Good web hosting is important when building a website. However, the need for a good search engine optimization platform is how visitors will find content. While some will pay good money for an expert to streamline the site for SEO, a lot of the work can be eliminated through the use of free plugins.
Free SEO plugins are add-ons that automate many of the processes for optimization. This usually includes everything from the sitemap to making sure the content reads well for both human and search engine bot visitors.
Here are a few of the top SEO plugins for WordPress that may make a big difference in site performance. The hardest part is choosing the best one that suits specific needs.
All in One SEO Pack
The All in One SEO Pack is perhaps one of the most common and most popular plugins for WordPress. It has more than one million active installs and has been a favorite of many since 2007.
All in One SEO comes with XML sitemap support eliminating the need to find and install a plugin for that ability. These files are very important as the sitemap is used by search engines to determine where content is located. While it’s still possible to rank in search engines without it, the sitemap improves the amount of time engines like Google and Bing index webpages.
One of the more attractive aspects of this plugin is the support for Google Analytics. This lets developers access the statistical information of the website to improve future content or gauge how well each post is performing.
Another feature many people love about All in One is the ability to integrate with eCommerce. Other plugins such as WooCommerce are capable of benefiting from the adjustments and features within All in One SEO. This means content for products or services are enhanced and optimized to help reach the top of search result pages.
All in One SEO has the ability to generate META tags automatically. This is important when considering how the meta description is the part of the page most searchers will see. Even the most beginning WordPress user can feel like an expert as the system builds this information automatically.
Beginners are not the only ones who can benefit from this plugin. All in One SEO provides the settings and capabilities necessary to fine-tune everything even further. This means advanced users have far more control when it comes to the optimization of their website.
Yoast SEO is another extremely popular SEO platform. It comes with a variety of tools one would expect from an optimization platform with a few additions that take it even further.
One of the highlights to this plugin is the ability to analyze content while it’s being created. Developers can see the impact of various points of their content in real-time, which play a part in SEO as well as visitor engagement. Some of these points include:
•Number of words
•Readability scoring using the Flesch Reading Ease test
Not only does Yoast SEO help sites score well in search engines, but it also helps the developer create better content. Using a red, orange and green lighting system, it shows areas that need improvement at a glance.
Yoast monitors the keyword use closely. Because saturating content with specific words or phrases can actually hurt SEO, this plugin keeps it in check by reminding the developer to keep the word usage to less than 2.5 percent. In the paid version of the plugin, additional words and phrases are monitored.
For those who put effort in distributing the RSS feed, Yoast can optimize that as well. This helps reduce the risk of others scraping content from the website. Because the plugin will automatically add a link back to the site, developers improve ranking while keeping scrapers away simultaneously.
Being able to edit files without opening the root directory of the website is a feature that is included in Yoast SEO. The built-in editing system will allow developers to access both .htaccess and robots.txt files to fine-tune settings and make adjustments.
Although SEO Ultimate is not as popular as the previous plugins, it does have potential for greatness. This tool comes equipped with more than 20 individual modules that can be turned on and off depending on the developer’s needs.
This plugin allows access to create the meta description either manually or automatically. This can be done as a mass edit or simply using the shortcode for an auto-generated excerpt. However, most SEO experts believe that creating the meta description manually has a better chance of scoring well in search engines. Automatically generating the description works, but it may not pull engaging material to display in results.
A favorite feature of SEO Ultimate is the ability to create automatic internal links. The system can search through the website and find anchor text that refers back to other pages. Not only does this improve usability for visitors, but it also enhances “link juice” when search engines crawl for content. It’s a time saver as users don’t have to visit every post and page to create these internal links.
Rich snippets play a role in visibility in sites like Google. For instance, a rich snippet includes those articles that display star rating systems that appear on page one. SEO Ultimate adds the code to deliver these snippets to the search results page.
This plugin also comes with a file editor to fine-tune coding in .htaccess and robots.txt. This is exceptionally useful when making small changes and modifications instead of using FTP programs to access the web hosting account’s root directory.
Choosing the right web hosting plan is the first step to engaging a worldwide audience. Plugins such as those listed above only work to improve how that audience finds the site. Developers will still need to create quality content while delving into various methods of marketing. Choose the right SEO plugin and reap the rewards of higher search rankings.