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.
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).
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.
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?