When SEO initially started, we had a simple XML sitemap generator that we used for all our sites.
These days, we’ve got meta keywords tags, focus keywords, structured data content, schema markup to help Google better understand what our pages are about, author bios, pretty permalinks…the list goes on, way on! And there’s so much more to come.
All in all, SEO can be a little bit tricky when working with a WordPress site.
To help you out, this post will address the most common WordPress SEO issues that we see on a regular basis.
Slow site speed
Try running your WordPress site on a speed testing tool, and you are most likely to see a message asking you to eliminate render-blocking resources to speed up your site loading time.
Slow site speed can also be caused when you have installed too many plugins. And sometimes, when you update a plugin, it can end up breaking your site in case it conflicts with a different plugin. Thus, you should remove all unnecessary plugins and use only those that are crucial for keeping your site optimized.
Large CSS theme files could be another reason why your site is slow. If you are relying on free or cheap themes developed by a third party, you should know that most of them are not optimized.
The developers of such themes focus more on the design and site usability while compromising on the site’s SEO. Plus, CSS files present in WordPress themes are often cumbrous. It is essential thus to reduce CSS and other source code files to speed up your site.
Consider using a reputable WordPress speed optimization service to ensure superior website performance.
Having too many links on Homepage
When you have too many links on your Homepage, your site looks spammy and will affect rankings. To avoid this search engine penalty, don’t add in excess of 20 links on your Homepage. Also, note that it includes both external and internal.
It’s also worthy to note that several themes (primarily free ones) have irrelevant links or links that redirect to dubious content. You should also be cautious of plugins that add links automatically.
Many people get permalinks wrong, causing websites to face the consequences. Remember that the ideal permalink lets you add two basic yet significant things, i.e., post name and category.
It would appear like this: “/%category%/%postname%/. “
It lets search engines and site visitors be clear about what your site really is about.
Duplicate content will harm your rankings as Google will penalize you for it. When you are just starting out, you might not face this issue, but as your site grows more significant, the chances of getting flagged by Google for duplicate content increases.
It is vital to create unique keywords, meta-tags, descriptions, and titles for each page. Avoid using too many keywords in your tags lest Google marks this as spam.
It is ideal to use anything between 5 and 7 words for the title or H1 tag. You should also add a call-to-action to your titles and descriptions to entice people to click on them.
Also, note that your site will have duplicate content if you add too many tags for a post or add articles to many categories.
For right SEO, all of your website’s domain iterations should forward to one address. In case your site’s www. and non-www domain version don’t forward to the same destination, Google is likely to see this as two separate sites with matching content. Thus, you will have duplicate content on your site.
Implement a redirect checker tool for this and see that all website domain iterations forward to the right official Homepage URL.
If you have installed an SSL, you should also make sure to check HTTP and HTTPS protocols.
Broken internal links can also cause Crawability issues. Though there is no simple way to spot broken links on WordPress without implementing an SEO plugin, you should be very careful about adding extra plugins to your site as it affects the site speed or even break your site.
A great alternative is to download a plugin to check broken internal links or implement a tool like screaming frog. It allows you to check for broken internal links via filtering for 404 status codes.
Also, if your WordPress themes have a terrible URL structure, try correcting it with WordPress’s Permalinks settings.
The White Screen of Death error
You may receive the White Screen of Death error message if your memory limit has been exhausted. To increase it, open the wp-config.php file. Next, edit it to add: “define (‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT,’ ’64M’)” code within the main body of PHP tags.
Now, you will have a memory limit of 64M. Increase the number if required.
To fix the White Screen of Death error issue, you can also set your theme to Default and disable all the installed plugins.
Your theme might have been poorly coded. Or the issue might be with your plugins.
You can implement your plugins one by one until you find the one causing the problem. If required, you will have to re-code your theme to get rid of pointless spacing at the end of the file.
That’s a Wrap!
WordPress is one of the most popular CMS platforms around today. Many start-up owners prefer to build their websites using WordPress because it’s user-friendly and easy to maintain.
However, just like any other complex software, WordPress has its fair share of problems and errors, especially SEO-related issues.
And if you want your websites to generate organic traffic and rank well on Google, WordPress SEO has to be number one on your priority list. Make sure to consider some of the most common WordPress SEO issues that we addressed today while creating your WordPress site.
Lucy is a creative content writer and strategist at Marketing Digest. She specializes in writing about digital marketing, technology, entrepreneurship, and education. When she is not writing or editing, she spends time reading books, cooking and traveling.