Here’s IFB’s roundup of the best WordPress SEO plugins on the market.
WordPress.org has a lot of great plugins to choose from that can help you enhance the features, speed, and functionality of your blog – and improve your blog's SEO.
If there is a tool available that makes life easier for you while improving your blog's search prowess – and it’s FREE – why not give it a try? Such is the case with the following handful of SEO-related plugins for WordPress that will do some work for you, while reminding you of ways to improve your site's search engine optimization.
As recommended before on IFB, check out The Beginner's Guide to SEO for some general rules of thumb to follow to boost important keywords in posts, tags, titles, and more.
Pretty much every blogger I know uses this. It's essentially the gold standard SEO plugin. If you don't have it yet, put it at the top of your list. FYI, I've been told that recent versions of WordPress already come with it installed as well.
What it does is deposit meta titles, meta descriptions, and keywords to search engines such as Google, to help with search and for potentially new readers out there to easily find your site.
Be sure to fill out the box toward the bottom of the post with the title, description and keywords to take the best advantage of the plugin; I found this guide helpful in explaining how to best work it to maximize the SEO benefits
Bloggers seem to be equally devoted to this Yoast plugin, as it offers more functionality and help that can be applied to different levels of running a blog for better SEO power. It's basically a bunch of plugins combo'ed into one package.
It gives you a preview of how your content will look in search engines. It also makes sure your images have an alt tag containing the focus keyword, control which pages from your site go to Google, automatically makes XML sitemaps and notifies Google and Bing about them, Facebook integration, and more.
We all know about Google Analytics, but I tend to really like StatCounter. It gives you the rundown of pageloads, unique visits, first time visits, and return visits. It breaks it down by day, total count, and weekly average. StatCounter also includes an in-depth analysis of your last 500 page views.
The thing that I like best about it is that every Monday morning I get an email with all of the stats. I don't have to remember to click around and analyze them, I look at the posts that I put up on the days with the highest views, and make note of what the subject(s) were, keywords used. That way, I can learn even more about what is of most interest to my readers and perhaps further cater my content toward them in the future.
This plugin creates a sitemap for your blog.
Don't know what a sitemap is? It's essentially a list of all of the pages (or posts) on a blog, and it's crucial for blogging success.
Sitemaps extract links and some text, so that a variety of search engines can index your site. This plugin does that, and automatically delivers your new content to the search engine once created. You don't have to have a Google account to use it. Just remember to register your site as your own and submit it to Google. That way, you'll be sure it's on their radar to index and rank it.
What WordPress SEO Plugins are you using?
Editor's Note: This post was originally published on June 11th, 2013 by Julia Dinardo. It was updated on January 13th, 2018 by Laura Kell.