To put it mildly… I <3 WordPress. I think it’s a great little CMS and Iove it’s simplicity and effectiveness. I strongly recommend it for any small business owner or affiliate who’s looking for a quick and easy way to start publishing some content online. But for everything I Iove about WordPress, it comes up a little short in the SEO department. Below are 5 must-have SEO plugins for WordPress to optimize your WordPress install.
All In One SEO by Semper Fi web design
This is the bread and butter plugin for WordPress SEO management. With this plugin you can manage your titles, meta-descriptions and meta-keywords for pretty much every page on your Blog. On more than one occasion I’ve severely regretted showing clients how to change their homepage title tags… outside of that this is the perfect basic SEO plugin for folks that aren’t terribly tech savvy yet still want some control over some of the basics.
Robots Meta by Yoast
WordPress is great at a lot of things and one of the things that WordPress is great at is creating duplicate content across your website. The Robots Meta plugin will allow you to no index and/or no follow admin pages, archive pages and depending on how you want to categorize your blog either category pages or tag pages. Personally I like to no-index the following pages:
- Login and registration pages
- Admin pages
- Date-based archives
- Tag Archives
WP Super Cache
Not that speed is a huge factor for SEO but a slow loading site can provide a poor user experience and that can lead to some signals that we don’t need to be sending to search engines. WP Super Cache is a caching plugin for WordPress and basically it will speed up your blog by generating and serving html files rather than processing your blog’s PHP scripts.
Social media is becoming a bigger and bigger part of SEO and the Sexy Bookmarks Plugin makes it really easy and simple to implement some of the most popular social networks to every post or page on your blog. Includes Facebook like button, Google +1 and Tweet button integration options as well as other popular sharing and networking sites like Reddit, Digg, Delicious, Diigo, LinkedIn, Tumblr and many, many other options.
Related Posts Plugin
Inter-linking your own posts is another staple of good on-site SEO and this Related Posts plugin automates the process by including the most related posts at the bottom of every post on your blog. You add this to the clean SEO titles you’ll be generating with the All-In-one-SEO plugin and you’ve got some pretty good inter-linking happening on your site.
Google XML Sitemap Generator
An XML sitemap is one of the last things you should be using to get your content indexed but on occasion it is a good way to make sure the search engines are aware of all the pages on your blog especially for larger sites.
For larger WordPress blogs which cover several categories, a good breadcrumb path can be useful for establishing a good interlinking structure and prioritizing your category pages. Breadcrumbs can also make it easier for users to navigate your blog but most importantly breadcrumbs will make it easier for search engines to understand the structure of your site.
In addition to these plugins I think it’s important to update your permalink structure to SEO friendly URLs which you will also have to do to run WP Super Cache. Luckily it’s a lot easier these days since WordPress comes with a default SEO friendly URL permalink structure out of the box. Simply go to your settings, go to permalinks and choose the “Post name” option.
These are my favorite SEO plugins for WordPress. What say you?