Sometime I really wish I never knew about SEO and I would have been just another Blogger, where I write about things without worrying about Keyword research, Ranking on the first page of Google or driving insane amount of traffic. Truth is, over the time this become a necessity. Without traffic our blog is another found and lost website and we may or may not see the next big thing. So, that’s where SEO comes in.
WordPress being the best platform for Blogging, comes with ample amount of plugin options. We wish to make our WordPress blog SEO optimized, we have hundreds of plugin for the same, we wish to add make our blog secure, we have unlimited WordPress security plugins available, all other plugins are ok but what worries me is number of SEO plugins available for WordPress.
Do a simple search in Google for “WordPress SEO plugins” and you will be bombarded with options like:
These are just few of them, and there are many more. Now the question is what should be rely on how many we should use.
How many SEO plugins we need in WordPress?
When a newbie starts uncovering the world of WordPress SEO, the most obvious search is SEO plugins. There are thousands of Web-pages which offers unlimited options and that’s where the confusion begins. You don’t know, if we really need to use All in one SEO and WordPress SEO by yoast together or separately, but both of them will be listed on one essential SEO plugins page.
If you ever find stuck in similar situation, don’t worry as you are not alone. There are many others who are still not sure of what SEO plugins in WordPress they should be using and reading numerous of recommendation, they ended up installing many plugins which does the similar job.
Specially when it comes to SEO, it takes time to see the effect. Till the time you get the positive result, all is well but moment any SEO plugin settings have bad effect, you are in deep shock and the fight to fix it starts. You start making changes without knowing what’s right and what’s not, and leave the faith of your blog to future. This is what my main concern is. I have been there, and know where people make mistakes. When you just read about a new SEO plugin and your itchy hands let you install it right away and try it on your blog. From now on, I really want you to stop doing any such thing and know what particular SEO plugin is doing for you. Do you really need another one, or you just creating SEO problems for your blog by clashing it with similar plugins.
Those Bloggers who have shared list of such SEO plugins, they are not wrong because they are giving you more options. I use Thesis theme, but at the same time I give option for other themes, which you may use on your blog. Similarly, when I create a list of such plugins, I try to give as many options as I could. In this article, I try to answer as many questions as I could and hope this will give some rest to your itchy hand and you will not make your blog fall in the category of SEO blunders.
Another thing which you should know is the time stamp of such plugins. A Blogger might have shared his list of SEO plugins in 2009 but that lucky guy might be on the first page of Google, how likely you are going to trust a plugin recommendations which was made 3 years back? It’s not his mistake and not yours too. But as a writer, when I talk about SEO stuff and plugins, I expect you to know a bit. Make sure, you do a complete research before you add a new plugin or go for a trusted recommendation.
So what WP SEO plugins you should be installing?
First thing which you should ask is the same series of plugin am I going to install? Some plugin helps in ON page SEO, some plugin helps in On site SEO and some of them helps in improving UI, social signals, which ultimately benefit in over all optimization of your blog.
WordPress On site SEO Plugins:
I rely mostly on my inbuilt Thesis Theme SEO options. I don’t use WordPress SEO by yoast or All in one SEO. But if you are not using Thesis theme or any theme with its inbuilt SEO options, get yourself WordPress SEO by yoast.
If you are still using All in one SEO, platinum SEO time to make a shift. WordPress SEO by yoast is so far one of the best On site SEO plugin which I have seen and only plugin which you need.
On page SEO :
I have talked about SEOPressor and one of the most common question I have been asked “WordPress Yoast SEO vs. SEOPressor” and as I mentioned above, both of these plugin perform different task. If you don’t like SEOPressor, get SEO scribe but all you need is one of these. Though SEOScribe is bit costly, and another plugin EasyWPSEO is outdated. So, SEOPressor is a better option here.
I tried WordPress SEO by yoast Sitemap feature, but I still in love with my old age Google XML Sitemaps plugin. On one of my blog, where I’m using Swift theme along with WP SEO by yoast, I disabled the inbuilt sitemap feature and using Google XML sitemaps plugin. Now, it’s up to you which one you choose, but again stick to one of these.
Additionally, I use Google XML site map for images and videos plugin, which helps me generate sitemap for images and videos separately.
I will start with Broken link checker plugin, as it helps me kick out of all dead links and fix redirected links with one click. For related posts which helps in improving user experience, I have custom code, but you can either use YARPP or if you wish to show related posts with thumbnail, use nRelate. Kick out Linkwithin or similar plugin, as you will be missing out direct link benefit.
I personally use SEO smart links and WordPress insights for better internal-linking, and if you don’t wish to spend money on premium version of SEO smart link, a Free SEO smart link + WordPress insights plugin will fulfill your blog internal linking need.
Page Speed plugins:
Yes, it’s official that faster page load time helps in improving your ranking and now I’m using W3 total cache plugin, Smush.it plugin to lower down the page load time. Never mix too many cache plugins. Stick to one at a time, one major issue comes when you are using super cache and W3 total cache together, it’s like mixing Coke with Thums-up and you know the end result is not going to be any tasty.
Always remember, any SEO change is time-consuming process and reversing it back takes more time. So, before you install next SEO plugin on your blog, make sure you know what you are doing. This is not an extensive list of SEO plugins for WordPress, but just a small heads up for newbie who are making a mistake by installing too many SEO plugins without knowing the consequences. If you are not sure, take help of WordPress forum or SML Fan page, and feel free to ask questions. It make take a little time to get an answer but it’s always worth waiting.
So, let me ask you: What all SEO plugins are you using now and what all you suggest to others?