Compared to hand-coded static sites, content management systems (CMS) can make a site owner’s job much easier. 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. 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. Most commonly, you should include the title itself in the address, perhaps removing filler words.
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. The easiest way to include these descriptions is to install 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. You want internal links spread around your site so that search engine bots can get an accurate picture of your site. On the other hand, external links show the bots that you are willing to link to authority sites when necessary.
Number five is to permit duplicate content. Duplicate content can occur when a post falls under several categories, for example. It can also happen if your content is organized by date. Some blogging platforms are worse about this than others. The last thing you want is for search engines to penalize your site, so this is one issue you should stay on top of.
Next, don’t forget to improve your site’s performance with caching. 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.