You know, I’ve worked in SEO for basically a decade now, and it’s a pretty important part of a website’s success, yet so many people still view it as “black magic”. That’s the main reason I wrote my Digital Marketing for Beginners series of posts. But I know that it can be pretty daunting when looking at SEO for the first few times, so I wanted to try and help out a bit more… That’s why, today, we’re going to be looking at 4 must have SEO plugins for WordPress!
Yoast (aka WordPress SEO)
The name itself kinda gives away why this is must have plugin, don’t you think? But yeah, Yoast’s amazingly tool gives such a wide range of options for your website o blog’s SEO that I wouldn’t run any WordPress site without it!
Seriously, if there was one plugin in general that every WordPres ssite should have, it’s this. You can sort out everything from Page Titles and Meta Data (which Yoast will guide you on length and keyword usage), to even getting a score on the readability of your posts. It’s actually amazing! And the fact that the standard version is free and you only have to pay for extra technical stuff that most bloggers will probably never need makes it even better. If you’re not using Yoast already, click here and get it today!
All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets
Now, this little plugin does something that can be rather technical, but bear with me. Rich snippets are little pieces of extra code that can be added to a website, telling search engines like Google what the different parts of a page are. For example, if you are reviewing a product in a post, rich snippets can let search engines know what the product name is, what the price is, what score you gave it, who you are and what images on the page are of the product itself. Then, Google or Big (because who uses Yahoo anymore) will actually choose which bits of that information to show in search results.
In fact, whilst the image above is the plugin page’s banner, it gives a pretty good example of what the listing for your post could look like in Google. And I’m sure you’ll agree, it looks for more interesting and you’d be more likely to click on it than other posts.
That’s what CTR means, by the way; Click Through Rate – the percentage of people who see your website in Google and then click on it to visit your website. A higher CTR basically means that more people come to your blog from search engines, and that’s always a good thing, isn’t it? Oh, and just like Yoast, it’s right here and it’s free.
Okay, so having a bunch of broken links (be they internal links or fro other places) is really annoying – not just for you, but for your users and for search engines. By having broken links going to a bunch of 404 Not Found pages, you’re actually going to be holding your website back in terms of getting found in Google or Bing. That’s where this plugin comes in.
Now, I tried to find an image there that would help explain what this plugin does (since the header on the plugin’s page is just some flowers), so hopefully this one will work. In essence, when a search engine’s spider (or a user) comes along an clicks on a broken link, instead of being taken to a 404 Not Found page, they will be redirected to a different, working page (never seeing the broken or old page they were originally heading to).
Now, the reason why Redirection is better than just any plugin that auto-redirects 404 Not Found pages to the homepage, is because it’s far better to redirect the old page to a new page that is relevant, content wise. For example, if the old page spoke about dog grooming, it would be best to redirect to a new “animal grooming” page, as it is still roughly the same content category, if that makes sense? You would just redirect it to the homepage, as that wouldn’t be useful to the reader. If you’re worried about your broken links and 404 pages, then you can get Redirection here.
SEO Internal Links
Okay, so this last one is probably the least important of the four, and also the one that needs the most care when using it. Basically, SEO Internal Links helps you set up links between your posts and other areas of your website by scanning through the content of post, finding relevant keywords, and then adding links in. Now that all sounds great, and that’s because it is, but there’s a reason you need to be careful when doing this; Google’s best practice guidelines recommend no more than 200 internal links on one page, including the menu and navigation items of that page.
So yeah, I highly recommend using this if you’re not sure on the best way to link between posts and pass “equity” around your website, but make sure you look at each of the settings to ensure you get the best results. This is actually a really powerful tool, and will help to boost the power of your blog immensely, as long as it is done right. As the Spiderman comics and movies keep reminding us; “with great power comes great responsibility”. You can get that power here.
And That’s All Folks
There you have it; those are the 4 must have SEO plugins for a WordPress blog (although the 4th is kinda optional, but recommended). Get those installed, get your head around them and set them all up correctly, and you’ll be on the road to getting more (and better) traffic from Google or Bing! If you have any questions about these plugins, or want to discuss anything WordPress and SEO, let me know in the comments below!