Compared to hand-coded static sites, content management systems (CMS) can make a site owner’s job much easier. You can publish new pages and posts with a click of a button, and adding new functionality is a matter of downloading a few plug-ins. 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.
One of the most common mistakes is to simply assume that your new site is SEO-optimized by default. 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.
Secondly, you want to change the URL structure. Your software will typically assign each new post a certain number and include that number in the URL, along with date information. If you want to improve your search engine optimization, however, you should keep the URL as clean as possible and include relevant keywords wherever possible. The simplest solution is to modify the settings so that each post’s address includes all the words from the title of the post.
Third, include well-crafted meta descriptions. These are the small excerpts that show on search result pages. If these aren’t appealing, users will be less likely to click through to your site. 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.
Fourth, pay attention to the amount of internal and external links on each post and page. Internal links will help search engines find their way around your page. On the other hand, external links show the bots that you are willing to link to authority sites when necessary.
Next, don’t let your CMS create 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.
Mistake number six is to overlook caching plug-ins. Such a plug-in will pre-generate the most common content on your site so that it does not have to be newly created with each request.
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.
As you can see, there’s a lot that can go wrong with SEO for content systems. On the plus side, fixing the most common errors is fairly easy.