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April 27, 2011

9 Essential WordPress SEO Plugins – A SPN Exclusive Article

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WordPress is one of the most powerful web design tools anyone can use when building their websites. No longer just a blogging platform, it has been developed into a fully functional CMS that is far more flexible, user-friendly than most other Content Management Systems.

The reason I love WordPress so much is because it is highly customizable. There are hundreds of thousands of plugins and themes available that allow me to create a website with any features I could ever want. Through the use of plugins and themes I cannot only build simple blogs, I can also develop fully functional websites with shopping carts to sell products and services or even create membership sites and community portals.

The biggest advantage to using WordPress is being able to automate almost all of the on-page SEO tasks and even some of the off-page tasks. Through the use of plugins, I am able to get my websites indexed in Google quickly, often within minutes.

Because most of the SEO process is set up to run automatically, every page of my websites are fully optimized to get the best possible placements in the search engines. No other CMS makes it this easy.

Since I have used WordPress so extensively over the past 5 years, I have tested out many of the plugins that are out there, and believe me, there are literally thousands. Over the years, I have compiled a list of essential plugins that I begin with for every site build I do. I have a few premium professional plugins I sometimes add, but the bulk of the load is managed with the following 9 free plugins.

9 Best WordPress SEO Plugins

1. SEO Ultimate

I used to use the All in One SEO plugin, but have found that this one is not only better; it also has a ton more features. This plugin not only allows you to manage your Meta tags for all of your pages, posts and site-wide titles, keywords and descriptions, it also eliminates duplicate content by implementing canonical URLs.

SEO Ultimate also allows you to set a noindex/nofollow tag for individual pages or posts – very useful if you want to republish an article or have any pages that you do not want to get indexed by search engines. Another cool feature is adding a text box with your link details at the bottom of your posts and pages to encourage natural link building from your visitors. There are more features to this WordPress plugin, but the ones I have covered are the most important to me.

2. PubSubHubBub

This is a plugin created by Google and it can be responsible for getting your site content indexed really fast. Its publish and subscribe protocol is an extension to the standard Atom and RSS. Some of the hubs currently using this protocol are Google Reader, Google Alerts, FriendFeed, and many more. The main function is real-time pinging of your new content to various hubs throughout the internet where users can subscribe to your feeds. Because it is done in real-time, your new content can be indexed within minutes. Although WordPress has a built-in ping feature, PubSubHubBub will complement that function and make it unnecessary for you to spend money on pinging or bookmarking services.

3. Google XML Sitemaps

This plugin will build a XML-Sitemap for your site and automatically submit it to the search engines. Then every time you add new content or make changes to your existing content, it will re-submit the updated Sitemap. Think of it as sending the search engines a written invitation to send their robots to your website to crawl through the new content and index it.

Although the use of XML-Sitemaps was originally adopted by Google in 2005, Ask.com, Yahoo and Bing now also use this format. You will need to input your Yahoo API in the plugin settings. You can get a Yahoo APP Key at http://developer.yahoo.com/wsregapp/ . Once you have this plugin installed and configured, it will run automatically in the background without you having to worry about it again.

4. W3 Total Cache

Since page speed and load times affect your search engine placement, it is a good idea to improve your website performance as much as possible. This is a basic cache plugin that allows many elements of your website to be stored in cache files so they do not need to download with each page your traffic visits within your website. This improves the load time of all of your pages.

There are many different cache plugins available including WP Super Cache that is included with the latest WordPress installation, but I have found that this one works best. Be sure to deactivate the WP Super Cache if you choose to use this plugin.

5. WP No Category Base

The closer to the domain names you can get your keywords, the more weight they will carry. This plugin will remove the mandatory category base from your category permalinks for better SEO. The plugin has a built in 301 redirect for all of your old posts so you do not need to worry about broken links when installing this plugin on an established blog.

6. SEO Smart Links

Internal links are crucial to good on-page SEO. By setting up anchor text links to your keywords and pointing them to important pages within your webpage content, you can get better SERP for those pages. It is a way to tell the search engines what keywords you want those pages to rank for.

SEO Smart Links will manage your internal linking so you do not need to give it any thought when creating your content. You input the keywords you want to link specific pages to and then anytime you use those keywords in your posts and pages the plugin will automatically create the internal links for you. You can set a limit to the number of links to appear on each page, set the number of times you link to a particular page, etc. This can become a key component of your SEO strategies.

7. SEO SearchTerms Tagging 2

This is one of my favorite plugins. It will take all of the search queries your visitors have used to find the information on your website and create post tags out of them. This will greatly increase the traffic to your site because you will begin ranking for more keywords. It also allows you to see at a glance exactly what your visitors are typing into the search engines to find your content.

8. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin

Including links to related posts at the end of every post you do will improve your bounce rate as well as help you gain authority for the specific topics you write about on your blog. The search engines will not only crawl your post, but will follow all of the links listed in the related posts. This tells the search engine that your blog has extensive information on the subject and gives you a better SERP.

9. Scissors Continued

Another site performance plugin, the Scissors plugin will optimize the images you use in your posts and pages, making them load faster. The plugin crops and resizes images as well as resamples images you change in the editor. The file sizes of your images will be smaller with minimal effects to the quality of the photos.

By using these WordPress plugins on your website, you will ensure your site will have the best chance of success possible. The only thing left for you is creating fresh, quality content on a regular basis.


Cathy Henry is an expert in SEO and organic traffic. Her SEO Company focuses on helping small business owners achieve success online. Visit www.cathyhenryseocompany.com to read more of Cathy’s articles.

22 Responses to “9 Essential WordPress SEO Plugins – A SPN Exclusive Article

    Cathy, thanks for this very informative and useful post about SEO plugins. I would expect this post would be viral in the next days or so.

    I have one question though, can Google XML Sitemaps plugin be used on a non-wordpress site?

    Thanks again.

    Good list! But, like so many recent “best SEO plugins” list it is missing the Yoast SEO plugin:
    http://yoast.com/wordpress/seo/

    Too feature-rich to describe in detail, I’ll just note that not only does it produce XML sitemaps, but the sitemaps “talk” to the other SEO settings.

    The successor to All-In-One and, in my humble opinion, a leg up on Ultimate.

    avatar david@ as seen on tv product says:

    Excellent article had no clue about SEO ULTIMATE! I have Google XML Sitemaps but is there anything you recommend for site mapping videos? I would be really interested in that! Thanks

    Thanks for the useful list.

    Just to note that “WP Smush.it” seems better known and performs more or less the same function as “Scissors Continued” that you mentioned in your post.

    avatar Kevin says:

    Cathy, great list of plugins here. With WP having so many options and choices many times it just becomes mind boggling as what to use or add. It’s nice to hear the different opinions from SEO authorities like yourself and others. I’m going to take a look at the scissors and smart links plugins and incorporate them into my blog, never thought of using those. Thanks,

    Kevin

    thanks for this article. It’s hard to find the right combination for good plugins for your site. So i make use off this one. sorry for the english it’s not my mother languag.

    avatar Karl says:

    Thanks for a superb list. While I already use a couple of these plugins I’m going to investigate the rest and put them to good use where appropriate.
    Cheers,
    Karl

    avatar Nisha says:

    Hey thanks i have some of these plugins and now updated with some more. Thanks :) Spectrometer Products, Miniature Spectroscopy

    avatar Daytona Beach says:

    Nice list of WordPress plugins, that search term tagging is a pretty interesting plugin, I’ll give some of these a shot. Thanks.

    Thanks for the list. This was well thought out and offers a lot of important information all in one place.

    avatar cristi says:

    This list is very useful, last mounth i was used some of them on my blog http://www.wordpress.1hostpro.net

    avatar Yasir says:

    Tis list is amazaing….. have been using these plugins for the past 2 weeks and can see the difference…..

    avatar annonce gratuite says:

    I have to express appreciation to the writer for bailing me out of such a challenge. After browsing through the internet and coming across advice that were not beneficial, I assumed my entire life was done. Being alive devoid of the answers to the difficulties you’ve fixed all through the article is a critical case, and ones that could have adversely affected my career if I had not come across the blog. That ability and kindness in controlling a lot of stuff was crucial. I’m not sure what I would’ve done if I had not come across such a point like this. I’m able to at this moment look ahead to my future. Thank you so much for the expert and amazing guide. I will not be reluctant to endorse the blog to any individual who desires assistance about this area.

    avatar Dy says:

    After a long time look for information about SEO plugins for WordPress, I finally found this information. Thanks a lot. I was very impressed. Ok, soon I will be using on my blogs

    avatar Rahul says:

    I use All in One SEO Pack plugin. Its very great!! Thank you.

    avatar kapil says:

    I Am Also Using All In SEO Pack Plugin And W3-Super Cache Plugin..

    avatar Urdu Shayari says:

    I use All in One SEO Pack plugin. Its very great!! Thank you.

    avatar Urdu Shayari says:

    After a long time look for information about SEO plugins for WordPress, I finally found this information. Thanks a lot. I was very impressed. Ok, soon I will be using on my blogs

    avatar Exam-Results says:

    After a long time look for information about SEO plugins for WordPress, I finally found this information. Thanks a lot.

    avatar Exams Results says:

    I use All in One SEO Pack plugin. Its very great.. Thank you.

    You should be a part of a contest for one of the best blogs on the internet. I’m going to highly recommend this blog!

    avatar I-TCS Indore says:

    nice plugins. I use All in One SEO Pack plugin. Its very great!! Thank you.

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