There are numerous WordPress SEO plugins available but some are for people who want to get into the finer points of on page SEO. Which should the average non SEO expert user install, if any?
Firstly I would say that any installation of WordPress will benefit by the installation of a minimum of two WordPress SEO plugins.
Site Map Plugin
It is essential that all the pages and posts on a site are indexed by the search engines and any new content is picked up quickly. This can be helped considerably by using a plugin such as “Google XML Sitemaps” to create and maintain a site map for the search engines (not just Google despite the name).
General SEO Plugin
The most well known of the WordPress SEO Plugins is probably “All In One SEO Pack”. This has a number of functions to improve SEO and if you don’t want to get into the detail you can simply leave the default settings. If you go that route all you have to do is enter the meta data for the Home Page (the title and description that appear on the search engine results) and it is ready to go.
There are other general WordPress SEO plugins which have more functionality and if you are prepared to get to grips with this, it may be better to go for something like the “Platinum SEO Plugin” at the outset.
Other WordPress SEO Plugins
There are many more WordPress SEO plugins which can be installed and provided you take time to understand what they do, they can be beneficial but they are not essential. Examples include:
- Shorten URLs
- Control of Title Tags
- Make images SEO friendly
- Manage Redirections
- Manage 404 errors
- Automatic link generation
- No Follow external links
- Easy social bookmarking (for visitors)
- Control paging of comments.
On Page SEO
The most important aspect of SEO for any site is to ensure that the relevancy of the content is 100% clear to the search engines. If this is not done it will be much harder to get a good ranking in the search results. If on page SEO is poor it will be almost impossible to get a good ranking, however many backlinks you get, simply because the search engines don’t understand which search queries it is relevant to.
I am using the SEOPressor plugin which is a bit different from other WordPress SEO Plugins in that it runs each time you create or update a page or post and checks the on page SEO. It then prominently displays the result with a percentage score. As on page SEO is so important I now see this as an essential tool for anyone who is serious about getting a good search engine ranking.