As a WordPress beginner, it’s all too easy to not be aware of the ins and outs of your new site when it comes to optimizing it for your readers.
And as a fellow WordPress blogger, I have thrown myself into researching, learning, and countless trial and errors in order to optimize my site the best that I can so that I can drive more traffic to my blog. Chances are, you’re wanting to do the same thing, minus the hours and hours of Google searches and confusion, right? This is where I come in to help you out.
Side note: If you are thinking about starting a blog but have no idea where to start, here is my Beginner’s Guide to Creating A WordPress Blog!
Here are 4 ways that you may be hurting your blog’s traffic. But don’t worry- they are easy fixes (Yes, you can do it!) and I’ll break it all down for you.
1. Make sure your site is SEO friendly:
First thing’s first: you need to make sure that Google knows that your site exists, so that people who are searching for content similar to yours can find it when they search in Google.
The first step in making your WordPress site recognizable by google is to make sure that your site is visible to search engines. This is perhaps the easiest step, but it’s so so important and it’s so easy for beginners to overlook.
To do this, go to the Settings button in your Dashboard, then click ‘Reading’.
From there, just make sure the box labeled ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this site’ is unchecked! And you’re done!
2. Speaking of SEO Optimization…
Let’s take a look at your post’s permalinks and make sure that the permalink settings for your WordPress site aren’t hurting your SEO.
Every time you create a new post, WordPress automatically creates a permalink for it. In most cases, if you leave WordPress’ default permalink settings- then chances are your permalink will look like a mix of words, letters and numbers and it’s not sexy. So, to get that sexy, SEO friendly permalink, head over to the ‘Settings’ tab in your Dashboard and click on ‘Permalinks’.
If your Permalinks are set to Plain (That unsexy jumble of letters and numbers) scroll down and check Post Name instead. Viola!
You now have enabled sexy Permalinks.
3. Not Categorizing your posts
You’re making a big mistake! You want readers who come to your site to be able to easily find posts relevant to what they are looking for. If your posts aren’t organized in a manner that makes it easy for a reader to find and read, then that reader is going to find what they are looking for elsewhere, and your SEO will be damaged.
So how can you organize your posts? Well, WordPress will automatically “file” your posts under “uncategorized” so we will want to go in and add our own categories in order to have a cleaner, more organized website!
From your Dashboard, click on ‘Posts’ and then ‘Categories’.
Towards the right, you’ll see the Uncategorized section. I like to start off my changing “Uncategorized” to “Other” (but you can change it to whatever you want)
And then I also add more categories to better describe the content that my readers can expect when they are clicking on it, so for instance, “Marketing” would be a category that I use to organize all my blog posts that are related to Marketing in one, easy to see category for my visitors.
4. Not using a Favicon
What is a Favicon and why should you have one?
A favicon is the tiny image to the left of your URL that visitors will see when they have your website up on their screen, or better yet- when they bookmark your site. It’s small, yet powerful piece on online real estate that makes your site look even more polished and professional.
So how do you get one for your blog? If you have a logo that will look okay in a tiny size, (so if it’s your initials, logo, or anything that isn’t a lot of letters or imagery, you can easily scale down the size of that image and make it into your favicon! Just make sure that you scale it correctly- icons must be 512 pixels and square. You can have a file that is either .png or .ico.
To create one, you can use programs such as Photoshop, a Favicon generator (Just google it and you’ll get a lot of options) or my favorite, Canva!
To set your Favicon, go to Appearance > Customize > Site Identity and Upload your Favicon to be your Site Icon image.
Once uploaded, WordPress will show you how your Favicon will look to others when they visit your site.
There you have it folks! 4 mistakes that you are making on your WordPress blog that you can fix in a matter of minutes! These are simple, yet powerful adjustments that will not only help traffic once they land on your site, but also play a role in your SEO!
Go forth with your bad self and rock your Wrodpress blog!