If you’re new to the concept of search engine optimisation, you needn’t be intimidated by it. There are some basic, relatively simple things you can do around your blog or website to improve its SEO, and utilising one of the many great SEO plugins available for WordPress can help make your search engine optimisation efforts a little easier.
Dictionary.com defines search engine optimisation as “the methods used to boost the ranking or frequency of a Web site in results returned by a search engine, in an effort to maximise user traffic to the site”. In short, it's the hints you leave for Google's spiders to let them know where your website, web page or blog post should appear in their results. In terms of being found amid the cacophony that is every piece of content that can be found online, SEO is vital.
Head of Google Webspam, Matt Cutts, has been quoted many times as saying…
WordPress takes care of 80-90% of (the mechanics of) Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
Which is, of course, fantastic news for WordPress users. The fact that simply using WordPress gets us ahead of the SEO game is wonderful – but that doesn’t mean we should sit back smugly in our swivelly chairs and expect WP to do all the work for us. No matter how powerful a platform is, there is always something you can do to improve your results – and this is where SEO plugins come into play.
Choosing the Best WordPress SEO Plugin
So, which is the best WordPress SEO plugin for your website? There are tons of free and paid options out there, so how to do decided which will suit your needs best?
Do a little due diligence before placing your SEO fate in the hands of a new plugin. You wouldn’t entrust the quality of your blog content to someone completely unknown, right? Because doing that could jeopardise, not only your blog, but your online reputation. Choosing the best WordPress SEO plugin for you is kind of like that – it just pays to take a little time doing your homework and figuring out the right fit before you jump on in with both feet.
Five Top Options
- WordPress SEO by Yoast : WordPress SEO by Yoast is one of the leading, most popular SEO plugins on the market. Promising to improve your WordPress SEO by helping you write better content and have a fully optimised WP site. The plugin forces you to choose a focus keyword when you're writing your articles, and then makes sure you use that focus keyword everywhere. Average user rating: 4.7/5 stars.
- SEO Ultimate : Featuring a title tag rewriter, meta description editor, deeplink juggernaut, open graph integrator, rich snippet creator, author highlighter, link mask generator, 404 monitor, and a whole lot more, this plugin is designed as an all-in-one solution. Average user rating: 4.3/5 stars.
- SEO Plugin by Squirrly : Aside from having an adorable name and brand mascot, this plugin is designed to help you write excellent, search engine optimised content, and do keyword research in less than two minutes. You’ll also have access to the SEO Live Assistant and an inspiration box. Average user rating: 4.6/5 stars.
- WP Social SEO Booster : Focusing on Google Rich Snippets microdata integration, WP Social SEO Booster adds Facebook Open Graph, Twitter Card and more to your site to boost your search engine visibility. Average user rating: 4.6/5 stars.
- SEO Tools : Combining several unique SEO tools developed for Search Commander Inc, this plugin features a URL checker, keyword list multiplier, bulk URL checker, link variance and RSS feed commander to help improve SEO rankings. Average user rating: 4.5/5 stars.
Remember, making use of these plugins won’t guarantee you the top spot in any search results. They’re designed to help you achieve better results by helping your website or blog go above and beyond in terms of technical optimisations, to help search engines better understand what your site is all about.