What WordPress SEO Plugins Do You Really Need?
Do you really need any WordPress SEO Plugins or are these just for advanced users who want to fine tune their SEO?
There are numerous WordPress SEO Plugins available and you certainly don’t need them all, some do much the same thing anyway. However a new WordPress installation isn’t ideal for SEO so every site can be improved with a few plugins. As a minimum you should install:
A Site Map Plugin
“Google XML Sitemaps” is a popular plugin which generates and maintains a site map for the search engines. This will enable the search engine spiders to find all the pages on your site and quickly index new content. Despite its name it works with Yahoo and Bing as well as Google.
A General WordPress SEO Plugin
One of the most popular WordPress SEO plugins is “All In One SEO Pack”. If you simply accept the default settings you only have to enter the meta data (title, description and keywords which will appear on the search engine results) for the home page and you are done. The plugin then allows you to manually enter meta data for each page and post. Accepting the defaults is fine to start with but, at some point, it is worth taking time to understand what it is doing (e.g. optimising titles and controlling duplicate content) as you may benefit by adjusting the settings.
An alternative is the Platinum SEO Plugin. This is similar to the All In One SEO Pack but with additional functionality for more advanced users. If you intend to get into the detail of setting SEO for your blog this may be a better option for you.
Having installed the two plugins above there are a range of other WordPress SEO Plugins you can install to improve SEO in specific ways. A couple that I like are below:
One of the more simple WordPress SEO Plugins which you can install and forget. It simply removes common words from the title of a post so that the slug that appears in the URL is more search engine friendly. For example if the title is “what-you-can-do-immediately-for-higher-rankings” this gets shortened to “immediately-higher-rankings”.
SEO Smart Links
This plugin generates links automatically. You can set-up your own keywords with matching URLs and set the frequency at which the links are generated. The primary aim is to create internal links to other posts and pages which benefits your SEO. The plugin can also create external links and you have the option of making them nofollow.
These WordPress SEO Plugins help to configure a site but it is important to remember that the most important aspect of on page SEO is to generate good, unique content on an ongoing basis. This content should be optimised for the search engines so that there is no doubt as to the keywords to which it is relevant. You can install plugin to help with this as well.
This plugin is different from most other WordPress SEO Plugins in that rather than helping to configure the site, its purpose is to run when you save or update a page or post and check the content for SEO purposes. It then reports by giving a percentage score and suggestions for improvement. This plugin will help you learn how to write in a way that is search engine friendly.
Whilst there are many more WordPress SEO plugins you could install, the above will get you off to a good start.