WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system (CMS). Not only is the platform widely used with basic WordPress hosting, but many website owners choose to use WordPress with an external hosting provider.
Nearly half of the world’s top 100 most regularly visited blogs use WordPress, and it is believed that around 12% of all websites use the WordPress CMS.
Whether you’re using WordPress as your blogging platform or as the basis for a full business services website, it is only natural that you’re going to want to achieve the very best SEO performance so that as many people as possible find your site when using the search engines. While you’re probably already doing some SEO on your own, maybe conducting keyword research and performing some link building activities, there are several SEO plugins designed specifically for WordPress that will enable you to enjoy additional exposure and search visibility.
Here are the plugins we consider the top five, and the reasons why. All of these are available as free tools, although some premium upgrades and add-ons within these are paid.
WordPress SEO by Yoast is generally regarded as the best of the bunch when it comes to WordPress SEO plugins. Not only does it help you to ensure all of the technical aspects of SEO are correct, but using Yoast will help you, over time, to produce better content and it will also broaden your overall knowledge of SEO, too.
WordPress SEO by Yoast will give you a real focus on your keywords and make your content as strong as possible for SEO. The list of features you’ll benefit from by using this plugin includes:
On-page analysis in terms of keyword usage
Automatic optimisation and insertion of metadata
In addition to the standard SEO plugin, Yoast also offers a broad range of additional platforms and features so that all types of website can benefit. Shopping cart software for WordPress, local search optimisation, and video optimisation are among the other packages Yoast provides, all of which can make a difference to your SEO strategy if they’re relevant to you.
This SEO plugin comes directly from WordPress, and ensures that all of the basic SEO points that novice webmasters or content writers might not always get right are taken care of.
The WordPress All in One SEO Pack also supports a vast range of added features and functions, including Google Analytics tracking and support, and built in API. It is also the only WordPress SEO plugin available that currently provides SEO for WordPress based ecommerce sites, making it a ‘must use’ if your site is of this nature.
Perhaps best of all, it’ll identify any duplicate content already on your site and prevent you from publishing it, saving you the problem of repetition that befalls a great number of blogs.
SEO Ultimate is another all in one SEO solution from WordPress with a vast range of features. Although it goes into more depth than our previous example, it isn’t as easy to set up and start running with right away. This is especially true if you’re experimenting with your first WordPress website or haven’t dealt with SEO before.
At the same time, if you know a little about SEO and are keen to both grow your knowledge and enjoy a useful plugin, it is definitely worth considering this one. WordPress have even produced a brilliant tutorial video that will help you get started with Ultimate SEO. Be aware, however, that it is quite intense and in-depth at over an hour long!
Although FV Simpler SEO is one of the older plugins available, it still does a great job of getting your WordPress website noticed by Google and the other search engines. The biggest benefit of this plugin is given away in the title: it’s simple!
Foliovision, who developed this plugin, make no secret of the fact they think other plugins, namely the WordPress All in One SEO Pack, are overcomplicated, and make optimising your WordPress content harder than it needs to be. Don’t be fooled, all of the features and functions you need for a highly optimised site are here; they’re just hidden under the bonnet so you don’t have to worry about them.
Any current blog post or article that talks about the role of images in content mentions their importance in terms of breaking up writing and making copy easier to digest. If you’re using images on your WordPress blog or website, then it makes sense to take advantage of the SEO potential they can give you.
SEO Friendly Images is a popular plugin, another from WordPress, and automatically gives your images correct alt and title tags based on your chosen keywords. This is an important plugin for anyone serious about SEO, as only some WordPress themes do this for you, meaning you could be undermining your SEO strategy without realising should you choose not to use it.
You should choose the WordPress SEO plugin that is going to work best for you. Consider your needs, what you’re looking to achieve with your website, and how robust your current SEO strategy is, and then choose the option that will assist you in enhancing this even further.