Search engine optimization is now one of the most critical aspect of a successful website. You simply can’t rely on visitors coming through Social channels and your own references. Whether you generate revenue by selling something or serving ads, traffic coming from search engines are more likely to convert as you show them something they were searching for.
Happy news here is that websites created on WordPress are already optimized for search engines up to a great extent. Features like clean coding, well categorized posts, monthly archives etc adds a lot towards optimization, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be optimized further. WordPress generates meta titles by default but misses the meta descriptions. You also need a third party program to create and submit sitemaps. There are a numbers of SEO areas where a scope of further optimization exists.
If these terms sound scary to you, don’t worry. Achieving these optimization are as easy as maintaining a WordPress site. You just need to put your efforts in right direction. Here’s a compilation of a few essential plugins which will make SEO a hell lot easier for you.
Best WordPress SEO Plugins
Most popular and easy to use SEO plugin. Meta Title and descriptions are two most important aspect of SEO and this plugin simply takes care of them. While it lets you mention a title and description for your website, it also lets you create the same for every pages and posts of your website. You can also choose to auto generate descriptions and keywords in case you are feeling too lazy to fill them up manually.
An XML sitemap enhances the way search bots crawl your website. It communicates the structure of your website to search engine exposing your website to them in the best possible way. Google XML sitemap is a WordPress plugins which not only creates a sitemap for your website but also recreates and submits it to all search engines every time some new content is added to your website.
The plugin claims to be a complete solution of all you WordPress SEO needs and surprisingly stands true up to a great extent. WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin combines the functionality of both the plugins mentioned above plus a lot more. This plugin checks your post’s SEO compatibility around a focused keyword and compels you to write a more focused content. Automatic generation of meta titles and descriptions are also handled in a smarter way and can be customized as per you preferences. However using this plugin needs a bit of learning curve.
Optimizing Images are lesser known but a great way to make you website search engine friendly. On top of SEO, it also helps you pull some traffic through image search engines. More than 60% of websites ignore this fact.
SEO friendly images automatically adds ALT and Title attributes to all your images thereby making your website W3C compliant and search engine friendly.
We have heard a lot about getting backlinks as a critical part of ranking better in SERPs. Believe it or not, how you link out is also important. As your blog grows, increase in number of outbound links are obvious. With time, various of the web pages you linked out might be removed resulting into broken links on your site. Be known, too much of broken links are negative for SEO.
Broken link checker keeps checking your blog for such links and notifies you periodically so that you can fix them well in time.
If web pages on your site are slow, Google hates you. Back in 2010, Google announced to include speed as a signal in their search engine algorithm. WordPress is a PHP based platform which means loading every page makes enormous amount of PHP calls where each call badly impacts the page load time of your web pages.
W3 Total cache promises to increase page load time 10x by caching. Once your pages are cached, only HTML version of pages are served to users resulting in to a greatly improved page loading time.
7. WP Smush.it
Another handy plugin to speed up your website. WP Smush.it compresses the images on your blog without doing any noticeable compromises in graphics. This results in to lesser KBs needed to load every web page. Its an install and forget plugin which automatically compresses whenever a new image is uploaded. You can also opt to run all your existing images through Smush.it.
Your turn now
How do you manage your WordPress SEO? Do you think there are more effective ways to optimize? Do share your thought, knowledge with us.