WordPress powers over 60 million websites and adds an average of 100,000 new users each day. It’s so popular that Forbes hails it the Internet’s lingua franca, the digital publishing tool of choice of everyone, from blogging hobbyists to big corporations like Forbes and CNN. When you have this large number of WordPress sites in existence, how do you get people to your blog?
The answer is good SEO, the practice of making search engines take notice of your content and see its relevance to a specific search query. You can write blog posts that rival the eloquence of Pulitzer Prize winners, but if you don’t integrate SEO into your writing, getting readers to your site is like fishing without using any bait.
Fortunately, there are a number of SEO apps for WordPress to help you set your site up for SEO success. These apps vary in their function and capacities. There are apps that help you choose the right tags, apps for creating site map, apps for making URLs SEO-friendly, etc.
Here are the top five tools that every WP blogger should consider including in their SEO armory:
Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin
Yoast eliminates the need to install many other plugins, including RSS footer plugins and Google Sitemaps. This powerful all-in-one SEO tool helps you write high quality content that search engines love. You can use it to add custom title, meta descriptions, and meta keyword. It also lets you preview a post so you can see in advance how your post will look like in the search results.
Google XML Sitemaps
The Google XML Sitemap acts as some sort of shortcut that search engine bots take to retrieve important information about your site, such as the URLs that are available for indexing and the dates they were changed. Thus, adding a sitemap is a way of telling search engines about the recent updates you’ve made. It also reminds the bots not to forget a page in your site when they visit it. The plug-in name Google can be misleading because it is actually readable by non-Google search engines, too, including Yahoo, Ask, and Bing.
All in One SEO Pack
If you want to save a lot of time—and frustration—in making your posts SEO friendly, then you should get the All in One SEO Pack. This is the most popular SEO plug-in for WordPress, boasting of 9 million users, and for good reasons. The name says it all – this plug-in can do a lot, if not all things that help you get ranked well by search engines. Its biggest advantage is in automatically bringing essential SEO elements that are missing in WordPress, such home title, post title, and description.
SEO Friendly Images
You may not have noticed, but Google (and other major search engines) now include images in the search results pages. These search engines also have a dedicated Images section, which provides users with image-only search results. If you go to Google Images, for instance, and look up Lenovo laptops or happiness, you’ll get rows and rows of images of the item you are looking for. What this means is that images can actually generate tons of traffic, and yet many neglect to optimize them. SEO Friendly Images is a plug-in that automatically adds proper ALT and title to every image you include in your posts, boosting its search engine indexability.
SEO Content Control
Reviewing every post in your site to determine where you might have missed putting a category description or title can take a lot of time. SEO Content Control is an auditing plug-in that identifies weak content in terms of SEO. This way, you can focus more on improving your site. Items that it checks include title, description, and keyword density.
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