WordPress is one of the most popular and widely used content management systems (CMS) on the web, used by over 40 percent of all sites. Known for its user-friendly interface and an array of over 30,000 plugins to extend its functionality, WordPress is something most SEOs encounter on a daily basis. For many larger enterprises, a more complex and intricate CMS is needed, but for blogs and small to medium-sized businesses, WordPress meets most of a webmaster’s needs.
Whether you are working with clients who use WordPress as their CMS, or you yourself use it for your own corporate site or blog, navigating WordPress is an important skill for SEOs to have. Luckily, the extensive database of plugins offers a slew of great tools that will make optimizing the site that much easier.
Check out these 10 SEO plugins you should be using!
1.) WordPress SEO by Yoast
WordPress SEO by Yoast is a comprehensive plugin that not only allows you to optimize for all the technical aspects of your page, but also helps you write better content. By forcing you to choose a focus keyword for each particular page, the plugin acts as a guide, steering you towards better and more Google-friendly content. It has a highly advanced Google XML sitemap functionality, and it allows you to control all the Meta data of your page, from title tags to Meta descriptions. The plugin even analyzes your pages and tells you which elements are missing so you can ensure each is completely optimized.
2.) W3 Total Cache
Site speed is an important ranking signal for the Google algorithm, and this plugin is designed to optimize user experience and page speed. W3 Total Cache increases server performance to reduce download times and provide transparent content delivery network integration. An important plugin for SEOs, particularly to address the site speed implications of transitioning to HTTPS.
3.) Google XML Sitemaps
Having an XML Sitemap is key to ensuring your site is properly indexed by search engines. This plugin is easy to use and will generate a complete XML sitemap for your entire website that will make it easier for search engines to crawl your pages. Google XML Sitemaps also alerts search engines of updates to content.
Considered ideal for non-SEO experts, Squirrly allows you to optimize content as you’re writing it, and is compatible with other SEO plugins such as Yoast or the All-In-One SEO Pack. Squirrly works in real time, offering advice for optimizing content while you’re editing the page, and indicating (via green lights) when a page is properly optimized. It helps you find and target keywords, and can audit your site on a weekly basis to provide key insights into performance and areas of weakness.
5.) Simple URLS
Simple URLs allows you to manage all the outbound links from your site using custom post types and 301 redirects to avoid performance issues and permalink conflicts. With this plug in you can create, edit, delete, and track outbound links.
6.) SEO Friendly Images
This plugin optimizes your site’s images by automatically updating them with the proper ALT and TITLE attributes.
7.) RB Internal Links
Internal linking is crucial to the architecture of any site, helping you establish a page’s authority within the website. RB Internal Links eliminates the need to manually link to other pages, let alone try to remember unwieldy URLs. The plugin uses shortcodes that are converted into the current permalink on the render of the page you’re editing, and the links update automatically if ever you change your link structure.
8.) SEO Ultimate
SEO Ultimate gives you total control over all elements of your page, from title and Meta tags to 404 errors, rich snippets, Open Graph, autolinks, canonical links, and more. Edit keywords and Meta descriptions, rewrite title tags, and integrate Authorship into your content. SEO Ultimate allows you to set canonical links to point search engines to specific content, and you can even automatically link specifically designated anchor text every time the chosen text appears on your site.
9.) All-in-One SEO Pack
The All-in-One SEO Pack is one of the most popular and widely used plugin of its type. Similar to WordPress SEO by Yoast, the All-in-One SEO Pack allows you to optimize your page for search engines by giving you control over all Meta descriptions, title tags, Meta keywords, and advanced canonical URLs. It also automatically generates all of this for you, making it highly useful for beginners.
10.) WP Social
This is an important plugin for integrating social media, optimizing your site’s Social SEO by integrating Facebook Open Graph, Twitter Card and Google Rich Snippets to your site. WP Social includes all the different kinds of microdata supported by Google, and automatically adds the proper Meta tags across each social media platform supported by the plugin.
As you well know, a lot goes into optimizing a site for SEO. Fortunately, there is an extensive community of SEO experts and professionals who recognize the need for tools that make search engine optimization more manageable. What SEO plugins for WordPress are in your toolbox?