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Must Have WordPress SEO Plugins

Good Content

You know how much I love good content, without good content your site is useless – and while it’s true you could generate good links and buy clicks with a PPC campaign, without good content you will never build a loyal following of readers.  Brace yourself – content is not everything.  There, I said it.  That’s quite a load off my chest.  Your site needs more than just good content, otherwise it will just be an un-charted island somewhere on the web that no one but Gilligan and the Skipper knows about.  That’s where SEO comes in.

Your site needs good structure and a delicate balance of code and content.  It needs tools and services that make it easier for the search engines to find you, and therefore easier for people to find you.  You need tools that encourage your readers to spread the word about you, and to come back and visit again and again.  That’s where WordPress plugins for SEO come in.

List of SEO Plugins

The list below is by no means all encompassing, but rather the bare minimum you need to have installed on your WordPress site if you are even half serious about Search Engine Optimization.

All in one SEO Pack
This hand tools lets you customize many of the previously hidden aspects of your web site. You are able to easily set default values for page titles, descriptions key words – everything. Even better, you can override these settings for each individual post.  This is a very powerful (and easy to use) tool.

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Occasionally things go wrong.  Maybe you moved hosts, or somebody is linking to you incorrectly, or you just went crazy and deleted something one night after a few cocktails – whatever the reason, you need a way to give people (and search bots) looking for those missing pages something to look at at besides “Error 404 – Sorry, page not found”.  The redirection plugin lets you very easily create redirects (301 for permanent or even 302 for temporary).  One of my favorite features about this tool is that it logs all of the 404 errors on your site, making it easier for you to detect possible problems.

Subscribe to Comments
When you have somebody interested enough in what you wrote to leave a comment, often they will also be interested in comments left by other readers as well.  This plugin sends an email to them when someone else has commented, keeping your site fresh in their mind and hopefully sparking them to come back again (and again).

Share This
Much like the comments plugin, we hope that when someone likes a post they will want to share it with friends and peers.  This tag makes it easy for them to do so on about 40 differant social media sites.  A nice feature of this plugin is that it lets you sort and organize the list of sites that show up in your posts.  If you write about SEO, you may want Sphinn at the top, or maybe MySpace or Facebook is more to your liking – you decide what is the most relevant way for your readers to share information.

Google XML Sitemaps
Sitemaps are something that SEOs can’t agree on.  Some say that if your site is built correctly, with well navigable pages, the search engines do not need a map to find everything.  That’s true – however, when I visit a new city…I want a map.  Yes, I might find what I want without one, but having it just seems to make things a little easier – don’t you think so?  The plugin goes beyond just creating the sitemap, it also notifies Google, Yahoo, Ask and MSN Live that you have updated your site, and to me, that alone makes it worth while.

SEO Smart Links
Internal linking is good for SEO, it shows both people and the search bots that you have more than just one article on a particular topic and are therefore a good source of information.  The problem – as your site grows it can become a chore to track down pages to link to.  This plugin locates previous posts based on keywards and provides links automatically.  It’s settings alow you determine how many links you want per page or per keyword even.

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Tip of the Iceberg

Of course this list is but the teeny-tiny tip of the iceberg that is WordPress plugins, but these are often reccomended by SEOs as a good base.  Of course, you may find others you like as well or even better…please share.

What plugins are you using now?

Written By

Jack Leblond is a SEO/SEM professional working for a large corporation full time in Austin, TX. He is not a Realtor, he is our in-house SEO expert. Jack is the Director of Internet Strategy and Operations for TG ( In addition to managing the team that develops and maintains the company's multiple Web sites, he focuses on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), e-marketing and Social Media. Jack's background ranges from Submarine Sonar Technician/Instructor for the United States Navy, technical writer, pioneer in internet/intranet creation for McGraw-Hill and Times Mirror Higher Education, former Adjunct Professor for two Universities teaching web-related courses, has served as a city council member and co-founded Net-Smart, a web design and hosting company, where he managed networks and oversaw the development of hundreds of Web sites. As a free-lance SEO consultant, Jack performs SEO Site Audits for small/medium businesses that want their web sites to perform better in the search engine listings.



  1. Chuck G

    February 21, 2009 at 9:32 am


    Thanks for the plug-in tips. I’m using most of the ones you mentioned, but there are a few that I’m not — so I’m looking forward to checking them out.

    I think the All-in-one-SEO plug-in is one the most important plug-ins in a WP blog. Recently, Dave Smith discussed this plug-in on his outstanding Real Estate Blog Lab. Dave was kind enough to walk through the entire Settings page and recommend how to set up the options for maximum SEO. Here’s the link to his site — HIGHLY recommended reading if you have a WordPress Blog.

    Now, it’s off to download more plug-ins!

  2. Ken Brand

    February 21, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Thanks for this, I’ll add these this weekend.

  3. Kerri Gingerich

    February 21, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    I have just recently started using WordPress and find your tips very helpful !
    Thank you !!!

  4. fred

    February 21, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Great post, I use most of these too, and I don’t think I could get such great SEO results without them! I will check out the SEO Smart Links, since that sounded very interesting.

  5. Chris Fyvie

    February 22, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Thanks Jack. I have most of these and agree the All in one SEO is the most important but the one about the broken links is new to me!

    What are your thoughts on having more than just the All in one SEO plug in going on the same blog? Any harm?

    Keep it up!

  6. Jack Leblond

    February 23, 2009 at 8:22 am

    @Chuck – Thanks for the link, I’ll check it out.

    @Ken – how did it go? No problems I hope.

    @Kerri – Then you are in the right place, AG is chock full of WordPress experts.

    @Chris – If you mean more than one plugin in general, no problems at all – if you mean more than one plugin that is intended to do the same thing…then yes, you are asking for trouble. For example, if more than one plugin were trying to set page titles or meta-tags, either one could just overwrite the other or worse – you could end up corrupting your files and/or database. Obviously, that would be bad.

  7. Traffic Geyser

    February 25, 2009 at 8:15 am

    You hit the spot, thanks for sharing your ideas and those must have SEO tools, you made life easier for us.. thanks again..

  8. wordpress themes @

    May 20, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Wow. This is great list Jack.
    Now i will start to use and make experiment with those pugin. I am just start to learn about SEO, and this post is much help.


  9. Eliese Pivarnik

    May 20, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    I use most of these and find them very helpful. Another one worth adding is the similar posts plugin. It increases the number of pages read.

  10. Michelle Minch, Moving Mountains Design

    May 23, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Thanks for the list. I have many of them installed, but I just added SEO Smart Links based upon your recommendation. Thanks!

  11. Nabil Ansari

    September 1, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    Great article. Most people forget that there are alternatives to Yoast SEO. All In One SEO is one of the best alternatives.

    Also, side note: if you add All in one SEO plugin, you don’t need to add the Google XML sitemaps plugin. It automatically generates one.

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