Search engine optimization, or SEO, can be the difference between success or failure online. It is often the little things that trip up inexperienced or uninformed site owners who are just starting an Internet business. Fine-tuning SEO is challenging, but WordPress makes the process easier by offering numerous tools to bring the best possible results. The five most useful plugins for SEO are outlined below.
SEO Content Control
How well a site places in the search engines is very dependent on the quality of its content. This plugin will scan a site and focus on areas of weakness, such as duplicate content and missing meta information, which are two points that may bring penalties from search engines. The site owner can then correct the issues quickly and improve SEO ranking in the process.
All in One SEO Pack
This plugin is a favorite among WordPress site owners due to its versatility, although it is geared toward more advanced users. It allows the user to easily customize tags, descriptions, URL structures and post titles. Additional features include meta-tag generation and optimized page titles. This is the only plugin that will integrate SEO features on e-commerce WordPress sites, which are the ones that benefit the most from optimization.
SEO Smart Links
Designed to help a site owner save time, SEO Smart Links will find phrases and keywords that have been previously published and connect them to generate internal links. The user can also control the attributes of links, such as “no follow”, or whether the link will open in a new tab or window. If the plugin was not used, the site owner would be forced to go through each post and manually link keywords and add attributes, which takes a great deal of time. The manual method could also result in costly errors through incorrect linking.
This is a powerful plugin for controlling a site’s SEO, especially page indexing and files. The tools included with it are editors for meta-keywords and meta-descriptions, a tag-rewriter and a special feature called Deeplink Jauggernaut, which will search for user-specified anchor text and create a link to the preferred page. This makes it easier for both humans and search engines to find content. Internal links play an important role in proper search engine placement and overall rank.
Platinum SEO Pack
Another great plugin for power users who want fine-tuned control over the SEO of a site, Platinum SEO Pack assists the user in optimizing page titles and blog posts for search engine crawlers, creating proper meta-tags, finding duplicate content and making changes to permalinks. The plugin’s strongest feature is its ease of use, allowing the user to complete tasks with a few clicks from a single menu rather than having to comb through posts or code for hours.
How well a site succeeds on the Internet depends on how well it has been optimized for the search engines. While it is true that content is king, how accessible that content is to being crawled and processed has equal importance. If a user finds their WordPress site is not ranking as well as it should, the plugins described above can be helpful in finding problem areas and getting the site on the road to recognition.