If you use a content management system (CMS), you know how easy they make it to run your site. Widely available themes and plug-ins simplify the process of changing a site’s features, and releasing a new post is as easy as sending an e-mail. One of the most important features of any site is search engine optimization (SEO), yet that’s exactly where many site owners go wrong. So let’s consider SEO mistakes to avoid.
First, don’t make the assumption that a new blog will be optimized without any effort needed on your part. While most well-established blogging software and CMS solutions are decent from an SEO perspective, there are typically many positive changes that could be made.
Next, avoid using the software’s standard URL format. Your software will typically assign each new post a certain number and include that number in the URL, along with date information. Well established SEO practices, on the other hand, would have you include important keywords in the address. The simplest solution is to modify the settings so that each post’s address includes all the words from the title of the post.
Thirdly, don’t forget to write meta descriptions for your posts. The meta description is a snippet that appears in search engine result pages. While this doesn’t affect rankings directly, it can impact users’ click-through rates. If a page does not have a meta description, the engine will create its own. Typically, automatically generated descriptions don’t read well. Some blogging software makes it easy to write meta descriptions with each post, but if yours does not, it is usually easy to add this functionality by downloading a plug-in.
Mistake number four is all about links. In particular, you should populate your posts with a good balance of external and internal links. Internal links will help search engines find their way around your page. External links are also important, since a lack of linking to authoritative resources looks unnatural.
Number five is to permit duplicate content. Some content management systems will haphazardly produce duplicate content on different pages, especially when a post falls under separate categories or tags. The important thing is that if there is duplicate content, it is only indexed once by search engines.
The sixth mistake is to not install a caching plug-in. This will turn commonly accessed pages into static pages so that they don’t have to be regenerated every time a user requests them.
The last mistake is mishandling the on-page aspect of your SEO. On-page factors is one of the largest factors that determine the search engine rankings of a given page. Most importantly, you should target a relevant keyword early in your posts, but be sure not to use it too many times.
While SEO can seem daunting at first, it mostly comes down to following a few well established rules.