Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a topic that most WordPress developers at least have a minimal grasp on. The general premise is simple enough: if your website is fast, highly linked, and optimized with the right keywords, you stand a good chance at ranking well on Google (and other search engines, if you care about them).
However, a basic understanding doesn’t always guarantee that you’ll develop WordPress based websites or tools that are SEO friendly. It’s possible that you are making one or more mistakes related to Search Engine Optimization without even realizing it.
Here are four of the top SEO mistakes that WordPress developers should avoid, and ways that you can stay on Google’s good side.
1. Installing WordPress on a Subdomain
If you work within an agency or in a client facing role of any kind, you certainly know better than to argue with your customers. However, this is one instance in which you should be very firm: clients should not add their company blog to blog.domain.com.
With regards to SEO, a subdomain is viewed as a separate domain with its own authority and ‘rating’. If a client is creating a new website and a new blog, and their blog is hosted on a subdomain, this means that incoming links to the blog (where they will probably be creating a majority of their link worthy content) will not pass any authority to their site domain.
On the other hand, if the blog is installed in a subdirectory, as is most common, incoming links will pass authority to the site domain. This can help build a website’s reputation and increase the amount of inbound links twice as fast, especially if the client’s content is mostly housed here.
This topic is one that is regularly discussed by SEOs, especially because there are times in which a subdomain installation might be a better choice. This Search Engine Watch article has more information on the theoretical situations that may lead you to choose a subdomain over a subdirectory, including a reputation management issue or desire to occupy an additional spot in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).