Conversion optimization

WordPress SEO Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Conversion Rates

Building a website — even with a content management system like WordPress — can still involve a lot of work.

This is especially true if you have plans on monetizing your website’s traffic.

After optimizing your website’s appearance and the backbreaking work of developing content, you need to invest in traffic-building strategies.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is one of such strategies. It encompasses all practices that aim to make a website appear and rank higher in search engine results.

Of course, discussing SEO and how to achieve profitable results with it warrants an entire post of its own — something that isn’t exactly hard to find in today’s marketing climate.

What a lot of marketers don’t discuss, however, are the SEO mistakes that can hurt a website’s conversion rate.

If you’re new to SEO or in need of a deeper understanding of how certain aspects work, then perhaps starting with the things to avoid could be a great approach for you.

Without further ado, here are 4 SEO mistakes that also negatively affect your conversions:

1. Targeting Wrong Keywords

When it comes to SEO mistakes, targeting the wrong keywords is the big elephant in the room.

Remember, any marketing strategy — be it SEO, PPC, or content marketing — depends on a portfolio of well-targeted keywords to be successful.

Target the wrong keywords and you’ll draw in the wrong crowd. And if you don’t want to waste time and money on an SEO campaign that won’t yield profitable results, then you need to get your keywords right from the get-go.

Ubersuggest is one of the tools you can use to nail your keyword targeting for free. It works by generating hundreds of long-tail keyword ideas in seconds — you simply need to supply it with a “seed keyword” to get the ball rolling.

There are only a couple of things you need to remember when conducting keyword research with Ubersuggest:

  • Keep keyword competitiveness at 0.4 or below.
    In Ubersuggest, a competitiveness rating of around 0.4 pertains to low-medium competition keywords.
  • Use filters to find keywords with commercial intent.
    How to tell if a keyword will bring you traffic that’s ready to convert? Simple: it must contain commercial or query-based terms like “buy,” “services,” “for hire,” or “sale.”
  • Pay attention to keyword seasonality.
    You can use Ubersuggest to detect the overall pattern of a keyword’s average monthly search volume. If it’s moving upwards, then you may have spotted an upcoming trend in your niche.

2. Putting Off Customers with a Slow Website

As far as WordPress SEO goes, optimizing your website’s loading speed is one of the simplest strategies that also has the maximum impact.

According to Kissmetrics, a loading speed of over 3 seconds could result in a 40% increase in bounce rate. This number is increased to 53% in mobile websites.

Regardless of platform, you could be losing around half of your potential leads if you put up with terrible page load times. The good news is, there are truckloads of tools out there that can help you boost your website’s loading speed.

One example would be Imagify, which comes with a “Bulk Optimization” feature that applies lossless compression to every image in your library at one fell swoop. There are many other image optimization plugins that you can use as well.

You can also consider using a CDN (or Content Delivery Network) to drastically improve your WordPress website’s performance.

In simple terms, CDNs work by leveraging a network of geographically-distributed servers that share the load of transmitting content online. Loading speed is then increased by serving content to users using the nearest network or “Point of Presence.”

3. Not Optimizing for Click-Throughs

It’s not rocket science: zero click-throughs means no traffic.

Even if you manage to snag one of the top spots in search engine results, you need to make a few tweaks to make your page more attractive to users.

With a WordPress site, this means using a plugin like Yoast SEO to optimize your metadata, particularly the page’s title and meta description.

Yoast SEO’s value comes from the real-time analysis that’s provided for each WordPress post or page. As you craft your content, the plugin works in the background — detecting problems and possible improvements related to keyword density, SEO title, and keyword placement.

Of course, Yoast SEO also lets you optimize your content’s meta description, page title, and URL slug in one place. You just need to access the “Snippet Editor” and edit the right fields.

Apart from Yoast SEO, there are dozens of other WordPress plugins that can help boost your website’s conversion rate. It’s up to you to browse the official plugin repository to find the one that can address your needs.

Here are three additional examples that every WordPress user needs to know about:

4. Leaving Your Search Visibility On At The Wrong Time

Lastly, a lot of WordPress users aren’t even aware that you can manually switch your website’s search engine visibility on or off.

It’s true that the point of SEO is to have your website discovered and indexed by search engines. But if you’re still early in the process of developing content and setting up your site’s internal link structure, the last thing you need is a search engine crawler evaluating your incomplete work.

To switch off your WordPress website’s search engine visibility, simply head to “Reading Settings” from your main dashboard and enable the following option:

Whatever you do, don’t forget to disable this option once you think your website’s ready to be discovered and evaluated by search engines.


Always keep in mind that web traffic is next to useless if you’re not turning visitors into subscribers, followers, or paying customers.

With the tips above, you’re not only improving your WordPress website’s SEO-friendliness — you’re also making sure traffic gets turned to conversions.

Have any last-minute tips you’d like to share about WordPress SEO? Do you think we missed anything important?

We’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Cheers!

Marc lives and breathes writing. He writes just about anything and everything under the sun from digital marketing, web development, and cryptocurrencies (among other things).

1 Comment

  1. Greg Davids on October 29, 2018 at 8:23 am

    Hey, Marc,
    Excellent stuff!!
    You have pointed out the core mistakes actually many WordPress users did. Especially the last one, allow or disallow the site for big G indexing. The bounce rate of a site plays a major role in gaining SERPS on Google. So, we must optimize our site for proper On page SEO, and in this case, Yoast SEO plugins help us a lot.
    Thank you for sharing these very important tips. Keep up the great work!

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