If your company’s website is hosted on WordPress, you probably already know that it’s the most SEO-friendly CMS platform in existence. That being said, WordPress SEO is going to be SO SO SO SO vital and the easiest way to begin optimizing your site will be with SEO plugins specifically for WordPress.
Note: It’s important to keep in mind the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org as they both have their strengths and limitations. When referring to “WordPress,” I’m specifically referring to ONLY WordPress.org.
Yoast has 5+ million active installations and has been downloaded more than 202 million times. This one sets the bar high when it comes to search optimization on the WordPress platform. Yoastensures your site has the SEO basics necessary for being indexed, crawled, and ranked in Google search.
The best part about Yoast is that it’s very intuitive – once you install it, this WordPress SEO plugin will guide you through the process of optimization best practices by:
- Having templates available to you for title and meta descriptions this will provide you with more aligned branding and consistent snippets in search results. Take a look at the example below, this SEO plugin will detect if your article title, meta description, and even slug is up to SEO standards.
- Built-in readability and SEO content analysis to guide optimization and SEO best practices for editors and writers. However, keep in mind this doesn’t ensure ranking improvements. Take a look at the example below, since we use Yoast, when I throw my content into WordPress, this comes up for me to review any problems or areas where improvements can be made/fixed. It’ll also show you what you’re doing well.
- Structured data (schema) implementation that will ultimately help search engines understand your site.
- Having a functional XML Sitemap that’ll give search engines a roadmap to quickly find the important pages on your site.
Controlling your website’s breadcrumbs which gives visitors a path to see exactly where they are on your site and helps show Google how your site is structured. Take a look at how Yoast has their breadcrumbs set up, ideally your website will have this structure so it’s easy for users to get back to previous pages.
Caution: While Yoast is the best SEO plugin, it isn’t the only tool you’ll need to improve rankings. There are many other critical aspects to SEO that Yoast won’t be able to help you with like:
- Keyword research
- Off-page SEO
- Creating and editing your robots.txt
- Changing canonical tags
- No indexing common thing content
- Removing attachment pages which creates a huge index bloat issue
Even though Yoast isn’t the end-all-be-all optimization solution, it’s still the top plugin and remains an integral part of ensuring that your WordPress site ranks on Google.
As you probably know, Google is clamping down hard on sites that don’t provide the best user experience for their visitors. An integral part of the equation is ensuring that your website is loading as fast as possible.
Keep in mind that while the plugin is quite intuitive, you’ll need to be very careful when tweaking the settings. The wrong configuration could easily break the custom features of your site. Therefore, it’s a good idea to work with a professional WordPress developer if you need custom optimization on Autoptimize.
Every great piece of content has images throughout to keep readers interested or to provide examples of what you’re speaking to.
However, it’s not best practice to just throw images up on your site because it can definitely do some damage to your loading speed. That’s where award-winning image optimizer WP Smush can help.
WP Smush is an easy to use WordPress SEO tool that allows you to optimize your images without losing the quality of them. Optimizing your images includes:
- Lazy loading
- Improving your Google page speed with the “image smusher”
If you have multiple images that need to be optimized, have no fear, WP Smush can optimize up to 50 images at once!
As a marketer, you know that Google will always put users first which means there’s a huge emphasis on your loading page speed. In order to rank well on search engines, you’ll want to reduce your loading speed, that’s where this SEO plugin for WordPress comes in handy.
WP Super Cache is an easy to use SEO plugin that will allow you to generate static HTML files. Caching is essentially a shortcut where instead of search engines scanning your WordPress site, it scans the HTML file which contains screenshots and provides that to users.
I’m sure by the name of this SEO plugin for WordPress you’re able to guess what it does.
Broken Link Checker scans your website for broken links if there are any, Broken Link Checker will inform you via email or on your dashboard whenever it comes across one. It will show you the HTTP status code, anchor text, and source of the link.
When you come across a broken link, you’re able to remove, update or replace the link at the click of a button.
There’s a good chance that when you’re searching for WordPress SEO Plugins, you’ll come across All in One SEO Pack. Since it was created in 2007, this plugin has been downloaded over 50,000,000 times and is considered to be a top WordPress SEO plugin.
With the All in One SEO Pack, beginners can optimize a website with a single click of a button. However, if you’re a more advanced user you’ll have no problem optimizing your SEO with additional features.
Similar to Yoast (which we prefer), this SEO plugin was created to optimize your WordPress website. Some of the SEO optimization features include:
- XML Sitemap support
- Robots.txt support
- Automatically generated meta tags
- Integrates with AMP plugin to optimize your mobile page speed
When I’m writing a blog post, I’ll typically insert internal links throughout the article. These internal links are meant to offer additional information to readers that they might not get within the post but lives on another page of the site.
On the backend, any search marketing professional knows that internal linking is a crucial part of helping Google understand which pages are your most important. By crawling your site and its content, search engines will come across any hyperlinks that’ll show the relationship between pages.
Although y’all probably know your site like the back of your hand, sometimes, you wonder what internal link would be the best fit??
CUE: Inline Related Posts, a top WordPress SEO plugin for the job.
Inline Related Posts can help you boost your internal links, spreading your site’s authority across all pages. To maximize the SEO benefits from your content you should always make sure that each page links to other relevant pages on your site as much as possible.
Comparable to Broken Link Checker, this plugin is a simpler way to manage SEO errors for WordPress. Although Broken Link Checker identifies and removes broken links, Redirection can help you out with your 301’s.
You can create 301 redirects for the broken links on your site without the need to know complicated backend coding procedures. With the help of this SEO plugin, you can easily create entire redirect patterns to point them to your target URLs. This makes it easier for professionals like yourself to permanently move pages.
Although the Header, Footer, and Post Injections plugin doesn’t directly influence your SEO efforts, it makes adding code to the header or footer of your website a breeze. This is a great alternative for sites that don’t know how to use Google Tag Manager or if it’s too complicated to learn.
With the help of this SEO plugin, you can add Google Analytics, the Facebook Pixel, and various custom tracking codes to your site in seconds. This is HUGE if you’re not fluent in coding and can’t do it manually or if you’d rather have one centralized plugin rather than one for each.
Disclaimer: All of these WordPress SEO plugins can be used in conjunction with each other. BUT the two that are not compatible together and will end up causing problems on your site are Yoast and All in One SEO Pack. So, make sure you only pick one or the other!
Putting together a WordPress SEO-friendly site can be a challenge, but with these plugins, you can reduce the time it would take to complete various manual tasks while also making sure that your site will look good in the eyes of Google and your visitors.
WordPress.org is the most SEO-friendly CMS and as a marketing professional, if you have the opportunity to optimize a WordPress site you should take full advantage of it and what better way to do so by not using the best WordPress SEO plugins.