WordPress is by far the most popular CMS today, with over 74.6 Million sites managed with the platform. The power of WordPress lies in the fact that it’s extremely flexible – you can do nearly anything you want (with zero coding) using the help of plugins.
This include optimizing your SEO, and so here are some of my favorite WordPress plugins (in no particular order) that will supercharge your SEO.
Note: I use each of these plugins, but I have absolutely no affiliation with any of them.
1. All in One SEO Pack
The All-in-One SEO plugin is one the most popular and common plugins people mention when it comes to SEO (the other is WordPress SEO by Yoast).
What makes it such a powerful tool is that it allows you to optimize the Meta tags and titles of each page on your website. If you’re a novice user, it can automatically generate this data for you so you don’t even have to worry about it. If you’re more advanced, you have the ability to override it’s suggestions and write your own.
My favourite part of this plugin is it’s simplicity. It works right out of the box if you’re a beginner so you can be up and running within minutes.
In addition, here are some other notable features:
- XML Sitemap support
- Google Analytics support
- The ONLY plugin to provide SEO integration for WP e-Commerce sites
Learn more about it’s features or download the plugin here.
2. Schema Creator by Raven
With the growth of the semantic web and the increased importance on structured data, it’s vital for webmasters to make sure their pages are marked up correctly.
If you aren’t familiar with structured data, it is essentially a way to mark up your website so Google can understand it better. For example, by simply listing an address on your website, Google may miss vital information, but by marking it up with structured data, Google knows exactly which parts of the address is the street, postal code, country, etc.
Schema Creator by Raven allows you to do this easily without any coding knowledge. They do this through the use of shortcodes. You can mark up your data with the most popular schemas such as Product, Person, Event, Book, Movie, Organization, and Review.
If you want to implement your own structured data but don’t want to use a plugin, visit Schema Creator (also created by the same company, Raven).
Being an open sourced plugin means that Schema Creator is constantly evolving as the semantic web grows.
3. Google XML Sitemaps
Sitemaps help search engines crawl your site in the hopes of getting more pages indexed. If you have a large site with 20,000 pages and regular new content, then a sitemap becomes even more important.
Thankfully, you no longer have to create your own sitemaps as there are plugins that do this for you. One of my favourite is the Google XML Sitemaps plugin by Arne Brachhold.
This is a fantastic plugin for the novice because it works as a plug-and-play. Simply install the plugin and it will generate a sitemap for you. All you will then need to do is submit your sitemap to Google, Bing and other search engines that you care about.
4. W3 Total Cache
Site speed is an important factor in ranking on Google, and more importantly user experience. It has been shown that the higher the page load time, the higher the page abandonment. Here’s a post by Kissmetrics on this.
With that in mind, how can you speed up your website?
W3 Total Cache is the answer. They improve your server performance by caching every aspect of your site and ultimately making your website load faster.
You can download the plugin here.
5. Ewww Image Optimizer
Having heavy images on your website can really slow down the page load speed. For sites that use many images, you may want to compress them.
Thankfully the Ewww Image Optimizer plugin allows us to do this extremely easily.
In fact, they even have a “bulk optimization feature” that lets you optimize all your images with the click of a button.
When I ran this for my own website, I saw an 8% improvement in page speed and went from a Grade C to a B. If you’re a beginner and don’t want to play around with too many settings, then this plugin will take you a long way.
In the example above, I ran this for 390 images and it took about 10 minutes to optimize, and as you can see from the image below, some image sizes were reduced by over 80%.
As a sidenote, here are some other quick tips you can do to improve your page load speed:
- Don’t upload images that are unnecessarily large (i.e. uploading a 2000 x 2000px image when 300 x 300px will do the trick)
- Smush your images
6. Sumo Me
Since the SumoMe plugin came out over a year ago, they have had more than 1 Billion users, and for good reason.
Their plugin offers several free tools – one of them being the social share tool.
This adds social sharing buttons on your website encouraging content sharing. I personally believe that social shares do have a positive impact on your Google rankings and therefore I recommend that every blog or content piece has social sharing buttons on them. Some other alternatives include (Shareaholic and Flare).
In addition to Sumo Me’s share tool, they also have a free content analytics tools that enables you to see how far down a page a visitor has read. This insight helps you optimize your content and consequently improve your visitor time-on-page and conversions rate.
Finally, as a side note, Sumo Me also has a couple more awesome free tools that come along with the plugin such as heat maps, list building, smart bars and much more.
Did I miss anything? What are your favourite WordPress plugins for SEO? Let me know below!
Featured Image: George J McLittle via Shutterstock