WordPress’s “fill in the blanks” style approach levels the playing field for people who don’t necessarily want to dabble in web design, but still want to take control, right out of the box. It’s insanely easy to create, roll out, track, and optimize content on the back end, all without ever needing even to touch hard code.
What we’re here to talk about today doesn’t really qualify as “right out of the box,” but it’s just as important a topic. Plugins extend the platform’s standard features, giving you powerful options for optimization and content structuring that the regular WordPress experience lacks.
When it comes to SEO and content optimization, having the right plugin can really help. It effectively allows you to put SEO tasks on autopilot while also improving your ability to monitor and track.
Before we tell you about some of these fantastic plugins, let’s start with this small caveat: SEO work can’t (and shouldn’t) ever be 100-percent automated. That’s way too risky; human oversight is a must. Now that we have that out of the way, here’s the best plugins to use to reduce your load without becoming uninvolved.
Broken Link Checker
Features: Monitor individual posts and pages. Get notified when a link breaks or an image is missing. Stay on top of restructuring as you grow.
Broken Link Checker lets you continuously monitor your website’s pages for broken links and image errors, too. This is important because the more content you create, the more difficult it is to keep up with where it is and when it gets moved. When broken links go unaddressed, it can negatively impact your SEO results, especially if you have a high number of them misdirecting visitors. Broken Link Checker eliminates this problem, allowing you to instantly review and correct issues.
Rel NoFollow Checkbox
Features: Automate “nofollow: code and track links faster on an individual basis. Take charge of which links you pass rank to and from.
In the world of SEO, links are gold. That doesn’t mean you should link to just any external website; in fact, the wrong link can do more harm than good. The way Google perceives the value of the sites you link to can, in turn, affect your authority. Rel NoFollow Checkbox allows you to quickly and easily add “nofollow” code to links.
This doesn’t mean all links should be nofollowed. Instead, you should pick and choose your links carefully, only allowing relevant sites with established authority the gift of a backlink. WordPress does give you the option to automatically nofollow all of your links at once, but it’s better to review each one on a case-by-case basis.
WPtouch Mobile Plugin
Features: Get a quick-and-dirty mobile optimized port of your website. Automates mobile optimization when manual isn’t an option.
Let’s be honest here: if your site isn’t already mobile-optimized, we need to have a much bigger conversation. That said, there are a few websites out there that don’t have the budget, manpower, or expertise to mobile-optimize. The WPtouch Mobile plugin gives you simple theme options that let you create mobile-friendly ports in seconds. These ported versions only show when someone drops in from a mobile device; your desktop views stay the same.
Why is this so important? Google’s most recent updates favor mobile-friendly sites, so your SEO will be impacted if your site isn’t optimized correctly. The short answer is that automating your mobile port is better than doing nothing at all. A longer-term manual fix is still preferred.
Smush Image Compression and Optimization
Features: Shrink or compress massive images quickly and easily. Optimize visuals to best fit your website and visitor’s needs.
You don’t want a slow website in today’s fast-paced world. Given that most people click away within 10 seconds if they aren’t hooked, those precious few moments of loading time could make or break your efforts. Image size is one of the main reasons websites get bogged down and begin loading like a duck in cold molasses. You have the option to compress every single image before uploading them manually, but it’s daunting and time-consuming for large sites.
Instead, use Smush Image Compression and Optimization to automatically compress every image on your website at the same time. The result is a speedier website with faster loading times that put you back in the “good graces” of Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin
Features: Automatically show links to related posts to encourage people to “dig deeper.” Keep people on your site longer to improve SEO.
Keeping people on your website for a more extended period is one of the best ways to improve SEO. It tells Google and other search engines that you have something worth paying attention to, which will automatically help your rank. Low bounce rates essentially prove your site is valuable.
The Yet Another Related Posts Plugin makes it easy for you to automatically show links to related posts at the bottom of each article or blog page. Why should you do this? Intrigued visitors will keep clicking within your site’s pages instead of going off to search the web for more information. Curiosity drew the cat further in!
YARPP also boasts cool control options letting you change how recommendations show, ensuring they fit seamlessly into your website’s design. The tool’s algorithm is advanced enough to identify which of your posts are best for display.
All in One SEO
Features: Get multiple all-in-one SEO features in a single package, including sitemaps, metadata, and so much more. Pro options provide training, too!
All in One SEO is an incredibly popular SEO plugin; there’s a good reason for all that popularity. This tiny-but-mighty plugin is super lite on resources, straightforward to use, and packed with functionality. Create sitemaps, explore keywords, add metadata tags — you can do it all with this one plugin. Plus, it’s fully integrated with Google Analytics and WooCommerce.
The pro version of All in One SEO offers advanced support and more options for SEO optimization. Extra video training helps you get to know how to use it best for maximum effect.
Features: Optimize your meta descriptions, set up pages titles, and set up your sitemap. Address on-the-fly adjustments quickly. Incorporate social sharing to track shares and other information.
No list is complete without a nod towards Yoast SEO. This plug-in tops most lists for flexibility and functionality. It, too, is an “all in one” jam-packed assortment of tools for beginners and pros alike. With a free version and a pro version, it’s also remarkably easy to get started with even if you don’t have a large budget for plugins.
Yoast’s readability recommendations are the plugin’s main drawback. It isn’t necessarily a bad feature, but some of the suggestions it makes are…well, downright incorrect and silly. It’s best to consider them as suggestions, especially when it comes to keywords.
WordPress plugins can help you maximize results, especially when it comes to SEO. Start with some of the most proven and accessible to get your site up and running, but don’t be afraid to experiment with some of the others you see. If you can think of a function you want to add, you can probably find a plugin to get the job done!