June 19, 2013

WordPress SEO plugins to boost your search results

wordpress

Yoast, All in One, W3 Total Cache: Which is right for your business?

Guest post by Angie Picardo

Angie-PicardoWordPress is more than just a blogging platform. It can also be used as your content management system. Of course, part of managing content is ensuring that your site stands out and can be found among the millions of sites on the Web. One of the main tools for marketing to the right people is search engine optimization (SEO), or how to rank higher in Google’s search results.

SEO plugins are ready-made widgets that can be plugged in to your WordPress site to do lots of cool stuff. Plugins are modules of code that can easily be added to an existing WordPress site. The majority of plugins are free, but some do have a price, which goes to subsidizing their development. SEO plugins are useful for small businesses because they help business owners and bloggers understand what kind of keywords are producing results. These plugins can help in analyzing how users find your site. The information they provide can also help users make their sites more visible in search engines.

It can be tough to navigate all of the available plugins for search engine optimization, especially because SEO is a rapidly developing field, so Socialmedia.biz has gathered some of the most worthwhile WordPress SEO plugins below. It should be noted that there are several options for plugins and you should only install one depending upon your business or personal needs.

WordPress SEO by Yoast

SEO by Yoast

1Yoast SEO offers some awesome functionality for users. It is currently compatible with WordPress from 3.3 to 3.5.1 and was just updated a month ago. At 4.7 million downloads and an average rating of 4.7 out of 5, it can certainly be classified as an extremely popular plugin. Yoast SEO allows users to see a rendering of how posts will look when they show up in search results, including the post title and meta description. These features allow users to adjust their titles and descriptions to so that they make sense for the contexts in which they appear.

This plugin also offers page analysis, which checks for things users might forget like whether images have alt tags that contain keywords or if meaningful subheadings are present. Another great feature is XML sitemaps, which automatically generates an XML sitemap and notifies search engines of the site map’s existence. This is especially useful for larger sites. Finally, SEO Yoast has a number of other features like RSS optimization, breadcrumbs, the ability to edit the .htaccess and robots.txt files, social integration, and import and export functionality.

All in One SEO Pack

SEO Pack

2All in One SEO offers, as you might expect, a little bit (OK, a lot) of everything. This plugin is compatible with WordPress versions 3.3 to 3.5.1 and was last updated this month. It has over 14.3 million downloads and an average rating of 3.8 out of 5. It is available for free, but there is also a pro version available for $39 (plus a monthly subscription fee). This is the most downloaded SEO plugin on WordPress.

The All in One SEO Pack offers support for Google Analytics, Custom Post Types, Advanced Canonical URL, fine tuning of navigational links, a built-in API to work with other plugins and theme, and Nonce Security. (Don’t worry, you don’t have to know all these terms.) This is the only plugin that provides complete SEO integration for e-commerce sites based on WordPress, and it supports content management system-style WordPress installations. Finally, the great thing about All in One SEO Pack is that it has whatever level of customizability that users want. Beginners can automate everything, while advanced users can tweak all the features to their liking.

W3 Total Cache

W3

3This plugin will do search engine optimization one better; it describes itself as offering Web Performance Optimization (WPO) instead, which uses caching to provide better support. It is also the only WPO framework currently available on WordPress. Like the previous plugins, this one is quite popular, coming in at 2.1 million downloads and a rating of 4.6 out of 5. It is compatible with WordPress from 3.2 to 3.5.1.

W3 Total Cache’s main benefit is that it increases server performance, which reduces download times. When the plugin is fully configured, W3 Total Cache promises to deliver at least a 10x speed improvement. W3 Total Cache’s improved conversion rates affect Google rankings, and thus lead to high search rankings. It uses an optimized process to render pages, which causes them to load extremely fast.

This plugin also has lots of cool features. It is compatible with shared hosting, including VPNs and dedicated services. It has mobile support. The plugin caches pages and posts, CSS, JavaScript, feeds, search results, and database objects, all of which keep pages loading quickly. Along with caching, it offers the minifcation of posts, pages, feeds, embedded or 3rd part JavaScript or CSS. Overall, this plugin is a great way to speed up your site and improve user experience.

Whether you prefer overall functionality, a little bit of everything, or something focused on server performance, these plugins are definitely worth a try.

Which SEO plugin do you use, and how are you liking it?

Angie Picardo is a staff writer for NerdWallet, a firm in San Francisco. Her mission is to help consumers stay financially savvy and save some money with the best CD interest rates.

3 thoughts on “WordPress SEO plugins to boost your search results

  1. I’ve used all 3 of these at one point or another on my blogs, and we use All in One SEO here on Socialmedia.biz.
    Our developer recommended Greg’s High Performance SEO on Socialbrite, which isn’t mentioned here. Anyone use that one? It’s hard to gauge it’s performance vs. the others.

  2. I use All in One seo together with Squirrly seo. Have you tried it? I like to use them both, because in this way I can manage my off-page seo and on-page seo as I like.

  3. There are many aspects to SEO, from the words on your page to the way other sites link to you on the web. Sometimes SEO is simply a matter of making sure your site is structured in a way that search engines understand. 
    Read more: http://techbloggs.blogspot.com/2013/07/seoplugins.html

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