When it comes to growing your website traffic, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an important piece of the puzzle. But it’s also a long-game play, and it can be far more time consuming than other methods of increasing traffic that promise quick results (i.e. Google Ads, Social Media Ads, etc).
Your rankings can be affected by so many factors (ever heard of the periodic table of SEO?). Because of this, SEO has a steep learning curve. It’s also ever-changing, so it requires additional time spent keeping up on trends and algorithm updates. A solid SEO game plan also usually involves some testing, and even then, the results may not show themselves for months.
Luckily, the process doesn’t have to be as arduous and manual as it used to be. If your site is hosted on WordPress, these plugins can save you valuable time and help bring you the results you’re looking for–whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been in the game for years.
The WordPress Plugins To Boost Your SEO
1. Best All Around: Yoast
A simple Google search will reveal the popularity of Yoast, and for good reason. It’s the #1 SEO app on WordPress, boasting claims like “SEO for Everyone”. Yoast is very user-friendly (especially for beginners) while still leaving room for flexibility and options for more advanced users. The free version handles the basics for you, from the “technical stuff going on in the background” (i.e. robots.txt, sitemaps and more), to minor keyword optimization and readability checks. With the premium version, you can also rely on Yoast to provide internal linking suggestions, easily redirect old URLs to new ones, and provide content insights. Both versions update every two weeks, making sure you don’t fall behind on algorithm updates (and saving you time from constantly checking SEO forums to see what’s happening in the search world).
2. Best For Image Optimization: Smush
We like Smush for one particular feature: image optimization. When it comes to SEO, it’s considered best practice to keep images under 100kb for better load times. Page speed can affect your ranking as well as your user experience: the slower a site loads, the more likely a user is to bounce, and bounce quickly. Smush compresses images in bulk to speed up your site, making a time-consuming, manual process fairly pain-free.
3. Best For Site Speed: W3 Total Cache
When it comes to load times, we’ve already established that both people and search engines have a very low tolerance for slow sites. One of the best ways to speed up your site is to implement a caching solution. While it’s considered a complicated process, plugins like W3 Total Cache make it easy. As a note, even if you think your load time is fine and no one has outright complained about it, it is still considered best practice to use a caching plugin, and it can show results far beyond an improvement in SEO. Some sites even experience higher conversions and longer time on site because of the improvement in website performance that comes from caching.
4. Best For Making Your Results Stand Out: WP Review Pro
Want to make your result more appealing and entice users to click on it? Enter rich snippets. Rich snippets add extra information between the URL and description in your result (i.e. star rating, price etc.) They allow users to see more information before they click through to your page, and they tend to have a higher click-through rate. Google can show rich snippets in your result if you add structured data to your site, something that WP Review Pro can help you with–no coding required!
5. Best For Google My Business: WP Google My Business Auto Publish
As Google continues on its quest to keep users on Google, the use of Google My Business has become an important SEO factor. The problem with Google My Business is that it’s yet another platform to post content on, and therefore, easy to forget. With the WP Google My Business Auto Publish plugin, you can publish to your Google My Business account without ever leaving WordPress–for free. Keeping your account up-to-date and delivering fresh results to searchers has never been easier.
6. Best For Keeping Up With Broken Links: Broken Link Checker
Broken links are a hassle that can negatively impact your SEO (as well as your user experience). As you create new content and maintain an active blog, broken links pop up and can be hard to keep up with. A WordPress plugin like Broken Link Checker can monitor your site, detect links that don’t work, and notify you with options on how to rectify them. And the best part? Since you won’t be bogged down checking the links on your site, you can get back to what matters: creating great content.
7. Best For Efficiently Monitoring Your Results: Google Analytics By Monster Insights
When it comes to monitoring your website performance, Google Analytics is king. And Monster Insights has made it possible for you to pull that performance information directly into your WordPress dashboard! Have your SEO efforts brought in more organic traffic? Have your bounce rate and time on site improved? What about your conversions? No more flipping back and forth between Analytics and your website: pull it all into one clean dashboard with Google Analytics By Monster Insights.
So there you have it! From site speed to user experience improvements, these eight WordPress plugins can improve your SEO and help you rank in Google.
Still not convinced that SEO is worth the investment, or looking for more of an in-depth analysis of how SEO applies to your business? We can help you out with our free SEO Audit–whether your website is in WordPress or not!
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