The bare basic to run a website is to have quality content, and make your website visible on the internet. Next, to gain loyal readers. In these times it is important to be visible to the search engines. According to Statistic Brain Google gets about 4,717,000 000 = four billion seven hundred seventeen million search queries a day alone. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. One needs to pay attention to SEO to be visible on the search engines. Top SEO Plugins for wordpress
- Yoast SEO
- All in one SEO
- SEO SearchTerms Tagging 2
- SEO Smart Links
- SEO Friendly Images
- Author hReview
Best SEO Plugins For WordPress 2012
As a general rule, one of the most important elements to search engine optimization is on-site (or on-page) optimization or, for the purpose of this post, the part of WordPress that deals with the “code”. WordPress is a great platform for blogs and websites both. As well as it takes care of about 75% of the mechanics of SEO according to Matt Cutts (Google Spam Chief). Still, you can take it a step further, and for this we have the SEO plugins for WordPress. They help your site go that extra depth for added “technical optimizations” for the purpose of SEO. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of SEO plugin for WordPress, available out there, and you should be careful of what you choose. The ones that I will be recommending here are some of those that I use on this website or my other websites, and others from credible sources including WordPress repository as well as other sources. Each of these are completely and totally free and are tried and tested. A quick reminder, WordPress plugins are great and makes our lives a lot easier, and add some extended functionalities to your site. The only downside to using too many plugins is degradation in the performance. Let us begin with the list of Best SEO plugins for WordPress.
This is my favourite of all. It has so many SEO features that it will not let you think twice before choosing it. It is an all-in-one plugin indeed. Its features include xml sitemap, webmaster tools verification, RSS Optimization, Social integration, breadcrumbs, page analysis, rich snippets, and the whole list you can check out on the plugin homepage. One of the best features are the snippet preview, where you can see a rendering of what your post or page will look like in the search results and, the page analysis feature, which performs various checks on your post, such as: if you have images in your post with an alt tag, whether your posts are long enough, if you’ve written a meta description, subheadings within your post, and more (SEO assistant). These analysis features are mostly available only in paid plugins, but WordPress SEO is amazing for a free plugin and eliminates the need to install many other plugins, such as the Google XML Sitemap, etc. More information and guides are provided on WP SEO by Yoast.
Snippet preview on the Post Page
Page Analysis (this is really awesome) – The primary function of WP SEO is to help you write better and more Search Engine optimized content. Note the results below.
Get it here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-seo/
HeadSpace2 is an all-in-one meta-data manager that allows you to fine-tune the SEO potential of your site. It is a very powerful plugin that provides many options such as writing meta titles and descriptions for all your category, tag and custom taxonomy archives, analytics, thus giving you the option to further optimize those pages. Headspace 2 is not for the “Noobs” as it requires some extra knowledge about the settings and features available. Once you know how to find your way across this plugin, it is then a SEO powerhouse. HeadSpace is modular in nature and provides a full set of modules that allow you to configure your site exactly as you want and without requiring several conflicting plugins – everything is contained within one consistent interface. These modules include:
- Page-specific modules that can be applied to posts, pages, categories, archives, search pages, 404 pages, and the home page!
- Page titles – SEO optimized titles
- Tags and keywords are auto-suggested using a smart algorithm or via Yahoo and work on both posts and pages (pages can also be set to appear in tag archives)
- Page-specific plugins – have plugins that run only on specific pages!
- Theme-specific plugins – change your site theme on specific pages!
- Description – what appears in search engine listing
- More text – change the ‘more text’ for each post
- And many more features
You can watch a video here on how to use Headspace 2 at the link below. Get it at: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/headspace2/
One of the most popular SEO plugins for wordpress, AIO SEP Pack till date is the easiest and the simplest to use even for beginners. Although, it is not as powerful for that matter, in comparison with the two above. For beginners, this is an excellent SEO plugin as it basically works out of the box. For advanced users, you can fine-tune a lot of options and use special parameters to further make those titles unique. 80% of my websites run using this plugin. It is good, period.
If you are using Thesis (aff link), you don’t really need to install any of the plugins above as the Theme has its built-in SEO functionality and a very powerful one too. Also, choose ONLY ONE from any of the above plugins. Get it at: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack/
Supporting SEO Plugins for WordPress
Add hReview and AggregateRating support based on schema.org, which help you increase search traffic by making SERP results more eye-catching. This plugin supports only the editorial ratings submission (editor/author rating), this means customers and site visitors are not involved in the rating or review process, this means rating reflects only the author’s opinion.
Deep linking or internal linking, the process of linking to another article in your own site, is something you should be doing at least once on each post you publish. Not only do you provide users with more related and relevant content to look at, you may also get some extra SEO benefits out of it. For those of you, that may find this effort somewhat tedious, especially if you have many articles published, SEO Smartlinks can do wonders for you. After properly configured, it automatically finds keywords in your post that “matches” an article and creates a link to that post. You can also set it up with manual keywords, a simple but powerful way of creating affiliate links for example, in your whole website. If you are creative enough, you can even use it as part of your affiliate marketing ninja training.
A great alternative to SEO Smart Links is a combination of related posts and auto smart links plugin. The auto links feature will automatically convert post title, meta keywords, and post tags found inside the blog posts into an internal link. http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/seo-automatic-links/
Redirection (404 and more)
Very useful plugin specially if you are migrating pages from an old website, or are changing the directory of your WordPress installation. Several features are made available with this plugin, including 404 monitoring, redirection of any URL, and can redirect using various methods, such as, redirecting to random pages, redirecting based upon a referrer, etc.
Google XML Sitemap
If you decide to use any SEO plugin above other than WP SEO, you are recommended to install this plugin as it is one of those things that is virtually set and forget. The plugins main function is to create and submit a sitemap, making it easier for the search engine crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve information more efficiently. The plugin supports all kinds of WordPress generated pages, and automatically notifies all major search engines every time you create new content.
Broken Links Checker
Broken links are a big no, no and has a negative impact on your SEO. This plugin ensures that all your links, internal and external, are in good working order. If it detects any broken links, you are given various options to fix it. It is also highly configurable. http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/broken-link-checker/
SEO Friendly Images
A WordPress image optimization plugin that automatically updates all images with proper ALT and TITLE attributes. If your images do not have ALT and TITLE already set, SEO Friendly Images will add them according to the options you set. The ALT attribute is an important part of search engine optimization, and done properly, can be a great source of organic traffic. Do not underestimate the power of properly optimized images.
These plugins work and are highly recommended. Remember that they help you improve your SEO efforts and do not work on their own. You have to first and foremost, provide good stuff for your audience and then do your SEO. These plugins will not generate quality content. Remember, to keep your site clean of SPAM and garbage content.