As one of the world’s most popular website creation tools, WordPress is both easy to use and well known in the community as an SEO friendly platform.
WordPress is open source, which means anyone can use, tweak and redistribute its source code. The end result is a massive developer community building and sharing creations that expand on the out of the box features, including themes and plugins.
What are WordPress plugins?
As what apps do for your smartphone, WordPress plugins allow you to install plugins that add new features and expand functionality of your website. There are over 48,000 WordPress plugins available today. Most plugins are free to use, while others are premium and sold by professional developers.
Tip: How to choose the best WordPress plugin
You’ll often find that there are multiple plugins available that serve a similar purpose. So how do you know which is the best? Before installing a plugin, make sure you look at how many installs it has received and how its users have rated it. The number of installs and ratings a plugin has received will help guide you and provide an insight into its reliability.
Here are my top five SEO Plugins for WordPress that will help contribute to improving the search visibility of your website.
1. Yoast SEO: The Complete SEO WordPress Plugin
1 million+ installs | Rated 5 out of 5
If you’re looking for a complete SEO plugin for your WordPress website, look no further than Yoast SEO. With over a million installs, it’s a hugely popular and highly recommended by WordPress users. Out of the box, WordPress is a great platform for SEO, but Yoast’s plugin provides some great features to further support your website, and it’s super easy to use.
Yoast SEO’s features include:
- Full control of on-page title tags, headings and meta descriptions. Yoast will even provide you with a search engine results page preview snippet to flag whether your title tags or meta descriptions are too long.
- In-depth analysis of your on-page content to highlight any opportunities you may be missing to improve a page’s search engine presence.
- Create XML sitemaps to help search engines crawl and index content on your website.
- Easily add meta robots tags to pages which allow you to instruct search engine crawlers whether you want a page to be indexed. You can even add canonical tags with ease to help avoid duplicate content issues.
- Optimise your pages or blog posts for social media platforms with tailored titles and descriptions.
Similar and alternative plugins: SEO Ultimate | SEO Wizard | All in One SEO Pack
2. Boost Page Load Speed with W3 Total Cache
1 million+ installs | Rated 4.5 out of 5
Not only is page load speed one of Google’s ranking signals, it is also hugely important for user experience. If pages on your website are painfully slow to load, its likely to result in high bounce rates. Something Google isn’t particularly fond of.
Similar and alternative plugins: WP Super Cache | Zen Cache
3. Encourage Social Sharing with AddtoAny Share Buttons
400,000+ installs | Rated 4.5 out of 5
It’s important that you make it as easy as possible for visitors to share your content. While social shares won’t have a dramatic impact on your rankings, it will help you attract natural links back to your website which will have a greater impact. With the AddtoAny Share Buttons plugin, you can easily add share and follow buttons to your pages to help visitors share promote your latest content on social media platforms.
Similar and alternative plugins: WP Social Buttons | Crafty Social Buttons | Social Likes
4. Resolve 404 Errors with Redirection
700,000+ installs | Rated 4 out of 5
While 404 errors don’t have a direct your website’s rankings, it’s important that you keep the number of 404 pages to a minimum to help keep internal linking flowing. This helps spread link authority from more established pages to new content, and it helps visitors navigate through your website. If you have internal links leading to pages that have been removed or relocated, you should rectify these with 301 permanent redirects.
The Redirection WordPress plugin allows you to easily add 301 redirects without going through your domain’s htaccess file. The plugin will also log all 404 pages to keep you up to date with any path changes that require attention.
Similar and alternative plugins: Safe Redirect Manager | SEO Redirection
5. Drive organic click through rates with All-in-one schema.org rich snippets
60,000+ installs | Rated 4.5 out 5
It’s been demonstrated that organic click through rates contribute towards rankings, and rich snippets have demonstrated to boost CTRs by as much as x%. You can apply schema mark-up to your pages to trigger rich snippets for information such as reviews, product information, recipes, and events. The additional information that appears within your search results listing will help capture more attention from searchers.
With Brainstorm Forces’ All-in-one schema.org rich snippets plugin, you can easily add Schema markup to your pages without involving your developer.
Do you have a favourite SEO plugin for WordPress? We’d love to hear from you!