Anyone using WordPress understands the effectiveness of a good plugin. However, when it comes to SEO plugins for WordPress, it is a different story altogether. There are numerous plugins to choose from and it’s hard to know which ones actually work best.
There are three main plugins which hold the most downloads for SEO, and we’ve taken each for a test drive. If you’re thinking of optimizing your WordPress blog and need an SEO plugin to help you do so, consider one of these picks:
Yoast is one of the most popular SEO plugins on WordPress today. Yoast is integrated into the platform and allows a user to improve his or her own SEO efforts manually by offering flexible features that require important user input. The user types their focus keyword into a text box, from which Yoast evaluates the post for keyword density, secondary and tertiary keywords, placement, and more. Colors are used to indicate optimization levels; red means the post isn’t very well optimized, while green indicates sufficient use of the keyword. It also establishes permalinks and sitemaps, making it easy for the user to focus on the more manual aspects of SEO. All in all, a good plugin for anyone with a strong grasp of SEO knowledge who wants manual control over optimization.
2. All in One SEO Plugin
The All in One SEO Plugin automates several aspects of optimizing a post for the user. For instance, it automatically generates a title and a meta description. The user can still enter the title manually, however. Preferences can be set for how the plugin should approach different elements of the post, and it will remember the settings for the next use. Perhaps the best part of the All in One SEO Plugin is that it links to Google+; Google Authorship has become such a big influence on SEO with the latest update that it is essential an author has these settings enabled. Good for users who have intermediate skills in SEO.
3. SEO Ultimate
SEO Ultimate allows a lot of really cool features like automatic linking. For instance, if the user types “about me” in a post, the plugin can be set up to automatically link to the “About” page. This plugin is best for those who want to automate the optimization process as much as possible. While it doesn’t help with keyword density as much as the others, there is no better tool for ensuring links are in place. Good for beginners in SEO.
These are just three SEO plugins available. There are numerous others, but no single plugin is any more effective than the rest. The best way to approach these plugins is to evaluate what each and every one of them does, their strengths and weaknesses, and measure how they fit in with the goals your blog is trying to accomplish. For instance, a travel blog might benefit more from links and social media sharing than it would from keyword usage, while a niche blog would heavily rely on keywords. It is possible to use these plugins in tandem with one another, but that generally complicates things too much.
Every SEO plugin for WordPress has its own strengths and weaknesses. Evaluating the specific purpose it is needed to serve will help you select the one that’s best for your site as well as your marketing strategy.
Which SEO plugin do you use for wordpress, and what’s been your experience with it?