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At last check, there are well over 31,000 different plugins in the WordPress Directory – and that number continues to grow daily. Plus, there are another 2,700 WordPress plugins available on CodeCanyon and many others available to download. There are lots of great plugins out there, but which ones are best for helping you improve your website’s SEO? Well, I compiled a list of my six favorite WordPress plugins to help you improve your websites SEO quickly.
WordPress SEO By Yoast
WordPress SEO by Yoast is by far one of the most powerful WordPress plugins you can install on your website to help your SEO value. This plugin is pretty simple to use, but it can be a little overwhelming to beginners. With this plugin you can edit your page titles, meta descriptions, create your XML Sitemap, integrate Google Webmasters Tools, adjust permalink structure, and much more! If you are using a different SEO plugin (like All-In-One SEO Pack), WordPress SEO by Yoast also has an import feature that will move over all of your page titles and meta descriptions with the click of a button. If you search for this plugin in the directory, it is free, but there is also a paid version, which includes help from their support team.
(Editor Disclosure: We occasionally syndicate Yoast blog posts, but were not asked to add them to the list. We just happen to think they are awesome.)
Redirection is one of the best plugin to handle 301 redirects. One of my favorite features of this plugin includes the bulk upload function. In the options section, scroll down to import section and there you can upload a CSV file of your 301 redirects. To create that 301 redirect CSV file, put the old URLs in column A and then the new URLs in the same row, but in column B. Upload that file using the import feature and it will create all of your redirects.
Redirection also logs all of your 404 errors and it will even automatically create 301 redirects on your website if you change the url of one of your pages. When creating a new website, 301 redirects are very important! So get this plugin and fix all of those 404 errors that are sitting in Webmasters Tools!
Simple Share Buttons Adder
Social sharing is a great way to increase your SEO value, and the Simple Share Buttons Adder is one of the better social sharing plugins because it is so simple: you can pretty much install it and let it go. There are nine default social icons sets with the plugin that you can choose from, or you can upload your own as well.
Video SEO for WordPress SEO By Yoast
The Video SEO for WordPress SEO is a great plugin to get your videos to appear in the search results and will get a video thumbnail to appear in the listing too. It is a very powerful plugin that can help your website get more clicks, even if you are not ranking top for your keywords. Here is a screen shot of what the plugin does to your search engine result:
If it weren’t for that plugin, you would have no idea that the page had a video. Video SEO for WordPress is a great way to get your SERP listing to stand out from the rest and get those extra clicks! This plugin is not free, but it is well worth the $69 investment, in my opinion. They also make a Local SEO Plugin that I recommend at the same cost.
If you have a blog website with a lot of pages, you may want to look into a pagination plugin. Pagination is a crucial part in SEO and search engine accessibility by helping search engines spider your website easier.
A lot of the WordPress themes will utilize a “next” or “older posts” link rather than pagination, so that is why the Simple Pagination plugin works for many website owners. You will have to be comfortable in editing some of the theme files, but it pretty simple to use.
W3 Total Cache
SearchMetrics has recently determined the number one ranking factor in 2014 is site speed. If your WordPress website is running pretty slow, then you probably need to install W3 Total Cache to your website. After installing this plugin, make sure you read the installation instructions to best optimize your plugin for your website.
Note: Some hosting providers already have similar caching program on their servers, so this plugin may conflict with that program. Contact your host provider to see if there will be any conflicts with this plugin.
Those are just a few of my favorite plugins to help your website’s SEO value. On our podcast, Edge of the Web Radio, we had a recent episode discussing everything there is to know about WordPress. Towards the end of the show we highlighted some of our favorite plugins, so check out that podcast discussion for some more plugins!
There are tons of other plugins out there, and I love learning about new ones! So if I left any off my list, or you have a new plugin you’d like for me to check out, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.
All screenshots were taken June 2014