As it stands now, WordPress powers more than 23% of the web, from simple websites and blogs to enterprise-level websites and applications. Perhaps some of the features that make WordPress a popular web software include its simplicity, flexibility, fantastic publishing tools, vibrant and supportive community and, of course, the thousands of plugins and themes that you can use to transform your site into almost anything you want. WordPress also offers the advantage of being optimized for the search engines.
With that said, for more fine-grained search engine optimization, there are a number of SEO plugins that you can use to optimize the many technical and creative elements of your website required to improve its user experience and performance in organic search results.
Some of the most popular SEO plugins that can help you put your site’s best foot forward in terms of both:
1. Visibility in the search engines
2. And your site’s interaction with users include:
Look at any listing of the most popular SEO plugins for WordPress, you are bound to find All In One SEO Pack listed there. It’s a plugin that automatically optimizes your WordPress site for the search engines like Google including feature like:
- Creating unique and accurate page titles
- Optimizing the “description” meta tag
- Creating optimized URLs
- Google Analytics support
- Fine-tuning your navigation to ensure convenience for users and the search engines
- SEO Integration for WordPress e-Commerce sites (All in One SEO Pack is the only plugin with this feature)
- Avoids the typical duplicate or near-duplicate versions of your content across your site
Next in the list of popular SEO plugins is Yoast SEO, designed to improve your site’s SEO on all needed aspects. This includes but is not limited to:
- Writing better content with the built-in content analysis function.
- Taking care of SEO basics like optimize your page titles and description meta tag to give the search engines a good summary of what a specific page is about.
- Page analysis including optimizing your use of images
- Yoast SEO also boasts of the most advanced XML Sitemaps functionality in any WordPress plugin.
Other features include RSS optimization, social integration, multi-site compatibility, import and export functionality, built-in Breadcrumbs functionality, permalink clean up and the ability to edit your robots.txt and .htaccess.
In fact, this SEO plugin is so powerful that sites like SearchEngineLand, The Next Web and Mashable all use it.
And finally, with tools to help you grow your website including:
- Welcome Mat, to help you create high-converting pages
- Content Analytics, to see exactly where people stop reading your blog posts
- Smart Bar, to remind visitors to take a specific action
- Scroll Box, to grow your email list without being too pushy about it
- And Highlighter, to get more social shares
Sumo Me has ensnared more than 1 billion users since it came out a little over a year ago. It is definitely an SEO plugin you want to check out for its awesome free tools that come along with the plugin.
Another three SEO plugins worth looking into
When we look for “WordPress SEO plugins”, we often tend to focus on plugins that deal directly with meta data, ALT tags, XML sitemaps etc. However, other plugins can help with SEO too, even if they are not branded as such. After all, SEO is really about a bunch of factors, and as long as you take care of those factors, your rankings should go up.
Jetpack has a lot of cool features, like contact forms, infinite scroll, anti-spam, better security etc. But the feature relevant to our SEO goal here is the enhanced site performance that it provides thanks to its content delivery network. Without getting into too many technical details, the CDN makes the images on your website load faster on your users devices by loading them from a server that’s geographically closer to them.
Page load time is a big factor is SEO, remember?
This plugin is also about increasing page load speed (or decreased page load time). WordPress is basically a bunch of PHP scripts being executed.
What this plugin does is generate static HTML files from those scripts and display those lighter files to 99% of the users. This takes a big load off your server, even in high traffic.
It’s good to have a good linking structure on your website. And this applies to outbound links too. You’re supposed to naturally link to other pages and add a ‘nofollow’ tag to paid links. Do you? If not you are in direct violation of the Google Webmaster Guidelines.
This plugin makes it super easy to comply with that particular aspect.