7 WordPress SEO plugins to maximise your search rankings
Did you know that WordPress accounts for nearly 60% of the CMS market? Also according to recent figures nearly 30% of all websites across the globe are run on the WordPress platform. Pretty impressive considering it all started in 2003 following the discontinuation of b2/cafelog
If you’re reading this, then I take it you’re one of those people. Whether you own an eCommerce store or a WordPress blog, over the next five minutes and 50 seconds (yes, we timed it) we’ll take you through a quick Q&A of WordPress SEO tips & best practices.
- What is the best SEO plugin?
- What are permalinks?
- How to improve site speed
- What about international SEO?
- How do I optimise my images?
- What is the best social media plugin?
- What is the best eCommerce plugin?
What is the best SEO plugin?
There are a number of SEO plugins all of which talk a good game. But for me, what has become the industry standard is Yoast. The Yoast SEO plugin has pretty much everything that you need. For businesses it is well worth investing in their premium package for a one-off fee of £79.
For this, you will be able to create your XML sitemap, robots.txt file, get internal linking suggestions, set a focused keyword for each page and easily edit the page titles & meta descriptions of your pages and posts and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Yoast also offers a number of additional plugins that will help with Local SEO, Video & News SEO and eCommerce.
Sidenote: During the 2019 YoastCon conference, YoastSEO announced they will provide live indexing with both Google and Bing.
What are permalinks?
Permalinks in WordPress essentially mean ‘permanent links’ and are the URLs of posts and pages on your site. When you first install WordPress, these are set to the following format:
Not very SEO friendly right? Fortunately there is a very easy fix for this. Simply go into your WordPress settings, select Permalinks and set the structure to ‘Post name’ type.
This will give you the best permalink structure for SEO best practices as it will contain your categories and post name. For example:
How to improve site speed
Site speed has been confirmed as part of Google’s algorithm and getting it right will help both in climbing the Google rankings and delighting your customers. There are a number of ways you can improve your websites speed on WordPress, however for this guide we will just focus on the caching side of things.
Warning! You should only ever have one cache plugin installed.
What about international SEO?
For those businesses which are global and offer their WordPress site in multiple languages, you cannot go wrong with WPML (The WordPress Multilingual Plugin). International SEO is probably one of the hardest of SEO disciplines to get right both from a site structure and a usability point of view.
With WPML, you will have the ability to translate your URLs, meta title tags and descriptions, menus and most importantly adds the correct hreflang code to your site. This code tells Google, that the same content is available in multiple languages and protects you from issues related to duplicate content. We will cover this in greater detail in a future SEO guides.
How do I optimise my images?
Again getting the right plugin will let you optimise your images so they are perfect for your SEO performance and image search. Your cache plugin will automatically cache your images, but adding Imagify will allow further lossless compression and the removal of EXIF data.
You can already set the alt text for an image within WordPress, but for a site with hundreds or thousands of images it is not always possible to add alt tags to every image. Therefore you can add the Automatic image ALT attributes plugin which will use the file name of the image as your alt text, thus saving you a lot of soul destroying hours.
What is the best social media plugin?
With this one, there are a number to choose from and to be honest you can’t go wrong with any of them. It really is all about how you want them to look on your website and which social media platforms to include.
Rather than me recommend one to you, take a look at this 10 best social media plugins for WordPress 2019 post on WPBeginner. Here you can choose which styles, platforms and more importantly, which ones will not negatively affect your sites performance.
What is the best eCommerce plugin?
For me, there is only one and that is WooCommerce. Similar to Yoast, this has become the industry standard for eCommerce sites on WordPress, being used by 21% of the top 1 million websites.
Built with developers in mind, this plugin lets you control every element of your store including adding additional extensions to help combat any issues you may have. It links in with Google Analytics, Amazon and eBay and as mentioned earlier in this Q&A, it links perfectly with YoastSEO.
We can show you what it will take to grow your website’s visibility with a extensive organic search (SEO) analysis from our experts. Cut through the noise of your competitors and make your brand stand out from the crowd – contact us today for your free audit!