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Dec 13th, 2017

The Top 5 Best WordPress Plugins for SEO

WordPress is known as an SEO-friendly platform in the blogging community, making it a popular choice with bloggers from all over the world who are interested in driving traffic to their website and capitalising on the content they produce. Whilst there are other choices with built-in search engine optimisation functionality, WordPress is the most widely available and best established option, and is also one of the most effective. For all these reasons, it is the recommended platform for novice and experienced bloggers alike and can make optimising a blog site a relatively simple process.

In addition to boasting many SEO-friendly themes, WordPress has numerous SEO plugins available, so many in fact that choosing just one to use with your blog site can seem like an impossible task. However, we are hoping to make your task just a little easier: whether you are currently in the process of setting up a new site or you would like to optimise an existing site to increase the number of visitors that it attracts, the information in this guide will enable you to choose an SEO plugin that is not just effective but easy to use as well.

5 Top WordPress SEO Plugins

Below, we delve into the details of 5 top WordPress SEO plugins and examine the pros and cons of each one. Once you have acquainted yourself with them, you should find it easier to select a plugin that is appropriate for your site. If you require any assistance with making your selection or you would like to discuss additional SEO techniques that can be used to promote your website, please feel free to call and speak to us about your requirements whenever convenient.

1. Yoast WordPress SEO

Any review of WordPress SEO plugins would be incomplete without mentioning what is undoubtedly one of the most popular WordPress plugins ever created: Yoast SEO. Yoast provides bloggers and blog site webmasters with a comprehensive set of search engine optimisation tools including those that cover technical optimisation tasks as well as tools that are designed to make it easier for bloggers to create highly optimised content for their sites. One of the most useful features included in Yoast WordPress SEO is the Page Analysis tool, which gives bloggers the ability to check a wide variety of details on every page of their site. If you would like to check the word count of your blog posts, whether you have remembered to include a meta description on every page, the frequency of target keywords and much more besides, Yoast’s Page Analysis tool will save you a great deal of time and ensure that no detail is overlooked.

Yoast WordPress SEO is compatible with a wide variety of sites so you should have no problem installing it. Furthermore, it is easy and intuitive to use and includes a Facebook Open Graph implementation, allowing you to integrate your social media channel with your blog site, thereby providing visitors with a richer, more engaging and immersive experience. Significant drawbacks to using this plugin include a number of security threats and the possibility of slow page loading times should you decide to activate all the features at once. A skilled webmaster should be able to mitigate the security threats so whether these are a real problem for you will depend on where your site is hosted and the technical team that manages it on a day-to-day basis.

2. SEO Ultimate

SEO Ultimate, in common with Yoast WordPress SEO, comes in both free and paid flavours, with added functionality for those who are willing to spend a little money on their blog site SEO efforts. The ability to export and import data to and from other SEO plugins for WordPress makes it a particularly useful tool for bloggers who wish to cover all their bases as far as search engine optimisation tools and techniques are concerned. It also boasts a number of very useful SEO tools that allow you to automatically generate internal links for chosen keywords, add code to headers and footers, directly edit your robots.txt file, create rich snippets and accomplish many other key tasks.

SEO Ultimate makes it relatively easy to use specific subsets of its tools if you would rather not use the whole functionality that it provides. One of the most popular tools it boasts enables users to create custom permalinks that make their websites more SEO friendly. On the downside, it can be quite difficult for beginners to get to grips with this plugin and feature updates are sometimes slow to appear.

3. SEOPressor

SEOPressor is a paid plugin that provides bloggers with a number of professional SEO tools that make it easier for them to effectively optimise their sites. One of the biggest selling points for this plugin is the fact it is regularly updated to reflect the changes made by Google to their search algorithms. When you consider the fact that the search engine giant is constantly updating it algorithms in an attempt to nullify the efforts of those who try to game the system, it is easy to see the value of a WordPress SEO plugin that is designed to take account of these changes. For example: SEO Ultimate includes an over optimisation check tool that makes it easy to identify pages on your website that may contain too many instances of keywords as far as Google is concerned and that may have been over optimised in other ways as well.

In its favour, SEO Ultimate will help you to understand the fundamentals of SEO and achieve excellent results over time. However, there is quite a steep learning curve for those who are new to the plugin and the customer support could be better. It should also be noted that it is possible to negatively impact your site’s search engine rankings with this plugin if you are not sure what you are doing so it is best to tread gently until you have had time to learn the ins and outs of SEOPressor.

4. Premium SEO Pack

Another very popular paid plugin that contains many useful features, Premium SEO Pack is a professional quality plugin with a bulk editor that facilitates the rapid optimisation of large websites. It also comes with a number of tools that provide a more granular level of control over various onsite elements that can be tweaked to improve a website’s position in SERPs. The integrated W3C validator is a useful tool that allows bloggers to check that their sites are fully compliant with the latest standards, helping them to avoid search engine penalties that can arise from using non-compliant code and elements.

Premium SEO Pack can help you to minimise bounce rates by analysing page load speeds on both desktop and mobile devices, as well as ensuring that Page Not Found errors (404 errors) are quickly identified and fixed. Fast loading pages and an absence of unexpected errors will help to ensure a smooth and pleasant user experience for visitors to your site. The only significant drawback to using this plugin is the fact that its link building tool does not comply with the latest SEO practices and guidelines but you can avoid any potential problems with your link building strategy by simply not using this particular feature.

5. SEO by SQUIRRLY

This plugin is available in both free and paid versions, and is a great tool for bloggers who wish to focus on content marketing strategies, i.e. on optimising the content they write, rather than the technical elements of their websites. You can, of course, use another plugin to manage technical SEO tasks and use this plugin for your content optimisation so there is no need to choose one over the other if you would like to incorporate both into your overall SEO strategy. Once you have chosen the keywords that you wish to include in your blog posts, this plugin will help you to make sure that you are using them effectively, i.e. in the most important elements of your content. It will also help you to manage your content marketing strategy and to track your progress over the weeks and months as you make various adjustments. The ability to closely monitor the results of your content optimisation efforts will, of course, make it easier for you identify the most effective techniques and strategies at your disposal.

If you are going to use SEO by SQUIRRLY, you should be prepared to pay for the premium version as the free plugin does lack a few key features. However, the monthly rate is very reasonable and you are not tied to a long-term contract so it is possible to try it out for a minimal outlay.

If you would like to talk to an experienced consultant about WordPress SEO strategies or about your overall website SEO approach, please do not hesitate to call us. Alternatively, send us an email and we will be happy to call you at a convenient time.

James Fisher

About the author

James Fisher

James is a specialist in Social Media Marketing and likes to keep his ear to the ground with the latest trends. With a wide range of knowledge on the subject, he makes sure that our clients get the most out of their social media marketing strategies. In his spare time James enjoys travelling, reading and extreme sports.

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