If you use a content management system (CMS), you know how easy they make it to run your site. Publishing new content is as straightforward as it gets, and there is a wide array of designs and plug-ins available to download for free. That said, it’s easy to make SEO mistakes on these systems. In this article, we’ll look at a few common ones and how to avoid them.
Possibly the worst error you could make is to simply avoid thinking about SEO in the first place. If you pick a respected CMS engine, a default installation will typically gain a significant boost in search engine rankings with a few simple changes.
A second mistake is to use default URLs. The standard settings on most systems will include several ugly numbers in the post URL, including dates and post numbers. In contrast, good SEO practice calls for keywords early in the URL. Most commonly, you should include the title itself in the address, perhaps removing filler words.
A third mistake is to neglect meta descriptions. This is the description that users will see for your site when it appears in a search result. Recently, search engine companies have claimed that this doesn’t influence rankings directly, but it is nevertheless important since searchers will read it. You don’t want to leave it up to the search engine to create the snippet itself, since it generally looks terrible. The easiest way to include these descriptions is to install a plug-in.
The fourth mistake concerns linking. Specifically, you want a decent number of internal links on your posts, as well as external ones. You want internal links spread around your site so that search engine bots can get an accurate picture of your site. External links are also important, since a lack of linking to authoritative resources looks unnatural.
Fifth, watch out for duplicate content. This can happen if your site is configured to include the same content on multiple pages, especially when your posts are organized by topic or date. This can be often avoided by tweaking your site’s settings. This duplicate material will generally be ignored by search engines, but if you’re unlucky, it could make them perceive your site as spammy.
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.
Eighth, and last, is making a mess of on-page SEO. Many business owners don’t realize that this is a crucial part of any page’s search rankings. 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.