SEO or search engine optimization is fairly complex and can involve a multitude of strategies. WordPress understands these needs and offers businesses a variety of plugins that help them find success. SEO is a strategy with a lot of depth. One can spend hours per day trying to optimize their website, or they could only work on it once a week. Either way, they will see results that match the time spent. This is why plugins are such a great investment! They help website managers handle SEO tasks more efficiently so they can see quicker results, with less time spent.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In the simplest terms, SEO helps you increase your website’s visibility on search engines like Google. Every time someone searches for information online, hundreds and thousands of websites fight to be the first link shown. Creating an effective SEO-optimized website can help your content appear on the first page of Google results.
What is a WordPress Plugin?
Plugins help increase functionality and help personalize the usability of a WordPress website. Sometimes plugins are called modules or extensions, but no matter what they are called, plugins add features to your site. They help optimize workflows and help keep your site running. The best part is a developer is not needed when downloading plugins. Virtually anyone can do it.
Plugins can be installed from the administration panel of your site. Find the plugins section and select add new. Then install the plugin!
Do you need WordPress plugins on your website?
In reality, you don’t NEED WordPress plugins, but they do make things a lot easier. Especially if you are not an SEO expert, plugins can be a great addition to your digital marketing plan.
It is best to think of SEO plugins as a guide. They help direct you to issues on your site and offer recommendations to improve your search ranking. If you don’t need a guide to help you build an optimized site, plugins might not be for you. However, both beginners and experts alike use plugins to create efficiencies and accountability structures around the websites they manage.
Finding the perfect plugin can be stressful, mainly because so many are available. So here is a list of the 10 best WordPress plugins to improve your SEO!
10 best WordPress plugins for SEO
Yoast is one of the most popular plugins for WordPress, and there’s a reason why. It does a lot more than SEO, but it does SEO extremely well, and is easily one of the best WordPress plugins for SEO! It is also straightforward to use. A quick search on YouTube will bring up hundreds of video tutorials of folks walking you through every step of the Yoast process.
Yoast focuses on helping you optimize:
• Your URL
• Meta description
• Keyword density
• Internal & external links
• Content readability
• Focus keywords
Yoast is user-friendly and will provide digestible recommendations on how to improve your site. They use a stoplight grading system to highlight areas you need to work on. Red means there is something important to address. Yellow means something needs to be addressed when you have time. Green means everything is good!
Yoast SEO offers premium versions which can help you optimize your keywords usage, internal link suggestions, and how your webpage is previewed on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
SEOPress is another all-in-one feature that helps you optimize your site. It is also beginner-friendly but offers advanced options to those who seek them. With SEOPress, you can add image and content XML sitemaps, redirects, meta titles, descriptions, and more.
The free version of SEOPress offers an advert-free experience. So, although there is a paid version, which is significantly cheaper than competitors, most businesses won’t require it. The free version is very holistic and offers a robust infrastructure.
The premium version offers 404 monitoring, IP anonymization, backlink integrations, Google Page Speed integrations, video sitemaps, etc.
This is a plugin has been expertly designed to support non-SEO experts. It offers valuable SEO strategies without the complicated elements. This means it works differently from other plugins that provide expert-level features. For example, when you’re writing copy for a webpage, SEO SQUIRRLY optimizes and offers recommendations as you write. So, by the time you’re done writing, the webpage is optimized.
SEO SQUIRRLY helps you create content that serves both your human readers and search engines. So, it not only helps people find your website, but it makes them want to stay on it.
SEO SQUIRRLY helps you:
• Find and use optimal keywords
• Analyze and optimize your articles
• Examine your competition to see how you rank in comparison
• Create an XML sitemap for Google and Bing
Squirrly also provides content reports and weekly progress checks, which can be easily shared with others in your organization. They also include a tool that shows recent tweets about your industry and topics that can be used to inspire new and relevant content ideas.
SEO Optimized Images
It might feel like an image optimizer isn’t necessary, but image optimization is a critical part of the SEO process. We use images in our content to help us tell a story. So, in order for search engines to fully understand our content, it is best if they can also “see” the photo.
Alternate text and image titles can help search engines understand what is in your photo. This allows search engines to direct the right traffic to your site.
You might not expect to see a redirection tool on a “best WordPress plugins for SEO” list, but it’s an important part of your SEO stack! Especially for large websites, 301 redirects and 404 errors can occur frequently. These errors may be harmful to SEO and your customer’s experience on your website.
Redirection helps you monitor 301s and 404s, which is necessary when building your SEO.
What does Redirection do? If you’re updating content on your website at all, sometimes search engine links can take users to URLs that no longer exist. Users get lost and become frustrated with your website and leave. However, with Redirection, search engines are told to stop paying attention to the missing link. This way, the link stops showing up on search engines, and customers can find relevant up-to-date information.
Broken Link Checker
Similarly to redirection, Broken Link Checker scans your website for missing or broken links. Missing links can negatively affect SEO efforts by making it increasingly difficult for search engine crawlers to index your site.
Broken Link Checker keeps an eye on your site and lets you know if a broken link is found. This way, you can take action without requiring you to complete a manual audit.
It’s best to turn on Broken Link Checker once per week or at the regular cadence of your choosing. Once the plugin is turned on, it will scan for broken links. Once those are fixed, turn the plugin off and wait until next week to check again. This way, the plugin’s user interface doesn’t slow down your site.
WP Video SEO
If video content is a large portion of your website, WP Video SEO should be on your list of plugins.
WP Video SEO helps you:
• Optimize SEO for YouTube videos
• Generate a sitemap for YouTube videos
• Index video content
When it comes to video, WP Video SEO is one of the best WordPress plugins!
WPTouch Mobile Plugin
Making sure your website is mobile-friendly should always be a top priority. WPTouch Mobile Plugin helps you do this.
Google takes into account your website’s mobile-friendliness when ranking your website. This plugin helps you create a responsive, mobile-optimized website for your customers.
The SEO Framework
The SEO framework is another all-inclusive SEO plugin that serves beginners and experts alike. The plugin can help you automatically create SEO-friendly titles for your posts, keep site speeds high, avoid duplicate URLs, build internal links into your content, and protect your site with anti-spam software.
SEO Framework gives you precisely what you need without any extras. It has a very clear user experience and helps you improve the things that matter the most. How well your site is optimized is shown through a colored scale, similar to Yoast SEO, so you know exactly what needs to be fixed and what is already excelling.
Your website speed is one of the key factors in search engine rankings. Not only does Google take this metric into account on its own, but loading speeds also affect your bounce rate and other key metrics that affect your user experience rating.
Autoptimize can ensure your page loads as quickly as possible. The plugin “can aggregate, minify, and cache scripts and styles, inject CSS in the page head by default and can move and defer scripts to the footer. It also minifies the HTML code itself, making your page really lightweight.
Using Autoptimize makes implementing these technical elements much easier.