Even if you run a website simply as a hobby, you still want enough people to see what you have to offer. There are a lot of things you need to do to make that happen, such as working with a great hosting company, having top notch content and maintaining a very active social media presence. You can also get a domain name that tells users the kind of services you offer. Carry out researches online for ideal names. Some web hosts include ’Search Here’, ’Domain Names here or ’Click here’ on their sites for users to easily navigate and search easily.
However, even with all of these, you still need to position properly so that your website can be well represented on search engines. Luckily for us, WordPress, which a lot of websites on the internet are built on, comes pretty well stacked with impressive SEO capabilities. But you need to take it a step further by intentionally optimizing your WordPress for search.
There are tons of plugins for optimizing your WordPress website for search engines and the purpose of this article is to introduce you to my top favourite 6.
- Yoast SEO
If you have been around WordPress for even a short time, you must have come across Yoast SEO for WordPress. With more than 5 million downloads and five star ratings in tens of thousands, this is basically the top dog when it comes to SEO plugins for WordPress websites. Yoast SEO provides WordPress users with an impressive easy to use interface that make it easy to control how your website appears to search engines.
Yoast allows you to add titles, descriptions and keywords to your posts and pages easily. It also boasts a lot of other impressive features such as image optimization, Google search console integration, sitemap creation and more. Yoast SEO comes in two flavours. The free version which gives you access to some of its incredible features and the premium version for more features.
- All in One SEO Pack
A lot of WordPress users agree that the All in One SEO plugin is the closest contender to Yoast SEO and they are not wrong. All in One SEO pack does exactly what the name implies; it provides complete coverage for anything that has to do with the SEO of your WordPress website. With this plugin, you can fully optimize your website for search engines, including checking for broken links, creating sitemaps that is automatically submitted to Google and Bing, automatically generate meta tags (which you can opt to edit), use the advanced support for WooCommerce on your online store. Just like Yoast SEO, this plugin also comes in both the free and paid versions.
- SEO Ultimate
Another SEO plugin you can try on your WordPress website is SEO Ultimate. While not exactly in the league of Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack and may not work with the more current versions of WordPress, SEO Ultimate also carry a lot of weight in the WordPress SEO community. Asides from the usual SEO features, it also support the ability to import and export data to and from other sources including third party plugins. This means that if you decide to switch over to SEO Ultimate, you can simply import data from your former SEO plugin. SEO Ultimate allows you to create rich snippets for your content, which will attract more visitors and give you a competitive edge in SERPs. You can also monitor 404 error pages using this plugin as well as carry out social media and image optimization. While SEO Ultimate provides a rich suite of features for WordPress website users, it does throw a bit of learning curve as new users may find it complicated. It also comes in both the free and paid versions.
- Cache Plugin
One of the most talked about topics on web development and SEO is user experience. It is safe to say that the difference between the success and failure of your website is to a large extent determined by the experience of your users. If visitors cannot get the information they need on your site quickly and easily, it translates into poor user experience and this can significantly harm your page ranking. This is why when it comes to delivering content on the internet, speed is of the essence. Using a caching plugin helps reduce the load on your servers and provide content quickly to your visitors. A lot of web host companies offer inbuilt caching and CDN, but you can also choose to have any of these two installed on your WordPress website.
Both plugins offer cache service for improving the performance of your website. They are also free and quite easy to use.
- Broken Link Checker
It is not enough to fill up your content with keywords, relevant images and engaging videos. It is also important to make sure that your pages are exactly where they should be. A broken link or 404 error pages provides for a less than ideal user experience. Not only can this hurt your page ranking, it can also turn visitors away from your website. This is where Broken Link Checker Plugin comes in. If you have a small website, you may be able to sift through your pages to identify broken links, but this will be impossible for very large websites. Broken Link Checker does the grunt work by scanning through your website looking for posts and pages that are not where they should be. In moments, every broken link on your website is revealed. You can then remove them completely or redirect to where they can be useful.
It makes no sense to optimize your WordPress website for search is you cannot track and monitor your progress for results. Fortunately, this is possible with analytics software. The most popular is Google Analytics which provides a platform for checking to see how your SEO effort is affecting the success of your website. You can use Google Analytics to gain insights into the behavior and intent of your visitors, how long they spend on your website and where they spend the most time. Data gotten from this insight will help you better package your products in a way that will appeal to your visitors. MonsterInsights has made it possible to use Google Analytics right from inside your WordPress dashboard with Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. This way, you don’t have to keep on shuttling between accounts. MonsterInsights come in both the free and paid version.
There are a lot of other plugins and tools that would make SEO for WordPress a breeze, but sometimes, it may be necessary to use a more professional approach.
Remember that optimizing your WordPress website for better ranking can be complicated and tedious unless you have the right tools at your disposal. I hope the 6 covered above will make your optimization a breeze.