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. That said, it’s easy to make SEO mistakes on these systems. In this article, we’ll look at a few common ones and how to avoid them.
First, don’t make the assumption that a new blog will be optimized without any effort needed on your part. If you pick a respected CMS engine, a default installation will typically gain a significant boost in search engine rankings with a few simple changes.
A second mistake is to use default URLs. The default configuration for the most common systems will include dates and page numbers in your posts’ addresses. 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.
Third, include well-crafted meta descriptions. 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. You don’t want to leave it up to the search engine to create the snippet itself, since it generally looks terrible. 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. Some content management systems will haphazardly produce duplicate content on different pages, especially when a post falls under separate categories or tags. 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.