There are numerous WordPress SEO plugins out there, but some are designed for people who want to delve into the intricacies of on-page SEO. What, if anything, should the average non-SEO pro install?
First of all, I would say that every installation of WordPress benefits from installing at least two WordPress SEO plugins.
It is important that all pages and posts on a website are indexed by the search engines and that new content is picked up quickly. This can be greatly assisted by using a plugin like “Google XML Sitemaps” to create and maintain a sitemap for the search engines (not just Google despite the name).
General SEO plugin
The most famous of the WordPress SEO plugins is probably “All In One SEO Pack”. This has a number of features to improve SEO and if you don’t want to go into detail you can just leave the default settings. If you go this route, all you have to do is enter the metadata for the homepage (the title and description that will appear in search engine results) and you’re good to go.
There are other general WordPress SEO plugins that have more features, and if you’re willing to dig into them, it might be better to go with something like the “Platinum SEO Plugin” from the start.
Other WordPress SEO Plugins
There are many more WordPress SEO plugins that can be installed and provided you take the time to understand what they do they can be beneficial but are not essential. Examples include:
- Shorten URLs
- Title tag control
- Make images SEO friendly
- Manage redirects
- Manage 404 errors
- Automatic link generation
- No Follow external links
- Simple social bookmarking (for visitors)
- Control the paging of comments.
The most important aspect of Search Engine Optimization for any website is to ensure that the content’s relevance to the search engines is 100% clear. If this is not done, it becomes much more difficult to get a good ranking in the search results. When the search engine optimization on the page is poor, it is almost impossible to rank well no matter how many backlinks you get, simply because the search engines don’t understand which searches it is relevant to.
I use the SEOPressor plugin which is a little different from other WordPress SEO plugins as it runs every time you create or update a page or post and checks the on-page SEO. The result is then prominently displayed with a percentage. Because on-page SEO is so important, I now see this as a must-have tool for anyone serious about getting good search engine rankings.