WordPress is becoming an increasingly popular platform for company websites as well as blogs. The good news is that there are many plugins for WordPress that make life a bit easier for SEO. The thing that makes these plugins even better is the fact that they make it easier for you to maintain an optimised site even if several people are managing the site. The plugins mentioned below aren’t just ‘nice to have’ for an optimised site – in my opinion, they are ‘must-haves’ for any SEO project.
1. All in One Webmaster Plugin
For any SEO project, it’s likely you’ll want to have webmaster tools and analytics installed on the website. Installing these programmes is so simple with the All-in-One Webmaster plugin. It allows you to install webmaster and analytics tools such as Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics really easily by simply pasting your verification code or ID numbers into the settings. It’s so easy to do and there is no need to know HTML or manually add the code into every page.
2. All in One SEO Plugin
We all know how important certain on-page elements are for SEO and that if several people are updating a website (especially non-SEO’s) often the elements can be forgotten about or not created properly for SEO purposes.
The All in One SEO plugin allows you to set the page title, meta description and meta keywords for the homepage, but the best thing about this plugin is that it allows you to create dynamic page titles and descriptions etc for every page and post. So basically you create a consistent structure for the elements across your site, for example the page title structure could be set so that it’s created using the name of the page along with the name of the company.
Additionally the plugin adds the option to create a page title and meta description within the page edit screen so they can be customised easily.
3. Broken Link Checker Plugin
This plugin is essential for any website, and should be installed for usability reasons more than anything else as it notifies you of any links on the site that don’t work and go to a 404 error page.
In terms of SEO, broken links create problems for search engines as the spiders can’t crawl the site properly, meaning the page being linked to might not be indexed! Obviously using this tool means that you don’t have to regularly go through every page on your site checking each link works, saving masses of time.
4. Redirection Tool
Redirections are often forgotten about when launching a new website or updating an existing one. Any time URL’s are changed or removed, it is important to set up redirects so that anyone who visits an old URL will see a new page rather than a 404. This includes search engines.
Google et al might have indexed a long list of your old pages, which means that these could show in the SERP’s (search engine results page), especially if the site has been optimised for SEO already. Search engines often take a few days to a few weeks to crawl your site and index your new pages, therefore people will still see the old URLs in the SERPs and will therefore see a 404 page if no redirect is in place to take them to the newer version of the page.
5. RB Internal Links Plugin
Internal linking should happen naturally on any website, again more so for usability purposes than SEO. This is why anyone working on the site might create them, whether they know about HTML or SEO, or not. Although the link they create will work to begin with, it could be possible that someone else updates a particular page on the site, subsequently changing the URL of that page. In doing so, they will have to go and update any internal links to that page so that the link still works instead of a 404 page being returned, as well as allowing the spiders to crawl those links.
With the RB Internal Links plugin, this problem is avoided and again lots of time saved should any URL change ever happen. The RB Internal Links plugin adds the function to select the page you want to link to by ‘page ID’ rather than the URL address of that page. So for example, you create a link to ‘page 32’ on the site, rather than /products/category3/172 , so when you decide to update that URL to /products/shirts/red the link will still work.
Not only does this have SEO benefits, but also usability benefits for anyone who will be updating the site, as the plugin function nicely allows you to simply select the page you want to link to, rather than having to find the URL or page ID number.