Optimizing your website can give you substantial advantages in your virtual marketing campaign as search engines will improve your visibility if you give them the right signals. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be exhausting because there are dozens of factors that must be taken care of in order to rank nicely on the results page for a given set of keywords. Luckily there are some shortcuts in the process, especially if you are using WordPress as your content management system.
Why Pick WordPress?
WordPress is reasonably the best content management system right now. Sure, it began as a simple blog platform, but with time it has become a powerful tool with unparalleled versatility. You can use WordPress for a lot of things, from traditional blogs to web store-style sites, and this flexibility is the main reason for its popularity, as it powers more and more websites.
Digital marketers find WordPress very useful thanks to its suitability for achieving a good position in search engine result pages. The way WordPress is coded grants the user the so much-needed SEO friendliness, and the increasing number of templates, themes, and plugins makes it the perfect tool to promote products and services. Of course, being free also helps.
Why Use WordPress Plugins For SEO?
Besides being remarkably well-coded, WordPress’s actual SEO advantages come from the plugins designed for that purpose. Using WordPress plugins to aid you in the SEO process is highly advisable when it comes to publishing content, and going without them is much like solving complex math problems without a calculator.
SEO plugins offer complete solutions to improve the SERP for WordPress-powered websites, saving great amounts of time and resources. Most of them go beyond simple meta tag additions by helping create meta descriptions, custom post titles, and meta keywords for any page. They show you real-time previews of your website, and how it will look when someone searches for it in any engine. Some WordPress plugins even give you a verified Google Authorship for your posts.
Plugins also help to create image-supporting XML sitemaps and provide the ability to remove specific posts, pages or taxonomies from the sitemap. They also notify the main search engines whenever you publish new content. Last but not least, they provide the mandatory social integration feature and optimize the way your content is shown on Facebook, Twitter, and many others.
Best SEO Plugins for WordPress
Here is a brief list of the most popular SEO WordPress plugins. We tested them extensively, checked for updated versions, and wrote a short review for you to know the basic features they hold.
WordPress SEO by Yoast
The overwhelmingly acclaimed plugin is by far the most recommended option and after testing it for quite a bit, we had no reason to disagree. The WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast covers almost all the issues related to your site optimization and is a must-have for beginners and experienced users alike. Among dozens of other features, WordPress SEO by Yoast offers:
- An ensured addition of Meta description tags.
- Increased social media integration.
- Google authorship verification.
- Optimized RSS feed.
- Content quality suggestions.
- Inbound and outbound link analysis.
If you are not convinced, try it by downloading it here and joining a community of more than a million users.
All-in-One SEO Pack
All in One SEO Pack is the one with the most downloads to date with more than 30 million. Despite its resemblance to the Yoast plugin, All in One SEO is the only plugin that works with WordPress E-commerce sites. After using it extensively we highlight:
- Easy to use and very recommendable for people with little to no experience in SEO.
- Meta descriptions, Meta tags, and automatic keyword creation.
- Title optimization within any post.
- Additional features for e-commerce websites.
- Duplicate page detection.
- A regular and pro version according to your needs.
Download the latest version here and see the results for yourself!
SEO By Squirrly
This is perhaps the ultimate resource for inexperienced people. You don’t even need to know what SEO is to benefit from this fantastic plugin. Despite being somewhat simpler and limited in its free version, thousands of users have reported dramatic increases in their rankings after using it. We like how it helps beginners and even lets them learn more about the process of creating optimized content. SEO by Squirrly also provides:
- Greenlight system. Every time you achieve an SEO requirement, one light will turn green. When you manage to change all lights to green your article is ready for publishing.
- The explosive increase in traffic (some users report increases of over 285%)
- Independence with other SEO plugins Squirrly doesn’t mess with their data so you can still use them without problems.
- Help when creating content taking into account both readers and Search Engines.
SEO by Squirrly and its newbie-friendly approach deserved a place on our list. It is actually a personal favorite; we strongly encourage you to give it a try if you are starting in the SEO world.
This plugin gets you covered in all the basic SEO requirements and adds some unique features that made it worthy of a place on our list. With this plugin, you will be able to rewrite title tags, edit Metadata and create deep links by using anchor text. Advanced features include:
- Snippet Creator tool.
- Author highlighter to show Google+ profiles in the search results.
- Link Mask Generator.
- Canonicalized tool.
- 404 monitor to detect dead-ends and redirect them to your content.
With over 200.000 active users, the SEO Ultimate plugin is a valid option and is available here.
The SEO Wizard plugin for WordPress is one of the most versatile options. It helps users improve their writing, improve on-page optimization and keep track of post-SEO performance. Besides the basic SEO boosting features, we liked how nicely this plugin manages the social media integration of websites. We recommend it to anyone that needs a strong social presence. The main features include:
- A content-improving tool that shows previews of your page and SERP. This also indicates if your title is too short and whether your metadata is correct.
- Meta and Link Elements adding tool.
- Social Integration tool. It provides a lot of features to boost your exposure and traffic.
- Competitor analysis. By using the example of successful marketers, SEO Wizard provides valuable intel for you to consider.
SEO Wizard has over 10 thousand active users and is gaining traction over time.