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More than a quarter of websites today are powered by WordPress. WordPress is not only an SEO friendly platform but also easy to use and customize compared to other CMSs. What most people don’t get when it comes to WordPress is that small mistakes can lead to major ranking issues. We’ll cover some mistakes beginners usually make when designing their websites using WordPress.
Before your WordPress website goes live, make sure you set the time zone under the settings>General section. If you fail to set the time zone and you schedule posts to be published at a specific time, you may find they haven’t been published as expected due to different time zone settings. This simple step is important to help you publish content in a timely manner.
An XML sitemap is critical to ranking top on Google search. Having a sitemap is important as it helps to tell search engines what content is on your website to make indexing and crawling of web pages fast and easy. You can use the Yoast SEO plugin to create a sitemap and always make sure it is enabled once created.
To help in ensuring that every content you post on your WordPress website is SEO friendly, you need to ensure that the permalink settings are configured to the Post Name. This ensures that whenever you upload content on a page, the link will include some of the keywords that are in the post. This helps search engines to better understand your content and rank it higher on popular search terms.
This is one of the easiest things to do yet so many people forget it. Make sure the logo, that is usually at the top right corner on your website is linked to the homepage. If you have the name of your website or its logo on the footer, make sure you also link it to your homepage. This not only helps people to easily navigate through your site but could also have some search engine benefits by boosting your internal linking strategy.
Once you finish customizing your WordPress website, you need to start updating it with fresh and unique content. Take time to come up with content that is engaging to users. When search engines like Google crawl your site and find new content, they will be coming back often to crawl and index the pages. However, if your site is static and doesn’t have any new pages or content published regularly, search engines will crawl less often and this will have a negative impact on your rankings.
There are other aspects of your WordPress website design that you need to pay attention to such as minimizing 400 or 500 error pages by making sure there are no broken links. Use a tool such as Broken Link Checker online to keep track of links that are broken and fix them immediately.