The SEO plugins for WordPress are programs and applications that modify the code of a site extend its functionality and allow you to manage the main aspects related to the on-page optimization of your CMS. In this article we see the best SEO plugin for WordPress and other plugins that can help us in the activities of positioning on search engines.
- The best SEO plugin for WordPress is Yoast SEO
- Yoast SEO setup guide
- Yoast SEO Meta Box
- Other SEO plugins for WordPress
- Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP)
- Google XML Sitemaps
- SEO Smart Links
- Broken Link Checker
- SEO Friendly Images
- SEO Slugs
- Is the use of SEO plugins enough to rank me?
- Further considerations on SEO plugins for WordPress
1. The best SEO plugin for WordPress is Yoast SEO
There are a multitude of SEO plugins but the one created by Yoast de Valk is certainly the best being the most complete and well done due to its ease of use and customization which makes it essential for a good on-page WordPress optimization.
Yoast SEO setup guide
To start using it, it is advisable to start from the general settings where you will need to enter your data in order to show the Organization type microdata, add the verification meta tags of numerous webmaster tools (Alexa, Bing Webmaster Tools , Google Search Console and Yandex Wemaster Tools) and disable the advanced part of the meta box to avoid any problems generated by users, authors or editors.
We come now to the other settings :
Titles and metadata: through these settings it will be possible to customize the templates for the title meta tag, the description meta tag and establish the meta robots directive “noindex, follow” for articles, pages, taxonomies and archives.
Furthermore, it will be possible to establish whether or not to index the archives to avoid systemic duplication, whether to use the meta keywords and whether to add the noodp and noydir directives to the meta robots.
Social: in these settings you can enter your addresses of the main Social Network accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Istagram, etc.), automatically add the Facebook Open Graphs, add the Twitter card meta data, check your site with Pinterest and add Google+ specific meta data.
XML sitemaps: Yoast allows us to generate an XML sitemap and establish the maximum number of resources it must contain before generating another and dividing it into logical areas, choosing whether to disable the author / user sitemap and whether to exclude specific articles or pages or certain taxonomies.
Advanced: in these settings you can decide whether to use the breadcrumbs that Yoast makes available to us, to remove stop words from the URLs, to redirect the URLs of attachments to the parent post, remove the? Replytocom variables, force canonicalization on HTTP or HTTPS , apply the final slash on the URLs of categories and tags. It will also be possible to customize the content to be inserted before and after each post in the feed.
Yoast SEO Meta Box
The plugin manages numerous SEO aspects both from its settings as we have just seen but also from the interface of pages and articles.
Once installed, a new box will appear (Yoast SEO Meta Box) which will allow you to configure a series of aspects including:
Snippet Preview: Provides a preview of how the article or page snippet will appear in the Google serp.
Main Keyword : it is the main keyword for which we want to optimize the article or page.
Once inserted, Yoast will analyze the content to see if it is SEO optimized and the results of this analysis are available in the “Page Analysis” tab.
This analysis, completely superfluous for SEO experts, can instead be a decent starting point for those who want to become SEOs . My advice is not to go too hard with the green dot and use common sense.
SEO title: this field allows you to customize the content of the title tag or you can leave the one generated automatically by the template and established in the general settings of the plugin.
Meta description: through this field you can customize the content of the description meta tag or, if configured, leave the one generated automatically by the template.
Meta keyword: field to enter the keywords related to the page or article.
Page analysis: as previously mentioned in this tab it is possible to view the SEO analysis carried out by the plugin with detailed advice on the optimization of textual content and fundamental meta tags.
For more information on its operation and configurations, I refer you to the manufacturer’s website.
2. Other SEO plugins for WordPress
After seeing how the best SEO plugin for WordPress works , we come to list other plugins that improve the optimization of a site and that are no less important than Yoast SEO or that provide a valid alternative to some of its functions.
2.1) Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP)
YARPP allows you to show related posts under articles or pages, selected through an affinity system that derives from the analysis of titles, contents, categories and tags.
It is possible to choose whether to activate it only in the articles, only in the pages or in both. It also allows you to establish the level of affinity to improve the correlation between contents.
This plugin is very useful for keeping visitors on your site, enticing them to read more content and thus improving the data on the bounce rate .
2.2) Google XML Sitemaps
If you don’t want to use Yoast to generate an xml sitemap you can use Google XML Sitemaps .
This SEO plugin is simple to use, all you have to do is install and activate it as it automatically updates the sitemap every time you publish a new page or article.
Optionally it is possible to set the priority parameter, the update frequency (changefreq) and the date of the last modification (lastmod) of a page or post.
2.3) SEO Smart Links
To improve internal linking SEO Smart Links comes to the rescue by allowing you to assign a specific URL to certain keywords, thus automating the generation of links to internal pages or even external domains.
It also allows you to customize the title attribute, to insert the rel nofollow attribute or to decide whether or not to open the generated links in a new browser window.
2.4) Broken Link Checker
This plugin constantly monitors your site to find any broken links both to internal pages and to external sites.
Broken Link Checker lists all broken links (including missing images and redirects) and gives you the one-click ability to stop linking, edit, or indicate that the link is correct.
Through its settings you can decide when the plugin should check the site’s links, whether to be notified by email when it finds a positive, whether to insert the default rel nofollow on broken links and much more.
This plugin is essential for large sites where a lot of content is generated by users (articles, comments, etc.) in order to automate the management of broken links.
2.5) SEO Friendly Images
2.6) SEO Slugs
Before scheduling or publishing a post it is advisable to always check which URL will show your online content. For example, stop words present in URLs are ignored by search engines.
You will be able to see the slug generated before publishing the article or page to determine if it is good or not. It also won’t overwrite existing URLs.
It is a plugin that allows you to manage 301 redirects without the need to have skills in writing the .htaccess file.
Redirection is essential when migrating a site and when you need to change previous URLs and redirect them to new ones.
Among its functions it is possible to automatically redirect the URLs of pages and articles when they change, add redirects manually, assign redirection to a specific group of URLs through the “Groups” entry or create redirection rules by benefiting from regular expressions.
Is the use of SEO plugins enough to rank me?
Of course it is not enough. WordPress is one of the most popular CMS thanks to its “SEO oriented” features that make it easy for anyone to avoid major problems related to indexing and consequently favors on-site optimization activities.
It is important to clarify, however, that on-site optimization is only the prerequisite for reaching the first page and that without quality content and without popularity (see SEO link building) you will never get important results.
The SEO is a much more complex matter , and if it were enough to install and configure the SEO plugin for WordPress will all be on the front page, and if you type a query on Google are only ten results returned.
The same operators in the sector find it difficult to position themselves and find space in the SERP: how many web agencies offer SEO services but are forced to sponsor them with Google Ads because they are not positioned for nothing?
Think about this and learn to distinguish when to play with a site and when to produce business with a site. They are two very different things .
If you are not very busy and can afford to play with your site, this can be a fun pastime and I recommend that you do so.
If, on the other hand, you have an activity and an advertising budget to invest, it is better that the visibility of your site is taken care of by an expert SEO consultant .
3. Further considerations on SEO plugins for WordPress
You must know that plugins should be installed only if necessary because they insert code external to the CMS and make it more vulnerable.
Unfortunately there are still many… let’s call them that… naive who instead install useless plugins on their sites, unaware of what they do and the risks they run.
If you have any doubts or want more information about SEO plugins for WordPress do not hesitate to use the comments.