This article is all about improving your SEO. I’m writing this article with WordPress.org in mind because, at the time of this writing, it’s the most popular of all the website building platforms. According to WPBeginner, 34% of the internet’s websites are built with WordPress.org.
There’s a good reason too. WordPress.org is free. You can build a website and then install several free plugins that will make your site perform better and track its performance.
Many of those plugins monitor SEO. SEO is essential when you want to drive organic traffic to your website.
What is organic traffic to a website and why do I need it?
Organic traffic is unpaid traffic to your website. It’s the people who find your website by searching with a search engine like Google, Bing or Yahoo! These are people that search a topic, find your link and click on it.
You need organic traffic because it’s solely based on the content that you put on your website. It’s free aside from a little sweat equity. Provided that you keep up with the SEO, organic traffic is a continuing source of visits to your website whereas paid traffic is something that you have to pay more and more for and you may or may not see results.
The Best SEO Plugins for WordPress
Monitoring SEO is tough if you don’t understand all the ins and outs of the industry. It’s even tougher because companies like Google are constantly updating their search algorithm, which means SEO can be a constantly moving target.
That’s why there are plugins that help you monitor your SEO and don’t require you to keep up to date with the latest changes at Google or Bing.
When it comes to the best plugin, most people will tell you that Yoast is king. Ahrefs blogs use Yoast because it’s versatile and because it helps you monitor the SEO on each page. You can make sure your custom title tags, meta descriptions, and meta robot tags are all SEO friendly. You can also check to make sure that the page is optimized for your keyword.
WPBeginner is also a fan of Yoast and uses it on all of its websites. The company wrote up an entire tribute article to Yoast here, but the basic gist of the article is, “This plugin is by far the most complete SEO solution that is available for WordPress.”
All in One SEO Pack
Most people agree that the All in One SEO Pack is the closest alternative to Yoast. It offers a lot of the same functionalities as Yoast, but for those really high-end options, you’re going to have to pay a subscription fee. Of course, you get what you pay for. The All in One Premium package comes with customer support, and WooCommerce support if you run an online store.
After the top two, there’s a little bit of discussion about what SEO plugins you want for your site. I chose Rank Math because it does something that the other two don’t, it tells you when visitors to your website are having problems.
The best part about Rank Math is its ability to redirect people from pages that you deleted and posts that you deleted. If you make changes to your URL structure or move to a new domain, these redirects are essential to making sure that the organic traffic goes with you.
Rank Math also deals with 404 errors. Do you know when you go to a website and instead get a 404 error page saying that the page cannot be found? Well, Rank Math will let you know that visitors are going to those dead pages and even more it will tell you how often it’s happening.
Rel NoFollow Checkbox
This one is more of an advanced tool, but it can be important too. The Rel NoFollow Checkbox lets you decide if a link is a NoFollow link or a DoFollow link. A NoFollow link will not improve the link source’s rankings on search engine sites, a DoFollow link will.
This can be important if you ever find yourself linking to a competitor’s website. You can link to the information without helping them out in the search engine rankings.
Google Keyword Planner
This isn’t a plugin, but it’s a great tool for improving your SEO. By using Google Keyword Planner, you can find keywords in your industry that have high search volume or high interest. You can also find keywords that you can use to outrank competitor sites.
If you use Google Keyword Planner correctly, you can help boost the search rankings of your pages and your overall site.
For some tips on how to create good content, check out this previous post.
Written by Erika Towne