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by Mike Essex on 12th July 2011
Today’s video and guide was requested by Mike Payton, a web developer at AutoTrader who asks, “What are the best SEO plugins for WordPress?” In this guide, I’m going to go through ten of our favourites, most of which we use here at Koozai, all of which we’ve seen are beneficial for clients.
From solving canonical issues to getting better website text and Meta, there’s a tool for every site.
All in one SEO Pack
The first one is All In One SEO Pack. Now, this is actually my favourite of all of the plugins. It’s pretty much a catchall tool. So it will let you set your site descriptions, your Meta, your canonical URLs or any rewrites that you want to do to content. It gives you about 20 separate options, but each one of them is really beneficial and takes about five seconds to set up. So, if you only get one plugin, use this one.
Next we’ve got Scribe SEO. Now, for any of you writers, bloggers, or copywriters, this is an essential tool to have. It is a paid tool, but well worth it. In essence it tries to figure out what the keywords are that you are targeting on a page. Based on that, it will say, provide you with a keyword density and inform you if this falls within the recommended levels. It gives you suggestions on things you can do to improve the keywords in the post.
If you want to try to rank for a keyword for any of your blog posts, Scribe SEO is pretty much the way to go. By providing a score based on the overall optimisation of a page, it is a nice gentle reminder for all writers to ensure that the Meta is written, links included and that the content isn’t overly complex (provided courtesy of an inbuilt Flesch score calculator).
Next we’ve got Akismet. This is a blog commenting tool that helps cut down on spam. This is good because you can’t watch your blog the whole time. If you’re not moderating comments, and are letting everything through, you need to see the spam really, because otherwise Google might come along and catch it and could penalise you. So any blog comments you get that are full of spammy links or really bad content will get filtered out automatically.
Google XML Sitemaps
Next we’ve got Google XML Sitemaps. Despite the name, it does work with all the search engines. It automatically generates a sitemap for you and then puts it in all the relevant folders. This saves you going through and having to add one every time you do a new blog post.
SEO Smart Links
This tool will auto-link any key phrases in your text to a relevant place of your choosing. If you want to make it so every time you say “SEO advice” it goes to a page of your blog post on SEO advice, it’s a good way to increase your chance of ranking for that particular term because you’ve got all these automatic internal links. Don’t get too carried away though, if you end up targeting dozens of terms your posts could quickly have more links than standard text.
Then we’ve got TGFI.net SEO. This is one for people who use WordPress as a content management system. It’s pretty much all the features of All In One SEO Pack, but it’s just better suited to that kind of site structure which has categories and product pages.
This is just a simple tick-of-the-box tool. It removes any words in your URL strings that are pointless. So the words “the” or “and”, they all get removed and you’re left with a URL which is pretty much just good keywords.
SEO Booster Pro
This tool looks at the search terms that people use to find your website and then gives you the option of adding those as tags to the blog post. Now, if you’ve ever used Squidoo, you’ll notice that has a similar piece of functionality built in. By adding these keywords to the blog post, you’re then adding more relevance on that post to those keywords, and it increases the rankings for the post even more.
The next tool is just called Redirection. Thankfully, if you do search for that on WordPress Tools List, it does come up pretty high so you should be okay to find it. What that does is it logs any 404 errors that you get, and then you can just redirect them later.
WP Super Cache
The final tool is WP Super Cache. It’s a really good way of speeding up your website. It presents a HTML version to the majority of users. So it strips away a lot of the WordPress code that takes a long time for search spiders to crawl through. Faster for the user, faster for the spiders. If search engines are factoring in site speed as much as we think they are, then it’s good for rankings too. So it’s worth having.
Have we missed any that you’d recommend? Please leave them in the comments below: