The following list will detail the top 5 plugins one can use to effectively search engine optimize their WordPress websites:
Widely thought to be one of the best SEO plugins in-use today, SEO by Yoast provides many useful features to provide a user with ultimate control over their optimization efforts.
- One can modify their page’s meta/link elements, breadcrumbs, permalinks, and more to a level of detail not common in other SEO plugins.
- To save time and reduce one’s need to install additional plugins, WordPress SEO will create an optimized sitemap.xml automatically.
One key reason behind why WordPress SEO has risen to the top spot is due to the level of customization it provides to the user; while some may find it to be too “advanced” for them, those that know how use it properly claim it is more powerful than other basic plugins available.
For years, All In One SEO was the most popular search engine optimization plugin with over 13 million downloads. AIOS offers a simple interface that allows a user to quickly search engine optimize their site in minutes. While All In One SEO is still an effective tool, it doesn’t provide the same amount of features or allow for the same level of customization provided by Yoast; however, AIOS is still excellent for user’s that want a turnkey solution for their more basic site needs.
Google provides more weight to websites that load faster; for this reason, W3 Total Cache, a plugin that optimizes a site’s load speeds, is a powerful SEO tool. W3 boosts server speeds, cuts download wait time, and improves the visitor experience by integrating the site with a CDN, or Content Delivery Network. Many web-hosting providers like HostGator, Synthesis, DreamHost, are others are already making use of this fantastic plugin.
SEO Smart Links boosts a site’s search engine readiness by optimizing its internal link structure. Smart Links will search a site for relevant phrases and keywords within page content and automatically link those keywords to other relevant pages; the result of this is an improved user experience, which Google loves. As all of the plugin’s necessary functions occur in the background, it is a very “set-and-forget” type tool.
While some SEO plugins like Yoast will automatically create a sitemap.xml file, others require an additional plugin for manual creation. Google XML Sitemaps is a lightweight plugin that creates a site-optimized sitemap at the click of button; this sitemap, once created, can be submitted to the search engines and used with Google’s Webmaster Tools. As the creation of a sitemap is an important tenet of sound SEO practices, this plugin is a must have for those not yet making use of a more advanced SEO plugin.
The use of these plugins is an excellent way to boost a WordPress site’s search engine readiness relatively quickly