WordPress is perhaps the best known content management system and blogging service today. How well known? Well, nearly 60 million websites use WordPress as their primary blogging system.
As mentioned, it’s best known as an open source blogging tool and content management system that’s based upon the web programming languages, MySQL and PHP. More than 23 percent of today’s top 10 websites use some form of WordPress, so that should give you a pretty good idea about its innate popularity. WordPress’ main features include the use of plug-ins and a template system. Both features are pretty much the bread and butter of WordPress, as they enable users to do practically anything on the platform.
So, you’re probably wondering how SEO ties into all of this. After all, search engine optimization is is actually a lot more simple than what some would think. In fact, the past two decades have seen plenty of people from all sorts of web development backgrounds use search engine optimization in some meaningful way.
WordPress makes search a lot more easier than many expect, thanks to features like integrated link management, a clean search-engine friendly permanent link structure, tagging support and Trackback/Pingback. Those particular features, among others, make this platform one of the best platforms for building a website.
As you would know now, SEO is used to target various types of search, including academic search, news search, image search, video search, local search and general keyword searches. Using WordPress, you, as a webmaster, can learn how to successfully target several different facets of search via WordPress… provided you understand SEO’s fundamentals.
The Best SEO Plug-Ins… For WordPress
Plug-ins customizes. They add on specific features to different types of software applications. In this case, WordPress plug-ins add on different features or new functions to the already existing platform. SEO plug-ins, to provide an example, add on new functions that help enhance how SEO can be used in conjunction with WordPress.
Different types of SEO plug-ins for WordPress exist:
Basic plug-ins perform a specific task, such as a link or keyword tracker.
All-in-one plug-ins are designed to do several different tasks at once, including link tracking, keyword tracking and the like.
Advanced plug-ins for SEO typically covers the nuances of certain SEO aspects, such as keyword density.
Of course, many of the best SEO plug-ins for WordPress are paid… but just as many are freely available for use. For the sake of this article, we’re going to talk about plug-ins that are mostly freely available to use.
On-Page Optimization + ‘All In Ones’
The following plug-ins covers all of your SEO plug-in needs. Most of these plug-in suites of sorts have handy modules, allowing customizing the plug-in as you please.
WordPress SEO by Yoast
If you’re looking for a WordPress SEO plug-in, this is probably your first choice. This popular SEO plug-in is used by practically everyone who uses WordPress—and with a good reason, at that.
Yoast’s WordPress SEO plug-in makes users come up with a main keywords, typically prompted for inclusion within your article headings. The keyword is suggested for use within your article heading, page title, page URL, content and meta description, which pretty much covers all bases when it comes to increasing keyword-based visibility.
This handy plug-in also includes essential features like page analysis, XML site maps, RSS optimization, social integration, breadcrumbs tracking and much, much more. Try this plug-in as soon as you can.
All In One SEO Pack
This is the ‘other’ SEO plug-in that WordPress users swear by… if they’re not already using Yoast’s plug-in.
Both All In One Free and Pro provide plenty of features to help optimize several aspects of your WordPress site. Either version can efficiently optimize your site Title, Description, Keywords and Meta No-follow/No-index for search engines. The plug-in also seamlessly incorporates Google Analytic support and remains compatible with various other plug-ins for WordPress.
SEO Ultimate is another SEO plug-in suite for WordPress that does everything under the sun, as they say. Besides providing the usual fare, SEO Ultimate provides adequate support for Google+ optimization, such as highlighting Google+ profiles alongside blog posts. Its features, much like other plug-ins, are arranged in handy modules that allow you to ‘turn on’ and ‘turn off’ features as you please.
A robust meta description editor, link mask generator, meta robots tag editor and 404 monitor are some features among many included within this suite.
Maintenance and Misc. Tracking
Maintaining your WordPress installation is just as important as making sure its blogs are well optimized. How else will your SEO efforts be effective?
W3 Total Cache
Website and web page performance is a pretty big component of SEO—it plays into the need to design a great experience for the end user. W3 helps users optimize their WordPress pages and sites, so they can accomplish that.
This plug-in displays a static HTML file to most of your users, a cache of your current site or web page. This allows users to access your site without having to load resource intensive PHP files directly, essentially boosting the performance of your WordPress site for users while significantly speeding up loading times.
This plug-in works alongside Google’s own WordPress tools, notably Google Authorship. Google Authorship helps people claim their content by verifying their ownership via Google+.
AuthorSure helps set up Google Authorship within WordPress, ensuring that your content’s always verified as yours.
Google XML Sitemap
This last essential WordPress SEO plug-in helps WordPress webmasters build a better sitemap—and, a better sitemap helps search engines easily index all of the essentials of your website.
Instead of having to manually design everything, Google XML Sitemap does it for you by generating a clear and concise sitemap. Using such a robust plug-in is better than waiting for search engines to manually index your site