Conversions are the end-goals of our Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts. If you’re not converting, you’re wasting precious resources on misdirected tactics.
While you might get giddy excited when your website traffic spikes, remember that if none of them would take action on whatever your call-to-action is, then all of your efforts would have been for nothing.
SEO — particularly the on-page aspect of it — can have a direct correlation with your website conversions.
SEO is not only aimed at making your website more visible to people, its objective also includes making the visitor have a seamless and streamlined experience towards the conversion.
Below are the top five WordPress SEO mistakes that not only stops your website from ranking to its full potential, but also prevents your visitors from taking action on your offers.
1. Poor Search Visibility Management
We’re all familiar with this phrase. It’s the default post when there’s a fresh installation of WordPress.
A common mistake of DIY WordPress users is forgetting to delete that post and let Google index it. You don’t want Google to relate your website to “Hello world!”, right?
On a larger scale, a better way of handling this situation is to manage your search visibility from the start. There’s an option in WordPress to do so.
Hover your mouse over the “Settings” tab and click on the “Reading” option. You’ll be led to the Reading Settings of WordPress. Tick the option named “Discourage search engine from indexing this site” and save your changes.
Managing your search visibility is important while you are in the construction or development phase of your WordPress site.
Just don’t forget to disable the option once you’re done and have a few meaty content already published!
2. Disregarding Website Load Speed
A slow loading website is one of the many reasons why visitors leave a website. In today’s fast-paced generation, speed is everything.
We underestimate site speed thinking that if the customer is really interested in our product or service, he or she will have the patience to wait. But that kind of thinking does not work today where consumers are used to getting things on the dot.
According to HubSpot, 47% of customers expect a webpage to load in two seconds or less and a second of delay in page load time leads to an 11% loss of page views.
What’s more is that Google considers site speed as one of the major search engine ranking factors.
On a good note, improving the speed of your WordPress site is not that hard. There are tons of free plugins you can use right now to get that website loading faster.
Two of the most famous speed-improving WP plugins include W3 Total Cache and Imagify Image Optimizer.
On the other hand, Imagify is a useful plugin to compresses your images without reducing the quality.
Curious how your website is doing in terms of site speed? You can use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights, Pingdom, and GTmetrix. Aside from showing you how fast your website loads, it also provides thorough recommendations on how to improve it.
3. Focusing on Competitive Keywords
If you see your competitors targeting a keyword relevant to your website, it’s only natural to use the same keyword, right? Wrong.
Don’t slug it out with your competitors, especially if they’re bigger and have deeper pockets. Find other unnoticed keywords not used by your competitors.
Those competitive keywords are oftentimes broad keywords. A sample board keyword can be the word “shoes”.
On the other hand, unnoticed and unused keywords are usually long-tail keywords. Sample long-tail keyword to “shoes” can be “best shoes 2018” and even shoe types like “sneakers”.
Long-tail keyword are not only less crowded with competition, it also lets you craft dedicated content that communicates to your visitors depending on which stage they are in the consumer journey.
Two of the better tools that can help you find long-tail keywords are Ubersuggest and KWFinder.
Key in a lucrative broad keyword or phrase to target and let the tools generate an extensive list of long-tail keywords at your disposal.
Aside from giving keyword suggestions, the tools also provide useful metrics like search volume, Google AdWords Cost per Click (CPC) cost, and overall competitiveness of the keyword to help you choose a specific keyword to target.
4. Poor Keyword Optimization Strategy
You’re done harvesting optimal keywords to target. What next? Do I just write an article, mention the keyword, and leave the rest to Google?
Some keywords can be classified according to where the visitor is on the consumer journey. For example, a person who is just in the awareness stage might search for “best shoes 2018”.
On the other hand, a person who is ready to buy might search for “Nike stores near me” or “Nike Roshe One discount”.
Your content must revolve around the keyword so you can communicate a dedicated and consistent message to your customers for them to convert.
A WordPress plugin like Yoast SEO is a handy tool to use to help you use keywords appropriately in your content. The plugin comprehensively analyzes your content to provide real-time feedback on potential red flags you can fix.
Additionally, Yoast SEO also has the capability to edit the title, slug or URL, and meta description of your content in one convenient place.
5. Not Optimizing Permalink Structures
Confusing your visitors is a big no-no in SEO. Moreover, it’s also bad for your conversions. Google knows this and they will probably pull down your rankings to favor websites which are relevant and more user-friendly.
One overlooked aspect of user experience is a website’s permalink structure. By default, WordPress has a standard URL structure that goes like this – http://website.com/p=123.
The default structure isn’t readable and very trustworthy to look at. Moreover, the default permalink structure might create problems in terms of website navigation when more content is added to your website over time.
A quick fix to make your URL permalink structure more user and SEO -friendly is to use the “Post Name” or the “Custom Structure” format.
Over to You
Obviously, optimizing your SEO efforts for conversions is not a walk in the park. But knowing what you’re doing wrong and following some of the quick-fix solutions above is a step in the right direction towards to a more profitable business.
Do you know fellow webmasters and WordPress site owners who are currently experiencing these mistakes? Help them find a workaround solution by sharing this article.