WordPress is generally regarded as being search engine friendly. The open source content management system (CMS) is cleanly coded, optimized for fast load times and frequently updated. However, there are still a few search engine optimization (SEO) hurdles with WordPress that webmasters must tackle.
After initially setting up WordPress, you may notice nondescript URLs for your posts and pages. When you publish a new post, for instance, the default URL format will look something like: Website.com/?p=123. As explained by Search Engine Journal, you can set up WordPress to use title names for URLs by accessing Settings > Permalinks and choosing “Post name.”
In addition to changing your site’s permalinks, you should also install an SEO-friendly theme. Not all WordPress themes are optimized for search engine visibility. Some themes are poorly coded, making it difficult for search engines to crawl and index them. So, choose a responsive, premium theme that’s optimized for search traffic.
When uploading images to your WordPress site, you can crop and resize them using the platform’s built-in tool. However, visitors will still have to load the original image before loading the resized image, contributing to longer load times. And since Google uses site speed as a ranking signal, this could hurt your site’s search ranking. To overcome this issue, it’s recommended that you resize your images using an external program before uploading them to your site.
WordPress doesn’t automatically create sitemaps, but there are plugins that will. The Yoast SEO plugin, for instance, not only creates an XML sitemap but also notifies Google and Bing of its location. After being notified, the respective search engines will crawl your sitemap to identify the location of every page.
#5) Duplicate Content
Finally, there’s the issue of duplicate content with WordPress. When you publish a new post, for instance, it may appear in the category, tags and author archives. If the same content appears in two or more locations, how will Google know which version to index? Well, there are plugins that allow you to prevent search engines from crawling and indexing certain locations, including the aforementioned Yoast SEO plugin.
Following these tips will help you overcome the common SEO hurdles of WordPress.