Looking for WordPress plugins for SEO to supercharge your search engine visibility? Look no further than this list.
Now you might find the suggestions after the first one in this list a bit surprising, but SEO these days is about more than just getting keywords in the right places.
Read on if you’re ready to supercharge your SEO strategy.
Search engine optimisation is about more than just keywords
Don’t get me wrong, keywords are hugely important, but there are other factors to consider.
Google are putting more and more emphasis on user experience.
If Google starts serving up links to websites that users don’t like to use or don’t give them the answers they’re looking for – they’ll switch to a different search engine in the same way that they’d switch to a competitor of your if they don’t get a good user experience on your site.
This is why page loading speeds are hugely important, because if your site doesn’t load quick enough for visitors they’ll leave before they ever get a chance to see what you have to say.
You’ll also need to make sure that your security is tight, because Google will know if you’ve been hacked and it will tell people in it’s search results too.
So like I said, there’s more to search engine optimisation than keywords and this post aims to help you through them with a few hand-picked plugins.
Yoast SEO for WordPress
This is the best known of the WordPress plugins for SEO. It’s the number 1 most used WordPress plugin and it’s easy to see why.
It’s easy to use and has some great features including generating sitemaps for you to submit to Google as well as being able to set default images to be shown when your content is shared to social media.
As far as direct SEO within your content is concerned, it uses a traffic light system, scanning your content as you write it against it’s list of criteria.
Things like how often your keyword phrase appears in your content, whether you have internal links (links to your other content) and links to other sites too.
If you follow it’s recommendations for all your content you won’t go far wrong with on-page search engine optimisation.
The last thing that you want is a site full of spam comments damaging your site’s reputation in the eyes of Google.
That’s where Akismet comes in. One of the most downloaded and activated plugins around, it’s an essential plugin for a whole host is problems on your WordPress site including SEO.
When someone leaves a comment it will check the info against it’s own database of spammers and quarantine it ready for to you get rid.
I’ve seen client sites that have had real issues with spam comments, have them disappear literally overnight after installing Akismet, so it’s a top class plugin.
It’s not the first plugin that springs to mind when it comes to WordPress SEO plugins, but I think it’s up there with the best of them.
All in One WP Security
It’s hugely important to keep your website as secure as possible.
So I always recommend that you install a security plugin and my plugin of choice is All in One WP Security.
It has a load of great features including the dashboard which gives you an overall security score, being able to change your login URL and a firewall.
It’s easy to use and compared to some of the other big names in WordPress security plugins has more features.
You might be wondering what security has to do with SEO – it’s all about reputation.
If Google thinks that your site has been compromised by a hacker it will say so in it’s search results. Right below the link title and your URL it will say ‘This site may be hacked’ and lets be honest, no-one is going to click on your link in search results if they see that message.
And if people stop clicking through to your site from search results Google will know and you’ll plummet down the rankings.
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Just as important as having a secure site is one that’s quick loading too which is where caching plugins come into it.
User experience is huge. This is partly measured by how long people spend on your site once they’ve clicked through.
According to Google, 53% of mobile users won’t wait for a site that takes more than 3 seconds to load. So if people click through to your site but leave before the page has even loaded, that’s not going to help you in the search algorithm.
A caching or performance plugin can greatly help with your page loading speeds which is why this one makes it onto the list of WordPress plugins for SEO.
The browser cache is basically a copy of files needed to display websites. So if your site allows caching, the first time someone visits it, their browser will take a copy of the files so that next time that browser visits the site it doesn’t have to download all the files again.
Swift Performance is a great choice for a caching plugin. The premium version also comes with an image optimisation feature which helps you get your images under control. In my experience, 9 times out of 10, images have a big impact on page loading speeds.
Often when clients come to me with help for page loading speeds, it’s because they have huge un-optimised images, so to have that functionality built into a caching plugin is a huge bonus.
Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress
It’s really important to track your page views along with a load of other stats you’ll find within Google Analytics. And that’s why I have a Google Analytics plugin on my list of WordPress plugins for SEO.
Within Google Analytics you’ll find crucial information such as which keywords people search for before landing on your site along with other information like what devices people use when they visit your site.
Devices is a great bit of information to have so that you can make sure your site and content is optimised for the device people use most to visit your site, which will help improve user experience.
Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress is an excellent plugin that lets you add your Google Analytics tracking code without having to add any code to your website.
Not only this but you can also check out your basic stats in the dashboard that comes with this plugin, so you can get an overview of your stats without having to leave the WordPress dashboard.
5 actually awesome WordPress plugins for SEO – verdict
Even though they’re really important, there is more to optimising content for search engines, than putting keywords in the right places.
Your website needs to be reputable and user friendly but you also need to have a good grasp of who visits your site and how they get there too. That way you can optimise your site for them, which improves user experience.
No-one likes to see a load of spammy comments on any site, I know it makes me question a site’s authority when I see it, so keeping a lid on that is important as well.
All in all, good SEO is a combination of getting your keywords right so that people find your site in the first place, and then doing your best to keep them there as long as possible. And if you can get them to keep coming back, then you’re on to a winner.
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