SEO. Say it really fast and it sounds a little like ‘see yo’ – which, let’s face it, is what a lot of people do when someone starts talking SEO for WordPress sites.
Don’t worry though, we’re not here to chew your ear off about how important SEO is, we just want to share with you our pick of the best WordPress plugins for SEO and the features you should be looking for.
First of all, it’s what you searched for.
Second of all, so that you can make your website as responsive to the questions people ask via search engines and put your content in the face of potential customers – just like we did!
We know as a business owner you’re probably strapped for time, so we won’t take a deep dive into what exactly a plugin is. If you fancy a little extra light reading, we covered it recently in our 9 plugins that will give you your time back blog.
What we will do, however, is identify exactly what features you need to be looking for in a WordPress SEO plugin.
Image and link scrutinisation
Google loves images and links and ranks your website based on the use of these. All the top notch plugins will be developed to monitor how you’re using these, and nudge you to make changes if you’re not doing it right.
Rank like Google
All plugins for SEO SHOULD understand how Google ranks your website. However, not all do, so make sure when choosing a plugin that it knows its Google algorithms and can help rank your site in the correct way.
Where your keywords are hanging out
Google knows if you’ve randomly thrown in a few keywords and it doesn’t favour it as a practice. In fact, Google gets cross and can sometimes lower your ranking. When looking for a plugin, make sure that it will analyse where your keywords are placed and make recommendations for enhancements. That way, you can stay out of Google’s bad books!
It’s all about the length
Everyone’s heard the saying “It’s not how long it is, it’s how you use it that matters”. Well, when it comes to SEO, the length of the content and the way keywords have been used REALLY matter.
Any good plugin will check the length of the copy, how the words have been used and the format of the post and make some handy suggestions if it ain’t quite right.
Title and heading reviews
Titles and headings matter. It’s as simple as that. In fact, they are one of the most important features on your page!
The best plugins know this and are built to tell you off if they don’t quite hit the spot. Even better, most plugins will make suggestions for amends.
Time for the big reveal!
We know you haven’t got the time to search for the best WordPress plugins for SEO, so we’ve done it for you!
We’ve laid out the top five big players that we feel give you the best value for money.
No. 1: Yoast – not toast!
Yoast SEO sells itself as the number one WordPress SEO plugin and we gotta’ admit, we can’t argue with that.
Listed as the SEO tool for everyone, it really does do what it says on the tin; makes SEO easy for website owners no matter what the size of the firm.
With Yoast, there’s no need to be an SEO expert because it tells you exactly what to do and when. What’s more, you do have the choice to opt for a free version of the plugin if you don’t want to opt in to all the features.
However, for just £89 (ex VAT) the premium version is worth the investment.
“Yoast is the go to SEO plugin on WordPress for a reason, it not only allows you to easily edit key elements such as URL slugs, page titles, meta descriptions and more but it also guides you along your optimisation efforts. The fact it makes everything so simple is especially useful for users with little SEO understanding as they can help maintain the site and make sure best practices are being adhered to when creating new content.”
Alex Gower, Senior SEO Analyst at 43 Clicks North
No. 2: SEO Press
Another simple, fast and powerful SEO plugin for WordPress. With SEO Press, you get all the features you need in one simple plugin – and a few more than with Yoast.
However, unlike Yoast, to benefit from its features you’ll need to be up to speed on certain aspects of SEO. It’s a cost-effective tool, but definitely not for the jargon shy website owners out there!
No. 3: Rank Math
One for the SEO newbs, Rank Math helps you make your website SEO-friendly via a damn easy to use suite of tools. Unlike SEO Press and Yoast SEO, it does IT ALL completely free!
No. 4: Broken Link Checker
“I can run a crawl on Screaming Frog to find a complete list of any 404’s or unnecessary redirects, or I could alternatively look through Search Console, however the addition of the Broken Link Checker plugin allows me to instantly see while on WordPress and quickly make the fix.”
Tom Jenane, Nutrition & Fitness Expert, Natures Health Box.
Chances are, you didn’t build your own website. So, you’re unlikely to know about the internal and external links and whether they are working or not.
With Broken Link Checker, that’s not an issue! The super cool tool monitors and tests all internal and external links on your site and scouts out broken links. It also helps you fix bad links to improve SEO and user experience – just like we do!
No. 5: Monster Insights
Have you ever tried to make sense of Google Analytics and found yourself wanting to throw your laptop or desktop out of the window? Don’t worry, you’re not alone!
With Monster Insights, this doesn’t have to be the case any more. The WordPress plugin works alongside google analytics to let you see your top content, where your users are coming from, how long they hang around on your website and what they get up to whilst they are visiting.
What’s more, it’s all presented in an easy to digest way!
We may have listed five of the best here, however bear in mind that the more SEO plugins you have installed on WordPress site, the more chance there is of issues arising from plugin conflicts! Ain’t nobody got time for those.
“Monster Insights is a handy tool to have on a site because of the amount of information it opens up to you right on your WordPress dashboard. Accessing and navigating Google Analytics can be hard for a novice user and Monster Insights presents a lot of the core information in an extremely accessible format, allowing you to view the data you need extremely quickly.”Ben Angus, Head of Web Development at FSE Digital.
Whilst plugins are a great resource for SEO, it’s not the only element that contributes to how well your site ranks on Google. Why not get in touch to find out the vital part website maintenance plays too!