You know that old saying, “That which doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger?” Well, the following WordPress SEO mistakes might not kill your blog, but if you correct them your blog will be a lot stronger.
Google’s Panda update targeted weak or shallow content. Take a look at your posts. Short posts are fine, but if they’re very short, are you conveying any real, useful information? Just posting a link and telling your readers to check it out isn’t enough. Why should they check it out? How will visiting that link be useful?
Also, check to see if you have any blank pages set up. Did you start a post with the intention of going back later to flesh it out and then forget all about it? Or maybe you set up a blank page so you could see how your design looked. When the bots see these blank pages they look like weak content.
There are only two things you can do about weak content – either make it better by adding valuable, useful information, or delete the post entirely.
Poor Load Time
Visitors will leave if your blog takes too long to load and this leads to a higher bounce rate. Google looks at bounce rate when determining ranking. Poor load time can be caused by a number of things:
- Showing too many posts on your homepage – show no more than 10 posts
- Images – resize before uploading to your blog
- Third-party images – host on your own blog
- Custom CSS – put it at the top of the page
- Redirects – limit or eliminate redirects as much as possible.
Broken links are not only bad for your readers but they’re bad for Google bots, too. If you’re using WordPress, install the “Broken Link Checker” plug-in and it will automatically notify you when there’s a problem with any of your links. If you’re not using WordPress you may have to go in and check each link individually. Either way, you need to take care of those broken links.
No Internal Linking
Internal linking makes it easier for your readers to find relevant information in your archives and it helps Google bots see that relevant information, too. If you haven’t been building internal links as you go, it’s time to start.
Use text links inside your post and use a related posts plug-in that uses your post titles to create links to relevant content at the end of every post.
Non-Relevant Outgoing Links
Blog-rolls are fine as long as the links lead to relevant blogs. If not, you could be penalized. If you really want to send readers from your Baseball blog to your Knitting blog, write a useful blog post and include the link there.
Don’t forget to check links your readers leave in their comments, too. If they’re linking out to non-relevant content or worse, spam or malware infested sites, you could be setting yourself up for a penalty.