistakes when setting up their blog posts; here are five of the more common SEO mistakes I come across on WordPress blogs.
1. Setting up a host-free blog
You can set up a host free blog on blogger.com or wordpress.com, but it does make your SEO a little more difficult. If you want a professional blog, then setting up a hosting-free blog is definitely one of the most common SEO WordPress mistakes.
The search engines are well aware that free blogs are often abandoned and abused fairly quickly, so you have to try a little harder to prove yourself.If you want to just try if blogging is something for you, then set it up on a hosting-free blogging platform, but if you think about blogging seriously and would love to have a professional blog, go for a self-hosted blog.
Why? There are a few disadvantages of using WP.com.
Wodpress.com can place ads on your free website
- You are NOT allowed to sell ads on your site unless you receive 25,000 pageviews per month
- You are completely stuck with their choice of themes which is being used on hundreds of millions of sites
- You cannot use plugins. Yup, you heard that right!
- You are restricted to their analytics. You cannot use Google Analytics for example because you cannot add custom codes
- They can delete your site at anytime if they think it violates their Terms of Service
2. Using the same category and tags names
Google is going to assign a certain amount of importance to your keywords in your text. The importance of keywords is not as high as it used to be, but it is still a very important element of SEO optimisation. Do not, however, use the same names/ terms for categories or tags as this will create a duplication and confusion from a customer point of view.
Just is a quick reminder. What is categories and tags, and why we need them?
When blogging you will cover many different topics. To group those topics into common theme or bucket, you create a category. They are navigational and help your readers understand what your site is all about
Let’s say you have a fashion blog and you write only about different fashion items, you could create categories like dresses, trousers, skirts, shoes and so on. .
Tags are used to specifically describe the details about your posts. In other words, they serve as index words. They are not hierarchical.
Let’s get back to our example of the fashion blog. We have fashion categories (dresses, trousers etc) and tags could be things like the colour so blue, red or style, for example, retro or festivals etc.
If you are a fashion blogger that want to focus on main fashion style, then style types should be actually your categories and the garments and colours your tags. You create your categories based on the focus of you blog.
3. Linking to image source in blog posts
Ideally you want people linking to your web pages on your blog so that others may see your pages via direct traffic (clicking and following the links), and so that Google ranks your website a little more highly. However, if you are linking to your own blog posts as part of a backlink campaign, you shouldn’t just link to the image source. The source is simply a spot on a server. If you or other people wish to link to an image, they should link to the page that holds it, so always choose “link to none”:
4. Not optimising images
What is more distressing about this mistake is how easy it is to avoid.
Optimise image file names
- optimized images give google another clue of what your page is about so it helps your article rank in organic search.
- when naming your images, use your primary and related keywords if they can describe what the image is about! I’m sure you are tempted to call them image1.jpg, image2.jpg etc. – please, don’t!
- name the files before you upload your images to the site!
Optimise Alt tags
Although google has made enormous progress in the ability to read images, it still can’t read images entirely. to understand what image is about, google reads their textual descriptions in the <alt> tag. When google robot sees images with alt text “how to find a good coach”, “how to find a life coach online” etc., it tells it: “this page is about “life coach”. If you have images on your page, fill in the <alt> tag with some keywords about them!
5. Not linking to other, relevant articles within a blog
- Use links to your already published relevant articles that could benefit the readers. these links will help to further showcase your knowledge.
- Always select pages that are appropriate and relevant. you want to enrich and supplement the user’s experience, not overwhelm them