SEO | Native

Top 4 SEO Plugins for WordPress

WordPress has become one of the best, if not the best blogging platforms in terms of SEO. This is one of the reasons that an estimated 16% of all websites currently use the platform. This popularity has led to a massive number of plugins being made freely available – great news for those who have time to experiment but for WordPress users who want to be able to install a plugin, quickly set it up and forget about it, there’s almost too much choice.

In this post I’ll discuss my top 4 SEO plugins for WordPress and give an overview of each. By following this guide you’ll have your WordPress site shooting up the rankings in no time!

1. WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast

free seo plug in

With over 2.6 million downloads, this has become the king of all SEO plugins for WordPress. When it launched several years ago it made a number of other plugins redundant overnight.

With just a little set up work it allows you to easily optimise your meta titles and descriptions, set correct canonical tags, create XML sitemaps and a whole lot more.

Another of the great features of this plugin is that it allows you to optimise individual posts. Just enter a focus keyword for which you want to rank and follow the guide.

How to set up the WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast

Dan Kern has written a very thorough guide to setting up Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin which can be followed in a few simple steps.

Download link for WordPress SEO by Yoast.

2. SEO Friendly Images

SEO Friendly Images is a great little WordPress SEO plugin which updates all images in your posts and/or pages with proper alt and title attributes (although my personal preference is to disable the title attributes). What makes this plugin extra cool is that it works retrospectively. Even if your images don’t have any alt attributes already set, the plugin will add them for you.

How to set up SEO Friendly Images

Once installed, navigate to Settings > SEO Friendly Images. I like to rename my images before uploading them to WordPress so I use %name for the alt attribute. I also find title attributes pretty annoying and they play no part SEO so I remove them completely. Finally, make sure that both the override options are ticked.

Download link for SEO Friendly Images.

3. W3 Total Cache

If you’re looking to speed up your WordPress based site (and why wouldn’t you be?), W3 Total Cache should be your first port of call. It greatly improves load times by caching and minifying your content.

There’s a fair bit of technical stuff going on with this plugin so it takes a little bit of setting up but once done it can be left alone to do its thing.

How to set up W3 Total Cache

Matt Pilott has put together this great guide on how to set up W3 Total Cache which walks through each setting in easy to understand steps.

Download link for W3 Total Cache.

4. WP Smush.it

Ensuring your pages load quickly is an important part of SEO. No one likes to wait for pages to load and search engines are no different. One of the simplest things which can be done to reduce page load time is ensuring your images are properly optimised.

WP Smush.it is a very simple plugin which, when installed, automatically optimises each image you upload. Images previously uploaded can also be optimised using the ‘Bulk Smush.it’ feature.

After installing you’ll probably want to run all your existing images through the ‘Bulk Smush.it’ feature so head to Media > Bulk Smush.it and hit the ‘Run’ button. Once that’s done, you can just leave the plugin to do its stuff.

Download link for WP Smush.it.

Which plugins do you use for your WordPress SEO? Let me know if you think I’ve missed anything in the comments below.