Must Have WordPress SEO Plugins

If you have a blog, chances are you use WordPress as a content management system. In this article we will review WordPress SEO plug-ins that help your posts and pages achieve higher search engine rankings.

If you’re not familiar with WordPress, the popular blogging software "started in 2003 with a single bit of code to enhance the typography of everyday writing, and with fewer users than you can count on your fingers and toes. Since then it has grown to be the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on hundreds of thousands of sites and seen by tens of millions of people every day," according to its own web site.

WordPress currently has 4,245 plugins, 22,152,788 downloads, and counting.

Google Positioner

This plug-in lets you track search engine rankings on Google for your keyword list. After optimizing Titles, slugs, internal anchor text, related posts and strategically putting keyword combinations throughout content, you can start tracking performance.

The tool is designed for Google only, since it is the big daddy of search.

SEO Slugs

A slug is the URL of a post. For example: www.site.com/posts/this-is-the-slug. The SEO Slugs plug-in automatically removes unnecessary words like: a, the, in, on, etc from the slug in order to shorten it. Search engines in general do not count those words (known as the stop words).

For example, if you search for “parties at las vegas on Christmas” Google will remove “at”, “on” and only search for “parties las vegas Christmas”. You can see a shortened version of the search on the right hand side right after “Results 1 – 10 of about #…..”.

Whenever you write a post on WordPress, the title of the post becomes a slug. For instance, the title “Where to go on vacation during the summer” will generate: “where-to-go-on-vacation-during-the-summer”. If you have SEO Slug, it will automatically shorten the slug to: “where-go-vacation-during-summer."

This plug-in covers many SEO bases at once. With it you can automatically optimize page titles on posts (though I recommend doing this manually), automatically generate Meta Tags, optimize slugs and more. The tool is packed with features and makes SEO labor in WordPress quite easy.

Platinum SEO Pack

The Platinum SEO Pack is a more advanced version of the “All in one SEO Pack.” It has many of the same features and includes more options for redirection and indexing. Both tools are useful, but there will be conflict if you use two of them at once.

Options include:

  • Use/not use noindex tag for archives

  • Use/not use noindex tag for RSS feeds

  • Use/not use noindex tag for comment RSS feeds

  • Use/not use noindex for author archives

  • Add noodp meta tag

  • Add noydir meta tag

  • No follow category pages

  • No follow category listings on posts

  • No follow login and registration links

  • No follow links to tag pages

  • Disable snippet of the page

  • And more

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SEO Title Tag

If you were to install one plugin out of all plug-in in this article, this is the one. SEO Title Tag helps you create custom title tags for all posts/pages on your WordPress blog.

The Title tag <title>You see it on top of your browser window</title> is the most important on-page SEO element, since it is featured in search results. It is crucial to have optimized, keyword rich titles if you want to rank well for multiple keywords.

By default, WordPress uses post titles (which are H1) as the title tags! Post titles should be optimized for human visitors and be catchy in order to draw them to the first paragraph, while page titles should contain key phrases for search engine bots, in order to capture search results.

SEO Title Tag has the solution. It lets you optimize all titles across your WordPress blog. Some of the features of this tool include:

  • A separate title tag and post input boxes. Use the title box to put in your main keywords for search engines, and post title box to create catchy headlines.

  • Mass edit title tags on all WordPress posts, pages and categories.

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Use this plug-in for inner linking search engine optimization made easy. The tool will automatically create a link when you mention a specific keyword within your content.

Search engines look at keyword anchor text as a relevancy factor, both internal and external links. If a third party website links to you with “low interest credit card” as the anchor text, search engines assume that your website/page has relevancy for that keyword. If one of your internal pages links with “low interest credit card” to another internal page, search engines make the same assumption as with external links. There might be a difference in weight, but both external and internal anchor text are important.

SEO Smart Links provides automatic SEO to your WordPress, linking preselected key phrases within posts and comments to corresponding pages. If you do not specify keywords, SEO Smart Links will look for matches on its own. Other features:

  • Set up keywords and match them with URLs. Smart Links does the rest.

  • Add the nofollow attribute to selected phrases and choose to open certain links in a new window.

 

Yet Another Related Posts Plug-in

It is important to keep visitors on your website for many obvious reasons. One way of achieving this is by offering entries related to the post they are reading. In fact it has been measured and proven that “related posts” on the bottom of each entry increases average page views and the time visitors spend on the website, allowing you to serve more ads or get them more familiar with the brand.

There are many plug-ins that serve related posts, and “Yet Another Related Posts Plug-in” does a very good job. The plug-in uses an internal algorithm to match your content with various posts within the blog. The algorithm looks at factors such as titles, content, tags, slugs and more. You can set the plug-in to serve any number of related entries for each post.

More additional features:

  • Display related posts in RSS feeds.

  • Exclude certain categories, pages or posts.

  • Updated interface.

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Broken Link Checker

If you have many posts, than you have many links to other posts/pages and to other websites. Inevitably you are going to run into some 404s, which decrease the quality of the user experience and lower its ”quality score” in the eyes of the search engines.

W-shadow has the solution. Broken Link Checker works in the background whenever the Dashboard is open, checking all links on the blog. Once it finds a broken one, it notifies you with an alert on the Dashboard. The tool checks all links every 72 hours by default. You can set different time frame. 

It’s very complicated to add meta robots commands to WordPress pages. This tool makes the process easy.

What are meta robot commands for? Meta robot commands instruct robots as to how to treat various pages of your website. Sometimes you need to exclude pages (archives, monthly sorting, etc) in order to avoid duplicate content; sometimes you want to avoid showing snippets in search results and use your meta description instead; sometimes you simply want to exclude a page from search results.

Some of the features, according to tool’s website, include:

  • Preventing the indexing of your search result pages, while still allowing the search engines to follow the links, by adding noindex,follow robots meta tags.

  • Preventing indexing of the subpages to your home page, by adding a noindex,follow.

  • Preventing indexing of your login, register and admin pages by adding noindex robots meta tags.

 

SEO Friendly Images

This plug-in automatically updates all images on your WordPress blog with proper ALT and TITLE attributes, making images WC3 valid and helping search engines rank pictures on the Image Search. 

Image ALT and TITLE attributes has no or little impact when it comes to search engine rankings;, however, they increase your chances of showing up in Google Image Search, Yahoo Image Search, Live Image Search, etc.

SEO No Duplicate

This plug-in helps you specify preferred version of the page with the new canonical tag, which helps avoid duplicate content issues. 

References:

  • http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/seo-slugs/

  • http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/seo-image/

  • http://w-shadow.com/blog/2007/08/05/broken-link-checker-for-wordpress/

  • http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/yet-another-related-posts-plugin/

  • http://digitallabz.com/blogs/10-must-have-seo-plugins-for-wordpress.html

  • http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-google-seo-positioner/

  • http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/seo-automatic-links/

  • http://yoast.com/wordpress/meta-robots-wordpress-plugin/

  • http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/platinum-seo-pack/

  • http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack/

  • http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/seo-no-duplicate/

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