If you’ve got a WordPress site you’ll probably know something about WordPress plugins. They’re basically like ‘apps’ that can benefit your site in various ways. There’s pretty much a plug in for anything you could want. Plugins to help you build pages, create forms, remove spam and so much more. This article picks out our top 8 WordPress plugins for SEO.
When working on your SEO and optimising your site, there are various plugins that you can use in order to help you out. Sometimes, the more techy side of SEO can be very overwhelming and there’s often a lot to learn for one tiny part of optimisation process. So, in this instance, plugins can be a great shortcut to getting the results you need. We’ve put together some of the best WordPress plugins to help you optimise your site for those all important search engines.
Before we get going, it is important to note the disadvantages of plugins on your WordPress site. They often contain lots and lots of bloated code which is not a good thing for your search engine rankings and can really affect your page load speed (and important ranking factor). So, our advice would be to pay for an SEO audit and find out which areas of your site need the most work and then decide which plugins would be most beneficial to you.
Let’s start with arguably the most popular WordPress plugin for SEO, Yoast SEO. The Yoast SEO plugin helps you to:
- Optimise your content for SEO with a helpful checklist
- Update your schema.org information
- Edit page previews
- Work on your internal linking structure
- Manage your redirects
- And much much more!
The plugin is a freemium which means you can choose whether to pay for the premium version or use it for free. Most of the essential tools are all part of the free version so if you’re on a budget, don’t worry the tool is still super useful for you.
We wrote a really detailed review on this plugin so if you want to know more about what we think and more about how it helps optimise your site, have a little read.
Schema markup is an important way that you can indirectly increase your search engine ranking by increasing your click through rate and reducing your bounce rate. WP has various plugins that allow you to tell Google all about your page so that it can create ‘rich snippets’ for its users. These tell the consumer more about your page before they click on it, and helps the results to be more relevant to the search query. You can read more about schema markup here.
Plugins like this one, mean that you can manage your schema markup and rich snippets easily without having to play around too much with the backend of your website.
When Google (and other search engines) crawl and index your site, they need to know what’s important. Sometimes, pages have no internal links pointing towards them which makes them harder to find. So, an XML sitemap lists a website’s important pages so that Google can better understand your website structure, which consequently helps your ranking.
Lucky for your WordPress users, the Google XML sitemaps plugin creates your sitemaps for you automatically, and the plugin is completely free so what are you waiting for?
GA Google Analytics
Another free, and useful plugin, is the Google Analytics plugin. This plugin enables Google Analytics on your site without you having to do anything else. There are other ways to enable Google Analytics on your site which are probably better for your site overall but this plugin means that even if you’re a little less tech savvy you can keep up to date with all your website traffic.
Broken link checker
Something that can really damage your search engine rankings is broken links. It’s important to keep on top of your internal and external links on your website and remove any broken ones. And guess what? There’s a plugin to help you with this. The ‘broken link checker’ sends you notifications and tells you when it finds a broken link on your site.
It’s completely free to which is a bonus! There are plenty of external tools you can use to check broken links but these often cost a little bit to use (such as SEMrush which we use!) and this plugin is completely free (and the notifications are pretty cool!).
Next up on our top WordPress Plugins for SEO is ‘redirection’. Redirection is a tool that enables you to manage redirects across your whole site. By managing your redirects you can actively reduce errors and improve your search engine rankings. There are multiple reasons why you might need to redirect pages on your website, and you can read more about that here.
Redirection is great because:
- Its free!
- You can manage all types of redirects accurately
- It means you don’t have to learn how to do this manually
- You can reduce your risk of errors and broken links etc.
One of the many things you need to think about with SEO is your spam score. If you have lots of spammy links on your site or spammy links pointing to your site then your spam score will be high and this can negatively impact on your rankings.
In order to avoid lots of spam in your comments you can install the Akismet plugin. This plugin works pretty well and stops around 90% of spam comments getting to your site. The cost of the plugin is only £4 a month so is pretty worth it if your comments are enabled all over your site!
WP fastest cache
One of the most important things that you must work on for your SEO is your site speed. Sometimes, this can be really tricky to do if you’re not a developer and you don’t know how to reduce bulky code etc. on your site. Lucky for you, there’s some plugins you can install to help speed up your site.
Basically, these plugins create static html files from your WordPress site so that the site loads much more quickly. Visit the WP fastest cache site to find out how this helps and more details about what the plugin actually does.
There are various cache plugins you can install on your site but this one has a great free version (you can also upgrade to a premium version) and has over 2500 five star reviews, so we’re pretty sure we’re not the only people in the world that enjoys this plugin.
There are plenty of other plugins that essentially do the same thing such as WP super cache, if this one doesn’t appeal to you (and WP super cache is completely free).