One of the reasons I love WordPress as a platform is that it makes SEO and site tweaks a cinch. With the right WordPress SEO plugin, I can have a site up in minutes and modify it relatively easily. On the corporate side, WordPress functionality helps me take some of the site management burden off of IT.
As many of you know, WordPress allows users to upload plugins (small programs) that add additional functionality to the default installation. Over the years, I’ve tested more plugins than I can count and have a go-to list when optimizing WordPress sites.
I recently presented WordPress SEO to a joint meeting of the Minneapolis – St. Paul WordPress User Group and the Minnnesota Network of SEOs. You can find the full presentation on my blog. Here’s a quick rundown of plugins we reviewed. I hope this post is helpful for you in your WordPress SEO efforts.
- All-In-One Schema.org Rich Snippets: If you’ve been paying attention to the SEO industry, you know structured data is extremely important. This plugin helps with quick implementation of structured schema mark-up language across a variety of different content types. (Check out Kara Alcamo’s post on implementing schema and determining its ROI for a more in-depth look.)
- Allow REL= and HTML in Author Bios: This handy WordPress SEO plugin provides easy Authorship implementation for multi-author blogs. It wraps the Google+ URL in the author profile page with rel=”author” tag.
- WordPress SEO: This awesome WordPress SEO plugin from Yoast allows you to: optimize your page content, optimize author bios for single author site blogs, optimize graph meta-data, loop in Webmaster Tools meta-tags, and automate XML Sitemap generation.
- Inbound Writer: This plugin helps you identify topics to write about and keywords to focus on. It guides your keyword optimization and predicts the performance of that content.
- WP Robots.txt: I love this plugin! If you launch a blog for yourself and don’t want to mess around with the FTP, WP Robots.txt allows you to create a robots file directly from the reading option within dashboard settings. Note, if you’ve already got a robots.txt implemented on the server, this plugin won’t do you much good.
- WP Greet-Box: While this plug-in doesn’t provide any on-page or on-site SEO, it does offer an easy way for readers to subscribe to your feed. The more readers subscribe, the better chance you have of earning links to your content.
A few other tips for optimizing your WordPress site:
- Don’t write to rank, write to engage your audience
- Where possible, optimize meta-data and content with targeted keywords (avoid stuffing)
- Use a healthy mix of images and other digital assets within your textual content
- Use your blog’s on-site search data to identify content and user-experience gaps
- It’s okay to use third-party content on your site, but please get permission first and don’t make it a habit
- If your blog contributors have websites, ask them to link to your blog, or at least their author page on your blog
- Share blog posts on Google Plus page and relevant communities
- Use hash-tags when sharing in Google Plus (but don’t spam them)
- In your Plus shares, mention influencers and others you want to read and possibly share
- Hidden gem: Join Triberr.com it’s free and opportunities abound to get links to your articles from members
- Include social sharing buttons on all pages (many great plugins available)
- Don’t weigh your page-load time down with too many active plugins
- Test page-load time with Google Webmaster Tools or http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/
- Test authorship with Google Rich Snippet tester
- (Mobile) Choose a responsive or reactive theme
- View cached pages in Google and Bing to ensure page is rendering properly to search engines
I know that many of you WordPress whizzes out there have your own favorite WordPress SEO plugin and tips. Feel free to add to this topic in the comment section below. You can follow me on Twitter @adamdince.